Bible Devotions

Can you praise God when things aren’t going your Way?

Read Psalm 56.

What clues did the psalmist leave us that might help us learn to praise God in the midst of a trial?

Recognize God is still in control.Twenty-three times the psalmist points to God or references Him, in only thirteen verses.  This proves he knew God was in control.  He continued to call out to God through this psalm.

Recognize you are powerless. Humility is critical to getting help.  If you are not humble, you will never ask for help.  Look at verses one and two.  The Psalmist recognizes his weakness.  He knew he was unable to save him self and his enemies were too strong for him.  We should be so wise to see our own limitations.

 Trust God to work it out. Several times the psalmist uses affirming statements of trusting God.  Verses like “I will trust in You”, “In God I have put my trust”, and “This I know because God is for me” demonstrate he knew God’s Word and helped solidify his own faith and trust in God.

Remember the end of the rebellious. “Shall they escape by iniquity?”  God’s Word is clear the rebellious will not see the Kingdom of God.  There’s a place reserved for the wicked, unless they turn from their evil ways.  The psalmist reminds himself though they may say and do many evil things their reward is eternal separation from God.  They will not escape.

 Remember God’s delivered our soul from death. If the wicked are judged how much more sweet is the deliverance of the righteous?  Remembering the Lord has saved you, kept you from falling, and enabled you to live is cause for praise, even in the middle of a trial.

Next time you’re in facing a trial, remember how the psalmist dealt with it.  Know God is in control, you are powerless, trust Him to work it out and remember both the end of your enemy and your eternal salvation.  Then don’t forget to praise God in the middle of it.

Lord, thank you for your word of encouragement.  Help us to turn to you.  Teach us to trust you even in the middle of chaos.  Empower us with your Spirit.  Remind of us our end that we may be confident in your salvation.  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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A Comparison Part 1

Study the life of Jesus Christ as shown in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).   Create for a picture of God’s character and then consider the character of man.


Jesus Human

Sinless, perfect, pure, spotless



This comparison helps us recognize our need for a Savior.  Romans 3:23 says we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.  John declares the good news: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 NKJV).  Jesus is the perfect lamb, pure and spotless given as a sacrifice to pay the price for the sinful world.  Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ.


Jesus Human

Aligned with the Father’s will

Manipulate to get our will done


Jesus knew His purpose and did not waver one bit.  He was all about doing His Father’s work.  He did only what His Father wanted done in complete and perfect submission and obedience to God’s will.  Ours is a self-centered nature that clashes with God’s will.  We want our way and usually manipulate and scheme to get it.


Jesus Human

Consistent with prayer

Occasionally pray (especially with the ‘big” stuff)


Jesus was always praying.  He made time for prayer.  He never made decisions without praying first.  He stayed connected to the Father through prayer.  As a result He was strengthened and enabled to carry out God’s purposes.  We, on the other hand, pray sometimes.  The Bible teaches us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  However, we forget to bring all things before the Lord in prayer.  Somehow we think God is too busy to hear even our smallest concerns.  We tend to call out to God when there’s a crisis or in a stressful situation.  But God longs for us to turn to Him in all situations.  Do we come to Him when we need to make a decision?  Do we ask for wisdom and guidance?  We do not come to Him as much as we should.  Therefore, Jesus is a good example of bringing everything to God in prayer.


May the comparisons we’ve drawn today encourage you to seek Him in all you do.  Know you are saved by His death and resurrection.  May Jesus’ example of following God’s will be our desire in our life.  May we bring everything before Him in prayer to stay connected with God and His will. 


Lord, Jesus thank you for your example to follow.  Thank you for leading us on the path of righteousness.  We ask for your guidance day by day.  Give us the desire for God’s will in our life. Help us turn to you so often in prayer not one area of our life is unexposed to your light.  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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Proclaim the Good News

Sing to the LORD, bless His name; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Psalm 96:2 NKJV 

What is the Good News?

God loves you and wants you to be with Him forever in heaven.  But because we have a sinful nature our relationship with God has been broken.  God loved us so much, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to mend our relationship with God.  Jesus’ death on the cross paid the penalty for our sin (John 3:16).  We are no longer under judgment for our sins.  We are pardoned.  We are forgiven.  We are set free from bondage of sin.  We call this Salvation (Romans 6:23).  That’s only part of the good news.  There’s more! Jesus’ resurrection from the dead gives those who believe in Him a new life.  It’s a second chance to do life right.  He came to give us life and that more abundantly (John 10:10). 


How do we proclaim it?

