Bible Devotions

The Box

 

There once were two girl friends who lived next to each other.  Every day they would meet together and talk about what God was doing in their lives.  One day each friend discovered a box on their porch.  They both ran to meet each other and talk about the box they found. 

 

The first girl said “Look I found this box on my porch.  Although it is empty, I will treasure this gift always.” The second girl said “I found a box too, but mine was empty.”

 

The second girl decided to leave the box on the porch in hopes that during the night someone would come and fill it up.  In the morning she was disappointed.  Same thing occurred the next day and the next day.  Always hoping someone would come and fill up the box and then disappointed because no one came.

 

The first girl, however, didn’t focus on how empty the box was.  She instead chose to fill up her box.  For example, in spring time she stored flowers in it, during summer she put sand and seashells, and in the winter she put fresh pine sprigs and pine cones, etc. Her box was always full and brought her joy.

 

Who was most fulfilled by the box?  I imagine the first girl number was more satisfied. 

 

The key to the story above is to know that the box represents your life and it’s up to you to decide what to put into your life.  You can either wait for something to happen or you can cause something to happen.  We are always presented with this choice.  Isn’t that a wonderful thing to know?  The choices we make can either hinder our life or improve our life. 

 

So which girl are you more like? 

 

The parable I paraphrased above comes from a book I’m reading:  The Heartache No One Sees by Shiela Walsh.  It’s a book about Christ’s promise of healing for a woman’s wounded heart.  I’m only on Chapter 9, but so far it’s been enlightening.  Each chapter has application points to consider and there’s a complete bible study at the end f the book.  I’m taking my time with this book.  Reading one chapter at a time, reflecting on what I read and answering the questions for further revelation.   I’ll share more as I progress.

 

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.


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Here I am Lord, Use Me

Not long after giving my life to Christ, sitting with my small group discussing mission trips, I vividly remember a feeling of sheer terror.  I didn’t want God to send to me off to Africa or some third world country.  At church we’d often here a song with lyrics “Here I am Lord, use me”.  I had difficulties singing that song.  After all, I was tired of being used by the world, why would I want the Lord to use me too?

But God is good and not because He didn’t send me to Africa!  God is good because He’s God.  It is a holy privilege to serve the true and living God.  Sure, I didn’t think so when I first believed. However, God has a habit of changing the way you think.  Look at Romans 12:2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  The Bible instructs us to not conform to the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  I just love that part of the verse.  When your mind has been renewed you will have the proper godly perspective to understand the will of God. 

Day by day, little by little, God’s Word changes how we think.  It realigns our thoughts to His thoughts.  We find ourselves starting to care about He cares about.  We become thankful for all He has done for us.  We are humble and grateful to help where ever is needed.  Today, more than 10 years later, I can honestly say I’d love to go a mission trip and take my sons with me.  Who knows?  It may happen.  In fact, I’ve been communicating with Good Hope Church in Kenya, who ask me to come.  The opportunity of going isn’t terrifying either!  It would be an honor and a blessing to go.  I’m just another example of Romans 12:2 – my mind has been renewed!

What about you?  Do you want to be used by the Lord?  If not, why? 

Lord thank you for your Word that straightens us out and shows us the pathway to life.  Enable us to see things from your perspective and be willing to help where ever is needed.  Renew our minds, Lord that we may say with enthusiasm “here I am Lord, use me.”  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

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Press On

“Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him! Then he will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” Hosea 6:3 NLT 

This is our goal – to know HIM.  What does “press on to know him” mean to you?  It sounds like it involves some kind of effort, doesn’t it?  It is a deliberate act to know Him.  Once we apply or dedicate or commit to ourselves that we will “press on to know him”, we can be confident He will respond to us.   This verse says “as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in the early spring.”  That means we have assurance He will respond as He says He will.  Do you ever stop to think about whether the sun will rise tomorrow?  I don’t because I’m confident the sun will always shine for us.  Well, it’s the same with God.  If we seek Him, He will be found by us. 

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Jesus is the express image of God

 

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. Hebrews 1:1-4 NKJV 

The Bible teaches no one has seen God (John 1:18). It also teaches Jesus is the image of Him who is invisible (Colossians 1:15).  Why, even Jesus Himself said to His disciples “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father” (John 14:9).   God Almighty is too magnificent for mere humans to see and comprehend.  So when Jesus Christ was here on earth in human form, he was the representation of God Himself, in a physical way we humans would be able to understand.  Jesus was a picture of God’s character.  His life was a model for us to follow.  

