Bible Devotions

Want Safety and Security? It’s found here.

But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure,
without fear of evil.” Proverbs 1:33 NKJV

This verse begins with a “but” so we need to go back to see what
came before to fully understand this passage. Read Proverbs 1:20-33.
What is depicted?

Wisdom cries out yet no one listens. Scorners delight in scorning
and fools hate knowledge. The Lord offers to pour out His Spirit and
make His word known. The people refuse to turn at His rebuke, dis-
daining His counsel. When calamity and terror come like a storm,
their destruction is like a whirlwind. Because of the repeated
rejection of the Lord, the people will not find help when they need
it. The Lord has given them over to their own desires. Their
complacency will destroy them.

That’s a dark and grim picture, but it describes our day very well.
There will come a time when the Lord refuses to answer prayers of
those who continually reject Him. No one knows how many rejections
are too many.

The good news is we don’t have to live in the described darkness. We
can choose to turn at His rebuke, listen to Him and dwell in safety
without fear of evil. As Joshua said to the people in Joshua 24:15
choose this day who you will serve, I ask you are you going to serve
your own desires or serve the true living merciful God Almighty?

Lord you are merciful to those who listen. Open our hearts, eyes and
hears to receive your wise counsel. Let us not turn away from your
rebuke but rather accept it and be made into your glorious image.
In Jesus’ name we pray these things. Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc.

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Sowing and Reaping

Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every
good path. Proverbs 2:9 NKJV

Whenever I see “then” I always look for the preceding “if”. They
usually go together if and then. It’s just like the principle of
sowing and reaping. If you plant corn seeds, you reap corn at
harvest time. The “if” is like the sowing part and the “then” is the
reaping part. What you put in, you usually get out. Make sense?

So let’s go back and read Proverbs 2:1-5 and see the “if” for the
“then” in today’s verse.

To paraphrase…

IF you

receive my words

treasure my commands within you

incline your ear to wisdom

apply your heart to understanding

cry out for discernment

lift up your voice for understanding

seek wisdom

search for hidden treasures

THEN, you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find knowledge
of God.

Did you notice all those items were things we do? If we manage to do
those things we not only understand the fear of the Lord, but also
God goes on to demonstrate what He does on our behalf. Look at
Proverbs 2:6-9.

The Lord gives wisdom

He speaks knowledge and understanding

He stores up sound wisdom for the upright

He is a shield to those who walk uprightly

He guards the paths of justice

He preserves the way of His saints.

God’s word is filled with example after example of sowing/reaping
and the if/then statements. God rewards those who put forth effort
to know Him. God will not bless you just because you ask. No, there
must be a commitment on our part. If we commit to His commands, He
will give the wisdom, knowledge, understanding and protection we
desire. He will preserve our way.

Lord God Almighty you are fair and just. You have explained how
things work regarding sowing and reaping. Give us a desire for you
that we may commit to your commands. We long for your wisdom,
knowledge, understanding, protection and preservation. Help us put
forth the effort in seeking you that we may understand your reward.
In Jesus’ name Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries
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What does honoring the Lord with our possessions look like?

Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the first fruits of
all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, and
your vats will overflow with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10 NKJV

What does honoring the Lord with our possessions look like? When we
look at what the Bible says there are many verses that pertain to
this topic. So let’s begin:

Matthew 6:19-21 talks about not storing up treasures on earth but in
heaven. Things of this world will rot away or be stolen so why bother
focusing on them. It seems to indicate our grasp should be on eternal
things where they will last forever.

Matthew 6:24 clearly states we can’t serve two masters, both mammon
and God. No matter how well we think we can handle it, we can’t love
money and God. Our hearts aren’t big enough. We will end up loving
one and hating the other.

Matthew 25:14-30 is the parable of the talents used wisely. Those who
multiplied the talents and gained more were praised, while the one
servant who feared and hid the talent was cast into outer darkness.
We are expected to use our resources for good and make wise decisions.

