Bible Devotions

The Meekness of Wisdom, Spiritual Wisdom

Read James 3

There are two kinds of wisdom. One is a worldly wisdom. The other is a spiritual wisdom. How can we tell the difference between them?

James explains where there is bitter envy, self-seeking, boasting, and lying this is wisdom of the world, which is earthly, sensual, and demonic. Spiritual wisdom comes from God is pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, with no partiality or hypocrisy.

Picture the meekness of wisdom as we consider how Jesus behaved during his arrest and crucification.  He was pure and sinless. He was peaceful when arrested. He was gentle when He healed the soldier’s ear cut off by his overly enthusiast disciple. He willingly yielded Himself to cruel men to be killed. He was full of mercy as He hung nailed to the cross and asked the Father, “Forgive them they know not what they do.” Jesus played no favorites when he told the thief on the cross next to Him, “Today you will be in paradise.” Jesus was not a hypocrite as He said He would lay down his life and take it up again and He did!

True wisdom allows us to be meek, as Jesus’ example points out. He knew who He was. He knew where He came from and where He would return.  He knew His power and that of His Father. He knew He could do anything He wanted to do, yet He choose to do the One thing to save all who believe!

Unless we understand who we are in Christ, it is difficult to be humble. Only seeing the reality of our hopelessness of our own strength, and the power of Christ can we humble ourselves.

How is your wisdom?

Check it against James’ definition. Are there signs of bitter envy or self-seeking embedded in your logic? If so watch out. You are operating from a worldly view.  Are you able to show good conduct through works done in the meekness of wisdom? If so you are on your way to walking worthy of your calling as a child of God.

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God is so Good

Read Psalm 107

There is a definite pattern displayed in this psalm. I have experienced first hand, and you probably have too if you were to stop long enough to consider it.

The first pattern is regarding men. By men I don’t mean the male variety. Rather I mean all people, male, and female, young and old alike. People are thankless. They are determined to go their own way, no matter the consequence. When they finally had enough pain, suffering, disappointment, their time has already been long gone.

It is quite sad really. Never recognizing how good we have it until terrible events threaten our well being. Why must it come to this? Why must we learn the hard way? It is because of our sinful nature. The Bible tells we were born in sin, all have gone astray, not one is good and no one really seeks God.

So we see this repeated pattern of man- denying his Maker, deliberately living apart from God’s ways and reaping the negative consequences.

There is another pattern at work in this psalm. This too I have seen over and over again in my life, as you no doubt have. This second pattern shows off God’s character- The Lord of Mercy. As man falls into depravity and cries out, who is there to rescue him? None other than the Lord Most High. The Redeemer. God Himself.

If you were to read this psalm again keeping a watchful eye on all the God does, you would find God rescues every time. Not some of the time, but every time. No matter how many times he has saved before, he still comes to our aid. Over and over again, his mercy endures forever.

Look at his good deeds. He redeems us from our enemy. He delievers us out of our distresses. He leads us by the right way. He satisfies our longings. He saves us from trouble. He brakes the chains that bind us. With his word he heals us. He guides us. He turns the wilderness into pools of water. He blesses us greatly.

Why does he do it? Because God is love. Love acts. He is true, right and pure. He made us. He knows what is best for us. He knows our nature. He knows we can not save our self, no he does it for us. He sent his Son, Jesus to die in our place that we might live in Him. He sealed us in his grace.

He grants us enternal life and power to live our life here and now. He is with us and will never leave us. He is awesomely good.

Have you ever chronicled your life as this psalm did? If you did, I’m sure you would come to the same conclusion – we are mere dust, but God is mighty to save.

O glorious God, you are might to save. Thank you for loving us so tenderly. Thank you for saving us when we did not deserve it. Thank you for making it possible to live a godly life until you return for us.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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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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How Did You Hear?

But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15 NKJV

God chose you for salvation.  He sanctifies you by the Spirit and belief in truth.  He called you by the gospel.  You may have read the gospel on your own, or heard it read to you, or a friend may have told you.  Maybe you stumbled across the gospel over the internet or found a cassette tape of God’s teaching in your car.  However you heard it, God used it to reach you.

For me, I first heard the gospel in Saddleback Church’s Celebrate Recovery program. It was a strange idea to me at first – God came to earth in human flesh, died on the cross to pay for my sins, so I could receive forgiveness and eternal life.  It took time to sink in before I understood the full meaning of it.  (Not that you can fully understand because God’s love is so immense!) It got me started reading the Bible, but couldn’t understand why I always cried while reading it. I soon found and began listening to a Christian radio station that broadcasted Dr. J. Vernon McGee’s program called “The Bible Bus”, which taught the Word of God.   I also started listening to Greg Laurie’s sermons over the internet. It was here that the conversion of my heart occurred.  After hearing this message of forgiveness from multiple sources, it finally reached my heart!!