Likewise, we Christians (or little Christ) are to be representatives of God to the unbelieving world.  By choosing to live God’s way instead of our way, we let God’s glory shine out from within.  We are not our own, we were purchased by the precious blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).  Now, let our bodies become tools of righteousness used by God for His glory (Romans 6:13).   

Lord Thank You for sending Jesus into the world, that we may know You.  Thank You for Your Word and Your Spirit which leads us in all truth.  Thank You for being a God who cares for us and will reveal Yourself to those who seek You.  In Jesus name, Amen.  

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.


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Apostle and High Priest

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, 2 who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. Hebrews 3:1-2 NKJV 

The word “Apostle” means sent one or messenger.  In the Old Testament, we had Moses, who was the messenger of God.  Moses was the sent one, who spoke to God and received God’s instructions for the people.  Remember, the people wanted Moses to speak to God because they were afraid they would die if God talked to them (Exodus 20:19).  So Moses was a liaison between God and the people, with God’s Word coming down to the people.  

Back in Moses days, his brother Aaron was the High Priest (1 Chronicles 6:49).  It was the High Priests job to offer sacrifices to the Lord on behalf of the people.  In sense, the High Priest was the liaison between the people and God, as people attempted through sacrifice to reach up towards God. 

Both Moses and Aaron were foreshadows of things to come.  In the New Testament, we have Jesus Christ, who was faithful in both Apostle and High Priest positions appointed to Him.  Let’s look at what Zechariah 6:13 says about Jesus:  “Yes, he will build the
Temple of the Lord. Then he will receive royal honor and will rule as king from his throne. He will also serve as priest from his throne, and there will be perfect harmony between his two roles.’”  Jesus fulfills both roles as Apostle (or messenger of God) and High Priest making atonement for the people.
 

This section of scripture is a wonderful reminder of how every Word of God given points to Jesus Christ.   

 

Lord, thank You for making Your accessible to us.  May we be good stewards of Your Word, sharing it where ever we may go.  Thank You for Your Spirit in us, leading us into all truth.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.


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Released from Bondage

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Hebrews 2:14-15 NKJV 

Jesus Christ came that we might be freed to live a life abundantly (John 10:10), being no longer bound by sin’s power (Romans 8:4).  When He willingly followed God’s plan of salvation and chose to die on the cross for us, He broke the power death had over us.  For now, we know with certainty where we will go when we leave this life.  We will enter into the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8).   Death is no longer a threat to us, but now a doorway into eternity with the Lord.

 

 

 

 

Are you afraid of death?  If you answer yes, I encourage you to read God’s Word.  The more you learn of God’s glorious plans, the more you will be comforted knowing God has saved you. 

Have you given your life to Christ?  If not, you can be freed from the fear of death.  Read God’s Word, recognize you are a sinner (Romans 3:23) and Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).  Pray to the Father, “I know I’m a sinner and need a savior.  Please forgive me and come into my life. In Jesus’ name Amen.”  Continue reading God’s Word and watch the glorious change appear in your life. 

Let’s take a look at some of the things are freed from, where Christ comes into our life:

Selfishness

Pride

Stubbornness

Bitterness

Resentfulness

Hatred

Anger

Self-loathing

Perfectionism

Envy

Strife

Jealousy

Complaining

Loneliness

Lust

Sinful desires

When we stop to remember all that we’ve been freed from, there is plenty of reason to “Shout to the Lord” with praise and thankfulness.  Rejoice, Christian, rejoice!

Lord, thank You for freeing us from bondage of sin.  Let us rejoice always with thanksgiving and gratefulness to You for setting us free to live an abundant life in Christ. In Jesus’ name Amen.

 

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.

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Jesus Made the World

 

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. Hebrews 1:1-4 NKJV 

It was through Jesus Christ the entire world and the universe was made.  None of what we see would exist if not for Jesus who created it.  Look at what John 1:1-5 NKJV says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” 

Before I came to know Jesus, I used to think about nature and imagine God created it.  But when I looked at everything man made, I did not see God or how God was part of it.  Now, I understand that God gives the ability, skills and talents to man, which enables him to make things.  1 Peter 4:11 NKJV “…If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” So when I see an incredible skyscraper building, I now relish the thought God endowed the man with the ability to create such a functional work of art.  

How about you?  Do you recognize all things are made through Christ?  If not, why?   

Lord God above thank You all things are made by You for Your glory and pleasure.  Enable us to see You in all things and help us keep You first in our minds. Where we don’t recognize Your work, please give us eyes to see.  In Jesus name Amen.  

