Bible Devotions

Prove Yourself

The word of the Lord is proven; he is a shield to all who trust in Him.  Psalm 18:30 NKJV 

How is the God’s Word proven to you?  For me, the Lord has proven not only His Word, but Himself to me on several occasions. 

One way He proves Himself is through answered prayer.  When I was a new believer, the Lord was very generous in answering my prayers.  I kept a journal with all my prayers and all the ways God answered those prayers.  It was exactly what I personally needed to help develop faith in God.

Other ways He proves Himself is through confirmations.  If I receive a thought and believe it to be the direction God wants me to follow, I wait for the confirmations before heading down that path.  It doesn’t take long, before I recognize the same thought/direction in a sermon, radio program, or something I read or even a certain situation.  Usually these confirmations come in three’s and sometimes fours!  As if God really wants to get my attention! 

Can you relate?  No?  Try reading God’s Word, watching for Him to speak to you not only through the very words you read, but through the situations of your life.  Pray God opens your eyes to see Him and hear Him.  That’s a prayer He’s sure to answer! 

Lord God Almighty, thank you for proving Yourself to us, even though You are God and shouldn’t need to, You choose to for our benefit.  Thank You for hearing our prayers and opening our eyes and ears to see and hear 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.

Advertisements
2 Comments »

Evil Before Causes More Good Later

“Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Luke 7:47 NKJV 

Have you heard the expression “the bigger they are the harder they fall”?  Well, to me that’s basically what Jesus was saying when he addressed his disciples.  The farther we get from God in our rebellion, the more we are forgiven when we repent and the more love is expressed over being forgiven.   

 

2 Chronicles 33 tells us of King Manasseh who became king at age 12 and reigned in
Jerusalem for 55 years.  This king did evil in the sight of the Lord.  Let’s look briefly at his life and his turn around.

  • He built the high places, his father Hezekiah had broken down.
  • He raised up altars to Baals.
  • He made wooden images to other gods.
  • He worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.
  • He also built altars to other gods in the house of the Lord.
  • He built altars for other gods in the two courts of the house of the Lord.
  • He burned his children in the fire to offer to other gods.
  • He practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery and consulted with mediums and spirits.

 

He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke the Lord’s anger. Verse 10 tells us “The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they would not listen.”   When our hearts are full of evil, we harden them against the Lord, as was the case with Manasseh.  So Lord caused Manasseh to be captured by Assyria and bound with bronze fetters and taken away to Babylon.  There’s much that could be taught on the “bronze fetters” but we’ll save that for another time.   Just know that bronze signified redemption.  Think about that.   

Okay we’ve seen Manasseh’s evil works and we’ve seen how God dealt with him.  In verse 12 it says “Now when he [Manasseh] was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers”.  Isn’t it funny how affliction drives us to God?  Why do we have to wait until things are so out of control?   

Verse 13 continues “and prayed to Him; and he received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem in his kingdom.  Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.”  God knows exactly what we need to experience in order for us “to know the Lord is God”.   It was only after Manasseh was in such dire circumstance where everything was outside of his control that he finally realized who God was.   

Here’s the best part – his turn around.  Verses 14 through 17 describe all the good Manasseh did after he turned back to the Lord. 

  • He built a wall outside the City of David (fortifying the city).
  • He enclosed Ophhel and raised it to a great height (more fortifying)
  • He posted military captains in the fortified cities of Judah.
  • He took away foreign gods and idol from the house of the Lord.
  • He removed all the altars he had built and cast them out of the city.
  • He repaired the altar of the Lord, sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it.
  • He commanded Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel.

As you can see from Manasseh’s life, true repentance brings forth godly actions.  Manasseh did much evil prior to receiving the Lord in his life.  But after he “knew the Lord was God” he went on to do much good.     

There’s something about finally seeing how evil you were.  Once the Lord opens your eyes it causes us to want to “make up” for all the bad.   Now, we realize we can never earn our way to salvation, but once we’ve trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation, our hearts now long to do what is right in the sight of the Lord.  It seems from the many examples we have in the Bible, that the more evil done before tends to cause more good to happen after receiving the Lord.  Does that make sense?    

