Bible Devotions

Do You Believe In The Son of Man?

This seems like a simply question, doesn’t it? My guess many “Christians” might answer that question with a resounding YES!

However, before we answer the question we might consider what the phrase “The Son of Man” means.

Matthew 16:13-17 NIV says:

“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”

 

There are 83 references to “The Son of Man” in NIV translation.  Not all are references to Christ, but the ones with “Son” capitalized are.  Here are some for your consideration:

Matthew 20:28 “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 24:27 “For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

Matthew 25:31 “”When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.”

Luke 21:36 “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

Luke 22:69 “But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”

John 1:51 “He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

John 5:27 “And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.”

Acts 7:57 “”Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.””

We can see clearly from these verses, the Son of Man is title displaying authority and Diety.  As we ponder on these verses, we might be inclined to add other fitting titles such as: Son of God, Messiah, King of kings, Lord of lords, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, and Almighty God.

Now think for a moment of all God has done.  He spoke the world into existence. He created all we see from nothing that was seen.  He created all the plants, the animals, the earth, the sky, the stars, the planets, and the sustaining power of the balance of our solar system.  He created people with a free will.  He gave us creativity, communication, and intellect. He holds the waves of the sea in His hand.  He is without time because a day is as a year to Him.  He healed people through touch, sight, and simply speaking it.  He raised people from the dead.  He spoke dry scattered bones back into place and breathed life into them. He caused the sun to stand still.  The earth quakes at His presence.  All of creation cries out in praise to Him.  Nothing is impossible for Him.

God, in the form of Jesus, reigns over everything.  You and I are included in everything, whether we choose to acknowledge Him or not.

If we do choose to believe Jesus is the Son of Man, then we are agreeing to be under His authority.  We willingly yield to His agenda for our life and sacrifice our own.  In order to place our self under His authority we must be willing to accept our position when compared to God.

Let’s think about what position that might be.

He is God.  We are His creation.  He is Author of life. We are alive because He made us.  We can do nothing apart from Him.  He holds our very breath in His hand.  God is holy, without sin, without deceit, and without hypocrisy.  In Him is every good gift.  We are not holy, we are stained. We are not pure, we are tainted with sin. We are not honorable, we are manipulative, selfish and hypocritical.  He is merciful. We are critical and judgmental. The list could go on. Just remember what Romans 3:23 says “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”  This sin we speak of has to be dealt with.  Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death.”

We must see this about our self to fully appreciate how great God is.  He loved us enough to do something we could not do for our self. He made a way to cleanse us from every wrong. He took our sin upon Himself, and died in our place to pay for our sin.  The last part of Romans 6:23 says “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The sin is dealt with.  It is finished.  We who believe in Jesus’ atoning work on the cross, are forgiven our sin-dept.  We are dressed in His robe of righteousness, as if we had never sinned to begin with.

If we have fully grasped the meaning of God’s authority and our position under His authority, our life should show some signs that we are different beings.  Jesus said you must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.  Through faith we believe and are saved by His grace.  Our obedience to God’s Word is one outward expression of the inward transformation.  Don’t think you can short cut the process by avoiding looking at our sinful self and just trying to do more good things than bad, for that is evil in God’s sight.  Good works done are done from a heart so radically changed by the grace of God it is done in reverence and love for HIM and nothing from our self.

Now, having looked at the authority of God compared to our sinful state, are you able to answer the question?

Do you believe in the Son of Man?

© 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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Role Model of Walking by the Spirit

Read Colossians 4

Paul is a wonderful role model for us who choose to walk in the Spirit rather than walk after fleshy desires.

He does three things, in Colossians four, we need to do.

First he asks for prayer that God would open the door for the word.  Paul gives glory to God by giving God the credit for opening the way of sharing the gospel. He also is aligning his will and purpose to God’s.

The second thing we see Paul do is encourage the Colossians to walk in wisdom towards those who haven’t come to know Jesus yet.  He goes on to say “let your speech be seasoned with grace and salt.” Remember what Jesus said?  We are to be salt and light to the world.  Our words play a vital role.

The third thing that stands out is how Paul describes others. Notice how he lifts up his fellow workers. He honors and encourages them.  Remember though Christ died for the world, it was the people which filled the world He cared about.  People are the priority.  How we treat others will demonstrate our love.  Jesus told us “they will know you are true disciples of mine by your love for one another.”

 Father, thank you for your Word that bring wisdom and life to us. Thank you for your guidance in truth.  Help us to love others the way you love us. In Jesus’ 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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Complete In Him

Read Colossians 3

God’s love completes us. With His great love towards us, and in us we are able to carry out all Paul describes in this chapter; everything for putting off the old man with its wicked deeds to putting on the new man who is able to forgive.  God’s love makes us holy and beloved enabling us to put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness and longsuffering.  God’s love in us makes us thankful too.

