Bible Devotions

And it was Good

Read Genesis 1.

What was good?  Everything God created.  Really?  Everything from the light and land to stars and man all of it was good.  Why is that?  Because God has a plan and specific purpose for everything He made.  Let’s review.

Light – He created light to separate the darkness.  He divided night which was dark and day which is light. 

Heaven – He created a firmament to divide the waters above and below the heavens. 

Land – He gathered the seas together in one place, so land would appear.  Land was the foundation of the rest of His creation. 

Plants – He created grass and herbs and fruit trees.  All of these plants gave seed to repopulate themselves.

Stars – He created the stars, sun and moon for the specific purpose of being used for signs and seasons, giving light to the earth and to rule over day and night.

Water Creatures and Birds – He created everything that lives in the waters and the birds which fly above the waters.  All of these were to be fruitful and multiply.

Land Animals – He created all the animals that dwell on land and each one being able to repopulate it self.

Man – He created man, in His own image, to have dominion over all He had created.  He also expected man to be fruitful and multiply. 

 

What does all this say about God, His purpose and plan for people? 

(1) God is creator of all.  He made everything we see and even the things we can’t see up in the heavens.  He is all powerful, as everything was made by Him simply speaking it into existence.  Nothing is too hard or impossible for God.

(2) God had a purpose for everything He made.  There was nothing just thrown together on a spur of the moment.  There was purpose in each creation.  Thought and intention went into the making of all we see.  Everything exists for a reason. 

(3) Everything God created was good.  After each thing He made, He’d step back and say “it was good.”  In fact, in verse 31 it says “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.”

 Lord God Almighty, hallow be your name your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.  You desire all praise.  You alone are worthy.  You have every right to reign for you created it all with purpose.  Thank you for your Word which leads to your truth.  Enable us to understand you more.  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 Ripple Effect

Have you ever noticed how one negative thing leads to another?  It seems once one thing goes wrong, many more wrongs follow.  Did you ever notice it’s not just negative or wrong that follow this pattern?  The pattern or rather principle is simple.  It’s called reaping and sowing.  The Bible teaches us these farming terms as a way of explaining how life works. 

 

Plant a corn seed and corn will grow.  This is called sowing.  At the appropriate time, you receive a harvest of corn.  This is called reaping.  It’s the same with any other kind of seed.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s a bean, tomato, or cucumber seed. All seeds will yield the kind of fruit God intended.   Sow this, reap that.  Understand?

 

In life, we too plant seeds.  Granted these are not physical seeds we put in the ground, but seeds none the less.  The seeds we sow come from things like our thoughts, our attitudes, our body language, and our actions or behaviors. 

 Our Thoughts

Our thoughts make all the difference in the world.  If we choose to dwell on unhealthy things, it is like planting a bad crop.  We will reap the consequences of unhealthy thoughts in the area of our attitude and actions.   With our thoughts focused on negative and unhealthy things, we make unwise choices.  Conversely, when we set our minds on healthy things like Philippians 4:8-9 suggests we reap a pleasant harvest of God’s peace guarding our hearts and minds. 

 Our Attitudes

Our attitudes come from whatever we allow our mind or thoughts to focus on.  Our attitude also rubs off on others.  Think about when you’ve been around someone with a bad attitude.  What did you not like about being with them?  To me hanging around those with bad attitudes causes me to be more negative and start complaining.  Those bad attitudes plant seeds in others.  When our attitude could use a little adjusting, the best place to start is with our thoughts.  Stop and think about what you are thinking.  Begin to notice what you dwell on.  Ask God to help you recognize unhealthy thoughts and replace them with godly thoughts instead.  Memorizing scripture is a great way to get God’s good stuff stored away in your gray matter.

 Our Body-Language

With our bodies we can convene sincere interest or disrespect for others.  Let me give you an example, a wife and husband are having a conversation.  The wife doesn’t necessarily agree with what the husband is saying and it’s very obvious because of her stance (hands on her hips) and her eye-rolling.  This communicates disrespect towards her husband.  The sad part is she probably doesn’t even know it.  We need to be cautious of our bodies and what we might be communicating through our body language.

 Our Actions

Of all the items we’ve discuss so far, this one is probably the “no-brainer”.   Actions we can see.  Therefore, it is should be pretty evident we are influencing others by what we choose to do or not do.    If a parent chooses to drink alcohol and smoke around their children, then there’s a good possibility the children will grow up thinking drinking and smoking are okay.  Our actions leave marks in another’s life whether for good or bad.  Our decision is to make our actions count for good.  Galatians 6:8 NKJV “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” What good actions are doing today to influence others? 

 Lord Jesus, thank you for your saving grace.  Teach us to sow good seed that we may reap a good harvest of right living.  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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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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Time to Choose

But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirty-fold, some sixty, and some a hundred.  Mark 4:3 NKJV 

 

Read Mark 4:3-8.  This is the parable of the sower who planted some seeds.  This parable outlines four different results the sower encountered.  To recap here’s a list of the four results in my own words.

1)      Some seed that fell by the wayside and the birds of the air devoured the seed.

2)      Some seed fell among stony ground where the sun scorched it and it soon withered because it had on root.

3)      Some seed among thorns which choked it and yielded no crop.

4)      Lastly, some seed fell on good ground and yielded crop, increased and produced thirty, sixty and hundred fold.

 

Read Mark 4:13-20.  This is the section Jesus explains the parable to His disciples.  What a good God we have, to give us a parable as well as the explanation of it!  Here’s a paraphrase of Jesus’ explanation:

1)      The seed [God’s Word] on the wayside can be stolen by Satan, if we let him.

2)      The seed on stony ground had no root and only endured a short while. We have no root in our self.  We can’t live by our own self-sufficiency for the long haul.

3)      Cares of the world were more important than God.

4)      Good ground represented those who hear God’s Word, accepted it and resulted in bearing lots of fruit.

 

As I mediated on these verses over the course of several days, here’s what the Lord seemed to be saying to me.  See if it makes sense to you. 

1)      We can defend our self against the enemy who wants to take God’s Word away. We don’t have to be Satan’s victims.

2)      We can protect against too much exposure to sunlight [truth] too.  Take in what we can handle, apply it to our lives and move to the next principle.  Too much truth can be overwhelming and discouraging.  One truth at a time develops roots. 

3)      We can guard against the thorns by routinely pulling the weeds.  Don’t let things fester, instead deal with problems head on with God’s grace and wisdom to handle them properly. 

4)      Lastly, when we choose to implement God’s principles in our live, we are choosing to hear and do what His Word says.  The result is lots of fruit.

 

We all have a choice to make.  Will we choose to be hindered like the first three results?  Or will we choose to be “good ground” that readily accepts God’s Word and applies it?  The choice is ours.  By the power and authority given to us in Christ Jesus, with His Spirit in us, we have the power to choose to be “good ground”. 

 

Lord thank you for your truth that sets us captives free.  Thank you for your power to carry out your good purposes in our life.  Thank you for enabling us to choose to be “good ground”.  May we apply your truth in our life, shine for you and reap much fruit in your name, Jesus. 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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