Bible Devotions

Blessed by Doing

 

Are you a forgetful hearer?  You listen to God’s Word at church on Sunday, but come Monday you are living your life as you choose with no regard to what you heard on Sunday? 

 

The Bible tells us those who hear only actually deceive themselves.  James 1:22 NKJV says “But be doers of the word, and not just hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”  So how does one become a doer of the word? 

 

James 1:25 NKJV gives us some clues: “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”    James continues to say we need to bridle our tongue, care for orphans and widows in their trouble and keep our self uncorrupted by the world.

 

Jesus teaches us by carrying out God’s commands we become like a wise man. Matthew 7:24 NKJV says “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock.”  Jesus continued to say though rain, floods and wind came against the house, it stood because it was founded upon the rock.  The same is true for us, when we trust in Christ we become founded upon the rock.  Nothing can move us. 

 

Jesus also taught us about servants and masters in John 13:1-17, when he washed the disciple’s feet.  A servant is not above the master.  We are servants to God, which means our own will is NOT above God’s.  Likewise, the one sent is not greater than the one doing the sending.  We are sent by God to carrying out His good purposes in this life.  We are NOT greater than God who’s sending us.  Jesus capped off this teaching saying “If you know these things blessed are you if you do them.” 

 

Look at what James 1:12 NKJV says “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved he will receive the crown of life which the Lord promised to those who love Him.”

 

So fellow believer, let us endure temptations and follow Christ’s example.  Let us be doers of the word that we may be called wise and not deceive our self.  For Jesus said in Matthew 7:21 NKJV “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

 Lord Jesus, thank you for your cleansing, healing, righteousness word.  Thank you for your Spirit enabling us to walk in your word and become doers of the word.  Help us continue in your way all the days of life that we may be lights to the world for you. 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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Do you want God to forgive you?

 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”  Mark 11:24-26 NKJV 

Have you ever been made aware of your own failing to forgive someone when you thought you had?   

Reading this passage in Mark was convicting to me because I thought I had forgiven someone when in fact I hadn’t.   Read it again.  Pay close attention to verse 26.   If you don’t forgive, neither will God forgive your trespasses.   

While our sins were forgiven when we gave our life to Jesus Christ, there is an on-going component to forgiveness we can not neglect—forgiving others. We are saved and forgiven by Christ, when we come to Him for salvation.  However, we are called from that point on to forgive others just like we’ve been forgiven.  If we don’t, then we are not forgiven of any new trespasses we may commit.   

Let’s look at what God’s Word says about forgiving others.  

Luke 6:37 NKJV “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” 

Luke 11:3-5 “Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” 

What if choose not to forgive someone?  Based on the verses above, it looks like we won’t be forgiven.  But there’s further consequence of not forgiving someone.  Look at the next verse below. 

John 20:22-24 NKJV “And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” 

If we don’t forgive, we retain the sins.  Do you really want to hang on to sin?  I certainly don’t.  What happens when we hang on to sin?  Well, for starters our minds may dwell on a past sin and cause bitterness to grow.  We may become vulnerable to sin our self.  It can also cause us to build walls between our relationships.  The list of negative affects regarding hanging to sin could go on for ever.  So, we’ll stop there for now.   

Do you dwell on the memory of a past hurt?  Are you hanging on to that hurt?  Do you bring up the past hurt when you’re arguing with the person?  These are tell-tale signs you may not have forgiven them.   

Search your heart and ask God to help you forgive.  I want you to understand you have the power to forgive. Read John 20:22-24 NKJV again.  Jesus breathed on them and said “Receive the Holy Spirit”.   Believer, we have His Holy Spirit in us giving us the power to do His will.  We can forgive as He has forgiven us!  

Lord Jesus thank you for your Holy Spirit and the power to forgive others as you have forgiven us.  Open our eyes to any other we have failed to forgive.  Give us the courage to do the right thing and forgive them.  Help us to let go past hurts so we do not retain sins any longer.  In your precious name, Amen.  

 

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Foolish or Wise?

Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Galatians 3:3 NKJV 

Wasn’t it wonderful when you were first saved?  You found relief through Jesus Christ, who forgave your sins, made you whole, and gave you a new life in His Spirit. As God declared after He spoke the world in to existence, “It is good”. 

