Bible Devotions

Who is My Equal

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

© 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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Repent with Sincerity

Remember what 2 Chronicles 7:14 said? There are four steps leading to healing. Humble ourselves, pray and seek God were the first three steps. These steps prepared us for the action step.

The fourth step in healing is repentance. Don’t let the word “repent” scare you. It simply means turning from and turning to something. It’s a decision to change your mind. It means to stop one way and start another. God asks us to turn from ungodly ways and turn to Him.

So let’s look at what we need to turn from as 2 Timothy 3:2-5 outlines:

For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

Pastor Rick Warren took these items and looked each word up in the Greek to seek further meaning. We’ll use his list (taken from January 10-11, 2009 sermon) as our checklist below. Rate how frequently you see these appearing in your life. Use the following scale: 1 for not at all, 2 for occasionally, 3 more than I’d like, 4 becoming a habit, and 5 all the time.

Self-absorbed

1 2 3 4 5

Money focused

1 2 3 4 5

Self promoting

1 2 3 4 5

Status conscious

1 2 3 4 5

God-insulting

1 2 3 4 5

Rude, disrespectful

1 2 3 4 5

Unappreciative

1 2 3 4 5

Crude and profane

1 2 3 4 5

Unkind and heartless

1 2 3 4 5

Unwilling to forgive

1 2 3 4 5

Slanders and gossips

1 2 3 4 5

Impulsive and uncontrolled

1 2 3 4 5

Loves violence

1 2 3 4 5

Cynical, hate do-gooders

1 2 3 4 5

Double-dealing

1 2 3 4 5

Reckless and rash, irresponsible

1 2 3 4 5

Puffed up with pride

1 2 3 4 5

Choosing pleasure over God

1 2 3 4 5

Fake spirituality

1 2 3 4 5

If you rated any item more than a 1, stop. Pray and ask God to help you repent of this ungodly behavior. Confess it and ask for forgiveness.

Acts 3:19 NKJV says “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Now who doesn’t want their sins blotted out and times of refreshing to come?

Act now. Turn from your ungodly ways and turn to God Himself. In this turning you are repenting. If repentance comes with sincerity, it is well pleasing to God and He will be glorified.

Lord Almighty, your Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment to come. May your word settle deep without our hearts that we may be convicted of ungodly behaviors to confess them and be freed from them. Forgive us our sins and send your times of refreshing. 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.

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Seek God with Intensity

Is God your first priority? Is He your daily passion?

Well, He is if we are diligent in seeking Him. Deuteronomy 4:29 NKJV says “But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

So what keeps us from seeking God? Many things keep us from approaching Him with our needs and troubles. Let’s take a look at a few:

Pride is a biggy. We might think we can handle things on our own. After all we have a good life. Maybe we’re married, have a good income, nice house, reliable cars and a family. Things are good we may think why do I need God?

Busyness is another distracter. We are just too busy to think about God. Really, look at everything we are expected to do each day. Get the kids ready for school, make breakfast, lunches and get dinner ready. Then there’s work to do, either outside or inside the home. Then the chores pile up like laundry, cleaning, yard work, car maintenance, and paying all the bills. That doesn’t even account for all the errands and driving the kids to after school activities. We are busy.

Personal pleasures may be another thing keeping us from God. Maybe we have an incomplete or warped picture of God that we think He’s out to get us or remove all fun in life. We live for enjoyment, entertainment and pleasure, like the songs says “if it feels this good it can’t be bad.” We live for pleasure.

Can you relate to any of those excuses? Yes, they are excuses. For each one there are things we could do to make room for God if we simply choose to. If we are serious about seeking God, then we are also serious about removing the obstacles. Remember we can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

So let’s look at how to overcome each of these obstacles.

Handling Pride

First is recognizing pride. Once you see it, confess it to God through prayer. Then be watchful of repeating the same prideful behavior or attitude. You may find yourself confessing the same issue more than once. Don’t worry, just do it as many times as it takes. For more on handling pride see Confess with Humility.

Handling Busyness

Busyness is simply letting life run you rather than you planning your life. What we need here are two tools of productivity. First is setting your priorities. What is most important to you? Identify it. Write it down. Second is time management. Schedule what’s most important. For example, make an appointment with God each day, even if for only 15 minutes. Then protect that time slot. Do not let anything get in the way. Everything else can wait a mere 15 minutes. Learn to say no to unimportant activities that fill your time. Make room for God.

Handling Personal Pleasures

If you think there’s no fun, excitement or adventure in living a godly life, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Following God is filled with joy, wonder and adventure as we look to see what He plans to do next in and through us. So what’s needed here is a commitment to seek God and Bible studies to help you get to know the real God and His ways.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes to tackle the excuses and seek God?

Hebrews 11:6 NKJV “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Matthew 6:33 NKJV “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

God takes care of His people. When you set your mind on Him He brings about perfect peace for those who trust Him (Isaiah 26:3).

Lord God Almighty, you are a rewarder of those who seek you. Encourage our hearts today that we may seek you with all our heart and soul. Let us do whatever it takes to make room for you and seek you every day of our life. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

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

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