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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The Teachable Moment

Yesterday my son and I were out looking for a new backpack to prepare him for school.   We found a store with exactly the right one, so we went to the check out line.  As the clerk was ringing up our purchases, he could not find the price tag for the backpack.  Unfortunately, there was not another one like it to verify the price.  So the clerk asked me how much it was.  I replied “There were similar ones for $49.95”.  The clerk, not wanting to over charge me declared, “I’ll ring it up as $29.95.”  We left the store.

 

While walking to the next store, I unzipped the backpack to place inside the other bag of school supplies to make my load easier to carry.  That’s when I saw it — the price tag.   As I slowly withdrew the price tag, I said aloud “Wow, we got a great deal on this backpack”, showing my son the real price.  My son replied, “Now, you’re going to go back aren’t you?”

 

My answer surprised me a little, as we were in a hurry.  “Yes, I’m going back.  I could not possibly go on as if nothing happened, for that would be lying.  If I chose to keep the backpack, how would that be showing I live by the Word of God?  Would it be truthful? Would I be a doer of the Word?”  So we returned to the store where we bought the backpack.

 

As the clerk saw me draw near, he had a surprised look on his face.  Although he was helping another customer, he asked me why I had returned.  I told him, I found the price tag and couldn’t live with being under-charged for the item.  He was very grateful I returned.  The man the clerk was helping even commented “you did the right thing.”   I said, “Thank you, I know.  You see I have my 13 year old son with me, so it is good for him to seem me practice what I preach.”

 

After the transaction was over, my son and I discussed how important it was to be truthful at all times, even when it may not be convenient.  We will all be accountable to God one day on how we handled each situation.  We also talked about how that one situation was a good witness to several people; the clerk, the other customer, the store manager and my son, not to mention my husband when we shared the story with him too. Proverbs 12:22 says “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.”  I just love how the Lord uses the ordinary to help teach us the way to go.  It was a delight to do the right thing.  This situation reminded me of Proverbs 22:6 in action: “Train up a child in the way he should go.  And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Lord Jesus, thank you for your Holy Spirit enabling us to make the right decisions by being truthful.  In your 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.

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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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Kiss the Son

Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.  Psalm 2:12 NKJV 

Read Psalm 2.

Have you ever looked around at the world today and wondered what was going on?  Why does everyone seem to be angry, jealous, and selfish?

The psalmist saw worldliness in his generation, just as we do in ours.  Verse one says “Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?” However, he didn’t use the depravity he saw as an excuse to deny God himself.  Instead he chose to praise God, reinforcing in his own mind God had everything under control.  “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill in Zion” says the Lord in verse six.

In verses four and five we see the wicked would not go unpunished: “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision.  Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure.”

Be encouraged, no matter how bad it gets around us, God knows what He’s doing.  Listen to the psalmist in verses 10 through 12:  “Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth.   Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.  Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little.  Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”

The reminder in this psalm is two fold.  First, we need to turn our self away from worldliness and keep our self God-centered.  Second, we are not of this world if we have put our trust in Jesus Christ. 

 Lord, thank you for your precious word conveying your love and mercy to all.  Enable us to turn away from worldliness and set our minds on you.  Enable us to trust you more fully this day.  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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He’s Watching Everything

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.  Proverbs 15:3 NKJV 

Does this bring you comfort and encouragement?  Or does it strike terror in your heart?

It depends on whether you are being obedient or not, doesn’t it?  If a child knows his parents are not looking, he may reach into the cookie jar when he’s not supposed to.  If the child knows he’s being watched, he may not attempt to take something he’s not supposed to. 

 

It’s the same with our spiritual walk.  If you’ve given your life over to Christ’s rule, by recognizing your sin, seeking forgiveness through Christ, then His Spirit lives within you.  You know He is with you everywhere.  He is there in your thoughts.  He is there in your outward actions.  He is ready to step in to help you when ever to you turn to Him for assistance. 

