Bible Devotions

Who Hallows Who?

Read Deuteronomy 32:44-52

Have you ever thought about what you might be missing out on because you choose not to hallow God?

Surely Moses did not think his actions would cost him a trip to the Promised Land.  He was after all chosen to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. Sadly, he allowed his emotions, his anger, his pride to strip him of that privilege.  God has many privileges we are destined for. But just like Moses, we can jeopardize those privileges by carelessness in not honoring, recognizing, acknowledging God in all we do.

Father God, who deserves all praise, Forgive our transgressions against you.  Lead us back to your path of righteousness. In Jesus’ name we come to you. Amen.

The phrase “careful to observe” is an indication of effort on our part to stay in lock step with God.  Not that we work to earn our salvation or standing before God, for that’s a gift of God.  Rather, we work to maintain a right connection with God.  All relationships require effort.  Our relationship with the Lord is no different in that respect.

Think about your human relationships.  If you never call your friend or make plans to visit them or only call when you want something, how long would they stay your friend? Probably not for very long, as you didn’t give them any time to cultivate a friendship, and when you did call it was out of selfish ambition.

God wants us to talk with Him every day, throughout the day.  He wants us to remember He is with us always.  His word tells us not to lean on our own understanding but acknowledge Him in all we do.   When we do acknowledge Him, we hallow Him as He deserves.

Lord, may you be hallowed this day and always.  In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks author of ThinkOnItBibleDevotions.com and BeingWomenOfInfluence.com has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Be Mindful of God

Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful and have forgotten the God who fathered you. Deuteronomy 32:18 NKJV

God lists us up.  He raises us to places of influence.  You think you got that promotion on your own?  Think again.  God exalts those who are mindful of Him.

God gave us certain skills and abilities.  He expects us to use them. He leads us to the place of employment.  He gives us wisdom for decision making.  He rewards us financially for the work we do. If not for Him, we wouldn’t be where we are.

Everything we have is a gift from God.  It is God who provides for us.  You might not see the connection, just as the children of Israel seemed to forget.

  • Do you have a job? Be thankful.
  • How about a place to live? Praise God.
  • What about a form of transportation? Thank Him.
  • Do you have clothes to wear and food to eat? Rejoice in God.

Remember God knows what we need.  He knew us before He made us.  He planned the family we would be born to and live with.  He counts the very the hairs on our head.  All the days of our life are known in advance by Him.  He knows us better than we know ourselves.

Today’s verse is a warning to us. Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful and have forgotten the God who fathered you. Don’t be like the children of Israel. Don’t take for granted all that God does for us.

Be mindful of God instead.  Be on guard.  Set reminders everything.  As you get ready in the morning, thank God for the clothing you’re putting on.  As you put on each piece, think about God’s armor from Galatians 6:10-20. As you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, praise God for providing nourishing food to keep our bodies healthy.  While driving to work or school or the store, thank Him for the car you’re driving.  As you enter your workplace, thank Him for employment and ask Him to help you be a godly influence there.  You get the idea.

Be mindful.  God gave us a brain.  Let’s start using it to bring glory to God by remembering all He does for us.

Lord God Almighty, if we stopped to consider all that you do for us we would never cease praising you. Open our eyes to the various ways you provide for us.  Let our hearts be joyful as we discover the depth of your provision for us.  In Your name we pray, Jesus. Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade.  Author of ThinkOnItBibleDevotions.com and BeingWomenOfInfluence.com websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word. 

Leave a comment »

A Song for Children of Israel

Now therefore, write down this song for yourselves, and teach it to the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel. Deuteronomy 31:19 NKJV

God gave Moses a song to teach the children of Israel so they would be reminded of their depravity and God’s greatness.   Read Deuteronomy 32:1-12 .

It starts by saying heaven and earth shall listen and hear.  It describes this teaching is the nourishment we need to grow.  Next it outlines some of the things that make God great:

  • He is the Rock
  • His work is perfect
  • His ways are justice
  • A God of truth
  • He is righteous and upright

The focus shifts away from God and turns to the people.  What does it say about the people?

  • They corrupted themselves.
  • They are blemished
  • They are perverse and crooked.
  • They are foolish and unwise.

The songs turns back to God, admonishing the people to consider history.  Ask your father and ask your elders what God did in the past.  The rest of the verses up to verse 12 outline all God did for the children of Israel.

