Bible Devotions

God’s Plan

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before hand that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10 NKJV

 

For We are His Workmanship

The “we” is collective, meaning more than one of us individually.  Remember, all believers are one body, the church.  Together we are His workmanship.  Isn’t it encouraging knowing we are part of something bigger and grander than just our self?  Knowing that each part within a body has a certain function and only when each part carries out their function, does the body work as intended by design.

 

Created in Christ Jesus

We started to become His workmanship the moment we trusted in Jesus Christ and received His gift of salvation.  We are a new creation in Christ.  Jesus alone does the building of the body.  He calls them to Himself and fits them in the proper place within the body.  His Spirit distributes gifts, talents, and abilities appropriate for their purpose within the body.  We can not say “I am the eye” or “I am the hand”, for it is Jesus who decides what our function is to be. 

 

For Good Works

There is a reason and purpose behind being His workmanship.  It is not to simply show off how awesome God is, although that’s part of it.  God always has a purpose.  We are hand-crafted by the God of the universe to do good works.  How do we know what’s good to do?  Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Does what you say encourage and build up someone’s faith?
  • Is your service done as though it is done for the Lord?
  • Is your act of giving helping expand the kingdom of God?
  • Are you caring for widows, orphans, oppressed, discouraged, and diseased or the poor?
  • Are you using your spiritual gifts?

If we answer yes to any of these, chances are we are doing good works.  Certainly, this is not an exhaustive list of all the ways to tell if we are doing good works, but it should help us stay on track with God’s plan. 

 

Which God Prepared Before Hand

God who created us and knows all things past, present and future has prepared the specific good works He wants us to carry out.  He has everything planned and worked out.  He even has His back up plans in place.  He is in complete control.  He has given us certain spiritual gifts such as pastering, teaching, speaking in tongues, encouraging, hospitability and generosity with an expectation these will be used for His glory. 

 

That We Should Walk in Them

Every spiritual gift given to us is for the purpose of operating in those gifts.   We are called to use the gifts.  Think about when you have given a gift to someone.  Did you expect them to open the gift and use it?  Of course you did.  No one would give a gift that just sat there without ever being opened.  We give gifts to be used and appreciated.  The same holds true for spiritual gifts.  It is in our using our God-given gifts God’s workmanship is demonstrated and His kingdom is expanded. 

 Lord thank you for your clarifying word.  Thank you for the spiritual gifts you’ve given us.  Enable us to recognize those gifts and to use them for your glory.  May we be empowered by the knowledge of your complete control and carry out the good works you prepare 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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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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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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Even Demons Worship Jesus

When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. Mark 5:6 NKJV 

 

Read Mark 5:1-19.  It’s the story of a demon-possessed man Jesus healed.  After reading this story what seems like for the 100th time I noticed something about the way the demon-possessed man responded to Jesus’ presence, hence the reason for today’s verse.

 

Notice, if you will, the demon-possessed man was not in control of himself.  Mark 5:3-5 gives us a pretty clear picture of what this man’s life was like: “his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.” 

When this man saw Jesus coming towards the area, he ran and worshiped Him.  This is amazing to me.  We just saw how the man had no control over his life, but the demons within him controlled him.  So who was it running to met Jesus?  Was it not the demons within him?  Follow me on this.   

Even the demons, in their rebellion of God, recognize the authority of Jesus Christ.  With that recognition comes quick obedience and reverence through worship.  If the demons worship Jesus, how much more should “believers” run to worship Him?   

Thinking about the demon’s response to Jesus, made me think about my response to Jesus.  Do I run quickly to Jesus?  My first response might be to say “Yes, of course I do”, but if I am more honest with myself, I’d be willing to say “I would like to run to Jesus more, but I find myself trying to figure things out on my own first and when my attempts fail, I stagger head down to Jesus.”  Do I worship Him? Oh sure, at church when the music is loud and the whole congregation is singing I worship.  But is that where worship stops?  If I did worship I think part of it would be my willingness to come to Him first. 

Here’s a few thought provoking questions for you.  Are you quick to run to Jesus?  Do you reverence Him through worship?  If not, why?   

Lord Jesus, you have authority over all of us humans, angels and even the demons. You deserve our reverence and worship.  Help us fully recognize your authority and may we be quick to obey you and worship you. In Your 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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