Bible Devotions

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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The Faithful are Answered part 3

Part 3 of 3

 

Read 1 Samuel 1-3

 

All through these chapters we see the contrast between good and evil.  God’s Word is full of examples outlining the consequences of godly behavior, as well as what happens to the wicked.  This section of scripture is no different.  The table below outlines a few examples of the different types of behavior and how it is rewarded.

 

Good

Evil

V1:11 Hannah earnestly prays for male child and v1:20 God gives her Samuel

V2:12 Sons of Eli were corrupt and V2:34 both will die on the same day as a sign of God’s judgment.

V1:26-27 Hannah gives Samuel back to the God as she promised and v3:20 Samuel becomes prophet of God

V2:25 Eli’s sons did not heed the voice of their father and the Lord desired to kill them.

V3:21 Samuel ministers to the Lord and God reveals Himself

V3:13 Eli’s sons made themselves vile and Eli didn’t restrain them therefore v3:14 Eli’s house won’t be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.

 

Please notice the good side is represented by purity of heart and obedience.  Also note, the evil side is represented by self-centered willfulness and disobedience.

 

Eli, the priest and his two sons perpetrated evil on a regular basis.   This is set up in contrast to the purity of Hannah’s request for a child and Samuel the answer to her prayers.  Notice each time the deeds of Eli’s sons were mentioned, the next statement is about Samuel: “But Samuel ministered before the Lord”.   

 

Eli, the priest failed as a parent to teach his own children about the Lord.  Then as if to show Eli his error, God sends Samuel to live with him.  Samuel coming from the purity of Hannah remains pure while living with Eli and the wicked sons.  Samuel ministers to the Lord, without even knowing the Lord yet.

 

The time comes when the Lord calls Samuel, but he doesn’t recognize the call and thinks it is Eli calling him.  Three times the Lord calls Samuel and three times he runs to Eli saying “Here I am”.  Finally, Eli discerns it is the Lord calling Samuel and instructs him to listen / respond to the Lord.  Eli was not right with God because of the evil he allowed to continue in the house of God.  The fact it took Eli three times to figure it out the Lord was calling says Eli was not attuned to the Lord.   He should have been able to recognize it sooner.

 

Eli didn’t teach his own sons, so he probably didn’t teach Samuel either.  Notice how Samuel is right before God in the same environment as Eli’s wicked sons.   What was the difference?  One difference is Samuel had a praying mother, Hannah.  She was so grateful the Lord answered her prayers, she probably prayed for Samuel everyday. 

 

What can we draw from the examples today?  We each have a choice to follow God or not.  Our environment is not to be blamed for whether we or not we choose God.  As we see Samuel being raised in a wicked environment still chose to follow God.  We can to.

 Lord thank you for your clear instructions.  Enable us to turn to you in obedience.  Cast away from us any selfish, rebellious thoughts and deeds and equip us for godly living until Christ returns.  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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A Matter of Choice

 

Have you ever noticed how the routine hurts of life can lead us to think we don’t have any choice?  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  Life is all about choice.  We have more power to choose than we give our self credit for. 

 

We make choices all the time.  We choose to make a friend, get married, or have children.  We also choose to give love or give respect.  We choose to commit to a relationship and to put forth effort to maintain that relationship.  We even choose to believe God or not.

 Choice in Attitude

The easiest and most cost effective method of make-over is by adjusting your attitude.  Believe it or not you have a choice about how your attitude affects your life.  You can choose to let the circumstances of life cause negative thoughts to rule your mind.  Or you can choose to think on all you have to be thankful for.  Who is easier to be around someone who is always negative and complaining or someone who always thinks positively and gives people the benefit of doubt?  Philippians 2:5 says “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” He was humble and servant-hearted.  Are you?

 

Choice in Speech

Our words have a major impact on everyone around us.  We can use our words as weapons tearing down people with harsh, uncaring sayings.  We can use our words to build people up, encourage them with God’s Word.  A pleasant word at the right time is like honey for the soul (Proverbs 16:24). 

 

Choice in Marriage

You may have decided to get married.  Part of this commitment was to love and respect your spouse for the rest of your natural life.  This commitment requires work to maintain.  When wives choose to respect their husbands the man is more likely to respond by loving his wife.  Likewise when husbands choose to love their wives, the woman is more likely to respond by respecting her husband.  When both choose to give the other what they need, both are satisfied and God is honored by their obedience. Refer to Ephesians 5:22-33 for biblical instructions for husbands and wives.  Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ Cracking the Communication Code, the Secret to Speaking Your Mate’s Language is a great resource for helping us understand each other better.

 

Choice in Parenting

Whether you decided to have children or are around children a lot, you have a choice to make.  Will you commit to being a godly influence? Will you raise your child in love and admonition of the Lord? Or will you continue to worry about yourself and leave your child to figure things out on their own?  If God’s given you children, you have a choice to be a good steward. You can either build them up and encourage them or neglect them.  Which is honoring to God?  Proverbs 22:6 NKJV says “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

 

Choice in Relationships

Regardless of type of relationship you’re in, you may choose to display God’s character or not.  You can choose to love others as God has loved you.  Or you can try manipulating others to get your needs met.  Where two people come together without expecting anything in return are good relationships.  These people extend grace, forgiveness and mercy.  They seek to understand before being understood.  They seek the other’s best interest over their own (Philippians 2:4).  As they put others first, they fulfill God’s command.  Blessings come when we are obedient.

 Choice in Salvation

God honors our decisions.  If our decision takes us down the path of eternal destruction, God will be crushed by your decision but He will allow you to continue in your own way.   Just like in every other area of life, you have a choice for salvation.  God’s plans and purpose are not to harm us but to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).  We can choose to accept God’s way, Jesus’ death on the cross to pay for our sins and His resurrection which brings us life eternal or not.  He won’t force you to accept His truth but He surely hopes you will recognize the extent of His love for you and come to Him (Matthew 18:14).

 

In every aspect of life, we have a choice to follow God’s way or our own way.  Have you noticed when ever you choose your own way, things don’t turn out exactly how you planned?  That’s because you don’t know everything, like God does.  He knows what’s best for us and He longs to lead us down the path of righteousness. 

 Lord, you alone know what’s best for us.  Help us to turn to you with all our choices.  Equip us to make the choice to follow you in all areas of our 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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