  • He found him in a desert land.
  • He encircled him.
  • He instructed him.
  • He kept him as the apple of His eye.
  • The Lord alone led him.

To see the greatness of God, we need to see our own perverseness.  Let’s review a few definitions:

  • Corrupt: to change from good to bad in morals, manners, or actions. Morally degenerate and perverted; Depraved, putrid, tainted, to become rotten or spoiled.
  • Crooked: not straight, dishonest.
  • Perverse: turned away from what is right or good; corrupt.  Obstinate in opposing what is right, reasonable or acceptable; wrongheaded.

Do these definitions help us see our stubbornness toward God?  The preceding verses highlighted God and His abilities.  God’s ways are perfect. He is truth.  He is righteous and upright.  God is all that and more.  Yet, we are obstinate in opposing what is right.  We stubbornly choose to continue in our self-sufficiency, in the strength of our determination or willpower.  A day is coming when we discover we cannot carry on in our power any longer.  We grow weary and burdened from our self-inflicted march leading to hopelessness and despair.

But God is patient.  He waits for us to come to our senses.  He has given us everything we need to live a godly life filled with abundance by His grace.  God uses everything to work out His perfect plan.  Oddly enough our poor decisions play a key role, for some need to live apart from God in order to know more fully the mercy and grace He offers when they are read to receive it.

If you had a deadly but treatable disease, would you not take advantage of medical treatments to cure the disease?

The Bible tells us we all are infected with a deadly disease called sin.  The wages of sin is death.  But the good news is there’s a free cure – Jesus Christ.  For the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ.  For those our sins may be as scarlet, He washes them white as snow.  He removes our sin as far as the East is from the West.  He remembers our sin no more.  Jesus died to pay for our sin, so we wouldn’t have to.  That’s how much He loves us!

How do I receive this cure?

Believe Jesus died for your sins that God raised Him from the dead and confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and you will be saved.

Pray something like….

Dear God, I know now I am a sinner. Jesus died in my place to pay for my sins.  As you raised Him from the dead, raise me to a new life in you.  Jesus is Lord. In His name I pray. Amen.

Believe you have received and you shall have eternal life.  If you prayed that prayer from your heart, welcome to the family of God.  You have just passed from death to life. Congratulations!

Don’t stop there. Continue to read God’s word to learn more about your Savior and His plan for you.

Lord God Almighty, you love us with an everlasting and unchangeable love.  Thank you for your willingness to make a way for us to know you.  Thank you for dying in our place so we could be made alive in you.  Thank you for your teaching to guide in how we should live.  Continue your good work in us until it complete on the day Christ returns.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade.  Author of ThinkOnItBibleDevotions.com and BeingWomenOfInfluence.com websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

Leave a comment »

What’s there to fear?

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV

Have you ever been in a situation you had no idea how it would turn out?  It can be confusing, frustrating and cause us to live in fear.

God’s Word reminds us to be strong, of good courage and not fear what’s before us.  God has a plan and purpose for us.  What He purposes always comes to pass.

God is trustworthy.  He cannot lie, but always tells the truth.  There is no deception in Him.  He is not a schemer or manipulator.  He is a Miracle-Maker.  What is impossible to man is very possible for God.

Every situation we find ourselves in is an opportunity to glorify God by not fearing and trusting in Him instead.  The Lord our God, He is the One who goes with us.

The God who spoke the world into existence, the One with unlimited creativity who designed every plant, animal and person to be completely unique, the One who heals people with a simple word or touch or glance, this is the Mighty God who goes with us.  God who works all things for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose is the same God who will never leave us or forsake us.

What is there to fear when the One True God is with us?

Father God Almighty, there are many things that cause us fear down here.  Strength our faith and belief in You.  Help us to trust you completely, for you are completely trustworthy.  Let us not lean on our own understanding but in all our ways acknowledge you so you will direct our path.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade.  Author of ThinkOnItBibleDevotions.com and BeingWomenOfInfluence.com websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

Leave a comment »

Not Too Mysterious

“For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. Deuteronomy 30:11-14 NKJV

To paraphrase Moses, he says “Look God’s word isn’t too mysterious for you and not too hard to grasp. You don’t need anyone to interpret it for you.  You can understand it yourself.”  Everyone is able to read it and understand it.  God ensures this. To those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, He gives His Holy Spirit to dwell in us.  By His Holy Spirit we are taught the things of God.  He reveals His truth as we seek Him in His word.

