Bible Devotions

Heritage of Lord’s Servants

 

Read Isaiah 54.

 

If you find yourself needing some encouragement, Isaiah 54 is a wonderful place to look.  This section of scripture is so packed with promises of God for his people; I can hardly contain my excitement as I think about how God will accomplish these in our lives.

 

Extended Family

One of the outcries of many women is the desire for family.  Whether it is small or large family, made up of naturally birthed babes or adopted ones doesn’t manner.  It is the community of family in which we long for connectedness.   In verses one through three, Isaiah writes about having a large spiritual family and having to enlarge our tents as we expand from right to left.  Our descendants will inherit nations and make desolate cities inhabited.  When you think of family, do you remember to include your spiritual family?

 

Redeemed

We do not fear for we will not be ashamed or disgraced or put to shame.  We can believe with confidence God will carry out what He said He would.  We will forget the shame of our past.  Knowing the past is forgiven gives us great joy.  Our reproach of widowhood is remembered no more, for the Lord our Maker is our husband.  We are the bride of Christ, He is our Holy husband.   We are redeemed by the Holy One of Israel who is called the God of the whole earth.  If anyone can erase past mistakes, it is the God of the whole earth.  It is this all-powerful God who has called you to redemption. 

 

Everlasting Kindness

Though we have to experience the pain caused by rebelling against our wonderful Maker, it will not last long.  “With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer (verse 8).   He will not be angry or rebuke us, “but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed says the Lord who has mercy on us” (verse 9-10).   He has said it, therefore, this promise of everlasting kindness and covenant of peace will not be broken.

 

Great Peace

A heavenly dwelling place awaits us, believer, more beautiful than our minds can imagine.  In this place, our children will be taught by the Lord Himself and great shall be the peace of your children (verse 13).

 

Established in Righteousness

Our righteousness comes from God (verse 17).  We are shall be established in righteousness by His hand, so there’s nothing for us to boast about except the Lord’s work in us.  We can not earn righteousness through doing good works.  But once we are righteous we will see good works appear in our life.  It all comes from Him and is not of our making.

 

Victory

In the remaining verses 14 through 17, we are told oppression will be far from us and terror will not come near us.  Whoever assembles against us shall fall for our sake.  Even though the Lord created the spoiler to destroy, no weapon formed against us shall prosper.  Every word spoken against us in judgment will be condemned.  God is in complete control.  He has promised us victory in our life as we seek Him and rest in His righteousness. 

 

Oh believer, may these verses bring comfort and renew your determination of pursuing God.  He is good, He is just and He will not let us be ashamed.  This is our heritage as God describes.  Let’s rejoice in Him.

 Lord God who made the heavens and the earth, thank you for your words of encouragement spoken to us this today.  May we seek you with all our heart, mind, body and strength. Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.  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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Humble Yourselves In The Sight Of The Lord, And He Will Lift You Up

Read James 4

Fights, wars, murder, coveting, and seeking pleasures are all signs of someone who is an enemy of God. These outward expressions reveal the adultery within. The heart is far from God, puffed up with pride.

Pride makes us do things against God. We speak evil of others, judging them as though we ourselves were god. We boast of all we plan to do. Yet this boasting is foolishness and arrogant.  Being preoccupied with all we plan to do, causes us to miss what God wants to do in and through us.

Humility protects us from pride, self-will, and arrogance.  James exhorts believers to submit to God by doing two things: (1) Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (2) Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

So when these ungodly behaviors appear in our life, stop. Confess our sins and turn our hearts back to God.

Thank you God, for being willing to hear our prayers to forgive us one more time when we confess our sins. Thank you for your faithfulness to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and purify us as though we never sinned.  Thank you, Jesus, for taking our punishment for us.  Thank you for your Holy Spirit who helps us live a pleasing life to 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.

Bible Devotions on Humility
http://thinkonitbibledevotions.com/Bible_Verses_by_Topic_Humility.aspx

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Riches of His Grace

Read Ephesians Chapter One

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Devotions on the go. Walk Through Ephesians with this collection of devtions in PDf format for $4.95 at:
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City of Refuge

Read Joshua 20

The God of mercy instructs His people to set aside certain cities to become places of refuge.  This way anyone who accidentally kills someone could go and live without fear that the dead person’s family would try to kill him.  They would live in that city until the high priest died.  After that they could go back to where ever they lived previously.

