Bible Devotions

A Lesson in the Importance of Context

Have you ever started watching a movie that had already began? You missed the first part of the movie but watched the middle and end only. Over time you pieced together scenes to help understand what the movie was about. Sometimes it is frustrating trying to figure out what’s going on. Reading one section of Scripture without seeing how it fits within the chapter it comes from can be equally frustrating.

Let’s work with a real example. Open your Bible to the New Testament book of Mark and turn to chapter six. If you don’t have a Bible handy, I will wait while you get one. If you are reading this online, use BibleGateway.com.

Start by reading verses 33-44. It is a familiar passage about the feeding of 5,000. Why do you suppose Jesus told his disciples “You give them something to eat?”

If this was all you read of Mark chapter six you might be thinking something like what I did. If I were the disciple I would be thinking “Me? You want me to feed all these people? What are you crazy? I’m no one special. I can’t feed them.” Again if all you read was this one section you would miss something tremendously important. Earlier in verses 7-12 Jesus gave his disciples power over unclean spirits, to preach repentance, and to heal the sick. No where between verse 12 and verse 33 does it say the disciples’ powers were revoked.  If the disciples had the power to do all that stuff, do you suppose they might also have the power to feed the people?

Let’s revisit the story in verses 33-44. Knowing the disciples still had the powers Jesus gave them, how does this change your thoughts on why Jesus told the disciples to feed the 5,000? Could Jesus be testing the disciples to see how well they used what He gave them?

Do you see how one part of the chapter builds on the other? Without the first part, we might miss the real point Jesus was trying to make. The disciples had what they needed to feed the masses. Sadly they didn’t recognize it. But don’t be too harsh on the disciples because we are probably a lot like them.  Jesus has given us much. Are we using what He gave us to its fullest potential?

Context is very important. Context usually takes time because more Scripture must be read before a drill down study can begin. Without context we lose meaning or might just to the wrong conclusions. Therefore, when Scripture is offered, take time to check it out in context which is came from.  You don’t want to lose the meaning or wrongly interpret the meaning.  Be like the Bereans who after hearing Paul preach would study Scripture to see if what Paul said was true or not.

Lord, thank you for your Holy Spirit in us who guides us in all truth and reminds us all Jesus taught. Thank you for your revelation as we read your words in the Bible.  In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in God’s Word.  Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

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If it’s God’s Will, He Makes it Possible

Ezra discovered this truth about God, even though it took a long while to finish what he was called to do.  In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, a proclamation was put in writing to rebuild the house of God. An offering was made. All those carried away as captives into Babylon were numbered. There was 42,360 remaining who could prove their lineage.

Adversaries arose to frustrate the plans to build God’s house. These enemies were able to cause the building to cease until the 2nd year of King Darius.  But God made King Darius search the archives for King Cyrus’ decree.  Once he found it, he too allowed the building to continue.

The temple was finished in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. The children of Israel, the priests, Levites, and the rest of the descendants of captivity, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy.

Getting to this milestone took time.  How long we don’t know exactly.  But we do know it took all of King Cyrus’ reign and six years of Kind Darius’ reign.  This was only the first part of Ezra’s calling to fulfill God’s purposes.

As the children of Israel began following God’s laws once again, we see them offering sacrifices. The priests purified themselves and prepared the Passover Lambs.  The people who returned from captivity separated themselves from the filth of the nations in order to seek the Lord God of Israel. They kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with joy. The Lord strengthened their hands in the work of the house of the God.

Seven years later Ezra came to Jerusalem. Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel. King Artaxeres says to Ezra, according to your God-given wisdom, set magistrates and judges to judge the people who know the law of God and teach those who don’t know. Whoever won’t observe God’s law, let judgment be executed speedily. This judgment could be death, banishment, or confiscation of property or imprisonment.

Ezra took 1,754 people and priests with him. He proclaimed a fast to humble themselves before God, to seek from Him the right way for them to go. God answered his prayer.