This is great news! No special training required.  You don’t have to go to seminary school to unlock God’s word.  There’s no human middle man needed.  God Himself, in Spirit form, will help us understand.  With His help an inductive type Bible study can greatly increase our understanding of the word.   Inductive method simply means we observe what it says, then think about what it means, and only then move to how it applies to us today.  Structured, reasonable and logical study lead by the Holy Spirit in us will reveal truths you never thought were there before.

Sadly, many professing believers don’t read their Bibles.  You’ve probably heard some say “I just can’t read it” or “I just don’t understand it.”  What are the possible driving factors that prevent people from reading God’s precious word?

(1)   Lack of Perseverance – Maybe they tried reading it once or twice but gave up too soon.

(2)   False Expectations – Perhaps they expected some great “Ah-ha” moment to happen but it didn’t.

(3)   Lack of Reverence-Unbelief may cause people to doubt the Bible is really God’s Word.

(4)   Lack of Priority – Many people are just too busy with the “cares of this world.”  There’s really no time to read they say.

(5)   Lack of Discipline – Some just read God’s Word without making any effort to really see and understanding what it says.  You’ve heard the saying “in one ear and out the other”, well these folks take in God’s word but it doesn’t stay with them.

(6)   Lack of Salvation – Another reason could be they haven’t given their life to Christ yet.  Without the Holy Spirit’s instruction, it may be difficult to read God’s word.

Do any of these reasons apply to you? Pray for God to show you what may be hindering further insight of His word.  Then be obedient and take care of whatever He shows you.  Lastly, keep at it.  Read a little every day and in time you will begin to see more clearly.

Whatever the reason, God’s word is still for everyone. God is real and He rewards those who seek Him.  Not only does He save us from sin and death, but he reveals Himself to us in various ways.  The more we seek Him through His word and prayer, the more He shows us who He is and what He’s like.

God doesn’t want anyone to perish, but all to come and be saved.  The Bible teaches us about God and His Ways.  It also tells us about our own sinfulness and our need for a Savior.  The Bible shows us the path to Salvation is in Jesus Christ who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

God’s word is for everyone.  It is clear and not confusing.  God expects His children to read it, learn from it, live by it and share it with others.

Lord, thank you for making yourself known to us.  Thank you for your Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our salvation and great help in leading us in your truth.  Draw us closer.  Give us a desire to seek you through your word each day.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade.  Author of ThinkOnItBibleDevotions.com and BeingWomenOfInfluence.com websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

Leave a comment »

Effort or Revelation?

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29 NKJV

Have you ever been stuck in needing to know something?  There’s a situation happening in your life and you have this unrelenting need to know why it’s happening.  Ever been there?

The children of Israel had that problem too.  Moses gave them some good advice.  “The secret things belong to the Lord our God…” He suggests that the unknown or secret things belong to God and are not for us to know, so move on.

Moses continues saying, “but those things which are revealed belong to us…” In effect he is admonishing the children of Israel to leave the unknown to God and focus on what has been revealed to us.  That’s great advice.  Focusing on the uncertain only creates worry and anxiety.  However, focus on what is known is more tangible, concrete, stable and comforting. This verse is reassuring for a number of reasons.

First is suggests God is the one in control.  He decides what we need to know giving our current situation, state of maturity and belief in Him.  He gives us exactly what we need in that moment, no more and no less.  Second our knowledge doesn’t come from the effort, strain or desire we place in studying God’s Word.  It is good to study God’s Word, but we must recognize our dependence on God to reveal His Truth to us.  The third reason this verse is reassuring is because what is revealed belongs to us forever.  God’s wisdom is not granted temporarily.  It is given forever.  The truth He reveals cannot be taken away.  Oh, we may forget it sometimes but God even ensures against that by giving us His Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit’s job is to bring to remembrance all God has shown us.  How fabulous is that?