We start by reading God’s Word to obtain a firm understanding of what God’s done for us.  The more God’s Word is allowed in our heart, the more we become like Him.  Our life, the choices we make, and the things we think about and the words we say become godly.  Morphing into the person God created us to be, we become lights to other around us.  Obeying God’s Word and living it out means we’ll use our gifts, talents, and abilities for God’s glory.  We’ll begin serving God by what we do and the attitudes behind why we do it.  The result is serving others as we learn to walk by the spirit rather than satisfying our own selfish desires (Romans 8:4).   We do these things moment by moment and day by day.


Who do we proclaim it to?

We proclaim the good news to anyone who asks about the hope we have (1 Peter 3:15).  As we go about our business we have an eye on the look out for anyone downtrodden, hopeless and hurting.  We take special care for the widows and orphans and poor among us (James 1:27).  We come along side them, serving and helping where we can, waiting for an opportunity to share God’s love and salvation story. 


 Where do we proclaim it?

Anywhere we are we proclaim the good news.  We share at work as we conduct business, or at home while having dinner with our family.  It could be at school in between classes or on the soccer field while we’re playing.  We can proclaim the good news any time and any where.  Remember we live in a free country.  We are not persecuted for our faith, as in some countries.  So what’s holding us back?  People are dying for good news.  We have it, so let’s start sharing it.


Why do we proclaim it?

God does not want a single one to perish but all to come to Him for salvation (2 Peter 3:9).  He wants people to come to faith and trust in Jesus Christ so they will be saved.  We share the good news out of love for God and love of others.  We share out of respect for God and obedience to His commands.  Jesus said in Matthew 28:19 “Go make disciples of all the nations”.   We proclaim the good news to praise God for all He’s done.  In doing so we strengthen our own convictions and help other’s faith and trust grow in God’s plan. 


In summary the good news is forgiveness of sin, eternal life in Christ, and a new life now.  We share the good news through obedience to God’s Word and coming along side the hurting, serving and helping them.  We proclaim the good news where ever we may be all for the glory of God. 

 Lord Jesus, thank you for saving us.  Thank you for your Word to us.  Give us the wisdom, discernment and courage to share your good news with the world around us.  May we be obedient to your Word shining your love on those around us all for your glory.  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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Does Knowledge of God Prevents Sin?


For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6 NKJV


Have you ever noticed how a small child will act appropriately when there are adults around?  As soon the parental units are no longer in sight, that same child will do what they are not allowed to do otherwise.  Why is that? 


Well it’s the same with all of us adults.  If we know God is watching, we’ll be on our best behavior.  However, if there’s no knowledge of God we’re likely to do things not pleasing to God.   Knowledge of God helps us remember He is always watching.  It’s not the creepy big brother kind of watching.  He’s watching His creation with the loving eyes of a parent watching his own child.   Because He’s God, maker of all we see, there is nothing hidden from Him.  All things are bare before Him.  Knowing this leads to fear of the Lord.  In other words, fear of the Lord is a healthy and proper respect for the supreme authority over us.


He knows everything and sees all things.  Keeping this firmly planted in our minds will help us choose wisely the activities we partake in.  A friend of mine who has five children has a wonderful rule in her house: If you wouldn’t want mom to know about it then you probably should not do it.  It’s the same principle God lays out.  We need to remember we are all under a higher authority – God Almighty.


While God makes allowances for sinful behavior by accepting sacrifice in the Old Testament, He would rather the people keep knowledge of Him top of mind to prevent the sin in the first place.  He expects the same from us.  Hosea 4:6 NKJV says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” 


The Lord doesn’t want a single person to perish but all to come to eternal life in Him through faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  He has given us everything we need to know He exists.  Look at creation around us, it all points to our Heavenly Father.  We have His word to help us better understand His character and unrelenting love towards us.  Understanding His marvelous love for us and His willingness to take matters into His own hands to save us, should compel us to live rightly before Him.  If it doesn’t it’s an indication of our lack of knowledge of God.


How do we gain knowledge? 


Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV says “Ask, 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.” James 1:5 NKJV says “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.”  Knowledge comes from God, Himself.  He will give it freely to those who earnestly seek Him.  So dig in, study His Word, and let His Spirit lead you into His glorious truth so your mind may be renewed.  It’s never too late to gather knowledge of God.  So jump into His Word today.

 Lord, thank you for your guidance through your word.  Thank you for your leading through the Holy Spirit.  Thank you for your love compelling us to know you more.  Draw us closer to 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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In His Presence

Those who choose to enter into God’s presence and earnestly seek Him in all they do, say or think will be blessed.  David was named by God as “a man after God’s own heart”.  That’s a pretty incredible thing to say about someone who was a murderer and adulterer.  But that’s story for another time.  Yes, David failed at times, just like we do, but he would always return to the Lord.  That makes him a good role model for us.  Read what King David writes in Psalm 84. 