However, there are times when we can feel trapped in our humanity.  Yes, we’ve been saved.  Yes, we’ve been given God’s Spirit as a guarantee.  But something subtle has crept in and causes us to lean on our own understanding rather than depending on the Spirit to guide us.  Unforgiveness, pride, selfishness, perfectionism, resentment, bitterness, anger, and other things cause us to be foolish rather than wise.   

Just the other day I found myself in an emotionally charged conflict with my husband. What did I do, you ask?  I’d like to say I was filled with the Spirit and responded out of love.  Sadly, I didn’t.  Something in this conflict triggered an old wound that sent me into my old reaction patterns.  In that moment I chose foolish rather than wisdom.  

At times like these, we need to stand fast in our faith, remembering and applying what we have learned from God’s Word.  If we only read God’s Word but don’t do it, we are like the foolish man who built his house upon the sand rather than the rock foundation.  When the storms of life came, his house came down with a mighty crash.  (Matthew 7:25-27) 

Next time you find yourself in a messy situation, choose wisdom follow the Spirit.  Acknowledge God in all you do and lean not on your own understanding and He will direct your path (Proverbs 3:5-6).  

Lord God forgiver of our souls, thank you for caring for us.  Thank you for sending your Spirit to guide us into all truth and teach us to live in 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.

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Why God?

For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt any one.  James 1:13 NKJV 

Why God, why?  How come we so easily blame God when bad things happen in our life? 

The Bible teaches us God does not tempt us.  God is good and there is no darkness in Him.  As believers, we need to get that firmly seated in our minds and hearts.  He draws us near Him.  He doesn’t cause us to turn from Him. God is good period end of story. 

Temptation is a tool of Satan.  For he [Satan] knows what James 1:14-15 says: “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

Romans 3:23 tells us all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  That means as humans we all have the capacity to sin.  Satan loves it when we sin because it’s in direct opposition to God.  Anything that leads us away from God, leads us towards Satan.

So what can we do about it?  I believe we can be prepared, just as God’s Word teaches us. 

  • We need to recognize our humanity and know we will sin.  1 John 1:9 NKJV “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 
  • We need to recognize where we are most tempted, so we can guard against it. Ephesians 6:10-18 is a great verse to memorize. 
  • We need accountability with other believers, to help us stay on track with the Lord. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • We need God’s Word every day to renew our minds and to align our will to His. (Romans 12:2)
  • Next time you are tempted, remember God’s not the author of it.  He may allow it because it’s good to strengthen your commitment to Him, but remember He doesn’t create the temptation.  That’s our enemy’s job.    

Lord thank you for your Word that straightens us out and helps us know our self and you better.  Enable us to recognize who is behind our temptations.  Teach us to guard our self against our own desires.  Enable us to want accountability in our life and to renew our minds with 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.  Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

 

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The Great Restrainer

Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:5-12 NKJV

The Holy Spirit is around everywhere and not just inside a believer.  He is present in our world around us.  He holds things together.  Without the Holy Spirit we would live in sheer chaos.  But God is good and sent His Holy Spirit to convict people of their sins, convince people of His truth and to lead the believer in all truth.

Even Jesus reassured us of the Holy Spirit’s coming in John 16:7-15 NKJV: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”

Have you ever thought about how the Holy Spirit restrains?  “He will convict the world of sin”, Jesus said.  That conviction is a form of restraining evil.  Every time you’re convicted of sin in your life, praise God for the Holy Spirit is restraining evil!

When I look back at my past life before I came to Christ, I now see evidence of the Holy Spirit in my life.  He was there convicting me of sinful things, which lead me not to do them.  He was guiding me towards a better path.  I was completely unaware of Him at the time, but now I know He was there.  God is so good!  If the Holy Spirit works like that in a non-believer’s life, just imagine the power He has in a believer’s life.

 

Do you recognize the Holy Spirit’s work in your life?  What about around you? As you watch circumstances unfold in the world around, know the Holy Spirit is there doing His job restraining evil and praise God!

Lord Jesus, thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment.  Thank you for working in our lives to restrain evil and lead us back to the right path.  Teach us to depend on You with each breath we take. In Your name, Jesus we ask these things. Amen.

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