Some folks think studying God’s Word is like mining for gold.  It takes a lot of hard work to uncover a single nugget of truth.  But those who think that are relying on their own effort to understand.  Yes, there is effort involved in studying God’s Word, but God is the one revealing His truth at the appropriate time.  Have you ever read a passage of scripture and found more meaning in it than the first time you read it?  The first time you might get some understanding, but some time later you read the same verse and this time it has a fuller meaning.   That’s God showing you a little more.  There is the element of obedience required, where we continue to read and study God’s Word.  The payoff happens when God decides to unlock His Words when you’re ready for the truth.  It’s a beautiful thing when that starts happening.

Why does God reveal anything to us in the first place?  The answer is wrapped up in the last part of today’s verse: “that we may do all the words of this law.”  God wants us to succeed. He wants His children to prosper. Following God’s plan is the only way.  When He reveals Himself to us, we are more likely to trust and follow Him.  It’s a process that will last our entire life.  He reveals a little more each day.  We learn to trust Him more with each circumstance.  Therefore, we are more inclined to trust Him with the next situation that arises.

God is in control.  Our effort doesn’t increase our knowledge because God reveals truth in His timing.  His Holy Spirit helps us not forget the truth He reveals, so we may have it forever.  Is God great or what?

Thank you, God, for revealing what we need to know when we need it.  We trust you to provide exactly the truth needed for every situation.  We come to you in complete dependence on you.  In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade.  Author of ThinkOnItBibleDevotions.com and BeingWomenOfInfluence.com websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

Leave a comment »

God’s Characteristics

Today’s reading is a phenomenal chapter outlining characteristics of God.  Before you’ll see that let’s, start with pray:  Father God above, you alone are worthy of all praise.  You know all things.  You have provided everything we need to live a godly life until Christ returns.  Reveal your truths today through your Word by your Holy Spirit.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

Read Deuteronomy 29.  Read it slowly.  Read it more than once.  Take time to reflect on it.  Look for the facts first.  Move to the meaning of the words next.  Look for the timeless principle God is showing you.

Deuteronomy 29 is about the Lord speaking to the children of Israel through Moses.  He is reminding them of all God has done in their presence.  He is encouraging them to remain in covenant with the faithful God Almighty.

As mentioned, this chapter outlines some of God’s characteristics. Let’s take a look:

  • God’s power is on display in verses 2 – 3.
  • God’s compassion is evident in verses 4-8.
  • God’s kindness is extended in verse 9.
  • God’s authority and our accountability are shown in verses 10-11.
  • God’s faithfulness and reliability are depicted in verses 12-13.
  • God’s fairness to all is discussed in verses 14-15.
  • God’s mercifulness is outlined in verses 16-19.
  • God’s jealousy is graphically displayed in verses 20-22.
  • God’s wrath is explained in verses 24-28.
  • God’s revelation is spoken of in verse 29.

God, who is all-powerful, compassionate, kind, faithful, fair, merciful, jealous and has all authority is angry with those who do not come to Him.  God has blessings upon blessings for those who will receive Him.  God’s plans are not to harm but to prosper us.   In verse 9 He says “keep the words of this covenant that you may prosper.”

God wants all to prosper under His blessings, but it is conditional.  If we choose to enter the covenant we must acknowledge He is God, deny our self and idols, and turn to Him.   If we don’t turn, we choose to deceive our self, live in denial and we reap curses instead of blessings.  God doesn’t want us saying “‘I shall have peace, even though I follow the dictates of my heart’—as though the drunkard could be included with the sober.” (verse 19)  If we are to experience peace, it will be when we yield to God’s way of living, depending on Him to provide as a result of our obedience.

Speaking about depending on Him, it is God who makes and keeps the covenant with us.  He is faithful even when we are not.  For Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  He was willing to make a way for us, even while we were His enemies.  We shunned Him.  We exalted our self as god.  We lived how we wanted to, yet God came in the flesh to die for our crimes against Him.  God’s covenant is for everyone who is willing to enter it.

It is my sincerest desire you take time with God and His word.  Prayerfully read it daily.  Let it change the way you think.  May you regard God’s Word as the oxygen you breathe, for in it contains the truth about life and death.  May you, as Moses said in Deuteronomy 30:19: “Choose life.”

