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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Thoughts, Actions, Feelings – in that Order

 

My pastor taught about a reoccurring pattern he saw in the lives of those he ministered to.  What they thought about influenced what they did and as a result they had certain feelings.  This pattern is the same whether it is about good and healthy things or negative and unhealthy things. 

 

For example, if my thoughts are focused on how my needs are not being met, my actions are influenced to do something to get my needs met and my feelings tell me it’s not working.  Those feelings influence my thoughts and so the unhealthy cycle continues.  If, however, we choose to keep our thoughts on God, our actions are influenced by God and our feelings become healthy as we look at things from God’s perspective.  It’s the same reoccurring pattern or cycle; thoughts lead to action, action leads to feeling and feelings influence the thoughts.

 

That’s why Paul told us to be renewed in our minds.  Romans 12:2 NKJV says “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.”  When we forsake that which the world does and focus on God, our thoughts are renewed and we are able to know what is pleasing to God. 

 

Another example of this pattern is given by Jesus in John 3:18-21 NKJV: “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”  Can you see the pattern?

 

Unhealthy

Healthy

He who does not believe (verse 18, thoughts)

Their deeds were evil (verse 19, actions)

Hates the light (verse 20, feelings)

 

He who believes (verse 18, thoughts)

Does the truth (verse 21, actions)

Comes to light (verse 21, feelings)

 

If we find our self on the unhealthy side of this cycle, we can change by allowing God to change our thoughts and by taking godly actions whether we feel like it or not.  Our feelings will catch up as we do what God prefers.  From my own personal experience, God enabled me to love my husband when the feelings weren’t there.  Due to obedience to God’s Word, my thoughts were renewed, my actions were godly and the result was new feelings of love developed between us. 

 

Though we are not ruled by our emotions because Christ alone is our Lord and King, feelings can be used as an alert system.  Feelings can tell us if we’re operating on the unhealthy or healthy side of this cycle.  Check your feelings, dig into God’s Word and let the mind of Christ lead you forward. 

 Lord, thank you for your saving grace and empowerment to do what please you.  Keep us on your godly pathway and help us remember our righteousness comes from you.  In Jesus’ name Amen.
© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in God’s Word. Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

 

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Overcome the World

What does this saying “overcome the world” mean?  Why should believers understand it?

First John 2:15-17 NKJV says “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  If we love the world, the love of God is not in us.  The world is full of things not of God; therefore, we believers must overcome the world.

What does overcome mean?  From Dictionary.com here are a few definitions using “overcome” in the verb tense:

1. to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat: to overcome the enemy.

 

2. to prevail over (opposition, a debility, temptations, etc.); surmount: to overcome one’s weaknesses.

 

3. to overpower or overwhelm in body or mind, as does liquor, a drug, exertion, or emotion: I was overcome with grief.

 

4. Archaic. to overspread or overrun.

–verb (used without object)

5. to gain the victory; win; conquer: a plan to overcome by any means possible.

It seems that overcome is to defeat our enemy or our weakness and conquer.  Who wouldn’t want to conquer their enemies and weaknesses?

Okay, so how do we overcome? 1 John 5:5 says “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”   How simple it is!  Believe in Jesus the Son of God.  That’s it.  For Jesus even said “Be of good cheer I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).   When we believe in Jesus, His spirit takes of residence within us.  First John 4:4 says “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”.

First John 3 is all about abiding in God.  When we abide in Him, He abides in us.  We demonstrate we abide in Him by practicing righteousness.  “Let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).  We overcome evil with good, by loving one another as Christ loved us.

The born again believer of Jesus Christ is delivered from sin and abides in Him and the wicked one can’t touch him (1 John 5:18).  Praise God!   Are you ready to overcome the world?  Believe and you receive was you ask for.

Lord, thank you for your victory.  We have overcome the world when we believe in You.  Thank you for your spirit to guide us in your truth and love.  In Jesus’ name Amen. 

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

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The Faithful are Answered part 3

Part 3 of 3

 

Read 1 Samuel 1-3

 

All through these chapters we see the contrast between good and evil.  God’s Word is full of examples outlining the consequences of godly behavior, as well as what happens to the wicked.  This section of scripture is no different.  The table below outlines a few examples of the different types of behavior and how it is rewarded.