Luke 12:16-21 talks about the rich man who built larger barns to hold
his abundance only to find his soul was required that very night.
This story helps us see how storing up for selfish gain doesn’t
glorify God.

When dealing with possessions we must remember it is God who enables
us to produce wealth in the first place. Therefore, we recognize God
is in control rather than think we earned it all by our own hard work.
Keeping God first in our thoughts will help us produce God-honoring
actions.

So as Paul exhorts us in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 to keep our eyes on
eternal things rather than temporary things, I believe this honors
God. James 1:27 also says we are to keep ourselves from being
corrupted by the world. This means we are to turn away from any
worldly thing that draws us away from God.

Therefore, honoring the Lord with our possessions is about handling
them with the proper mindset. It all comes from God. Things can not
be our desire. Nor should the love of things control us. With our
focus on and desire for the Lord, rather than our possessions we
honor God by choosing Him instead of things of this world.

Lord thank you for your word, your spirit and your love. You empower
us to stay clear of the worldly temptations. You always make a way
of escape. Thank you for helping us honor God with our possessions.
In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc.

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Want to Depart from Evil? Learn to Fear the Lord.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.
Proverbs 3:7-8 NKJV

There is a path that seems right to us but ends in death. Being wise
in our eyes is certainly one indicator we’re on the path leading to
death. Instead we know God’s wisdom is above human wisdom. We know
God gives wisdom to those who ask for it (James 1:5).

Fearing the Lord goes along with acknowledging Him as ultimate
authority. He alone has power over life and death. Therefore, we
give Him the respect He deserves. When we learn to respect God, we also
learn His ways are best.

Again, we learn to be obedient to His commands. He tells us to depart
from evil not because He doesn’t want us to have fun, but rather He
loves us and wants what’s ultimately best for us.

Can darkness and light exist together in the same space? No. Think
about walking into a dark room. What happens when we turn on the
light? Darkness flees. Light exposes what’s in the room. Darkness
hides what’s there. God says let My light fill your heart and expose
your true self. Then you will understand wisdom that comes from above.

What are some ways to depart from evil?

– Acknowledge God is God and we are not (Genesis 1:1).
– Drop pride and self-reliance and trust Him (James 4:6).
– Pray about everything, seeking God’s wisdom (Romans 8:26).
– Turn our eyes away from temporary things and fix them on the
eternal things (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
– Confess our sins and humbly seek forgiveness for our wrong doings
(1John 1:9).
– Overcome evil by doing good (Romans 12:21).
– Commit to study God’s Word and apply His principles in our life
(Acts 2:46-47).
– Love others as God loves us (Ephesians 5:1-2).
– Choose to walk by Spirit rather than the flesh (Romans 8:1).
– Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good (Romans 12:9).
– Think things that are lovely, true, right, just, praiseworthy, and
honorable (Philippians 4:8-9).

Dear Lord, thank you for not leaving us helpless. You have taken
care of sin debt by sending Jesus to die on the cross on our behalf.
You raised Jesus to life again that we might live in Him. You sent
your Spirit to guide us in all truth. You gave us your Word to point
the way to you. Equip us to live by your Spirit and apply your truths
to our lives. In Jesus’ name we trust and pray Amen.

©ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc.
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Find Favor with God and Man. Here’s How.

Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high
esteem in the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:3-4 NKJV

Mercy and truth go together to display love. Truth by itself can be
hard, cold and shocking. But mercy grants forgiveness. Let’s take a
look at an example from God’s Word.

Truth: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
Romans 3:23 and “For the wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23.

Everyone has sinned. No one is perfect. The truth is sin separates
us from God and makes us deserve death. This truth by itself is hard.
We may be good by our human standards and therefore have a hard time
understanding why we deserve death. Had we stopped here it would quite
discouraging. But instead, mercy is ushered in.