Lord God, thank you for your life-giving words.  Thank you for your Spirit helping us discern your truth.  Teach us your way of life.  Enable us to receive your blessings through obedience to you.  We come, just as we are, to you this day.  In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade.  Author of ThinkOnItBibleDevotions.com and BeingWomenOfInfluence.com websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

1 Comment »

Deuteronomy 28 – Blessings or Cursings ~ The Choice is Yours

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

Read Deuteronomy 28.  It’s a long chapter, but read it anyway.  It describes the blessing of obedience to God and the curses that come from disobeying God.  While reading think about today’s verse: 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Keep in mind even this section of scripture has something in it for us.  Though we are no longer under law, because Jesus came to fulfill the law, we are wise to be trained by it.  The law teaches us there are consequences attached to our decisions.  Sometimes we forget that. The law also teaches us we can not keep it.  So it actually points out our flaw (sin) and our need for help (Savior).

I know most people don’t like talking about all the negatives.  We’d rather read about the blessings instead.  Deuteronomy 28 reveals in great detail what happens when people choose not to follow God.  Fifty-three verses dedicated to describing the high cost of disobedience might indicate that God wants us to understand our decisions have consequences.

Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments… all these blessings will come upon you.  God will set you high above all nations of the earth.  You will be blessed in the city, country, with children, food, wealth, etc.  You will be blessed in coming and going, in your work, in the land.  Your enemies will be defeated and the Lord will establish you.  The list of blessings continues on.  It’s pretty exhaustive.  God is definitely generous as all these blessings should be overwhelming.  We can take these as training in righteous.

But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes…all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.  The same blessings described above turn into curses when there is disobedience.  Forty-nine more verses describe the all encompassing defeat experienced in every area of life.  The list is so awful you wouldn’t even want your worst enemy to experience it.  This is an example of rebuke.

Therefore, having read both sides the intelligent person can make an informed decision.  By weighting the pros and cons of following verses not following God, discernment and wisdom come.  For God wants us to count the cost of obedience the same way a builder counts the cost of building a house.  Weigh it for your self.  No one else can do it for you.  An example is given.  It’s our choice which one we follow.   Stopping long enough to decision is actually a form of correction.  For taking time to think about it, you may alter your decision, turning away from an automatic response and choosing to do right instead.

Of course God, like any good parent, wants His children to listen to Him.  He knows what’s best for us.  He even knows us better than we know our self.  His plan is to prosper us and lead us into an abundant and eternal life.  The Bible is God’s Word, given that we may know Him and how to live for Him.  His word equips us for His purposes.

Lord God Almighty, thank you for your word and your Spirit to lead us into all truth.  Help us make the wise choice of obeying the voice of the Lord our God.  Speak to us through your word.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade.  Author of ThinkOnItBibleDevotions.com and BeingWomenOfInfluence.com websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

1 Comment »

A Look at Deuteronomy 27:11-26

And Moses commanded the people on the same day, saying, “These shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people, when you have crossed over the Jordan: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin; and these shall stand on Mount Ebal to curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. Deuteronomy 27:11-13 NKJV

Read Deuteronomy 27:11-26 NKJV.

At first glance this list of curses may seem out of place.  Why command them to recite these curses rather than the actual Ten Commandments given to them earlier in Deuteronomy 5: 6-21?  As we study this further, we see these verses may be practical, real-life, re-statements of the Ten Commandments.

Let’s look at the curses and the Ten Commandments in table format, as well as categorize each.

Category

Curse

Commandment

# of Ten Commandment

God

Cursed is the one who makes a carved or molded image

You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

2

Family

Cursed is the one who treats his father or his mother with contempt.

Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

5

Neighbor

Cursed is the one who moves his neighbor’s landmark.

You shall not steal. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

8, 10

Neighbor

Cursed is the one who makes the blind to wander off the road.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

9

Neighbor, Justice

Cursed is the one who perverts the justice due the stranger, the fatherless, and widow.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

9

Family, Personal Integrity, Sex

Cursed is the one who lies with his father’s wife, because he has uncovered his father’s bed. Cursed is the one who lies with any kind of animal. Cursed is the one who lies with his sister, the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother. Cursed is the one who lies with his mother-in-law.

Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. You shall not commit adultery.

5, 7

Neighbor

Cursed is the one who attacks his neighbor secretly.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

9

Neighbor, Justice, Personal Integrity

Cursed is the one who takes a bribe to slay an innocent person.

You shall not murder. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

6, 9

There are several things that come out of this analysis.