 

Good

Evil

V1:11 Hannah earnestly prays for male child and v1:20 God gives her Samuel

V2:12 Sons of Eli were corrupt and V2:34 both will die on the same day as a sign of God’s judgment.

V1:26-27 Hannah gives Samuel back to the God as she promised and v3:20 Samuel becomes prophet of God

V2:25 Eli’s sons did not heed the voice of their father and the Lord desired to kill them.

V3:21 Samuel ministers to the Lord and God reveals Himself

V3:13 Eli’s sons made themselves vile and Eli didn’t restrain them therefore v3:14 Eli’s house won’t be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.

 

Please notice the good side is represented by purity of heart and obedience.  Also note, the evil side is represented by self-centered willfulness and disobedience.

 

Eli, the priest and his two sons perpetrated evil on a regular basis.   This is set up in contrast to the purity of Hannah’s request for a child and Samuel the answer to her prayers.  Notice each time the deeds of Eli’s sons were mentioned, the next statement is about Samuel: “But Samuel ministered before the Lord”.   

 

Eli, the priest failed as a parent to teach his own children about the Lord.  Then as if to show Eli his error, God sends Samuel to live with him.  Samuel coming from the purity of Hannah remains pure while living with Eli and the wicked sons.  Samuel ministers to the Lord, without even knowing the Lord yet.

 

The time comes when the Lord calls Samuel, but he doesn’t recognize the call and thinks it is Eli calling him.  Three times the Lord calls Samuel and three times he runs to Eli saying “Here I am”.  Finally, Eli discerns it is the Lord calling Samuel and instructs him to listen / respond to the Lord.  Eli was not right with God because of the evil he allowed to continue in the house of God.  The fact it took Eli three times to figure it out the Lord was calling says Eli was not attuned to the Lord.   He should have been able to recognize it sooner.

 

Eli didn’t teach his own sons, so he probably didn’t teach Samuel either.  Notice how Samuel is right before God in the same environment as Eli’s wicked sons.   What was the difference?  One difference is Samuel had a praying mother, Hannah.  She was so grateful the Lord answered her prayers, she probably prayed for Samuel everyday. 

 

What can we draw from the examples today?  We each have a choice to follow God or not.  Our environment is not to be blamed for whether we or not we choose God.  As we see Samuel being raised in a wicked environment still chose to follow God.  We can to.

 Lord thank you for your clear instructions.  Enable us to turn to you in obedience.  Cast away from us any selfish, rebellious thoughts and deeds and equip us for godly living until Christ returns.  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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The Lord’s Heart for His People

Read Isaiah 1.  

The message from the Lord is so clear, logical, and reasonable although so many refused to hear it.  Although this message was to the Israel, it does give us a better understanding of God’s heart towards His people and how His people responded to Him. 

 Their Choice to Rebel

God made Israel, although He is their Father, the children rebelled against Him.  They wandered away and didn’t realize their sin.  They provoked the Lord’s anger as they turned away from Him.  In verses two through four we see the Lord saying even the ox and donkey know their master, but not my own children.  Nothing hurts like your own child shunning you.

 Their Desolation

In verse five through nine, God goes on to outline His children’s sickness and describes the desolation because of it.  He reminds them they would not exist had He not saved a remnant. 

 Their Worthless Worship

He further outlines the problem with the children’s worship and how wicked it had become to Him.  God is Holy, therefore, He is forced to hide His eyes from His children and refused to answer their prayers.  They worshiped Him with their mouths but their hearts were far from Him.  Can you hear God’s heart breaking as He describes this?

 

God’s Expectations

God reminds the children what is expected of them in Isaiah 1:16-17 NKJV: “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.  Cease to do evil, learn to do good, seek justice, rebuke the oppressor, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.”   Notice how the first four items are geared to the individual’s responsibility:  (1) Wash yourself, (2) cease doing evil, (3) learn to do good, and (4) seek justice.  All of these are aimed at changing their inward heart and mind.  Next, God says (1) rebuke the oppressor, (2) defend the fatherless, and (3) plead for the widow.  Notice how these three items appear to be outward reaching and geared towards helping others.  God’s message has always been the same:  Love God and love others.