Did you notice this was for accidental death not for pre-meditated murder?  God has a heart for the innocent.  God wants justice to prevail.  His ways protect the innocent.

Why is it we tend to think the worst in others so readily?  We jump to conclusions and judge others without knowing all the facts.  I’m thankful God is the Just Judge.  He knows all things and can judge fairly.  His judgment is right.

When God says “all have sinned” He means everyone.  There is no one who is innocent and hasn’t sinned.  When God says “the wages of sin is death” He means death is only way to deal with sin.   Thankfully God is more than Just, for had He been just, we all would perish because of our sin.  God is merciful. He paid our sin debt through Jesus’ death on the cross.  His death cleared the charges against us.  So in His eyes we are innocent.

Now we live in a city of refuge.  Not an earthly city where we live only as long as the high priest.  But a heavenly city where the High Priest – Jesus Christ – lives forever and so do we!

God cancels our debt.  He covers us with His righteousness.  He ushers us into His kingdom to live forever with Him.  He did this not because we were innocent by our own efforts, but because of His mercy cancels our sin and makes us innocent by His actions.

Challenge Point:

God has shown you much mercy.  Who can you show mercy to rather than judgment today?

How can you demonstrate mercy towards this person?

Father of mercies, thank you for your righteous judgment.  Thank you for paying our sin debt for us.  Enable us now to walk in the new life in Christ and demonstrate your mercy towards our fellow neighbors. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

For more Bible Devotions…

©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.

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Nothing is Impossible for God

And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. Genesis 21:1 NKJV

Sarah who was barren and also in her 80s or 90s had laughed when the Lord told her she would conceive and bear a son. Sometimes God’s promises seem impossible. With God nothing is impossible. If He says it will happen you can rest assured it will happen. God can do the impossible.

I once was filled with bitterness, resentment, anger, hatred and murderous thoughts. My heart was hardened by years of disappointments and unmet relational needs. But then I learned of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for me. I called upon His name. He met me where I was and lifted me out of the pit I was in just like Psalm 40:2 NKJV says: He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.”

As I began the journey of my new life I discovered the truth of Romans 12:2 NKJV: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” God’s word did renew my mind! And just as Ezekiel 11:19 NKJV says: “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh,” God replaced my stony heart with a tender heart of flesh.

What I thought was impossible proved to be incredibly possible with God’s help. I know now God does what He says He will do. He can be trusted. He is faithful and just.

Is there something you think is impossible for God going on in your life today? Trust Him. He won’t let you down. Instead He may give you the desires of your heart, when you delight in Him just as Psalm 37:4 NKJV says.

Lord God Almighty, we are thankful nothing is too hard for you. Thank you for being faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Draw us near you today. 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.

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God’s call for Saul

 

But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. Acts 9:15 NKJV

 

Read Acts 9.

 

God tells Ananias that Saul is His chosen vessel and outlines His purpose for Saul’s life.  Saul is to go before the Gentiles, kings and the children of Israel to bear God’s name. 

 

What did Saul do after he received his sight and spent time with the disciples at Damascus?  In verse 20 it says he went immediately to preach Christ in the synagogues.  In verse 22 is says Saul increased all the more in strength and confounded the Jews.   I wonder if Saul was supposed to go to the Jews first.  Back in Acts 9:15 God said for him to go to the Gentiles, then kings and then the children of Israel.  Perhaps where Saul started was his own choosing and not the Lord’s.  

 

Verses 23-24 says: “Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him. But their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him.”  To me, this confirms it wasn’t the time to witness to the Jews.  But wait, God is so good.  His grace shines brightly in verse 25 when the disciples help Saul escape.  Next Saul goes to Jerusalem and again his life is threatened, this time by the Hellenists.  Again, God’s grace is visible in verse 30 when Saul is able to escape to Caesarea and Tarsus.

 

This is fascinating to me.  Talk about open and closed doors of opportunity.  Saul was bursting through every door trying to tell the good news of Christ to the Jews.  It seems logical Saul would want to go to the Jews first. After all he was a Jews.  But God had a different plan. Sometimes it takes a few failed attempts until we find the right path.

 

God’s goodness is evident as well in verse 31 when it says: “Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.”  This is further confirmation God uses all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).  Saul may not have been destined to go to the Jews first, but God still used those attempts to edify and multiply the churches. 