 

One of the problems is we forget He’s so close, because He’s not visible like a human being is.  We think we can handle things on our own.  But when we do we are shunning God.  He wants to be the first thing we think about.  He wants to be the first one we consult when faced with a decision.  He wants us to seek Him for daily direction.  Proverbs 15:11 says “Hell and Destruction are before the Lord; so how much more the hearts of the sons of men.”  This speaks of the Lord watching us.  He’s checking us out to see if we’ll do the right thing.  He’s watching our move to see if we’ll choose to draw closer to Him or continue doing things our own way.

 

The Bible says “fear of the Lord” hundreds of times.  Fear of the Lord is to have proper reverence for who God is.  Remember, He spoke this world into existence.  He can easily speak it out of existence if He wanted to.  He is merciful and patient as He does not want a single person to perish but all to come to know Him and be saved.

 

Fear of the Lord keeps us in proper perspective too.  If we reverence God for who He is, we will clearly see us for who we really are.  We are sinners needing forgiveness.  With that securely in our mind, we are more dependent on God to walk with us to deliver us from continuing down a path of sin. 

 

Proverbs 15:33 says “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom and before honor is humility.”  A key to gaining wisdom is fear of the Lord.   Before we can attain wisdom, we must humble our self before the Lord. 

 

What do you think?  Are you willing to humble your self before our Lord?  He’s willing to forgive your transgressions and guide you along the path of righteousness. 

 Lord, thank you for watching over us and being in us who believe in Christ.  Help us have proper reverence of you.  Enable us to be quick to run to you for counsel.  May we continue to humble our self before you and attain your wisdom.  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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Fools Despise Wisdom

Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon his God.  Isaiah 50:10 NKJV 

My way says the Lord.  No, my way says the people.  We see this over and over in the Bible.  The Lord is so patient with us, isn’t He?  He knows our heart better than we do, yet He repeatedly calls to us, “Follow Me”.   

God’s given us a map with all the directions we need: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105 NKJV.  We must learn to turn to it and allow our minds to be renewed by it (Romans 12:2). 

With proper awe and respect of God and His authority, we become willing to be led by God’s Spirit.  Look at what Proverbs 1:7 NKJV says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”   

Are you despising wisdom and instruction?   

If you answered yes to that question, you are not on a good path.  See what God says in Isaiah 50:11 NKJV, “Look, all you who kindle a fire, who encircle yourselves with sparks: Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled— This you shall have from My hand: You shall lie down in torment.”  The emphasis is mine.  If we choose our own path, instead of God’s, we will lie down in torment!   

Lord, we recognize your right to rule us.  We ask for your guidance from day to day.  Enable us to walk in your ways, instead of our own, for we don’t want to lie down in torment.  Your word is a light to our path and lamp to our feet, help us walk along the path you desire for us.  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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To Know Him

How can I describe the most wonderful person in my life?  He has so many delightful character traits, values, morals, and ideals.  To know Him is to become like Him.  The more you know, the more you want to know. 

 

He is love.  The Bible tells us “we love because He first loved us”.  We love only because He loved us first giving us a model to follow.  He came from heaven, to live among us on earth, to know our weaknesses and yet to show us how to live without sin.  He came to die for our sins, to take our punishment in our place, to give eternal life to those who would believe in Him. 

 

He is faithful. The Bible tells us over and over again what God says He will do, He does.  Ask and you will receive, search and you will find, knock and the door will be opened.  Everyone who asks, receives, everyone who searches will find and everyone who knocks the door will be opened to them ( Matthew 7:7-8 NLT ).

 

He is patient.  Reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelations you will find God is patient.  One look at
Israel’s repeated unfaithfulness, you’ll notice God’s contrasting patience.  God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.  He longs for all His creation to turn to Him for eternal life by believing in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, who died for them. 

 

There are many facets of this great God we worship, too many to describe in a short devotional.  What character traits of God mean the most to you?  How would you describe God? 

 

The Bible teaches us to dwell on what is pure, right, true, noble, just, praiseworthy, and excellent.  There is only one who is all those things: Jesus Christ.  May the Word of God dwell in your hearts and minds richly this day. 

