Bible Devotions

God Hears

 

When God says something will happen we can rest assured it will come to pass.  King David wanted to build a house for God, but God said it would not be David, but his son Solomon who would do it (1 Chronicles 28:3). 

 

Fast forward to 2 Chronicles 7:11 NKJV “Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s house:  and Solomon successfully accomplished all that came into his heart to make in the house of the Lord and in his own house.”  See.  God said Solomon would build the house of the Lord and Solomon really did finish it.

 

When the Lord calls someone to do something for His kingdom, He equips.  One of Solomon’s purposes from God was to complete the Lord’s house.  With God’s help, he not only did it, but he “successfully accomplished all that came into his heart”.  Everything God plants in our heart to do, He makes happen. 

 

It is so encouraging to know God can be trusted to follow through on whatever He promises.  So when we read 2 Chronicles 7:14 we should have great joy: “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

 

God will hear, forgive and heal, if we choose to humble our self before Him.  As we agree with God about our sins, seek Him and turn from our old ways, He will hear and respond.  That was the case for me.  Once I humbled myself, confessed my sins, He answered me, forgave me and healed me.  All that’s left is for me to continue carrying out God’s purpose in my life, as He reveals it to me.  This I know: He is the One working it out through me.  My part is willing obedience to Him.

 

How about you?  Have you humbled yourself before the Lord?  Have you agreed with God about your sin?  Are you seeking His forgiveness?  Why wait?  He’s waiting.  He will answer when you turn to Him.

 Lord, thank you for hearing us when we humble our self before you.  Thank you for your forgiveness.  Thank you for being faithful to answer us.  Draw us near.  May we always hear you.  In Jesus’ name Amen.  
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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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Proclaim the Good News

Sing to the LORD, bless His name; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Psalm 96:2 NKJV 

What is the Good News?

God loves you and wants you to be with Him forever in heaven.  But because we have a sinful nature our relationship with God has been broken.  God loved us so much, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to mend our relationship with God.  Jesus’ death on the cross paid the penalty for our sin (John 3:16).  We are no longer under judgment for our sins.  We are pardoned.  We are forgiven.  We are set free from bondage of sin.  We call this Salvation (Romans 6:23).  That’s only part of the good news.  There’s more! Jesus’ resurrection from the dead gives those who believe in Him a new life.  It’s a second chance to do life right.  He came to give us life and that more abundantly (John 10:10). 

 

How do we proclaim it?

We start by reading God’s Word to obtain a firm understanding of what God’s done for us.  The more God’s Word is allowed in our heart, the more we become like Him.  Our life, the choices we make, and the things we think about and the words we say become godly.  Morphing into the person God created us to be, we become lights to other around us.  Obeying God’s Word and living it out means we’ll use our gifts, talents, and abilities for God’s glory.  We’ll begin serving God by what we do and the attitudes behind why we do it.  The result is serving others as we learn to walk by the spirit rather than satisfying our own selfish desires (Romans 8:4).   We do these things moment by moment and day by day.

 

Who do we proclaim it to?

We proclaim the good news to anyone who asks about the hope we have (1 Peter 3:15).  As we go about our business we have an eye on the look out for anyone downtrodden, hopeless and hurting.  We take special care for the widows and orphans and poor among us (James 1:27).  We come along side them, serving and helping where we can, waiting for an opportunity to share God’s love and salvation story. 

 

 Where do we proclaim it?

Anywhere we are we proclaim the good news.  We share at work as we conduct business, or at home while having dinner with our family.  It could be at school in between classes or on the soccer field while we’re playing.  We can proclaim the good news any time and any where.  Remember we live in a free country.  We are not persecuted for our faith, as in some countries.  So what’s holding us back?  People are dying for good news.  We have it, so let’s start sharing it.

 

Why do we proclaim it?

God does not want a single one to perish but all to come to Him for salvation (2 Peter 3:9).  He wants people to come to faith and trust in Jesus Christ so they will be saved.  We share the good news out of love for God and love of others.  We share out of respect for God and obedience to His commands.  Jesus said in Matthew 28:19 “Go make disciples of all the nations”.   We proclaim the good news to praise God for all He’s done.  In doing so we strengthen our own convictions and help other’s faith and trust grow in God’s plan. 

 

In summary the good news is forgiveness of sin, eternal life in Christ, and a new life now.  We share the good news through obedience to God’s Word and coming along side the hurting, serving and helping them.  We proclaim the good news where ever we may be all for the glory of God. 

 Lord Jesus, thank you for saving us.  Thank you for your Word to us.  Give us the wisdom, discernment and courage to share your good news with the world around us.  May we be obedient to your Word shining your love on those around us all for your glory.  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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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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Stand in Awe and Praise Him

 

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. Hebrews 1:1-4 NKJV 

All things are held together by the power of His Word.  Did you ever stop to think about that?  Everything is held together by Him.  If He so chooses to let it fall apart, it would fall apart and be no more.  But He is a loving God and upholds everything for our benefit.   