 

Reread this section of God’s Word.  Keep your eye focused on God’s grace.  It’s a beautiful thing.  God always makes a way out.  He still does for us today.  Look at what 1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV says: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”   This was written by Saul, who later became Paul.  He knows what he’s talking about.

  Lord thank you for calling us for your purpose.  May we be quick to listen and follow your direction. And when we fail to go your way first, may your grace bring goodness out of it anyway.  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 http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

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Psalm 63 ~ O God, You are my God

sunset.jpgAny time some one declares “You are my God” to the One True God, there will be evidence of that declaration in their life.  Looking at Psalm 63, we see the pattern.   

1 O God, You are my God;
         Early will I seek You;
         My soul thirsts for You;
         My flesh longs for You
         In a dry and thirsty land
         Where there is no water.
 2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
         To see Your power and Your glory.

 

King David knew who his God was.  He openly declared it.  Because of this proclamation you see David doing several things.  He seeks, thirsts, longs for, and looks for God.  So will we when we choose God.  Why is that?  Look at the next three verses.

 

3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
         My lips shall praise You.
 4 Thus I will bless You while I live;
         I will lift up my hands in Your name.
 5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
         And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

 

David knows God’s lovingkindness is better than life itself.  The result of knowing this lovingkindness is praise.  He praises, blesses and lifts his hands to God alone.  The result of praise and worship of God is a satisfied soul.  How about you?  Doesn’t your soul feel satisfied when we worship our God?

 6 When I remember You on my bed,
         I meditate on You in the night watches.
 7 Because You have been my help,
         Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
 8 My soul follows close behind You;
         Your right hand upholds me.

 

David knows this relationship with God takes effort.  That’s why we see him remembering and meditating on God and His help.  Choosing to remember all the times God has helped us out of a difficult spot, or healed us, and saved us from our sin, and given us life, will cause us to rejoice and cling to Him.  The result is a confidence that comes from God’s right hand as He upholds us.

 

9 But those who seek my life, to destroy it,
         Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
 10 They shall fall by the sword;
         They shall be a portion for jackals.
         
 11 But the king shall rejoice in God;
         Everyone who swears by Him shall glory;
         But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.

 

Throughout David’s life when his enemies sought to destroy him, he remembered they will get what’s coming to them.  He left vengeance in God’s hands and turned to God rejoicing.  This is a good pattern for us to follow as well.  Every person is accountable to God, therefore, we can let God handle them and choose to rejoice in God instead.

 

So you see, every one who has put their trust in God will have signs of this decision in their life.  They will be constantly seeking God, remembering God’s help and turning things over to Him.  They will be confident in God’s salvation.  This confidence will shine like the stars in the galaxy, pointing others towards God.

 Lord thank you for your Word.  May we declare you are our God.  May our life show signs of this declaration.  May we seek, thirst, long and look for You always.  May we remember all You have done for us and rejoice.  Help us to turn everything over to You, for You alone are God.  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.

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Great Mercy

at-the-arch.jpg

In Acts chapter 2, we see how great the mercy of God is towards the Jews who crucified Christ.  It was Pentecost when all the believers came together in one accord early in the morning.  God poured His Holy Spirit upon them and immediately they started praising God in other languages. 

 

Next, the Jews who saw this happen began hearing their own native languages being spoken by the believers.  How strange this must have been to them.  How could a Galilean speak their language?  Don’t you just love how God gets people’s attention?

 

The Jews’ first reaction was to say the believers were drunk.  Peter stands up and says no they are not drunk but filled with God’s Spirit.  He recounts all that happened to Jesus, using scripture to point out Jesus was the Son of God and stately plainly the Jews were responsible for Jesus being crucified. 

 

By this the Jews are cut to the heart and appealing to Peter asking “what can we do”?  The answer is clear: “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remissions of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Then those who gladly received Peter’s words were baptized. 

 

The believers continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.  They continued daily in one accord at end of the chapter, as they had done in the beginning of the chapter.  The result was “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

 

It’s a simple message: Jesus Christ died for our sins.  Those who receive this message will have life and be saved.  New daily habits are formed such as reading God’s Word, fellowshipping with other believers, taking communion in remembrance of Christ and in prayers. 

 

Are you experiencing these new habits?  If not, why? 

 Lord Jesus, thank you for taking away the sins of the world.  Thank you for saving us and giving us your Holy Spirit.  Fill us again today that we may know the extent of your love for us.  Compel us onward in your Word, fellowship, communion and prayer.  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

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