 

Reward for Obedience

Isaiah 1:18-20 NKJV says “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…” God says let’s work together, “if you are willing and obedient you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword.”  The reward for obedience was exchanging their scarlet sin into white wool.   Again, we see God showing the way to forgiveness. 

 God’s Work

Sadly, the children of Israel didn’t want to obey, so God takes matters into His own hands.  He explains in verses 24-31 He will take vengeance on His adversaries, He will purge away the dross and alloy from His children, He will restore the judges and Zion will be redeemed with justice.  Consider what the Lord said He will do.  Know the word “will” is in the present tense.  The Lord is doing these things within the moment of today. Next God describes happens to those who don’t turn to Him.  All those who forsake Him shall be consumed.  They shall be ashamed.  They shall be embarrassed.  They shall burn together in the end and no one shall quench them.  Consider the future tense of the word “shall”.  Notice how the statements about judgment are all future tense.  The Lord is patient and doesn’t want a single one to perish.  But in order for there to be justice these things must happen to those who do not return to the Lord. 

 Lord, thank you for your word.  May be better understand your heart and choose to draw closer to you as we study your word.  Renew our minds and enable us to live for 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. Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

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Do You Believe In The Son of Man?

This seems like a simply question, doesn’t it? My guess many “Christians” might answer that question with a resounding YES!

However, before we answer the question we might consider what the phrase “The Son of Man” means.

Matthew 16:13-17 NIV says:

“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”

 

There are 83 references to “The Son of Man” in NIV translation.  Not all are references to Christ, but the ones with “Son” capitalized are.  Here are some for your consideration:

Matthew 20:28 “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 24:27 “For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

Matthew 25:31 “”When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.”

Luke 21:36 “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

Luke 22:69 “But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”

John 1:51 “He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

John 5:27 “And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.”

Acts 7:57 “”Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.””

We can see clearly from these verses, the Son of Man is title displaying authority and Diety.  As we ponder on these verses, we might be inclined to add other fitting titles such as: Son of God, Messiah, King of kings, Lord of lords, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, and Almighty God.

Now think for a moment of all God has done.  He spoke the world into existence. He created all we see from nothing that was seen.  He created all the plants, the animals, the earth, the sky, the stars, the planets, and the sustaining power of the balance of our solar system.  He created people with a free will.  He gave us creativity, communication, and intellect. He holds the waves of the sea in His hand.  He is without time because a day is as a year to Him.  He healed people through touch, sight, and simply speaking it.  He raised people from the dead.  He spoke dry scattered bones back into place and breathed life into them. He caused the sun to stand still.  The earth quakes at His presence.  All of creation cries out in praise to Him.  Nothing is impossible for Him.

God, in the form of Jesus, reigns over everything.  You and I are included in everything, whether we choose to acknowledge Him or not.

If we do choose to believe Jesus is the Son of Man, then we are agreeing to be under His authority.  We willingly yield to His agenda for our life and sacrifice our own.  In order to place our self under His authority we must be willing to accept our position when compared to God.

Let’s think about what position that might be.

He is God.  We are His creation.  He is Author of life. We are alive because He made us.  We can do nothing apart from Him.  He holds our very breath in His hand.  God is holy, without sin, without deceit, and without hypocrisy.  In Him is every good gift.  We are not holy, we are stained. We are not pure, we are tainted with sin. We are not honorable, we are manipulative, selfish and hypocritical.  He is merciful. We are critical and judgmental. The list could go on. Just remember what Romans 3:23 says “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”  This sin we speak of has to be dealt with.  Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death.”

We must see this about our self to fully appreciate how great God is.  He loved us enough to do something we could not do for our self. He made a way to cleanse us from every wrong. He took our sin upon Himself, and died in our place to pay for our sin.  The last part of Romans 6:23 says “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The sin is dealt with.  It is finished.  We who believe in Jesus’ atoning work on the cross, are forgiven our sin-dept.  We are dressed in His robe of righteousness, as if we had never sinned to begin with.

If we have fully grasped the meaning of God’s authority and our position under His authority, our life should show some signs that we are different beings.  Jesus said you must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.  Through faith we believe and are saved by His grace.  Our obedience to God’s Word is one outward expression of the inward transformation.  Don’t think you can short cut the process by avoiding looking at our sinful self and just trying to do more good things than bad, for that is evil in God’s sight.  Good works done are done from a heart so radically changed by the grace of God it is done in reverence and love for HIM and nothing from our self.

