Bible Devotions

Stand in Awe and Praise Him

 

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 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; 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, 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 

All things are held together by the power of His Word.  Did you ever stop to think about that?  Everything is held together by Him.  If He so chooses to let it fall apart, it would fall apart and be no more.  But He is a loving God and upholds everything for our benefit.   

He gives us our very breath (Acts 17:25).  If it is His will to bring you home to heaven today, then guess what you’re going home.  If it is His will for you to stay on earth and carry out His purposes a little while longer, then nothing will prevent you from that. 

Everything is held together “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).  It is all for His glory and pleasure that we exist.  He made this beautiful world for us to enjoy.  When was the last time you stopped to really take in a gorgeous sunset?  Or examined the inner beauty of an orchid bloom?  It’s all upheld by Him. 

Lord, thank You for upholding everything by the Word of Your Power.  Thank You for all the beauty You’ve created around us.  Enable us to stop and “smell the roses” and to give thanks to You for all things.  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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What Would You Die For?

Have you ever stopped to consider what you would be willing to die for?

After reading in Mark chapter 16 about the torture and death of Jesus on the cross, it got me thinking about His willingness to go through all that.

Sure, Jesus struggled, as any man would, with the idea at the garden of Gethsemane when He prayed, “Abba, Father all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” Mark 14:36

But Jesus went through it anyway. Though it was agonizingly painful and people didn’t understand, He still did it. He did nothing to prevent God’s will. He did not try to get out of His responsibility. He held fast to His purpose – to save mankind from sin.

Why did He do this? He is God, all powerful. He could have changed time, erased the sin, or changed us so we wouldn’t sin again. Why go through this messy, painful ordeal? Hebrews 12:2 says Jesus endured the cross “for the joy set before Him.” What was the joy that kept Jesus on track? To accomplish God’s will to save mankind!

He did it for love. To satisfy God’s wrath over the sin you and I committed. The Just God of the Universe had to punish sin or else He wouldn’t be Just. To prove His love and great mercy towards His most priced creation, He took our place and suffered on our behalf! God did this for you and me!

Now what about you? What are you willing to die for? Would you die for any of these things?

  • Money
  • Sex
  • Possession
  • Power
  • Fame
  • A lie

I’m guessing you would answer no to these items. After all if you died you would be able to enjoy any of those things you died for, right? Seems silly doesn’t it?

People and truth are worth dying for. Jesus proved it. He died to save people. He died to reveal truth of His word. What He said would happen (and was foretold in Scripture) actually did happen.

The best part of this story is Jesus lives! He came back to life after the cross! He lives. He wants a relationship with us. He offers to live in us. He gives His Holy Spirit to anyone who believes. They become part of His family, granted the right to become children of God.

Do you want to be part of His family?

Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and you will be saved (Romans 10:9-10).

 

Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for me. Lord I believe you are the Son of God. I believe the Bible is your word. Save me this moment and make me part of your family. This I pray in your name Jesus. Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in God’s Word.  Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

 

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Revelation is Worth the Wait

While reading the Bible one morning, nothing happened at first. Typically, I will experience an “Ah ha” moment. The moment where I know there is something I need to learn from the passage. But that moment didn’t come.

Sometimes it is silent. Read a passage and hear no nudging of the Spirit. It was this way on the morning I’ve described. As I sat and thought about the verse, my mind was blank. Literally, nothing came to mind. I could not figure out what I was to do with the verse or whether there was anything specific in it directed for me and my situation.

Some verses are not us. Then again a lot of them are. This silent verse proved to be for me in the end.  But I had to wait for it.

I’m not talking about waiting days, weeks, months, or years for the verse to speak to me. But I did have to wait a few minutes. I had to wait long enough to see if I would give up on the search and become frustrated with the nothingness that resonated from the verse.

I sat there pondering the character, thinking how his situation could related to mine. I tried imagining what my life would be like in his shoes. Still nothing came.