He gives us our very breath (Acts 17:25).  If it is His will to bring you home to heaven today, then guess what you’re going home.  If it is His will for you to stay on earth and carry out His purposes a little while longer, then nothing will prevent you from that. 

Everything is held together “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).  It is all for His glory and pleasure that we exist.  He made this beautiful world for us to enjoy.  When was the last time you stopped to really take in a gorgeous sunset?  Or examined the inner beauty of an orchid bloom?  It’s all upheld by Him. 

Lord, thank You for upholding everything by the Word of Your Power.  Thank You for all the beauty You’ve created around us.  Enable us to stop and “smell the roses” and to give thanks to You for all things.  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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Blessed by Doing

 

Are you a forgetful hearer?  You listen to God’s Word at church on Sunday, but come Monday you are living your life as you choose with no regard to what you heard on Sunday? 

 

The Bible tells us those who hear only actually deceive themselves.  James 1:22 NKJV says “But be doers of the word, and not just hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”  So how does one become a doer of the word? 

 

James 1:25 NKJV gives us some clues: “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”    James continues to say we need to bridle our tongue, care for orphans and widows in their trouble and keep our self uncorrupted by the world.

 

Jesus teaches us by carrying out God’s commands we become like a wise man. Matthew 7:24 NKJV says “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock.”  Jesus continued to say though rain, floods and wind came against the house, it stood because it was founded upon the rock.  The same is true for us, when we trust in Christ we become founded upon the rock.  Nothing can move us. 

 

Jesus also taught us about servants and masters in John 13:1-17, when he washed the disciple’s feet.  A servant is not above the master.  We are servants to God, which means our own will is NOT above God’s.  Likewise, the one sent is not greater than the one doing the sending.  We are sent by God to carrying out His good purposes in this life.  We are NOT greater than God who’s sending us.  Jesus capped off this teaching saying “If you know these things blessed are you if you do them.” 

 

Look at what James 1:12 NKJV says “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved he will receive the crown of life which the Lord promised to those who love Him.”

 

So fellow believer, let us endure temptations and follow Christ’s example.  Let us be doers of the word that we may be called wise and not deceive our self.  For Jesus said in Matthew 7:21 NKJV “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

 Lord Jesus, thank you for your cleansing, healing, righteousness word.  Thank you for your Spirit enabling us to walk in your word and become doers of the word.  Help us continue in your way all the days of life that we may be lights to the world for you. In your name we pray. Amen.  

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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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And it was Good

Read Genesis 1.

What was good?  Everything God created.  Really?  Everything from the light and land to stars and man all of it was good.  Why is that?  Because God has a plan and specific purpose for everything He made.  Let’s review.

Light – He created light to separate the darkness.  He divided night which was dark and day which is light. 

Heaven – He created a firmament to divide the waters above and below the heavens. 

Land – He gathered the seas together in one place, so land would appear.  Land was the foundation of the rest of His creation. 

Plants – He created grass and herbs and fruit trees.  All of these plants gave seed to repopulate themselves.

Stars – He created the stars, sun and moon for the specific purpose of being used for signs and seasons, giving light to the earth and to rule over day and night.

Water Creatures and Birds – He created everything that lives in the waters and the birds which fly above the waters.  All of these were to be fruitful and multiply.

Land Animals – He created all the animals that dwell on land and each one being able to repopulate it self.

Man – He created man, in His own image, to have dominion over all He had created.  He also expected man to be fruitful and multiply. 

 

What does all this say about God, His purpose and plan for people? 

(1) God is creator of all.  He made everything we see and even the things we can’t see up in the heavens.  He is all powerful, as everything was made by Him simply speaking it into existence.  Nothing is too hard or impossible for God.

(2) God had a purpose for everything He made.  There was nothing just thrown together on a spur of the moment.  There was purpose in each creation.  Thought and intention went into the making of all we see.  Everything exists for a reason. 

(3) Everything God created was good.  After each thing He made, He’d step back and say “it was good.”  In fact, in verse 31 it says “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.”

 Lord God Almighty, hallow be your name your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.  You desire all praise.  You alone are worthy.  You have every right to reign for you created it all with purpose.  Thank you for your Word which leads to your truth.  Enable us to understand you more.  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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A Pattern for Prayer

Psalm 89 is much too long for this short devotion.  However, if you read this psalm in it’s entirety you may start to see a pattern, as I did. 