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Riches of His Grace

Read Ephesians Chapter One

In Ephesians chapter one the apostle Paul describes the wonders of God’s grace. We have been given much. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing. We are chosen in Him before the foundation of the world.  We are to be holy and without blame before Him in love. We are adopted into God’s family. All of this given to those who don’t deserve it!

Paul goes on to tell us the reason we are given all these things is for God’s good pleasure and the glory of His grace. God has redeemed us, forgiven our sin, given us wisdom and prudence, and provided an inheritance for us.  Not only that, but God seals us with the Holy Spirit of promise as our guarantee.

All these things are ours, beloved, by the grace of God.  We do not deserve it but He bestowed it to us. We can not earn it for it is a gift from God.

So as we go about our busy days, try to stop and pause at the wonder of God pouring out His grace on us.  Let His words transform how we think.  Rejoice in all He has given us.  Turn our hearts to Him in prayer throughout the day. Watch Him draw closer as we draw closer to Him.

Thank you Father for the glorious riches we have in Christ Jesus! He provide everything we need to live a godly life until Jesus comes again.  In Jesus’ precious name we pray Amen.

 

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.

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Jesus is Heir of All Things

 

 

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. Hebrews 1:1-4 NKJV 

Jesus Christ is heir of all things, which is to stay all things belong to Him.  Think about when you become an heir of property, you become responsible for that asset.  All decisions as to what to do with it become yours, as heir and rightful owner.  There is no question of who owns it therefore no one can just walk up and snatch it away from you, because you are the heir.  If Jesus is heir of all things, this means He’s heir of you and me.  I find that wonderful news.  Look at what John 10:29 NKJV says: “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”  Once the heir has been chosen by God, nothing can change who receives the inheritance. 

In Luke 20 Jesus told a parable about the vineyard owner, who hired some people to tend the vineyard for him.  When harvest time came the owner sent his servants to collect his portion of the harvest.  Yet, the servants working the vineyard had begun to think of the vineyard as their own and killed the servants.  After several attempts to collect the harvest the owner’s servants were slaughtered each time.  The owner decides to send his son thinking he would be respected.  Look at what Luke 20:13-15 NKJV says: “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.’ 14 But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15 So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them?”  

People may try to take possession of what is not theirs and it may appear in the short term they succeeded.  However, in the end they shall receive their reward.  God is a fair and just God who will hold each person accountable.  Think about who the heir of you is. 

Are you like the vinedressers, trying to take your own life as an inheritance unto yourself?  Remember, we are not our own.  We were purchased with the precious blood of Jesus Christ (Acts 20:28). 

Father God above, You alone are our heir.  We belong to You through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross to purchase our freedom from sin.  Help us to remember we are Yours. In Jesus name, Amen. 

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Be Refreshed

I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, 5 hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, 6 that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. 7 For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother. Philemon 1:4-7 NKJV 

Today’s verse is so invigorating to me, like stepping into a nice warm bubble bath and letting all the cares of the world melt away in the bubbles. Once I’ve had a good soak in God’s Word, I feel like I can tackle any problem that comes my way.  I am renewed, recharged and equipped for life.  Imagine if these verses were written specifically to you.  How might you respond?   God’s Word is such a comfort to me and my hope is that you may find it so too.  

In the opening verse, Paul mentions how he thanks God and mentions Philemon in his prayers.  I don’t know about you, but something twinkles inside me, when I know others are thanking God and praying for me.  What an honor that someone would spend time with God praying on my behalf.   Paul goes on about how he has heard about Philemon’s love and faith.  Have you heard of other’s love and faith?  Usually to hear about something, means someone has to talk about it.  If you haven’t heard of other’s love and faith, then perhaps it’s time to start talking about the love and faith you see around you.   

Verse 6 says “that the sharing of your faith may become effective…”  Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do, share our faith?  I heard/read a devotion recently that talked about the transformation that takes place when you become a Christian and how that same transformation causes us to speak out about our faith, to share it with others because it is really good news.  If it’s really such great news, why are we not telling everyone we know?  

Because of the desire God gave me to encourage others with His Word the last verse is precious to me: “because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.”  It is my sincerest prayer that through these devotions, you may be refreshed too.  

Lord, thank You for Your Word that refreshed and renews our thinking.  Thank You for being available to us through prayer.  Give us a desire to please You by reading Your Word daily.  Enable us to live out what we learn from Your Word.  In Jesus name.  Amen. 

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