My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord, my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. (Psalm 84:2 NKJV) Does your soul long for God?  Do you ache for Him?  If not, learn about Him.  Study what He’s done for you.  Focus on the majesty of Him and you will want to be near Him. 


Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You. (Psalm 84:4 NKJV) Staying focused on God no matter what’s going on around you causes you to see things from a different perspective.  When you remember God knows what He’s doing, you can praise Him, even while going through a tough trial in life.  David had plenty of trials in his life.  If David could praise God in the middle of his trials, surely we can too.


Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.  (Psalm 84:5 NKJV) Realizing we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us is a blessing.  David knew where his strength came from – the Lord.  In addition, he knew he was on a journey.  We are also on a journey to our real home in heaven.  Like Paul taught us we are to remember to keep our eyes on the eternal things and not the things we can see.  When eternity is our focus, we set our hearts in the direction of God and His Kingdom.  Then we can easily say what David did in Psalm 84:10 NKJV, “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”    


Our soul longs for the Lord, our minds are set on eternity, and our strength comes from Him. For further reassurance, look at look at Psalm 84:11 NKJV: “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”  There are blessings waiting for you who follow the Lord. 

 Lord, thank you for using ordinary people as examples for us.  Thank you for the mercy and grace you pour out on us.  Help us long for you.  Guide our thoughts to the eternal things.  Remind us where our strength comes from.  Reassure us of your love and enable us to walk uprightly before 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.


Family what is it?


Merriam Webster’s Dictionary says family is a group of individuals living together under one head, coming from the same clan or race, and a people united by certain convictions as in a fellowship.


I want to call your attention to a few words in the above definition. 


Individuals are unique.  Each has its own personality, style, preferences, and beliefs.  God made us this way.  He loves variety.  Therefore, we are called to live at peace with everyone, as much as it depends on you (Romans 12:18).


One Head represents the One Authority we live under – God.  In God’s economy He planned for the husband to be head of the household, just as Jesus Christ is head of the church (Ephesians 5:25).  We are to live in submission to God, whether we are married or single. 


Same Clan – We are all part of the same human race.  We all have the same sinful nature.  Realizing we’re all in this life together will help us be more forgiving.  We are sinners by nature (Romans 3:23).  Even after we are born again in Christ, we may still make mistakes.  Let’s cut each other some slack by forgiving and being tender hearted towards one another.  After all God has forgiven you, how then can you withhold forgiveness to someone else?


United – We are united together in Christ Jesus.  Family is so important to God that He died for us to adopt us into His family (Ephesians 1:5). Jesus is the unifying entity that seals us together as a permanent family. 


With the above definition in mind, I’d like to say families are:

  • A place where we are loved for who we are not what we do.  We are accepted and belong.
  • A place of encouragement.  It may seem like the world is against us, but we know our family is for us.
  • A place to share our troubles without being blamed for them.


Sadly, this ideal isn’t the case a lot of the time.  Whether your family meets your expectations or not when you are a believer in Jesus Christ you are automatically adopted into the ideal family.  What we have today with out physical family will one day be gone.  But our spiritual family will remain together in heaven.


Rather than wasting precious time complaining about the dysfunction we see in our earthly family, let’s try to find common ground and practice loving one another as the Lord loves us. 


What are you doing to promote a godly family?  Is your love without hypocrisy?  Are you kind and affectionate, giving preference to one another? (Romans 12:9-10).


Remember God has a plan and purpose for you being part of your family.  He is working in you to grow you to be more Christ-like.  In the family setting, conflicts and all, He is developing godly character in us. 

 Lord, thank you for placing us in earthly families.  Help us to grow Christ-like character until you welcome us in heaven.  In Jesus’ name Amen.  

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit today.

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What would you Take?


Watching the news reporters interviewing people being evacuated from their homes, many were asked, “What did you take?” An interesting question I suppose.  Most of the people answered something like I took my important papers, computers, photos and pets.  If this were you, what would you take?


The first thing I would save would be my Bible.  The thought of God’s Word burning up due to a senseless fire is too painful.  But it reminds me of the story of King Jehoiakim from Jeremiah 36. 


The king was just like us.  He didn’t want to hear what God had to say.  In fact, when God’s Word was read aloud to him, he took the scrolls, cut them up and threw them in the fire.  No amount of pleading would change the King’s mind as we see in Jeremiah 36: 25 NKJV: “Nevertheless Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah implored the king not to burn the scroll; but he would not listen to them”.


Sometimes we’re like that too, if we’re honest with our self.  There are parts of God’s Word that are hard, like “love your enemy” and “be kind, tender and forgiving to one another”.  But God’s Word is still final.  When we “cherry-pick” only the good or easy parts, we put our self in God’s place, thinking we know best.  Oh believer, this is very wrong. 