Mercy: “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our
Lord.” Romans 6:23

Mercy saves the day. More importantly mercy saves the sinner. God
grants mercy to us sinners. Though we deserve death for our
disobedience, He doesn’t treat us as we deserve. Instead He forgives
us and grants us eternal life by faith in Jesus Christ.

God is love. The way God treats us is the example we are to follow
with others. The writer of today’s Proverb instructed his son in
this regard. He told him to keep mercy and truth close and not forget
them. We are encouraged to do the same. As we learn to treat others
merciful, we find mercy our self (Matthew 5:7). “Therefore be
merciful, just as your Father also is merciful” Luke 6:36.

How might you show mercy to your follow man today?

Lord thank you for your mercy and truth. Enable us to grasp the
truth, so we will understand the depth of your mercy towards us.
Then help us grant mercy to others, as you have done with us. In
Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc.

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For Long Life and Peace Follow This Sage Advice

My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands;
For length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.
Proverbs 3:1-2 NKJV

Do you sense the Father’s passionate plea to his son? He urges him
not to forget what he’s been taught. He reminds him of the benefits
of living by God’s truth.

One key phrase we’ll explore is “let your heart keep my
commandments”. It’s essential for understanding God’s desire for
relationship over sacrifice of obedience. Have you ever watched
someone do something they really didn’t want to do? You could tell
they were just going through the motions, huh? On the other hand,
have you witnessed someone whose whole being was engaged in what
they did? They were motivating to watch.

What’s the difference between the two examples? The difference is
the condition of the heart. The first example the heart was not
involved. In the second example, the heart was fully engaged,
activated and compelling the person onward.

Our spiritual lives are like those examples. We can choose to merely
exist, going through the motions of obedience to appear connected to
God, yet all the while empty and unfulfilled inside. Or we can choose
to engage God with our heart performing God’s will with love and
gratitude.

So let’s look at how we learn to engage the heart:

– Agree with God. He’s God and we are not. He’s perfect and sinless.
We are sinful. (Romans 3:23)
– Trust what God has done for us. Jesus died to take away our sin.
He rose again to give us life. (Romans 6:23)
– In every situation, remember God is good. He knows what’s best for
us because He loves us. (Jeremiah 29:11)
– Commit our self to God by learning about Him. Make time for Him.
Give Him access in our life to make Himself known to us.
(Proverbs 2:6)
– Pray regularly. Pray all the time. Let your mind be drawn to Him.
(Romans 12:2)

How’s the condition of your heart? Is it engaged? If not, ask God to
show you what you can do to get your heart more involved.

Father God, you are holy and praise worthy. Thank you for making it
possible to know you and have a loving relationship with you through
Jesus Christ, our Lord. Reveal anything that is not pleasing in our
hearts this day. Help us to give our hearts more fully to you. Draw
near to us as we draw near to you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc.

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The Way of Goodness

o you may walk in the way of goodness, and keep to the paths of
righteousness. Proverbs 2:20 NKJV

The “so” indicates something came before we need to investigate.
Let’s go back to read Proverbs 2:10-11 and Proverbs 2:16-22.

From verses 10 and 11 we see wisdom, knowledge, discretion and
understanding are required to avoid the evil path and walk the path
of righteousness. From verses 10 through 22 we see the trap we can
fall into
without wisdom to guard us. Let’s take a deeper look:

– Becoming involved with an immoral person (inappropriate relation-
ship)- Seduced by flattery (putting aside good judgment for a few
nice things spoken to you)
– Forsaking the companion of your youth (damaging a God-honoring
relationship)
– Forgetting the covenant you made with God (breaking your marriage
vows,loss of creditability)

Now let’s review the consequences of walking this path:

– It leads down to death.
– None return from this path.
– No one regains the path of life.
– The wicked are cut off from the earth.
– The unfaithful are uprooted.

These are steep penalties for those who choose to walk away from God
for momentary pleasure of an adulterous relationship.