In February 2000 I gave my heart to Christ. He filled me with His Spirit and led my heart out of captivity!

The point of telling you all this, is simple.  You never know what will reach a lost soul.  It could be when you put your arm around a friend to comfort them.  Or maybe when you read stories to the elderly in a nursing or when you told someone about a radio program that teaches God’s Word.  The medium or vehicle used is not what’s important – it’s the message! In 1 Corinthians 3:6 NKJV Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” We don’t cause people to believe in Christ, God does.  However, God does use our activities to bring them closer so He can change their hearts.

God wants to use you and me to reach the lost.  We can do that in many ways. Are you sharing God’s message with others?  If not, why?


Lord, thank you for leaving heaven to walk the earth as a human, so we could relate to you. Thank you for dying for our sins.  Thank you for setting us free with your forgiveness. Please give us the courage to share your message of grace and hope with others today. In Jesus’ name Amen.

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Cultivating Gratitude

Gratitude is formed once you realize what you have been given, who you are and from who all blessings flow.

Realizing the extent of what you’ve been given may take some time.  It did for me.  I was 32 years old before I realizing I had been given a second chance at life.  Here’s a quick list of some things we’ve been given: Life, relationships, health, gifts, talents and abilities, God’s Word, clothing, shelter, transportation, and work.

Recognizing who you are may take even longer, as in my case.  Even after I found Christ and committed my life to His Lordship, it still took me time to understand exactly who I was in Christ.  To be truthful, I haven’t fully comprehended it all yet.  God keeps drawing me deeper still into His magnificent love that transforms me further.  The reason we have trouble finding who we are is do to our sin nature.  We all fall short of God’s glory ( Romans 3:23 NKJV ).  No, not one is good ( Psalm 14:3 NKJV ). We all have gone astray ( Isaiah 53:6 NKJV ).  We all are sinners and separated from God.

Learning God is the source of everything might take some getting used to; especially when you’re used to running your own life by your own sufficiency.  I used to think if I got a raise at work it was of my own hard work and therefore, it was my “just” reward.  However, now I realize God gave me the talent and ability to certain things well and He also gave me the ability to create wealth ( Deuteronomy 8:18 NKJV ) .

Gratitude is “grown” by exercising our mind’s recollection of every good, pure, true,  noble, just, praiseworthy, and honorable thing (Philippians 4:7-9 NKJV).  When we keep our thoughts on these things we will surely never cease to praise God Almighty.

If you have a hard time being grateful, perhaps you’ve stewed in your own pot of “unmet expectations” for too long.  When you compare your life to your expectations of life and come of short, guess what?  You’ll always feel disappointed, let down and discouraged.  I know from my own experience.  Take my advice, loose the expectations they’re nothing but heartache! Believe me Jesus Christ’s power is the only thing which can end the cycle of an unhealthy thought life.


 

How do we cultivate gratitude?


Step 1:  If you haven’t already done so, give your life to Christ. Say a simple prayer like: Jesus I know I’m a sinner and you died for me.  Come into my life and make me whole again.  Amen.  Making Jesus the CEO and Boss of your life is the first step to success.

Step 2: Make a list of things to be thankful for. Start with the basics.  Thank God for your life, your senses (sight, sound, feel, taste, smell), your health, your family, your house, your clothes, your food, your work, your car, etc.  I like to thank God for His Word and the ability to read it! You get the idea.

Step 3: Keep a journal of answered prayers. Whenever you need a dose of gratefulness consult your journal to remember times when God answered your prayer and rejoice.

Step 4: Look around you. There are less fortunate people all around.  Jesus said we would always have the poor among us ( John 12:8 NKJV ).  There are starving people in this world, so be thankful at your next meal, even if it’s leftovers you had last night.  Did you know that if you own a car you are among the world’s top 8% of the population?  Be thankful.  Think about this: we are not threatened or tortured or killed when we share our faith, as some people are in this world.  Be incredibly grateful.

Gratitude is important to keep us grounded with a correct estimation of ourselves and an accurate assumption of the source of all blessings.  How’s your gratitude level today?  Need a boost in gratefulness?  Follow the suggestions in this article and pray God helps you be grateful.   Believe God has already answered your prayer and gratitude will flow freely.

Lord, thank you for all that you have done for us.  Thank you for all we have this day.  Help us to be grateful for everything.  May we be mindful of others less fortunate than us and where we have the ability to do something about it, may we reach forth our hands to help.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

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