Like Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”   Even our own evil deeds work out for good because they were used to draw us to salvation in Jesus Christ.   

What about you?  What evil do you do prior to “knowing the Lord was God?  What good are you now doing as a result of receiving Jesus Christ into your life?   

Lord God Almighty, thank you for knowing exactly what we need to come to knowledge You are God.  Thank you for using even the evil we have done to turn us around in repentance.  Thank you for forgiving us our sins and leading us in the path of life.  In Jesus’ 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.

Leave a comment »

Shadows of Christ

“All the people of the land shall give this offering for the prince in
Israel. Then it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the feasts, the New Moons, the Sabbaths, and at all the appointed seasons of the house of Israel. He shall prepare the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offerings to make atonement for the house of
Israel.”
Ezekiel 45:16-17 NKJV
 

I’ve heard it preached the Old Testament is full of things that point to Jesus Christ.  But honestly, I could not see that for myself at first.  However, the more I read the Bible, the more God revealed to me and my spirit was convinced by God’s Spirit in me what truth really was.  Hebrews 8:5 says of the priests of old “who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things”.   

In today’s verse, Ezekiel 46:16-17, the Lord is giving instructions regarding the laws that govern the priests.  This verse stood out to me and I wanted to share why.   Let’s start by examining the verses piece by piece.   

V16 “All the people of the land shall give this offering for the prince in
Israel.” 
Who was this offering for?  The prince of Israel, the priest, responsible for making atonement for the people received the offering brought by the people.   Who can make permanent atonement for sins? Jesus Christ. Hebrews 7:24 says “because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.”  Who is called the Prince of Peace?  Jesus Christ.  Who is called “priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”?  Jesus Christ. 
 

V17 “Then is shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings ….”  Only the prince, the priest, can give the burnt offerings.  Why was only the prince able to perform this task?  God was laying out the picture of what was to come.  Only one perfect, sinless man could offer a complete atonement for sin.  Hebrew 7:27-28 says of Jesus “who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.”  

V17 at all the appointed seasons for the house of Israel.” Notice how God is a God of order.  Everything occurs at the appropriate time, the set time, the time determined by God’s clock.  At just the right time, God sent His Son (Galatians 4:4). 

V17 “He shall prepare the sin offering…” Notice whose role it is to prepare the offering?  Only the prince, the priest, can do it.  In the Old Testament it was the God selected and appointed lineage of Levi, who were responsible, but remember they were only a foreshadowing of the real thing to come.  In the New Testament, we see Jesus Christ has prepared Himself as the offering, when He chose to die on the cross for us.   

This is just one example of how Old Testament laws and rituals pointed to Jesus Christ’s fulfillment of them.  Read the Bible for yourself.  The more you read, the more God will show you.  Another excellent resource for understanding scriptures is to listen to Bible teaching on the radio or on the internet.  I’d like to offer three of my favorite resources:

1)      Dr. J. Vernon McGee of Thru the Bible offers a radio program (FM 107.9 KWVE) called “The Bible Bus” that teaches the entire Bible verse by verse over a 5 year period.  

2)      Calvary Chapel pastors are thoroughly trained to teach verse by verse as well.   Any time you have a chance to hear a Calvary preacher, by all means listen. 

3)      Truth for Life Ministries with Pastor Allister Begg, offers a wonderful daily devotion on-line or sent via email.  You can also listen to his sermons on line at http://www.truthforlife.org 

I hope you enjoyed this quick study of the Word and you are able to see for yourself how it represents Jesus Christ as our High Priest forever.   

Lord, thank you for your Word, the Truth and Your Spirit in us to guide us to You.  Give us a desire to read more of Your Word and to apply the lessons we learn in our lives today.  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.

Leave a comment »

A Present Help

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, Psalm 46:1-2 NKJV.  This psalm is encouraging us to hold fast to the Lord, no matter what is going on around us.  While reading verses 2 and 3 about a world being torn apart by natural disasters one must consider what was said right before that: God is our refuge.  So when our world is falling apart, whether due to physical illness, relational issues, or financial burdens, we can turn to Him for help. 