Every relationship we have with others is transformed by God’s love in us.  We do all things as though we are doing it for the Lord.  We become grateful for all He has done for us.

Thank you, Lord, for transforming us by your mighty love.  Thank you for your Holy Spirit to guide us in your ways.  Thank you for forgiving us in Jesus Christ. In His 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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You Are Complete In Christ

Read Colossians 2

Have you ever really thought about being complete in Christ?  What does that look like?

The Greek word for complete is pleroo meaning to cram (a net) or level up (a hollow) in the literal sense. In the figurative sense is means to furnish (imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a task), verify (coincide with a prediction, accomplish, after (be), complete, end expire, fill up, fulfill, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, and supply.  That’s a lot of additional meaning for one word don’t you think?

Jesus came to complete us.  We were hollow inside, dead in our sins until Christ came to level us up and fill the hollowness with His Spirit.  Christ satisfies our longings and God’s wrath toward sin. He alone finished the work required to remove sin forever. Jesus fills us up with His Holy Spirit and fulfilled God’s Word to make holy and blameless in His sight.  Jesus supplies everything we need. He had made us perfect in God’s eyes.

How does understanding we are complete in Christ affect our life? We can rest in the confidence of Christ. He did everything already. We don’t need to do anything, except cling to Him. He is our life raft.

Paul suggests we not be moved by other people’s judgment of us. We know God is the One knitting us together and causing us to grow in maturity.  Paul also warns us not to fall back into our old ways of following regulations and people pleasing to find satisfaction. For our satisfaction comes from Christ alone.

When we are in Christ we have full assurance of understanding the mystery of God. All wisdom and knowledge is in Him. Armed with this wisdom we are not deceived by persuasive words. Instead we are steadfast in our faith in Christ.

Father God thank you for completing us in Christ Jesus.  In Him we have all that we need to live a godly life until He returns for us. Thank your for the fullness in Him.  We trust in you.  In Jesus’ 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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Christ in You the Hope of Glory

Read Colossians 1

Just in case we might forget the benefits of Christ, Paul speaks to the Colossians and us through his prayers. Grace and peace are ours though Jesus. We also have a hope in the word of truth. We can know God’s will and be endowed with wisdom and spiritual understanding.  These enable us to walk worthy of our calling bearing fruit of good works pleasing to God.  We are reassured our strength comes from Jesus’ glorious power to be patient, longsuffering and joyful no matter what happens because we have an inheritance, have been delivered from darkness and conveyed into the kingdom of Christ. We are redeemed. Our sins are forgiven.

Paul continues with a very descriptive outline of who Jesus is and His purpose. We see Jesus is the very image of the invisible God.  He has preeminence in all things. He created all things. His is in all things. He created all things. He is before all things. Only God Himself fits those descriptions.  Jesus is God. Only God can create something from nothing.  That’s what Christ did for us when He made peace through the death on the cross.  He did it to present us holy, blameless and without reproach in His sight. He reconciled what was out of balance. God’s creations had gone astray in sin. God’s Son brought them back again.

Paul explains his ministry, which is ours too.  Those who have received Christ as Lord and Savior are now stewards of God’s mystery.  Our job is to fulfill the word of truth, making known the riches of glory to all people. We are to preach Christ so all people can be presented perfect in Christ.

We have a hope that does not disappoint. It is Christ in you the hope of glory.

Father thank you forgiving us through Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  Thank you for the hope that doesn’t disappoint.  Thank you for loving us and making it possible to be with you forever in heaven. In Jesus’ 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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Better Together

Lately, it seems the Lord’s impressing upon me the need to work together as the body of Christ.  I took to a training class at my local church. One of the teaching aids was a puzzle piece. Everyone who attended received a puzzle piece. Alone one puzzle piece one cannot make out what the completed picture would look like. Even with many pieces, it still may be hard to see the completed picture.  It is not until all the pieces are engaged that the end vision is revealed.

Each of us believers is like a puzzle piece. Alone we can’t tell where we fit or what the end vision looks like.  As we come together, we begin to see a glimmer of the vision, but it is still not complete.  It won’t be fulfilled until the last believer is engaged.

My friend’s daughter performed in an abstract dance. One scene really got me thinking about this desire of coming together.  As I watched six performers weave, bob, bend, and flex, I was struck with how silly it would have looked if only one performer had been on the floor.  Together, all six of them, the pattern, the rhythm and the design made sense. It was only in the context of togetherness did it become clear what they were doing. Each dancer had a part but only when all dancers performed together did it make something beautiful.