I read the section of Scripture over and over again, pausing after each word to see if other meaning would come. Still nothing was revealed.

I was about to move on, but something held me fast. I could not go on to the next verse. This was an indication there was something that hadn’t surfaced yet. I waited.

I asked the Holy Spirit to show me what was needed from this verse. Then it happened. Like the sun dawning, bright light illuminated the way. The truth of the verse showed itself. I realized what was intended for me. It was stunning.

Never would I have thought this verse would apply to me.  A quick reading and I might have glossed over it. A little frustration could have caused me to move on too quickly. Yet I was obedient to the Holy Spirit and waiting for the insight. And it came!

Be still and know I am God. Let me encourage you to take time with God. Be still. Let the Bible speak to you. Sit through the silence. Wait for further revelation. It will come.

Enjoy your time with God through the study of the Bible. I know I do!

Lord, I thank you for the lesson of waiting for your revelation. Thank you for guiding me in your truth.  Thank you for being patient with me. Help me have patience to wait for your revelation too. In Jesus’ name I pray Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in God’s Word.  Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

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A Lesson in the Importance of Context

Have you ever started watching a movie that had already began? You missed the first part of the movie but watched the middle and end only. Over time you pieced together scenes to help understand what the movie was about. Sometimes it is frustrating trying to figure out what’s going on. Reading one section of Scripture without seeing how it fits within the chapter it comes from can be equally frustrating.

Let’s work with a real example. Open your Bible to the New Testament book of Mark and turn to chapter six. If you don’t have a Bible handy, I will wait while you get one. If you are reading this online, use BibleGateway.com.

Start by reading verses 33-44. It is a familiar passage about the feeding of 5,000. Why do you suppose Jesus told his disciples “You give them something to eat?”

If this was all you read of Mark chapter six you might be thinking something like what I did. If I were the disciple I would be thinking “Me? You want me to feed all these people? What are you crazy? I’m no one special. I can’t feed them.” Again if all you read was this one section you would miss something tremendously important. Earlier in verses 7-12 Jesus gave his disciples power over unclean spirits, to preach repentance, and to heal the sick. No where between verse 12 and verse 33 does it say the disciples’ powers were revoked.  If the disciples had the power to do all that stuff, do you suppose they might also have the power to feed the people?

Let’s revisit the story in verses 33-44. Knowing the disciples still had the powers Jesus gave them, how does this change your thoughts on why Jesus told the disciples to feed the 5,000? Could Jesus be testing the disciples to see how well they used what He gave them?

Do you see how one part of the chapter builds on the other? Without the first part, we might miss the real point Jesus was trying to make. The disciples had what they needed to feed the masses. Sadly they didn’t recognize it. But don’t be too harsh on the disciples because we are probably a lot like them.  Jesus has given us much. Are we using what He gave us to its fullest potential?

Context is very important. Context usually takes time because more Scripture must be read before a drill down study can begin. Without context we lose meaning or might just to the wrong conclusions. Therefore, when Scripture is offered, take time to check it out in context which is came from.  You don’t want to lose the meaning or wrongly interpret the meaning.  Be like the Bereans who after hearing Paul preach would study Scripture to see if what Paul said was true or not.

Lord, thank you for your Holy Spirit in us who guides us in all truth and reminds us all Jesus taught. Thank you for your revelation as we read your words in the Bible.  In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in God’s Word.  Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

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Six Ways Jesus Helps People in Luke Chapter 4

  1. He shows us how to handle temptation. Luke 4:1-13 (1)Live by every word of God (2)Worship the Lord your God and Him only (3)Don’t tempt the Lord your God.
  2. He teaches us He has fulfilled Scripture. Luke 4:16-21 As Jesus read from Isaiah, “He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.””
  3. He teaches us His words are true. He foretold the future by speaking of what the people wills say when He hangs on the cross. Luke 4:23 “He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’”
  4. He shows He has authority and power over demons. Luke 4:36 “ Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.””
  5. He has compassion for the sick. Luke 4:38-40 “Now He arose from the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. But Simon’s wife’s mother was sick with a high fever, and they made request of Him concerning her.  So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them. When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.”
  6. He preaches the Kingdom of God where He goes. Luke 4:42-44 “Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them; 43 but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” 44 And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.”