 

Psalm 89:1-18 ascribes praise and worship to God.  The psalmist writes about how no one can compare to God and how God is creator of heaven and earth.  If you ever need some encouragement or a little extra faith, this section of scripture can help put your mind in the proper perspective by focusing on God.  That’s exactly how we should start out our prayers by focusing on all we know about our loving, merciful, and mighty God. 

 

Psalm 89:19-37 describes God speaking (or perhaps answering) the psalmist.  This section is all about what God has done and will do for His chosen one David and his descendants.  Looking at the “I have or I will…” statements He declares will give us great insight to the character of God:

  • I have given help to one who is mighty
  • I have exalted one chosen from the people
  • I have found My servant David
  • I have anointed him
  • I will beat down his foes before his face
  • I will set his hand over the seas
  • I will make him My firstborn
  • I will keep for him [My mercy] forever
  • I will make his seed endure forever
  • I will punish their transgression with the rod
  • I will not utterly take [My lovingkindness] from him
  • I have sworn by My holiness
  • I will not lie to David

 

God is the one who gives helps, lifts up a person, anoints, deals with your enemies, gives us responsibilities, adopts you into His family, corrects us when we when it and doesn’t lie.  Can you see yourself striving for some of those things?  Well, stop striving because it’s God who makes it happen. 

 

Psalm 89:38-51 outlines the cares, concerns and worries the psalmist had.  The psalmist struggled with how things appeared.  In his life he felt “cast off”, “renounced”, and “profaned.”   However, it’s okay to let these feelings flow freeing before God.  He is open to hearing our woes.  As the psalmist had no problem laying it out for God, we shouldn’t either.   

 

Psalm 89:52 closes with an accolade to God: Blessed be the Lord forevermore!  No matter what the situation looked like, the psalmist was going to trust God.  Ending the psalm this way is a good reminder to put our worries in proper relationship to God. 

 

Let’s review what this psalm’s pattern has highlighted:

1)      Begin our time with the Lord in praise and worship.  Focusing on who God is will help open our hearts and ears to hear Him.

2)      Listen when God speaks.  God is the one setting things in motion according to His plan and purposes.  He is in control.

3)      Lay out your concerns, fears and worries.  God can handle them.  But don’t stop there.

4)      Praise God for all He is doing, no matter what the situation looks like at the time.

 

Lord, thank you for your Word that shows us who you are and gives us a pattern to follow.  Thank you for being in control of all things and knowing the plan and purpose you have for us.  Enable us to come to you, praise you, release our worries to you and be strengthened by 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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To Know and Believe God

Isaiah 43:10 NKJVYou are My witnesses,” says the LORD, “and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He.”

 

How do you get to know and believe God?  For me it’s an on-going process.  First, I had to give my life to Christ and ask Him to live in me.  Next, I started to read His Word and through the Holy Spirit in me, I began to understand more about God’s character.  Then, I started to rely on Him, by praying and giving Him the final outcome of situations in my life.  Over time, I trusted Him more and more. 

 

The first step in the process is recognizing I am not god.  I am not in control, but rather out of control being bound by sin.  I had to go to great depths of despair before I would turn to God.  My life was falling apart due to self-inflicted sin consequences.  It’s different for every person.  My heart’s longing is for you to come to know and believe God without going to the pit of hell on earth before you turn to Him. 

The second step is to get into God’s Word, which is a storehouse of proof.  It describes God’s character, His morals and His values and His promises to us.  Look at what 1 John 5:13 NKJV says, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”  The more you read, the more you’ll understand God’s character.   

The third step is all about trust.  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen according to Hebrews 11:1 NKJV.  It is by faith that we understand the things of God.  Faith is about trusting God.  Faith is built one step at a time.  My faith was strengthened through answered prayer.  When I was a new believer, God was especially kind and tender with me.  He gracious answered all of my prayers.  I have notebook after notebook filled with my prayers and how He answered them.  My small group, at the time, could hardly believe the instant response I seemed to get when I prayed.  But that’s what it took for me.   

What about you?  Having you started the journey of knowing and believing God?  If not, what’s holding you back?   

Our God is a very personal God, who wants to meet you right where you are.  He knows what you need before you even ask.  He’s anxious to come into your life and show you a different way to live.  He longs to bless you and give you an eternal life through Christ.   He’s just a prayer away:   

Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins.  I know I’m a sinner and need you to save me.  Please come into my life and lead me into the abundant fulfilling life you promise in your Word.  In Jesus’ name Amen.  

Maybe you’ve already given your life to Christ.  That’s wonderful, but don’t stop there.  Dig into God’s Word, deepen your relationship.  Continue to pray and see the hand of God working in your life.  Don’t forget to share what you know about God with others.  There are people dying to know Him. 

Father God above, You alone are King.  Thank you for putting me on the path of life.  Guide us by Your Spirit, teach us Your ways that we may know and believe You more.  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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