Bible Devotions

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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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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The Mouth’s Role in Wisdom

Read Proverb 15.  

The mouth and the words springing forth from it play a pivotal role in wisdom.  As you read Proverbs 15 ponder the passages referring to the mouth, words or thoughts.  Let’s begin.

 

Avoiding Anger

Verse 1: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”   Not only do we learn a soft answer can alleviate wrath, but we are told what causes anger to start with.  When we choose to use a soft answer we are stopping anger before it can cause any damage.  How often do you choose a soft answer?

 

Using Rightly

Verse 2: “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.”  Have you ever been tempted to say “I told you so”?  This verse clearly says the wise use knowledge rightly.  I’m confident saying “I told you so” is not helpful to the hearer (Ephesians 4:29).   In Verse 28 see another example of using the Word rightly, “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.”  Combine these verses with verse one and it seems to be saying consider your words carefully before speaking.  How would you rate yourself on this one?

 

Planting Seeds

Verse 4: “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” Every word we speak is planting some kind of seed.  Are we planting wholesome seeds bringing life to others?  Or are we careless with harsh or negative words tearing others down?  Our words matter. Verse 11 says “Hell and Destruction are before the Lord; so how much more the hearts of the sons of man.”  Everything we say is before the Lord.  We would be wise to remember words spoken cannot be taken back.

 

Sharing Knowledge

Verse 7: “The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, but the heart of the fool does not do so.” Clearly we are instructed to share what we know.  We exist to bring glory to God.  One way is by sharing what we know about God with others.  Verse 9 says “The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but He loves him who follows righteousness.”  If we are to follow Jesus’ example, we are called to share our knowledge with others in a gentle way.  How often do you share with others?

 

Seeking Knowledge

Verse 14: “The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.”  Our time on this planet is limited.  While we are here, consider what we choose to put before us. Continual effort is required in filtering what we feed on.  What are you reading, watching and listening to?  Is it helpful, encouraging and leading to life? Or does is reek of worldly pleasures, deadly gossip or greedy gain? 

 

In summary, we have learned the mouth plays a critical role in wisdom.  It can help us avoid anger when used rightly.  It can plant seeds bringing life when shared with others.  It can help increase understanding when foolishness is avoided.  Now what are we going to do with this new knowledge? 

 Lord, thank you for your word.  Help us to apply it to our lives today.  We confess we haven’t always heeded your word.  Today, we ask for your help to live according to your way.  Enable us to share the knowledge you’ve given us to plant seeds leading to life. 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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The Mouth is connected to the Heart

 

The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. Psalm 37:30-31 NKJV

 

To speak of wisdom and justice one must have God’s Word securely hidden away in his heart.  For the things proceeding from our mouth come from the heart (Matthew 15:18).   Jesus taught us out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34).  He also warned us we would be either justified or condemned by our words (Matthew 12:37).  Let’s face it, how many times have we said something we regretted later? 

 

Jesus knows us when he asks “How can you, being evil, speak of good things?”  The truth is we can’t speak good from our own resources because of our fallen sinful nature.  James 3:6 says the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.  Proverbs 15:14 says “The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouth of the fools feeds on foolishness.”  What are we feeding on today?

 

We need to be careful with our words.  We can use words to build others up or tear them down.  Jesus told us for every idle word spoken we will be accountable in the Day of Judgment (Matthew 12:36).  This should compel us to use words sparingly and to make sure the words we do use are pure and pleasant and pleasing to the Lord (Proverbs 15:26).

 

So far we’ve learned our sinful and foolish nature prevents us from speaking good.  How can we every speak good?  There is good news, Jesus taught us a good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things and that means we can do (Matthew 12:35).  Through Jesus Christ in us, we can be good and bring forth good things.  But we have a responsibility to store up good in the treasure of our hearts.

 

How do we do that?  We immerse our self in God’s Word.   We find ways to fill our mind with His goodness.  We read His Word daily.  We listen to His teaching whenever possible.  Maybe we start listening to Bible teaching on the radio as we get ready for work or while driving anywhere.  We memorize God’s Word, so we’ll never be with out it and so the Holy Spirit can bring it forth when we need it. 

 

We are blessed with many opportunities to receive God’s Word.  We have churches to attend, tapes/CDs to listen to when we miss church.  There’s even on-line streaming audio message of church services available.  We have books, magazines, email devotions, newsletters and of course the Bible itself.  Between radio and internet technologies we really have no excuse for not getting enough of God’s Word stored away in our hearts. 

 

Stop and consider the words we speak.  Are they words of good building others up, coming from God’s Word stored in the treasure of our heart?  Or are they evil words of envy, strife, anger, fear and selfishness pouring out of an evil treasure stored in our heart? 

 

Deuteronomy 30:15-16 NKJV says “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.”

Oh that you would choose life and good that come from embracing God.

 Lord thank you for your life-giving word.  Enable us to keep our mind set on you. Help us to seek you in all things and store good treasure in our hearts that our words may be helpful to the hearers.  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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Single-Minded Devotion

 

What do we devote our time and energy to?  Where do our thoughts reside during the day?  Can we say, like David did in Psalm 73:25, “Whom do I have in heaven besides You? And there is none upon the earth that I desire besides You.”?

 

Do we believe God?  Sure, most of us could easily say we believe in God, but that’s different.  Do we believe Him?  Reading a promise of God such as “I will never leave you or forsake you”, what goes through your mind?  Is it nice to know?  Do you think it can’t possible apply to you?  Can you grasp the “never” part?  Never is a mighty long time, yet God tells us He will never leave us.

 

Do we believe Christ died for us?  Certainly there is no doubt He died.  But for us He chose to die, paying our sin debt while we were still His enemies.  Romans 5:6 says “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”  Does the knowledge of our pardon from hell cause exceeding joy?  It does when we believe it. 

 

Do we believe Christ rose again to give us life and power through His Holy Spirit?  Our life is hidden in Him in the heavenly places.  Or should we say His life is hidden in us.  Those who believe and accept Christ have been given His Holy Spirit who dwells within us.  Our power and strength come not from our own resources, but from Christ in us.  Philippians 4:13 tells us we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

 

In believing God, we take seriously His Word to us.  The Bible is inspired by God and written for our instruction, teaching, correction and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:15-17).  Therefore, when it tells us to put on the whole armor of God and stand firm against our enemy, we do so (Ephesians 6:10-20).  Likewise, when it says lay aside all things that hinder our walk, especially sin that so easily entangles us, we do it (Galatians 5:1).  When it teaches us to be renewed in our thinking (Romans 12:2), focus our thoughts on eternal things (2 Corinthians 4:17-18), we train to do just that.  It is in our diligent and relentless pursuit of God, our mind is wholly devoted to Him.

 

Here are a few tips for helping set your mind on Him:

  • Next time you are faced with a decision, ask God for wisdom to make the right choice.
  • When you drive by a car accident, pray for the people involved to be healed and for the rescue workers to have what they need to save them.
  • Waking up in the morning, say “Good Morning, God.  Thank you for that good night’s sleep.”
  • When going to bed at night thank God for keeping you safe all day. 
  • At meals time, say a simple pray of thanks to God for providing the food.

 

These few things, along with Bible Study, church attendance and fellowship can greatly increase your focus on God.  Yet, all of these will be worthless if your attitude about doing them is not right.  We do these things out of love for God and wanting to know Him more.  If you do these because you feel guilty or forced to, don’t do it.  Let the Spirit lead you and stay open to His prompting.

  Lord thank You for Your word.  Teach us more about You.  Draw us closer to You.  Help us focus on You.  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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