God has ways of correcting this kind of behavior.  Look at how He dealt with King Jehoiakim in Jeremiah 36:27–32:

“Now after the king had burned the scroll with the words which Baruch had written at the instruction of Jeremiah, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying: “Take yet another scroll, and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned. And you shall say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, ‘Thus says the LORD: “You have burned this scroll, saying, ‘Why have you written in it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and cause man and beast to cease from here?’” Therefore thus says the LORD concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: “He shall have no one to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat of the day and the frost of the night. I will punish him, his family, and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring on them, on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and on the men of Judah all the doom that I have pronounced against them; but they did not heed.”’”  Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah, who wrote on it at the instruction of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire. And besides, there were added to them many similar words.”


There are two things to point out:

(1) God’s Word will remain. Jesus said in Matthew 5:18 NKJV “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

(2) God is God.  There is no one above Him.  His judgment is just.  We may not have to face what King Jehoiakim did, but we will experience consequences if we don’t heed God’s Word.


In conclusion, all of God’s Word is important.  Read it daily to get to know this God we worship.  Allow His Word to get into our hearts and renew our minds. 

 Lord, thank you for your Word that lasts forever.  Thank you for love and disciple when it’s needed.  Help us to desire your Word daily.  In Jesus’ name Amen.   © Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit today.

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Tough Times Praise God


Seems like an oxymoron doesn’t it?  When tough times come and they always do, we have a choice.  We can choose to dwell in it and become angry or bitter.  Or we can choose to look to God instead by recalling all He has done, remembering His promises and keeping hope alive.


Now both options require work on our part.  Whichever we choose, our mind will be working.  Words and actions will follow for good or bad.  The choice is ours.


It’s terribly easy to allow our self to think “it’s all about me”.  We may not ever think those exact words, but when our thoughts are all about how something affects us, we are on the path leading away from God and peace. 


It’s much more difficult to discipline our self to remember “it’s all about God”.  Turning our thoughts away from the problem at hand, to consider all God has promised to us takes time.  We have to know His promises before we can remember them.  Reading God’s Word is where we find out about His promises.  Each one is like a nugget of gold we mine for in His Word.  Try reading Psalms 90 – 106.  There are plenty of examples on how to focus on God’s greatness during the trials of life. 

Two Corinthians 4:17-18 NKJV says “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,  while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”  Keeping our eyes on the eternal things helps us endure the temporary heartache and troubles of this life.

Remember we are children of God, adopted into His family when we accepted Jesus Christ’s death on the cross as payment for our sins.  God will not abandon us.  He will be with us.  He is in us.  So don’t let your current troubles weight you down.  Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Lord when we are consumed with our troubles remind us to turn to you.  In you is rest and peace when we trust in you.  Help us endure what we must, trusting you each moment.  In Jesus’ name Amen.



© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit today.


Pure in Heart

Read Psalm 73


Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart.  But for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped.  For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. (Psalm 73:1-3)


The pure at heart will see God (Matthew 5:8).  Does this mean physically see God, as we see another person? No, I don’t think so.  Instead it’s about having spiritual eyes to see God in the middle of everything.  It’s a spiritual discernment that comes upon the child of God who is pure at heart. 


This spiritual discernment helps us keep our eyes on what’s most important and not be caught up in the temporary things of every day life.  After Jesus died and rose again, He had a conversation with Peter.  During this talk Peter asked “What about him?” referring to John.  Jesus said “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?  You follow Me.”  Jesus is showing Peter the importance of focusing on Him alone.  A lesson we could all use.


Apostle Paul wrote much about focusing our minds on Christ.  Think on these things… Philippians 4:-7-8.  Keep our eyes on the eternal, not the temporary… 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.  Renew our minds…Romans 12:2.


Does being pure at heart mean we are to be sinless?  Absolutely not, for no man or woman could ever be sinless this side of heaven (Romans 3:23).  Just look at David’s example.  He was called a man after God’s own heart, yet he was an adulterer and a murderer.  How could he be a man after God’s own heart?  It’s because when he fouled up, he always returned to the Lord.  Yes, he sinned – we all do.  David turned from his sin and turned back to God.  In turning, he received God’s mercy and so can we.


Envy distracts us and takes our eyes off Jesus.  Just as David experienced we will also stumble, slip, and fall if we start looking at anything or anyone other than God.   Don’t worry about what others are doing and saying. Live your life for an audience of One. Live for God’s approval then you will win favor of not only God but man.


What did we learn today?  We learned being pure at heart gives us spiritual discernment to keep our eyes laser focused on God no matter what.  Envy is a sure sign we’ve gotten our eyes off the Lord.

 Lord thank you for your constant leading us back on track with you.  Thank you for your precious Word of Truth.  May we apply what we’ve learned in our lives today.  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 today.

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