When the Levites came to Ezra, they had not separated themselves from the land. They had married pagan women and had children born to them. To understand why this was such a big deal, we need to journey back to discover what the Levites God-given role was in the beginning.  We are not going to recount everything from the book of Leviticus, as there are twenty-seven chapters! The Levites were God’s chosen priests who were responsible to carry out the offerings; peace offering, sin offering, trespass offering. They were to be consecrated to God for this service.

The Levites who came to Ezra had defiled their God-appointed office! Ezra tore his garment, sat astonished and fasted. After a time of reflection Ezra fell on his knees and spread out his hands to God in prayer. He confessed the sins of the people. He praised God for not punishing them as they deserved. He wept bitterly.

The sons of priests came and said to Ezra, “We have trespassed against our God and taken pagan wives. Now let us make a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and children born to them, according to the commandment of God.”  Ezra made the priests, Levites and all Israel swear an oath that they would do according to this word.

After several days, the people came, the proclamation went out. The people came in great assembly. Ezra preached to make confession to the Lord to call the people to separate themselves from the people of this land and from the pagan wives. All the assembly answer, “Yes as you have said, so we must do!”

Ezra’s role was to remind the people of God’s ways and teach those who don’t know it yet. God used Ezra to not only rebuild the house of God, but also to restore the people’s hearts to God. The later part of Ezra’s calling is the same for us in our age.  If we know God and His words we need to share it with others that they might turn their hearts to God and be saved in Jesus’ name!

Lord, you have a plan and purpose for each of us. Help us to see it, and work with you to complete it no matter how long it takes. In Jesus’ name I 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 Know Hebrew?

Words in Hebrew carry much meaning. Just because we think we know a word should not stop us from investigating it.  In fact, researching a familiar word might prove to be enlightening, as words have more than one meaning.

Let’s a take a look at an example from Psalm 19:7:

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul:

The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;

Now using a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and Bible Dictionary we research the following words: law, perfect, converting, soul, testimony, sure, wise, and simple.

  • Law – H8451 “tora” means a precept or statute, especially the Decalogue or Pentateuch, the law.
  • Perfect – H8599 “tamim” means entire, integrity, truth, without blemish, complete, full, sincerely, sound, without spot, undefiled, upright, whole.
  • Converting – H7725 “sub” means to turn back, generally retreat, again bring back, cause to answer, come again, deliver, go home, recover, refresh, relieve, render, rescue, restore, retrieve, return, reward, cause to turn, and turn self again.
  • Soul – H5315 “nepes” means a breathing creature, vitality, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, dead, deadly, desire, discontented, fish, ghost, greedy, heart, life, lust, man, mind, mortally, one, own, person, pleasure self and will.
  • Testimony – H5715 “edut” means feminine testimony, witness
  • Sure – H539 “dman” means properly to build up or support, to foster as a parent or nurse, to render firm or faithful, to trust or believer, to be permanent or quiet, morally true or certain, assurance, establish, be steadfast, verified, put trust, nursing father.
  • Wise – H2499 “hakam” means to be wise (in mind, word, act), exceeding, teach wisdom, be wise, make self wise, shew self, deal wisely, never so wisely, make wiser.
  • Simple – H6612 “peti” means silly, foolish, simple, simplicity, simple one

Now that you have read the additional meaning of these eight words, I want you to re-read Psalm 19:7. When you come to one of these words, substitute a word from the meaning’s list.  For example,

The ___ of the Lord is _____, _______ the _____.    You might read it like this: The precept of the Lord is complete, refreshing the heart. You also might read the verses a few times, each time substituting a new words from the definitions.

The study of words back to their Hebrew or Greek roots is a fascinating study approach. As the Bible was originally written in these languages and then translated to English for our benefit. It behooves us to investigate the root word’s original meaning. There are times the English word cannot do justice to the full meaning the author intended. Only a careful, thorough study or root words guided by the Holy Spirit reveals the proper interpretation.

I encourage you to try this research technique. Allow God’s Word to speak to you through the original meaning. Listen to the Holy Spirit as you read Scripture and the additional meaning. Then let the meaning sink deep within your soul and be refreshed, enlightened, and wise.