Now, having looked at the authority of God compared to our sinful state, are you able to answer the question?

Do you believe in the Son of Man?

© 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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Why God?

For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt any one.  James 1:13 NKJV 

Why God, why?  How come we so easily blame God when bad things happen in our life? 

The Bible teaches us God does not tempt us.  God is good and there is no darkness in Him.  As believers, we need to get that firmly seated in our minds and hearts.  He draws us near Him.  He doesn’t cause us to turn from Him. God is good period end of story. 

Temptation is a tool of Satan.  For he [Satan] knows what James 1:14-15 says: “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

Romans 3:23 tells us all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  That means as humans we all have the capacity to sin.  Satan loves it when we sin because it’s in direct opposition to God.  Anything that leads us away from God, leads us towards Satan.

So what can we do about it?  I believe we can be prepared, just as God’s Word teaches us. 

  • We need to recognize our humanity and know we will sin.  1 John 1:9 NKJV “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 
  • We need to recognize where we are most tempted, so we can guard against it. Ephesians 6:10-18 is a great verse to memorize. 
  • We need accountability with other believers, to help us stay on track with the Lord. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • We need God’s Word every day to renew our minds and to align our will to His. (Romans 12:2)
  • Next time you are tempted, remember God’s not the author of it.  He may allow it because it’s good to strengthen your commitment to Him, but remember He doesn’t create the temptation.  That’s our enemy’s job.    

Lord thank you for your Word that straightens us out and helps us know our self and you better.  Enable us to recognize who is behind our temptations.  Teach us to guard our self against our own desires.  Enable us to want accountability in our life and to renew our minds with your Word.  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.  Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

 

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Shine as Lights in the World

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16.  

Jesus said we are the light of the world.  Paul also teaches us to shine as lights in the world.  What does this mean to shine? 

 

After pondering this for some time yesterday, and considering what God has said in His Word, there are several things that stand to me.  Believers, we have Christ dwelling in us and it should be obvious to the rest of the world.  It’s not us doing the shining, but it’s Christ in us shining out of us.  We reflect Christ to the world. 

 

How does the light shine?  What happens that causes the light to shine forth?

  • We are called to do all things without complaining and disputing, so we become blameless and harmless and shine among the crooked and perverse generation we live in.  (Philippians 2:15)
  • We are called to deny self, pick up our cross and follow Jesus daily.  His example leads us to put aside our own will and follow God’s will instead. (Luke 9:23)
  • We are called to walk by the spirit so we don’t fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
  • We are called to put off our old sinful nature and put on Christ’s righteousness instead.  (Ephesians 4:22)
  • We are told to overcome evil with good.  (Romans 12:21)
  • If our enemy is hungry, feed him.  If he’s thirsty, give him something to drink.  (Proverbs 25:21)
  • We’re commanded to love our enemy, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who spitefully use us and persecute us. (Matthew 5:44)
  • We’re commanded to forgive one another because God’s forgiven us. (Luke 6:37) 

There are many more examples I could site, but knowing what the Word of God says is one thing and putting these things into practice by obeying the Word of God is what makes the difference.   

Think about it the next time you’re tempted to grumble or complain about having to do something you don’t really want to do.  What would Jesus do?  Would He complain or would He simply serve?  We are to reflect Jesus.  As a result, our responses to life’s demands should cause others to notice there’s something positively different about us.   

Living in obedience to God’s Word will have a radical impact on the world around us because it is so different.  Review the above list again.  By nature, we do not think or behave like that.  But, by the Spirit, we do.   

Are you allowing the Spirit to lead you in obedience to God’s Word?  When you do, you are shining as a light to the world. 

Lord thank you for your word and spirit that helps us live the life you desire for us.  Enable us to shine as lights to the world.  May we be obedient to your word and be a witness for 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.  Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

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Why Do You Think Evil in Your Hearts?