Lord Jesus thank you for showing how to handle temptation, for fulfilling Scripture, for being truthful, for having authority over demons, for caring for the sick, and for preaching the Kingdom of God to us.  Thank you for saving us for sin and death and delivering us to your Kingdom. Thank you for eternal life in you. We pray these things in your name, Jesus. 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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How to Turn Scripture into Answered Prayer

The Bible tells us when we pray according to God’s will, we know He hears us. If we know He hears us, we can be confident He will answer us.

How do we know if our prayer is aligned with God’s will?

The bible is filled with God’s words. What God says in His word is true, pure, and right. Therefore, if we use God’s words in our prayers we can be assured God hears us. But do we just read God’s words back to God like a prayer? Perhaps we do. Then again I have found it helpful to follow the prompting of the Spirit.

As I read a Scripture sometimes a name comes to my mind.  I take the name as an indication the verse if just read is meant for that person.  For example read “A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness will utter lies.” (Proverbs 14:15) Let’s say Joan’s name came to mind.  I would then turn this Scripture into a prayer for Joan that sounds like this: “Lord thank you for being a faithful witness that does not lie. May Joan turn away from lies and become a faithful witness that does not lie. In Jesus’ name Amen.”

Try it the next time you read the Bible.  Turn your reading into to prayer.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in God’s Word.  Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

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If it’s God’s Will, He Makes it Possible

Ezra discovered this truth about God, even though it took a long while to finish what he was called to do.  In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, a proclamation was put in writing to rebuild the house of God. An offering was made. All those carried away as captives into Babylon were numbered. There was 42,360 remaining who could prove their lineage.

Adversaries arose to frustrate the plans to build God’s house. These enemies were able to cause the building to cease until the 2nd year of King Darius.  But God made King Darius search the archives for King Cyrus’ decree.  Once he found it, he too allowed the building to continue.

The temple was finished in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. The children of Israel, the priests, Levites, and the rest of the descendants of captivity, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy.

Getting to this milestone took time.  How long we don’t know exactly.  But we do know it took all of King Cyrus’ reign and six years of Kind Darius’ reign.  This was only the first part of Ezra’s calling to fulfill God’s purposes.

As the children of Israel began following God’s laws once again, we see them offering sacrifices. The priests purified themselves and prepared the Passover Lambs.  The people who returned from captivity separated themselves from the filth of the nations in order to seek the Lord God of Israel. They kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with joy. The Lord strengthened their hands in the work of the house of the God.

Seven years later Ezra came to Jerusalem. Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel. King Artaxeres says to Ezra, according to your God-given wisdom, set magistrates and judges to judge the people who know the law of God and teach those who don’t know. Whoever won’t observe God’s law, let judgment be executed speedily. This judgment could be death, banishment, or confiscation of property or imprisonment.

Ezra took 1,754 people and priests with him. He proclaimed a fast to humble themselves before God, to seek from Him the right way for them to go. God answered his prayer.

When the Levites came to Ezra, they had not separated themselves from the land. They had married pagan women and had children born to them. To understand why this was such a big deal, we need to journey back to discover what the Levites God-given role was in the beginning.  We are not going to recount everything from the book of Leviticus, as there are twenty-seven chapters! The Levites were God’s chosen priests who were responsible to carry out the offerings; peace offering, sin offering, trespass offering. They were to be consecrated to God for this service.

The Levites who came to Ezra had defiled their God-appointed office! Ezra tore his garment, sat astonished and fasted. After a time of reflection Ezra fell on his knees and spread out his hands to God in prayer. He confessed the sins of the people. He praised God for not punishing them as they deserved. He wept bitterly.