 

Lord, thank you for your unrelenting love, faithfulness and patience you display.  May our thoughts be fixed on you today. May your peace that surpasses all understanding guard our hearts and minds.  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.
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Busybodies

For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 NKJV

Have you ever watched the t.v. program called “Survivor”?  They take 16 people and put them on a deserted island for 39 days to see who will endure all 39 days without being voted off or going crazy in the process.

 

When I read today’s scripture verse, it reminded me of an episode where one young man and two young women were not pulling their own weight around camp.  They had no problem eating the food other’s had gathered or caught.  They did not help with any of the real work, like searching for wood, carrying water to camp, fishing, or gathering coconuts. All they did was sit in the little hut, snuggle together and gossip about the rest of the players on the island.

Have you ever known someone who was like that?  They are always eager to criticize, never willing to help anyone and always thinking about themselves.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t especially like being around people like that.

Do you ever feel like that?

However, Matthew 22:39 NKJV tells us to “Love your neighbor as yourself” so my attitude toward people like those described above is anything but loving. Colossians 3:23 NKJV tells us to do everything as if we’re doing to or for the Lord.  That’s great advice.  When we apply this advice, we are more willing to do anything for the Lord, even scrubbing floors, doing laundry, paying bills, going to work, or being loving towards others you don’t feel like loving.

 

Are you a busybody, unwilling to work?  Are you criticizing others for their lack of work?  Ask Jesus to help change your attitude toward others and focus on your own walk with the Lord.

 

Father, forgive us for having the wrong attitude towards people.  Help us love them as you love us.  Teach us to “work in quietness and eat our own bread”. Enable us to being willing to do all things as if they are for You. In Jesus’name Amen.

 

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity

God’s Word Brings Hope to the World


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Genesis 12 – Faithful

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The Lord tells Abram to leave his country, family and father’s house. In return the Lord said he would make Abram a great nation, make his name great and bless him. He also said he was blessing Abram so Abram could bless others. Along with that the Lord said anyone who curses you will be cursed. All the families of the earth will be blessed through Abram. What was Abram’s response? He departed as the Lord had spoken to him. He responded in quick obedience.

Later in the land of Canaan and Shechem, the Lord says I’m giving this land to your descendants. What was Abram’s response? He built an alter to his Lord and kept moving. He worshipped the Lord. He obeyed the Lord.

Now with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east, Abram builds another alter to the Lord and calls upon His name. What was Abram’s response? He sought the Lord’s counsel. Then he journeyed south.

Next we see Abram in Egypt during a famine. Abram fearing for his own life decides to lie about Sarai being his wife. He thought the Egyptians would kill him to take her. He starts handling things on his own rather than calling on the Lord. (See verse 10 through 16) What happened? Abram was obedient up to this point. What caused him to not trust the Lord?

But what encourages me the most is how God chose to continue using Abram, despite his lack of faith, his need to control things, his self-preservation, fear and his lying and scheming. God still worked despite Abram’s missteps.

And so it is with us. We may be obedient one time and disobedient the next, just like Abram. But God still uses us. He still works in us and through us to accomplish His great purposes.

God is not looking for the perfect. He’s looking for the faithful; those who will trust Him no matter what. But even if we do slip up and depend on our own strength once in awhile, God doesn’t leave us there. He draws us back into His care.

Lord, thank you for being willing to put up with less than perfect followers. Thank you for drawing us near time and time again. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

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

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What’s the big deal about Cain’s offering?

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And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? Genesis 4:3-6 NKJV

What’s the big deal about Cain’s offering? You might think he simply gave what he had. The real issue was not the offering itself, but the motive behind it.

Remember God knows our motives better than we do. Cain brought what he thought was befitting the Lord. Cain gave what he wanted to give rather than what God wanted.

How many times have we done the same thing? We think “look Lord see all these good things I’ve done for you?” But does God require all these good deeds? No. He looks for the humble and contrite heart. He longs for us to truly seek Him.

Self check: What are my real motives for the activities I choose to do?

Lord God above, forgive us for the times we, like Cain, come bringing our offering rather than humility of the heart. Help us to remember you desire our inward most beings rather than the good deeds of our hands. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

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

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