I love how the psalmist shifts his focus from the problems of the world in verse 2 and 3 to a holy place we call heaven in verses 4 through 6.  Don’t we see this pattern throughout the Bible?  “Keep your eyes on the Lord” is says over and over in various ways.   Consider how Matthew walked on water towards Jesus in Matthew 14:27-32 but as soon as his eyes saw the waves, he started to sink.  He sank because he took his eyes off Jesus.   And so will we if we choose not to focus on Him. 

Paul urges us to keep our thoughts on the eternal things rather than the temporary things in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 NKJV “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

When the darkest hour is upon us, as our world comes apart before our very eyes, if we choose to keep our focus on God, we will remember what verse 5 says: “God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.”  God is with us.  We will not be moved.  God will help us, even when it looks like all hope is gone.

Who comes to our rescue?  Verse 10 says it all:  Be still, and know that I am God.   Stop fretting the situation you’re in.  Just be still.  Focus on God.  Realize He is bigger and mightier than our biggest problems.

What are the “mountains” quaking in your life today?  What “waters are roaring and troubled”?  Do not fear.  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Won’t you turn to Him? 

Lord, thank you for your precious Word, guiding us back to the truth.  You are our refuge and strength.  No matter what difficulties we have in this life, we can rest in you as our safe harbor.  You will keep us safe from all that’s falling apart.  Help us to “Be still, and know that You are God” and you are with us.  May we turn to you today, this moment and seek your refuge.  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.

Leave a comment »

Never Underestimate Pride

Pride only breeds quarrels (Proverbs 13:10 NIV).  This I can attest to in my own life.  Whenever there’s been conflict or quarrel, it usually traces back to some unchecked pride in one or more of our lives.  Pride is sometimes very subtle and difficult to detect.  Other times it’s pretty obvious.

 

We all can become prideful.  It’s in our sinful nature.  Whether it’s an external pride (like acting superior and behaving like you know it all) or an internal pride (selfishness, stubbornness) these forms of pride are not good.

We all need to recognize pride in our self.  Let’s look at what the Bible teaches in Matthew 7:3-5 NKJV: “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  It appears we can be blinded by pride.  Therefore, we must first remove our own pride before we can assist anyone else with theirs.

How do we know if we’ve got pride in our life?  Here are a few areas to be watchful of:

Do you keep score when someone slights you or hold grudges?

Are you unable to apologize when you’re wrong?

Are you unable to ask for help?

Are you constantly focused on yourself?

Are you insecure?

If you see any of the above items appearing in your life, you’ve got pride. Looking at King Uzziah from the Old Testament, we can learn a lot from his example.  He started out well.  As long as he sought the Lord, he prospered.  Unfortunately, when he became strong in his own power (prideful) he went astray.  You can read more about King Uzziah in 2 Chronicles 26:1-23.  

The Bible teaches us God hates pride in James 4:6 NIV “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”   Therefore, let us humble ourselves before the Lord and He will lift us up (James 4:10).

Once we’ve discovered pride in our life, what do we do?  From Saddleback
Church’s “The Source of Your Stress” message notes March 17-18, 2007:

  1. Admit our sins honestly. (Proverbs 28:13)
  2. Evaluate our strengths realistically. (Romans 12:3, Galatians 6:4)
  3. Enjoy our success gratefully. (1 Corinthians 4:7)
  4. Serve others unselfishly. (Philippians 2:3-5)
  5. Depend on Jesus continually. (Psalm 10:4, Proverbs 22: 4)

 

Lord God Almighty, Your Word tells us You hate pride.  Enable us to recognize pride in our life.  Enable us to admit we are prideful, confess that sin and repent of it.  Enable us to walk in the light of Your truth that we may be set free by the power of your Word.  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.

Leave a comment »

Know Your Enemy’s Tricks

When things are not going as you planned, or there’s more confusion than peace or fights keep breaking out for no necessary at all, or you can’t find your car keys to get to bible study or any other distracting thing is occurring, stop and think. 