When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”  Matthew 9:2 NKJV 

Reading Matthew 9:1-7 reveals hardness of heart and unbelief in some of the scribes who witnessed a wonderful, merciful healing of a paralyzed man.   Their reaction wasn’t one of joy or amazement, but of accusation.  They said “within” themselves, “This Man blasphemes!” 

Even this shows Jesus’ all knowing abilities.  Jesus knew their thoughts.  He always read people’s inward thoughts.  In verse 4, Jesus knowing their thoughts said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?”   The evil the scribes thought was unbelief and accusation.  The scribe had no mercy or compassion for the one Jesus healed.  They’re thoughts were against Jesus, who was setting the poor man free from bondage.  You have to be pretty hard hearted not to be happy for someone who was paralyzed and now could walk.

Are we harboring evil in our own hearts?  Is there unbelief?  How about your compassion level?  Are you concerned for other’s well being? 

Lord Jesus, You know our thoughts.  Have mercy on us, forgive us for the evil in our hearts.  Heal us and give us right desires and compassion for the lost.  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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Evil Before Causes More Good Later

“Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Luke 7:47 NKJV 

Have you heard the expression “the bigger they are the harder they fall”?  Well, to me that’s basically what Jesus was saying when he addressed his disciples.  The farther we get from God in our rebellion, the more we are forgiven when we repent and the more love is expressed over being forgiven.   

 

2 Chronicles 33 tells us of King Manasseh who became king at age 12 and reigned in
Jerusalem for 55 years.  This king did evil in the sight of the Lord.  Let’s look briefly at his life and his turn around.

  • He built the high places, his father Hezekiah had broken down.
  • He raised up altars to Baals.
  • He made wooden images to other gods.
  • He worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.
  • He also built altars to other gods in the house of the Lord.
  • He built altars for other gods in the two courts of the house of the Lord.
  • He burned his children in the fire to offer to other gods.
  • He practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery and consulted with mediums and spirits.

 

He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke the Lord’s anger. Verse 10 tells us “The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they would not listen.”   When our hearts are full of evil, we harden them against the Lord, as was the case with Manasseh.  So Lord caused Manasseh to be captured by Assyria and bound with bronze fetters and taken away to Babylon.  There’s much that could be taught on the “bronze fetters” but we’ll save that for another time.   Just know that bronze signified redemption.  Think about that.   

Okay we’ve seen Manasseh’s evil works and we’ve seen how God dealt with him.  In verse 12 it says “Now when he [Manasseh] was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers”.  Isn’t it funny how affliction drives us to God?  Why do we have to wait until things are so out of control?   

Verse 13 continues “and prayed to Him; and he received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem in his kingdom.  Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.”  God knows exactly what we need to experience in order for us “to know the Lord is God”.   It was only after Manasseh was in such dire circumstance where everything was outside of his control that he finally realized who God was.   

Here’s the best part – his turn around.  Verses 14 through 17 describe all the good Manasseh did after he turned back to the Lord. 

  • He built a wall outside the City of David (fortifying the city).
  • He enclosed Ophhel and raised it to a great height (more fortifying)
  • He posted military captains in the fortified cities of Judah.
  • He took away foreign gods and idol from the house of the Lord.
  • He removed all the altars he had built and cast them out of the city.
  • He repaired the altar of the Lord, sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it.
  • He commanded Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel.

As you can see from Manasseh’s life, true repentance brings forth godly actions.  Manasseh did much evil prior to receiving the Lord in his life.  But after he “knew the Lord was God” he went on to do much good.     

There’s something about finally seeing how evil you were.  Once the Lord opens your eyes it causes us to want to “make up” for all the bad.   Now, we realize we can never earn our way to salvation, but once we’ve trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation, our hearts now long to do what is right in the sight of the Lord.  It seems from the many examples we have in the Bible, that the more evil done before tends to cause more good to happen after receiving the Lord.  Does that make sense?    

Like Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”   Even our own evil deeds work out for good because they were used to draw us to salvation in Jesus Christ.   

What about you?  What evil do you do prior to “knowing the Lord was God?  What good are you now doing as a result of receiving Jesus Christ into your life?   

Lord God Almighty, thank you for knowing exactly what we need to come to knowledge You are God.  Thank you for using even the evil we have done to turn us around in repentance.  Thank you for forgiving us our sins and leading us in the path of life.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.  

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