The sons of priests came and said to Ezra, “We have trespassed against our God and taken pagan wives. Now let us make a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and children born to them, according to the commandment of God.”  Ezra made the priests, Levites and all Israel swear an oath that they would do according to this word.

After several days, the people came, the proclamation went out. The people came in great assembly. Ezra preached to make confession to the Lord to call the people to separate themselves from the people of this land and from the pagan wives. All the assembly answer, “Yes as you have said, so we must do!”

Ezra’s role was to remind the people of God’s ways and teach those who don’t know it yet. God used Ezra to not only rebuild the house of God, but also to restore the people’s hearts to God. The later part of Ezra’s calling is the same for us in our age.  If we know God and His words we need to share it with others that they might turn their hearts to God and be saved in Jesus’ name!

Lord, you have a plan and purpose for each of us. Help us to see it, and work with you to complete it no matter how long it takes. In Jesus’ name I 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 Benefits of Obedience to God

  1. Remission of SinTo Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins. Acts 10:43 NKJV
  2. Fullness of JoyBut now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. John 17:13 NKJV, Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. John 16:22 NKJV
  3. Gift of Holy Spirit He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. John 16:14 NKJV
  4. The Father’s LoveJesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. John 14:23 NKJV
  5. Bear Much Fruit – I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5 NKJV, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
  6. No More Darkness –  I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. John 12:46 NKJV
  7. Gain Wisdom –  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 NKJV, Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25 NKJV
  8. Become Holy and BlamelessBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6 NKJV
  9. Live in FreedomNow the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17 NKJV
  10. Answered PrayerAsk, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV

 

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.  Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

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7 Confessions of Faith

  1. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:8)
  2. Confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart and you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
  3. God raised Him from the dead. (Acts 3:15)
  4. Your faith has made you well. (Luke 17:19)
  5. Without faith it impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)
  6. Faith as small as a mustard seed moves mountains. (Matthew 17:20)
  7. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)

Thinking about faith one day, I wrote out this list of confessions.  What would you add to this list? Share your thoughts below.  Please add the Scripture address so others can look it up. Look forward to hearing from you.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in God’s Word. Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

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Be Still

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 NKJV

Being still is a skill that develops over time. Not just being still through ordinary passing of time though. Rather this kind of being still occurs during trials and tribulations.  As the stress of life rains on us, depending on how we personally handle it, the outward self may appear still but the mind is anything but still.

The mind tries to comprehend why. Why is this happening? Why me, Lord? The mind tries to manipulate the situation to change the outcome to no avail.  It tries to be better, to think more godly thoughts but it fails.

The Bible tells us God loves us. Nothing can separate us from His love. God is with us, even in us in the form of His Spirit. It tells us all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. These things are true.

But if we haven’t fully grasped them as true for us they remain elusive. God is a personal being. He made each person different from all the others. Each creation is unique. That means each person has a unique path to God. Now don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying there are multiple ways to get to heaven. No. There’s one way through faith in Jesus. What I am saying is since we are all unique, then the way in which we fully grasp God and truth is unique too.  The circumstances, situations, the struggles all work to move us closer to God. With each difficulty brings an opportunity to trust.  Trust God more with each new problem. As we see His deliverance, His help, His provision we believe all of the more.

The more chances we have believed God is who He said He is, the more our faith grows.  Along with believing God, comes a peace that is beyond human understanding.  This peace brings a stillness that allows us to stand firm knowing who it is that creates the “be still” part from today’s verse.

The walls could be crashing down around you. Yet you are at peace in divine stillness because you know in whose hands you are in.

Have you experienced this kind of stillness yet? Don’t give up hope. It will come. Perhaps you need a few more opportunities to trust God first. Don’t worry. God knows what He’s doing. Your safe in His hands.

God, thank you for loving us and providing everything we need to understand your love for us. Reveal yourself to us and draw us to you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in God’s Word.  Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

 

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