When you have come to the place of certainty about God’s Word do not stop there. Help others get there too! Share the treasure you discovered. Tell your friends how they can find the wealth of God’s wisdom. In this manner, you might find yourself partnering with the Holy Spirit to become a soul winner, saving the lost before your very own eyes!

What could be more rewarding than that?

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in God’s Word. Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

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Do You Believe In The Son of Man?

This seems like a simply question, doesn’t it? My guess many “Christians” might answer that question with a resounding YES!

However, before we rashly answer the question we might consider what the phrase “The Son of Man” means.

Matthew 16:13-17 NIV says:

“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”

 

There are 83 references to “The Son of Man” in NIV translation.  Not all are references to Christ, but the ones with “Son” capitalized are.  Here are some for your consideration:

  • Matthew 20:28 “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
  • Matthew 24:27 “For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
  • Matthew 25:31 “”When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.”
  • Luke 21:36 “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
  • Luke 22:69 “But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
  • John 1:51 “He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
  • John 5:27 “And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.”
  • Acts 7:57 “”Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.””

We can see clearly from these verses, the Son of Man is title displaying authority and Diety.  As we ponder on these verses, we might be inclined to add other fitting titles such as: Son of God, Messiah, King of kings, Lord of lords, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, and Almighty God.

Now think for a moment of all God has done.  He spoke the world into existence. He created all we see from nothing that was seen.  He created all the plants, the animals, the earth, the sky, the stars, the planets, and the sustaining power of the balance of our solar system.  He created people with a free will.  He gave us creativity, communication, and intellect. He holds the waves of the sea in His hand.  He is without time because a day is as a year to Him.  He healed people through touch, sight, and simply speaking it.  He raised people from the dead.  He spoke dry scattered bones back into place and breathed life into them. He caused the sun to stand still.  The earth quakes at His presence.  All of creation cries out in praise to Him.  Nothing is impossible for Him.

God, in the form of Jesus, reigns over everything.  You and I are included in everything, whether we choose to acknowledge Him or not.

If we do choose to believe Jesus is the Son of God, then we are agreeing to be under His authority.  We willingly yield to His agenda for our life and sacrifice our own.  In order to place our self under His authority we must be willing to accept our position when compared to God.

Let’s think about what position that might be.

He is God.  We are His creation.  He is Author of life. We are alive because He made us.  We can nothing apart from Him.  He holds our very breath in His hand.  God is holy, without sin, without deceit, and without hypocrisy.  In Him is every good gift.  We are not holy, we are stained. We are not pure, we are tainted with sin. We are not honorable, we are manipulative, selfish and hypocritical.  He is merciful. We are critical and judgmental. The list could go on. Just remember what Romans 3:23 says “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”  This sin we speak of has to be dealt with.  Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death.”

We must see this about our self to fully appreciate how great God is.  He loved us enough to do something we could not do for our self. He made a way to cleanse us from every wrong. He took our sin upon Himself, and died in our place to pay for our sin.  The last part of Romans 6:23 says “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The sin is dealt with.  It is finished.  We who believe in Jesus’ atoning work on the cross, are forgiven our sin-dept.  We are dressed in His robe of righteousness, as if we had never sinned to begin with.

If we have fully grasped the meaning of God’s authority and our position under His authority, our life should show some signs that we are different beings.  Jesus said you must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.  Through faith we believe and are saved by His grace.  Our obedience to God’s Word is one outward expression of the inward transformation.  But don’t think you can short cut the process by avoiding looking at our sinful self and try to do more good things than bad, for that is evil in God’s sight.  The good works done are done from a heart so radically changed by the grace of God it is done in reverence and love for HIM and nothing from our self.

Now, having looked at the authority of God compared to our sinful state, are you able to answer the question?  Do you believe in the Son of Man?

Lord, Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for coming to earth, dying for my sins, and raising to life again to free me from sin and death. Thank you for loving me that much! Help me to live in a way that’s pleasing to you. In your name I pray. 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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Return to Me

Yet you have not returned to Me says the Lord. Amos 4 NKJV

Do God’s people really need reminding to return to Him? Yes. Apparently they do as we see in Amos chapter 4.

