Bible Devotions

Equipped for Mercy

 

God so loved the world He sent His Son to die for it (John 3:16).  Can you imagine giving your son to die for a world who doesn’t recognize what you’ve done for it?  Most military families know what this is like.  They chose to go into the service perhaps to do something great or become someone focused on something bigger than self. 

 

We believers are called to make a similar sacrifice each day, to live out our life focused on God’s bigger plan.  Christ didn’t wait for the world to accept Him before He died for it.  We can’t wait either.  We are called to die to self and forgive others just as Christ forgave us (Ephesians 4:32). 

 

Along with Christ’s forgiveness comes liberty, only we use this liberty as an opportunity to server one another in love (Galatians 5:13).  We don’t grow weary in doing what is right, for Christ didn’t grow weary before He completed His task of savings us all.  For it is by His great power in us that enables us to finish the work we’ve been called to do. 

 

Therefore, we keep on extending God’s mercy to everyone we come in contact with.  The mercy we extend could very well be the turning point for someone causing them to give their life to Christ. 

 Lord, thank you for your mercy.  Help us keep our mind focused on you and your purposes.  Let us not grow weary in doing all that you called us to.  Equip us with your mercy and allow us to forgive as you have forgiven us.  In Jesus’ name Amen. 

 

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A Comparison Part 2

 We are continuing our comparison between Jesus and humans. 

 

Jesus Human

Forgiving

Struggle to forgive, choosing to hang on to the hurt longer than we should

 

Did Jesus wait until people had there act together before He forgave them of their sin?  No He didn’t.  In some cases, He forgave them when they weren’t expecting it (Matthew 9:2, John 18:11, John 5:14). Jesus knows what we need, even when we don’t.  Forgiveness of sins sets us free to become who God intended us to be.  Jesus seemed to forgive quite easily.  Imagine hanging on a cross, nails driven into your flesh and calling out to God “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).  How about us?  How easily do we forgive?  We are never asked to forgive more than we our self have been forgiven (Luke 6:37). 

 

Jesus Human

Unconditional Love

Love when it goes our way (I’ll love you if you do this or that)

 

God so loved the world He willingly sacrificed His Son to pay for our sins (John 3:16).  He did it, while we could care less about Him.  Now that’s unconditional love: doing for another with no expectation of getting anything in return.  Oh how hard it is for us to love like that.  We tend to think along the lines of “I’ll love you as long as you met my needs.”

 

Jesus Human

Secure with who He was and where He came from

Insecure, doubting and fearful

 

Jesus was secure with Himself. He was confident in who He was.  There was no doubt about what He came to do (John 13:3).  Insecurity in us is caused by our refusal to follow God’s perfect plan.  When we rebel against God we open our self up to the tricks of our enemy.  Satan’s main weapon is doubt and fear.  Our slowness to accept what God has for us causes us to doubt our purpose, our identity and our meaning which robs God’s glory.  

 

Jesus Human

Compassion for others

Occasionally care for others when it’s convenient

 

How many times does the Bible say Jesus looked on them with compassion?  Matthew 9:36, Mark 1:41, Luke 10:33 are just a few examples. He had compassion many more times as well.  The point is no matter how busy or tired Jesus was He always had compassion for others.  He focused on the bigger picture—saving souls.  How often are we compassionate towards others?  We occasionally care for others, when it is convenient to our schedules.  True compassion reaches out always.

   

Jesus Human

He is truth

Struggle to be truthful, tell “little white lies” or fail to speak the truth in love

 

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). He is truth, therefore He can not lie (Titus 1:2).  The James 1:21 teaches “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”  If don’t practice the truth in our lives are deceiving our self.  What is it to deceive but to lie to our self?  We lie to our self when we don’t do what God calls us to.  We lie to others when we choose not to speak the truth in love. 

 

So why do this comparison?  If was not to injury us, but to encourage us.  These things cannot do be done without God’s grace and power.  If we attempt to do all these things in our own strength we will fail.  But Jesus hasn’t abandoned us; instead He fills us with His Spirit.  It is His Essence in us with all power and might which carries out God’s desire through us.  Jesus says follow Me.  Are you willing?