We have an enemy who wants to seek, kill and destroy anything having to do with God and His will.  Let me give you some examples of how the enemy may stalk you.  I started a Beth Moore Breaking Free Bible Study this month.  The first step was getting to the church on a Thursday night to get connected with other women interested in a Thursday night study as well.  Here are few things that tried to slow me down:   I ended up working later than usual so now I was rushed and my husband and I (who rarely argue) had an argument.  The enemy was trying to get me frustrated due to lack of time and discouraged due to the argument with my husband.  However, as I drove to the church I could see exactly what he was trying to do.  What did I do?  I armored up!  That’s right I began praying Ephesians 6:10-20

Lord, thank you for having everything under control.  I ask for your protection as I put on your armor.  I put on the sturdy belt of truth around my waist.  I slip on the preparation of the gospel for my shoes.  I put on the helmet of salvation to guard my thoughts and give my confidence in your salvation.  I put on the breastplate of your righteousness to protect my heart.  I use my shield of faith, which enables me to extinguish the firey arrows aimed at me from the evil one.  Lastly I carry with me the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.  I stand firm not wavering because I know in You I am strong.  In Jesus’ name Amen.  

The second thing I did was praise God for who He is.  I thanked Him for knowing exactly who He wanted to attend this small group.  I thanked Him for the healing that would come from this study.  I simply became overwhelmed with joy at the potential spiritual growth about to occur through this small group study.   Our enemy hates it when we praise God.  He will flee from you when you submit to the Lord and resist the enemies lies (James 4:7). 

The next week we were to meet again on a Thursday for the first time as a small group.  I just got back from Mammoth so I only had one day to prepare.  I had to clean the carpet and the sofas, scrub the floors, do the laundry and plan something for my husband and young son to do while the bible study was going on.  (The enemy likes to cause us to fret over having much to do, so keep that in mind and don’t buy it!)  I also needed to get with the woman I was to borrow the DVD but for some reason she was not returning my calls or emails, so it was looking like we might have to start our lessons the following week.  I don’t know about you, but as a planner you want things to go smoothly.  Not having the DVD on our first night would not make for a good first impression but I was willing to give it a go if forced to. 

However, God prevailed.  As it turns out, she was out of town and that’s why she didn’t return my calls.  On the morning of the day we would meet, I finally connected with her and ended up picking up the DVD at lunch time.  (It didn’t give me time to review, but at least I had the video for group!)  During this whole time, the enemy was coming against me physically as well.  I have been experiencing very unpleasant intestinal pain the entire day on Thursday, the day of our first meeting.  I really felt awful, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from conducting this study no matter how bad it got.  It eventfully went away, when the enemy knew I wouldn’t give in to it. 

In the end everything turned out as it should but there were plenty of opportunities where I could have just lost it.  By being in constant pray with our Lord, I was able to hold it together and not stress all the details.

The next time you find yourself in a similar situation, remember to stop and think about how the enemy might be trying to get you to fall, fail or freak out.  Don’t buy into his deceits.  Instead, armor up!   

 

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.

 

Leave a comment »

The Box

 

There once were two girl friends who lived next to each other.  Every day they would meet together and talk about what God was doing in their lives.  One day each friend discovered a box on their porch.  They both ran to meet each other and talk about the box they found. 

 

The first girl said “Look I found this box on my porch.  Although it is empty, I will treasure this gift always.” The second girl said “I found a box too, but mine was empty.”

 

The second girl decided to leave the box on the porch in hopes that during the night someone would come and fill it up.  In the morning she was disappointed.  Same thing occurred the next day and the next day.  Always hoping someone would come and fill up the box and then disappointed because no one came.

 

The first girl, however, didn’t focus on how empty the box was.  She instead chose to fill up her box.  For example, in spring time she stored flowers in it, during summer she put sand and seashells, and in the winter she put fresh pine sprigs and pine cones, etc. Her box was always full and brought her joy.

 

Who was most fulfilled by the box?  I imagine the first girl number was more satisfied. 

 

The key to the story above is to know that the box represents your life and it’s up to you to decide what to put into your life.  You can either wait for something to happen or you can cause something to happen.  We are always presented with this choice.  Isn’t that a wonderful thing to know?  The choices we make can either hinder our life or improve our life. 

 

So which girl are you more like? 

 

The parable I paraphrased above comes from a book I’m reading:  The Heartache No One Sees by Shiela Walsh.  It’s a book about Christ’s promise of healing for a woman’s wounded heart.  I’m only on Chapter 9, but so far it’s been enlightening.  Each chapter has application points to consider and there’s a complete bible study at the end f the book.  I’m taking my time with this book.  Reading one chapter at a time, reflecting on what I read and answering the questions for further revelation.   I’ll share more as I progress.