And so it is with us. Each believer has a part to play in God’s wonderfully plan. Although we can’t see the final vision yet, as more of us come together the picture starts to take shape.  Until that time, we can look to Scriptures for guidance on what we should be doing to come together. Some indicators are looking at what Jesus taught and how the early church behaved.

There is one thing in common among all the teaching and the early church.  Do you know what it is? It is people helping people.  It’s all about loving others. When we do, we demonstrate Jesus to a lost world. Our love shines bright and draws people to Jesus.

How are you working with other believers to show Jesus’ love to others?

 Lord, thank you for designing us to need each other. Thank you for calling us together in one body in the Lord Jesus Christ. Guide us by your Holy Spirit to fulfill all you prepared for us. In His 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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10 Ways to Apply God’s Word in Your Life

All of these suggestions assume a thorough examination of scripture has occurred already. In fact, some suggestions may not be possible unless you have followed an inductive process of study prior to implementing the suggestion.  Many of these ideas came from Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods book.

 

  1. Meditate on a particular verse. Think about it over and over again. Read it aloud three times.
  2. Put yourself into the Bible situation. Picture yourself as an active participant. Try to imagine what it would be like living in the biblical scene you read about.
  3. Write what you learned. Make a story of the lesson.  Write what your thoughts, attitudes, or actions looked like before and after applying the truth you discovered from scripture.
  4. Paraphrase the scripture you are studying. Repeat it using your own words.
  5. Personalize the verse by putting your name in place of the pronouns or nouns used in the verse under study.  For example read 1 Corinthians 13:4 with your name in place of “love.”
  6. Use Pastor Rick Warren’s S.P.A.C.E.P.E.T.S. acrostic to help you meditate deeply on the verse.  S = Sins to confess?  P = promises to claim? A = attitude to change? C = command to obey? E = example to follow? P = prayer to pray? E = error to avoid? T = truth to believe? S = something to praise God for?
  7. Pray the scripture back to God. Once you learn a verse, use it in prayer. Take 1 John 1:9 as an example. Father, thank you when we confess our sin you are faithful and just to forgive us. Thank you for cleansing us from all unrighteousness.
  8. Make an application plan. Figure out what you will do differently after learning the truth.  Write out concrete actions you will take to implement the new way. Make sure your steps or actions follow S.M.A.R.T. S= specific, M = measurable, A = achievable, R =relevant, T = time dimensioned. Using James 3:10 here is an example.  For the next 30 days, when I am tempted to curse or slander someone, I will instead repeat James 3:10 and refrain from speaking anything.
  9. Get a spiritual partner.  Make a pack with a trusted Christian friend to help you be accountable to what you learn.  Every time you study the bible, write down one thing you learned and share it with this person.  Ask them to point out any time you fail to live up to that teaching or give you accolades when you do live it out.
  10. Teach someone what you learned. Talk with others in your small group, at work, at home, or at school. Simple share what you discovered in the bible.  Explain how it impacted you and how you plan to live differently because of it.

 

There are many methods of applying God’s Word.  You don’t have to use them all. Just pick one or two and try them.   Find out what works best for you.  The key is to fully grasp the truth before you implement it in your life.  Understand it deeply.  Look at it from every angle.  Read other scriptures relating to that topic.  A Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and BibleGateway.com are valuable resources to help you discover where specific topics occur elsewhere in the bible.

 

Father God thank you for providing your Holy Spirit who guides us, gives us the desire to obey you ways, teaches all things Jesus Christ taught his disciples when He was on this earth. Thank you for your love. Grow us with you Word. In Jesus’ 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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4 Signs of a True Believer

Read 1 John 4

John provides four signs or evidences of a true believer.  Let’s look at them below:

He who knows God hears us.  But he who is not of God does not hear us. As we share the Word of Truth, those who are among the flock of God will listen and apply the truth.  The people who refuse to listen or walk away are those not planted in God yet.

Everyone loves is born of God and knows God. This form of love is expressed as to love in a social or moral sense.  It is taken from the Greek word agapao. It is a broader term for embracing judgment and the deliberate assent of will as a manner of principle, duty, and propriety.  It is a matter of the head rather than the heart.  This leads us to believe love is a choice.  One must decide to love. Those who do, are born of God and know God.

Whoever confesses Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. If one is able to say, “Jesus is the Son of God” they are part of God’s family for they recognize what God has done for them.  If a person is unable to utter those words, it is a sign they haven’t come to the place of understanding yet.

He who loves God must love his brother also. This same love out of duty and principle must be evident towards fellow man, who is either near or remote.  Our love for our brother must be visible to all.  If it is we know we love God also.  For man was made in the image of God, if we can’t love man, it is impossible to love God.

John provides very practical way to determine whether one is of the fold of God or not.  Take the test yourself.  Check to see whether you pass the test.