The opening verse is used five times in this chapter and every instance He is talking to the children of God, Israel, God’s chosen people.

If we are not careful to watch and pray to stay close to God, we will stray or drift away just as Israel did.

Let’s take a look at the offenses God’s children committed that are recorded for our benefit.

  • They oppressed the poor
  • They crush the needy
  • They got drunk
  • They bring sacrifices every morning and tithes every three years
  • They offer thanksgiving sacrifices with leaven
  • They proclaim and announce their freewill offerings

The Hebrew word for “oppress” is “asaq” meaning to press upon, for example to defraud, violate or overflow. Further definition includes get deceitfully, deceive, defraud, drink up, oppress, use oppression, oppressor, do violence, an do wrong.

The Hebrew word for “crush” is “rasas” meaning to crack in pieces, literally or figuratively, break, bruise, crush, discourage, oppress, and struggle together.

God cares for the poor and needy. In what ways do we find ourselves oppressing or crushing the poor? Remember, to not think about the poor is just as bad.  God wants us to care for the poor and needy. Dueteronomy 15:11 says “For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’”

How often do we drink our problems away? Proverbs 31:5 tells us drinking makes us forget the law and pervert justice for all the afflicted.

What about sacrifices? How often do we ask forgiveness from God? God would rather we obey Him from the beginning than continue asking forgiveness. 1 Samuel 15:21-23 says “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”

What about the good we do?  Are we quick to brag about it? Proverbs 20:6 says most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?  Psalm 5:5 says the boastful shall not stand in Your sight, you hate all workers of iniquity.

As we read God’s Word and study how the people responded, we can learn much about our self.  With God’s Holy Spirit to guide us in all truth, we can know how to take an accurate assessment of our self.  Once we recognize sin in our life, we confess it to God and knowing Jesus’ work on the cross has already forgiven our sin, we can ask for His power to avoid the same sin in the future. God is faithful an just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But we have to be willing to turn to Him. Are you?

Father, thank you for your Word, your Spirit, your desire to do what is pleasing to you. Thank you for so many second chances.  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.  Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

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The Fountain of Life

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.  Proverbs 14:27 NKJV

Did you know the original language of the major part of the Bible is Hebrew? Did you know using a concordance can help you discover the original meaning of the root Hebrew word?

For example, I looked up the word fear and life and found some interesting definitions.

The Hebrew word for fear is “yira” meaning morally reverence – dreadful, exceedingly, fear, or fearfulness. The word reverence means honor or respect felt or shown: deference or profound adoring awed respect.  The word deference means respect or esteem due a superior or an elder.

The Hebrew word for life is “hay”. It means alive, raw, fresh, strong, life literally or figuratively, age, appetite, living, maintenance, merry, multitude, be old, quick, running, springing, troop. Looking up the word life in the English dictionary, I find the word has twenty different definitions.  No wonder we get confused. We use the same word for so many different meanings!

Armed with these additional definitions, let’s review the verse again.  The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.

Something struck me as I reached the word life.  It didn’t read just life, but it read a fountain of life. What comes to mind when we think of a fountain?

  1. A fountain flows.  It does not stop. It is constantly flowing and always moving.
  2. Flowing fountain makes a lovely, calming, and peaceful sound. That’s why many of us have fountains in our yards, or even miniature ones on our office desks!
  3. A fountain can quench a thirst, if a passerby accepts a drink from it.
  4. A fountain can be pleasant to look at, depending on the shape, the way the water trickles our and down the sides of it.

The description of the fountain above represents your life.  That is a life that honors God, Our Maker.

  • Is your life constantly moving?
  • Does your life make a lovely, calming, and peaceful sound?
  • Is your life able to quench a thirst of others?
  • Is your life pleasant to look at?

If you answered no to one or more of these questions, step back and look up to God Almighty, our Maker, our Lord, our Savior. Ask Him to help you properly fear Him, so your life may become a fountain of life to turn you away from the snares of death.