 Lord Jesus thank you for all you have done for us.  Enable us to recognize your hand in our life.  Teach us to depend on your might rather than our own efforts.  Lead us in your way.  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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Pain Along The Journey

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.  But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you. Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 NKJV

It’s all about the Lord, isn’t it?  Everything is the Lord’s.  He rules over it all.  He is the one guiding our hearts toward Him.  He gives us our very breathe.  He provides for our every need.  He guards us against the evil one.  We do none of this on our own.

God is faithful.  He will establish you.  This section of scripture reminds me of 1 Peter 5:10: But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”  After you have suffered a while it says.  We can conclude suffering is part of growth journey. There are some things we can never learn without suffering.

In my own journey, I had to suffer the consequences of poor choices.  I had many expectations in life, none of which came out the way I envisioned.  I was disappointed most of the time.  Then, again, I believe most perfectionists are disappointed constantly.  It’s a sad condition to live in.  As I became more critical of others and cynical about life, I resented everyone and I allowed bitterness to take up residence in my heart.  I did not handle things well in the past and it brought me more pain, than I ever imagined.

During times of suffering, God is there, eager to show Himself faithful, loving and kind.  All He asks is we turn to Him, trust Him and He will lead us out of the difficulty, whatever it may be.  I can say He was there for me.  When I finally could stand no more of my life, sobbing in the shower one morning, I prayed “Jesus, I have messed up my life! Help me! The bible says You died for my sins and rose again to give me a new life.  Please come into my life and give me a new life. Amen.”   I did not know how my life could ever be good again, but a wonderful peace came over me anyway.  He was there waiting for me to turn to Him.  He was faithful to answer my prayer.

God will perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you.  The bible teaches us this, but the Spirit of God living in us, confirms it in our own lives.  He did for me.  He will for you.  Are you trusting God today?  If not, ask Him to convince you how good He is. He will not disappoint!


Lord, thank you for wanting to come into our lives and heal us from our poor choices.  Thank you for your faithfulness to answer our prayers.  Thank you for dying for our sins and rising again to give us a new life in Christ Jesus. Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public CharityHolding out Hope to those who are Hopeless

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Peace – We all want It

At church two weeks ago, while checking out what books were available, I ran across a book with the title: Peace Making Women – Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflict.  It was written by two women, Tara Klena Barthel and Judy Babler, who are both counselors.  

 

It’s delightfully interwoven with God’s Word in almost every sentence.  That’s my kind of writing!  While I haven’t read the whole book yet, I thought I would share what I’ve gleaned from the first chapter. 

 

The premise behind peace is having peace with God.  If that’s not there, trying to get peace with others or even yourself is impossible.  The first chapter focuses on our relationship with God.  It attempts to uncover unbiblical thinking that robs you of your security in Christ.  It exposes the lies we may have believed and points you right back to the source of life itself – God and His Word.  

 

At the end of each chapter are Personal Reflections questions.  Hang on to your hats, ladies, there not just one, two or three questions, but ten!  That’s right.  The ten probing questions really get you thinking about your relationship with God.   For example, question number one is about how you became acquainted with the gospel, naming some of your favorite verses and why they are so precious to you. 

 

Because of how I came to know Christ, there were two sections of scripture that God used to draw me closer to Him.

(1)    Luke 23:40-43 – about Jesus on the Cross with the two thieves.  When one thief recognizes Jesus did nothing to deserve death on the cross, he says “remember me when you come into your kingdom” and Jesus responds “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”  Oh how those verses convey the simplicity in Christ.  Nothing more is required than believing in Jesus and receiving the gift of salvation He offers.

(2)    John 8:1-11 – about the woman caught in adultery.  Jesus, great merciful Lord and Savior, takes time to point out everyone’s sin when He says “He who is without sin among you, let him throw the stone at her first.”  He put the adulterous woman on the same level as everyone.  She was no worse than those who accused her.  Then precious Jesus says to her “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”  How liberating!  Knowing you deserve death for your sins, yet set free instead!

 

Oh ladies, this book is worth checking out for your self.  Visit ThinkOnIt Devotions book store or go to your nearest Christian book store and buy a copy for yourself.  As I continue reading this great resource, more insight is bound come which I’ll gladly pass along to you.

 

Lord, thank you for leading these women to write this book.  May this book be used to draw women deeper in their relationship with you.  May your word go out to all the world and change hearts everywhere.  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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