First, I don’t see a reference to commandments three and four:  “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.  Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.”  I wonder why?

Second, there are four curses regarding sex.  If God repeated this one four times, I’m pretty sure He wants us to remember this one.   This one seems to be about honoring father, mother, family members and self by not joining our self inappropriately.

Third, analyzing the categories makes it clear family and neighbor relations are very important to God.  He wanted the children of Israel to live in relationship with one another.  If everyone did their part, surely none of these curses would be a problem.

Sadly, we learn throughout the Bible the people were not able to refrain from such abominations.  There are plenty of examples of how these commandments were broken and not just in the Old Testament, but also in the New Testament.  Here are just a few to get you thinking:

  • Exodus 32:1-10 NKJV – “They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’”
  • 2 Samuel 16:21-22 NKJV – “And Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; and all Israel will hear that you are abhorred by your father. Then the hands of all who are with you will be strong.” So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the top of the house, and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.”
  • 1 Corinthians 5:1 NKJV – “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife!”
  • Matthew  26:14-15 NKJV – “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.”

So what does this mean to us today?   God gave His Word to us as instruction, correction and training in righteousness.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV  says “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Therefore, what can we learn from this reading?  What needs to change with in our thoughts, attitudes, behavior and relationships?  Ask God to reveal all the reasons you do not obey His voice.   Thank Him for completing the good work which He started in you.

Lord God Almighty your plans and purposes are wise and just.  You lead us by your Spirit and Truth.  Equip us with your word.  Give us a pure desire for you.  Reveal anything in us that offends you.  Thank you, Jesus, for cleansing us from all unrighteousness.  In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade.  Author of ThinkOnItBibleDevotions.com and BeingWomenOfInfluence.com websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

1 Comment »

The Mouth is connected to the Heart

 

The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. Psalm 37:30-31 NKJV

 

To speak of wisdom and justice one must have God’s Word securely hidden away in his heart.  For the things proceeding from our mouth come from the heart (Matthew 15:18).   Jesus taught us out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34).  He also warned us we would be either justified or condemned by our words (Matthew 12:37).  Let’s face it, how many times have we said something we regretted later? 

 

Jesus knows us when he asks “How can you, being evil, speak of good things?”  The truth is we can’t speak good from our own resources because of our fallen sinful nature.  James 3:6 says the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.  Proverbs 15:14 says “The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouth of the fools feeds on foolishness.”  What are we feeding on today?

 

We need to be careful with our words.  We can use words to build others up or tear them down.  Jesus told us for every idle word spoken we will be accountable in the Day of Judgment (Matthew 12:36).  This should compel us to use words sparingly and to make sure the words we do use are pure and pleasant and pleasing to the Lord (Proverbs 15:26).

 

So far we’ve learned our sinful and foolish nature prevents us from speaking good.  How can we every speak good?  There is good news, Jesus taught us a good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things and that means we can do (Matthew 12:35).  Through Jesus Christ in us, we can be good and bring forth good things.  But we have a responsibility to store up good in the treasure of our hearts.

 

How do we do that?  We immerse our self in God’s Word.   We find ways to fill our mind with His goodness.  We read His Word daily.  We listen to His teaching whenever possible.  Maybe we start listening to Bible teaching on the radio as we get ready for work or while driving anywhere.  We memorize God’s Word, so we’ll never be with out it and so the Holy Spirit can bring it forth when we need it. 

 

We are blessed with many opportunities to receive God’s Word.  We have churches to attend, tapes/CDs to listen to when we miss church.  There’s even on-line streaming audio message of church services available.  We have books, magazines, email devotions, newsletters and of course the Bible itself.  Between radio and internet technologies we really have no excuse for not getting enough of God’s Word stored away in our hearts. 

 

Stop and consider the words we speak.  Are they words of good building others up, coming from God’s Word stored in the treasure of our heart?  Or are they evil words of envy, strife, anger, fear and selfishness pouring out of an evil treasure stored in our heart? 

 

Deuteronomy 30:15-16 NKJV says “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.”

Oh that you would choose life and good that come from embracing God.

 Lord thank you for your life-giving word.  Enable us to keep our mind set on you. Help us to seek you in all things and store good treasure in our hearts that our words may be helpful to the hearers.  In Jesus’ name Amen.  

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more articles, devotions and book reviews, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

Leave a comment »