 

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.


Leave a comment »

Here I am Lord, Use Me

Not long after giving my life to Christ, sitting with my small group discussing mission trips, I vividly remember a feeling of sheer terror.  I didn’t want God to send to me off to Africa or some third world country.  At church we’d often here a song with lyrics “Here I am Lord, use me”.  I had difficulties singing that song.  After all, I was tired of being used by the world, why would I want the Lord to use me too?

But God is good and not because He didn’t send me to Africa!  God is good because He’s God.  It is a holy privilege to serve the true and living God.  Sure, I didn’t think so when I first believed. However, God has a habit of changing the way you think.  Look at Romans 12:2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  The Bible instructs us to not conform to the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  I just love that part of the verse.  When your mind has been renewed you will have the proper godly perspective to understand the will of God. 

Day by day, little by little, God’s Word changes how we think.  It realigns our thoughts to His thoughts.  We find ourselves starting to care about He cares about.  We become thankful for all He has done for us.  We are humble and grateful to help where ever is needed.  Today, more than 10 years later, I can honestly say I’d love to go a mission trip and take my sons with me.  Who knows?  It may happen.  In fact, I’ve been communicating with Good Hope Church in Kenya, who ask me to come.  The opportunity of going isn’t terrifying either!  It would be an honor and a blessing to go.  I’m just another example of Romans 12:2 – my mind has been renewed!

What about you?  Do you want to be used by the Lord?  If not, why? 

Lord thank you for your Word that straightens us out and shows us the pathway to life.  Enable us to see things from your perspective and be willing to help where ever is needed.  Renew our minds, Lord that we may say with enthusiasm “here I am Lord, use me.”  In Jesus’ 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.

Ready to start leading small groups? Find out how easy it is with How to Get Started Leading Small Groups PDF ebook for $3.95 at
http://thinkonitbibledevotions.com/HowtoGetStartedLeadingSmallGroups.aspx


2 Comments »

Press On

“Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him! Then he will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” Hosea 6:3 NLT 

This is our goal – to know HIM.  What does “press on to know him” mean to you?  It sounds like it involves some kind of effort, doesn’t it?  It is a deliberate act to know Him.  Once we apply or dedicate or commit to ourselves that we will “press on to know him”, we can be confident He will respond to us.   This verse says “as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in the early spring.”  That means we have assurance He will respond as He says He will.  Do you ever stop to think about whether the sun will rise tomorrow?  I don’t because I’m confident the sun will always shine for us.  Well, it’s the same with God.  If we seek Him, He will be found by us. 

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.

Ever wonder what a Quiet Time with the Lord is? Find out with this PDF ebook for $3.95 at
http://thinkonitbibledevotions.com/HowtoStartaQuietTime.aspx

 

1 Comment »

Jesus is the express image of God

 

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 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; 3 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, 4 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 

The Bible teaches no one has seen God (John 1:18). It also teaches Jesus is the image of Him who is invisible (Colossians 1:15).  Why, even Jesus Himself said to His disciples “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father” (John 14:9).   God Almighty is too magnificent for mere humans to see and comprehend.  So when Jesus Christ was here on earth in human form, he was the representation of God Himself, in a physical way we humans would be able to understand.  Jesus was a picture of God’s character.  His life was a model for us to follow.  

Likewise, we Christians (or little Christ) are to be representatives of God to the unbelieving world.  By choosing to live God’s way instead of our way, we let God’s glory shine out from within.  We are not our own, we were purchased by the precious blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).  Now, let our bodies become tools of righteousness used by God for His glory (Romans 6:13).   

Lord Thank You for sending Jesus into the world, that we may know You.  Thank You for Your Word and Your Spirit which leads us in all truth.  Thank You for being a God who cares for us and will reveal Yourself to those who seek 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.


Ever wonder what a Quiet Time with the Lord is? Find out with this PDF ebook for $3.95 at
http://thinkonitbibledevotions.com/HowtoStartaQuietTime.aspx


2 Comments »