  1. Are you able to hear the Word of God?
  2. Do you love?
  3. Can you confess Jesus is the Son of God?
  4. More specifically, do you love others?

If you answered yes to the above questions you are a child of God.  Welcome to the family.  If you answered no to any one of these questions, pray for God to reveal what is going on in your heart.  If you desire to know God and seek Him, He will make Himself known to you.  When He does, come back to these questions to confirm you are of God.

Father God above, thank you for making it possible for us to come to you and be saved.  Thank you for your Word of Truth and your Spirit who guides us in all truth.  Thank you for revealing your way and guiding us to the path of righteousness.  Heal us in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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Fools Despise Wisdom

Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon his God.  Isaiah 50:10 NKJV 

My way says the Lord.  No, my way says the people.  We see this over and over in the Bible.  The Lord is so patient with us, isn’t He?  He knows our heart better than we do, yet He repeatedly calls to us, “Follow Me”.   

God’s given us a map with all the directions we need: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105 NKJV.  We must learn to turn to it and allow our minds to be renewed by it (Romans 12:2). 

With proper awe and respect of God and His authority, we become willing to be led by God’s Spirit.  Look at what Proverbs 1:7 NKJV says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”   

Are you despising wisdom and instruction?   

If you answered yes to that question, you are not on a good path.  See what God says in Isaiah 50:11 NKJV, “Look, all you who kindle a fire, who encircle yourselves with sparks: Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled— This you shall have from My hand: You shall lie down in torment.”  The emphasis is mine.  If we choose our own path, instead of God’s, we will lie down in torment!   

Lord, we recognize your right to rule us.  We ask for your guidance from day to day.  Enable us to walk in your ways, instead of our own, for we don’t want to lie down in torment.  Your word is a light to our path and lamp to our feet, help us walk along the path you desire for us.  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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Who is My Equal

To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal and compare Me, that we should be alike? Isaiah 46:5 NKJV 

What is God saying with this verse?  To fully understand, you need to read the whole chapter of Isaish 46 in context.

 

The first two verses describe people who are loaded down with idols.  Their idols were on their beasts and cattle and filled in their carriages.  But they could not deliver the burden and instead have gone into captivity. Verses three and four describe God trying to get the people’s attention.  Remember, who’s in charge here, He seems to be saying.  He’s calling out to His people saying it’s Me who carries and delivers you. Next we see today’s verse where God asks His people whom do we compare Him with. Verses six and seven describe how the people made idols for themselves and how ridiculous it was for them to worship something they had made, rather their own Creator. The rest of the chapter is a plead from God calling His people to remember their transgressions, God’s past mercies, and God is the One to bring righteousness and salvation.

 

So what do we learn about people and God from this study of scripture today? 

 

Regarding people, we tend to forget about God, while we’re busily making our idols. People are stubborn-hearted and prefer to run things for themselves to their own disadvantage.  While we may not carve our own idols to carry with us, we still have idols in our life.  Anything that we put in place of God is an idol.  When we do put something in God’s place, we’re unconsciously comparing God to a worthless idol.  We’re setting up a false god and worshipping it as god.  Ask yourself a few questions: Where are your thoughts focused?  Where do you spend the most time?  Where does your money go?  If the answers to these questions are not about God and for God all these point to possible idols in your life.

 

Today’s idols might be something like: longing for bigger house, desiring a more intimate marriage relationship, working longer hours to get a better job, a nicer car, desire for children, making more money, desire to look good, or be physically fit.  Anything we pour ourselves into that is not God Himself is an idol taking God’s place.  That’s a problem we can only address with God’s help.  Turn to Him and ask for His guidance.

 

Regarding God, we learn He’s still God.  He’s the One holding us.  He’s the One carrying us all the way through our entire life, even when we refuse to admit it.  He hasn’t changed.  Only He can deliver us from our burden of sin and of idols. He’s God and there is none like Him.  He longs for us to remember our sins and humbly turn to Him for forgiveness.  He wants us to remember what He’s done in the past to help us remember He is God.   He doesn’t tire of our procrastination, He simply waits.   He’s incredibly patient as He waits for us to come to the end of our self-sufficiency and turn to Him.  He’s merciful because He hasn’t destroyed us already.  God’s calling us to compare our wimpy idols to Him, to recognize how silly it is to worship something other than Him.  Nothing we create can save us.  Our salvation comes from the One who made us.

 

What a great section of scripture we looked at today. God’s told us everything we need to know.  It’s time we choose to listen.  Let’s start looking to God for the transformation in our life that comes through obeying His Word.

 

Lord God above, thank you for your truth which highlights our errors and reveals more about you.  Help us see where we might have idols in our lives.  Help us tear down the false gods and turn to you, the One True God.  In Jesus’ name Amen.  

 

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