We see today’s verse is crying out for you to choose the way of
goodness and keep to the path of righteousness. For we are called to
continue doing what is good without growing weary, so at the
appropriate time we will reap a harvest of righteousness (Galatians
6:9).

To those who have mistakenly taken the wrong path, it’s not too late
to turn back. Confess your sins to God, for He is faithful and just
not only to forgive your sins but to purify and cleanse you from all
unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Proverbs 2:23 says “Turn at my rebuke:
surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known
to you.” Take it from me, God is faithful to His words. I know
because I’ve walked that path and God intervened. It is by His grace
and mercy I walk on the path of righteousness now. I live to warn
others.

O gracious Father, thank you for calling us to you. We confess our
sins to you and ask for forgiveness, and cleansing from all unright-
eousness. Lead us back to the path of life. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries

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The Purpose of Instruction

Read Proverbs 1:1-7
The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity;
To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion–
A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
To understand a proverb and an enigma,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

When I know instruction I have a plan to follow. For me,
instructions bring security, confidence and peace because all I
have to do is follow them.

Have you ever assembled something without the instructions? What
happened? Did you find left over parts afterwards? Did the item work
properly? In most cases, something is just not right about the item,
huh?

Conversely, have you put something together following the
instructions? What was the result? Did you find it came out better?
Did it work properly?

Let’s consider the purpose of instructions:

– To teach us what we don’t know
– To make things go easier
– To impart knowledge
– To instruct us on the proper use
– To explain how parts fit together
– To identify what parts are included or not
– To identify what tools may be needed
– To communicate how long the process will take

The Creator put much thought into the instructions to ensure every-
thing we needed to know is covered. God’s Word is the instructions
for life. We can choose not to follow His instructions. However, we
will be left with a cheap imitation of how life was meant to be
lived. Or we can choose to read God’s Word and be like a wise man
who hears and increases learning.

The choice is ours. Which will it be? Continue trying to understand
it all without consulting the instructions or follow the Creator’s
plans? What’s holding you back from knowing instruction?

Lord Almighty, Your way is not our way. Your thoughts are higher
than our thoughts. Your Word is a lamp to our eet and a light to
our path. Help us desire your instruction for life. In Jesus’ name
we pray. Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries

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The Problem With Greed

So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; It takes away
the life of its owners. Proverbs 1:19 NKJV

In studying Proverbs 1:11-18 we see the following characteristics of
a person engulfed by greed:

* They lie in wait to shed blood.
* They lurk secretly for innocent without cause.
* They desire to take down the innocent.
* They desire material possessions.
* Their feet run to evil.
* The make haste to shed blood.
* All their toils are worthless, though.
* It will all come back on them.

Greed is consuming from the looks of it. Greed given the opportunity
will take on a life of its own. Greed controls the person who allows
it in their life. Sadly, in the end, it all comes to ruin. All the
evil intended for someone else comes back to the one plotting the
evil. Greed is sneaky. It creeps in little by little.

How can we avoid this trap? By following the advice given to us in
God’s Word:

* My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent (Proverbs 1:10).
* My son, do not walk in the way with them, keep your foot from
their path (Proverbs 1:15).
* Remember from Proverbs 1:19 “It takes away the life of its
owners” is a steep consequence for allowing greed in our life.

Sin has a way of sweeping us into deeper, darker, more evil despair.
Say “No” to sin with the power and authority Jesus Christ gave you.
Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you
James 4:7).

Lord forgive us for any greed we’ve consented to. Enable us to say
NO to every kind of sin by your power and strength not ours. In
Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

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A Comparative Study in Proverbs

do a Comparative Bible Study on Proverbs

Have you noticed there are many comparisons in the Bible?  The book of Proverbs is full of them.  Why are comparisons used?  One reason is because it helps us grasp the decision we must make when we encounter God’s Word.  Comparisons make it easy for us to choose which path we plan to take.

This article will help your grow spiritually by teaching you how do a comparative study in the book of Proverbs.

Read more.

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