Lord, thank you for wanting us to know and proper revere you.  Thank you that when we do it brings glory to you and refreshment to others.  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.  Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

 

 

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10 Ways to Apply God’s Word in Your Life

All of these suggestions assume a thorough examination of scripture has occurred already. In fact, some suggestions may not be possible unless you have followed an inductive process of study prior to implementing the suggestion.  Many of these ideas came from Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods book.

  1. Meditate on a particular verse. Think about it over and over again. Read it aloud three times.
  2. Put yourself into the bible situation. Picture yourself as an active participant. Try to imagine what it would be like living in the biblical scene you read about.
  3. Write what you learned. Make a story of the lesson.  Write what your thoughts, attitudes, or actions looked like before and after applying the truth you discovered from scripture.
  4. Paraphrase the scripture you are studying. Repeat it using your own words.
  5. Personalize the verse by putting your name in place of the pronouns or nouns used in the verse under study.  For example read 1 Corinthians 13:4 with your name in place of “love.”
  6. Use Pastor Rick Warren’s S.P.A.C.E.P.E.T.S. acrostic to help you meditate deeply on the verse.  S = Sins to confess?  P = promises to claim? A = attitude to change? C = command to obey? E = example to follow? P = prayer to pray? E = error to avoid? T = truth to believe? S = something to praise God for?
  7. Pray the scripture back to God. Once you learn a verse, use it in prayer. Take 1 John 1:9 as an example. Father, thank you when we confess our sin you are faithful and just to forgive us. Thank you for cleansing us from all unrighteousness.
  8. Make a plan. Figure out what you will do differently after learning the truth.  Write out concrete actions you will take to implement the new way. Make sure your steps or actions follow S.M.A.R.T. S= specific, M = measurable, A = achievable, R =relevant, T = time dimensioned. Using James 3:10 here is an example.  For the next 30 days, when I am tempted to curse or slander someone, I will instead repeat James 3:10 and refrain from speaking anything.
  9. Get a partner.  Make a pack with a trusted Christian friend to help you be accountable to what you learn.  Every time you study the bible, write down one thing you learned and share it with this person.  Ask them to point out any time you fail to live up to that teaching or give you accolades when you do live it out.
  10. Teach someone what you learned. Talk with others in your small group, at work, at home, or at school. Simple share what you discovered in the bible.  Explain how it impacted you and how you plan to live differently because of it.

There are many methods of applying God’s Word.  You don’t have to use them all. Just pick one or two and try them.   Find out what works best for you.  The key is to fully grasp the truth before you implement it in your life.  Understand it deeply.  Look at it from every angle.  Read other scriptures relating to that topic.  A Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and BibleGateway.com are valuable resources to help you discover where specific topics occur elsewhere in the bible.

Father God thank you for providing your Holy Spirit who guides us, gives us the desire to obey you ways, teaches all things Jesus Christ taught his disciples when He was on this earth. Thank you for your love. Grow us with you Word. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in God’s Word. Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

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Start the New Year drawing closer to God

Seven Reasons to Try Our Study Puzzle

  1. You want to know more about God and don’t know where to start.
  2. You read the Bible but feel overwhelmed and don’t understand it.
  3. You want to know what the Bible really says.
  4. You want to teach others how to read the Bible.
  5. You need a teaching aid for your small group.
  6. You want to share God’s Word with confidence.
  7. You want to learn about inductive study method.

Order your Study Puzzle today at http://thinkonitbibledevotions.com/studypuzzle.aspx.

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Love is a Result

It is the finished product.  We cannot wake up one day and decide to love everyone.  It may work temporarily.  As soon as the object of that love does something hurtful, we stop loving.  That’s our nature.

Jesus said, “You can do nothing apart from Me.” He means it.  All our efforts to love, our self-will and determination will fail. 

Only God’s love lasts forever, unchanged.  Even when the object of His love turns their back on Him, God still loves them.  For the Bible tells us nothing can ever separate us from the love of God.  Hell can’t, heaven can’t, our fears can’t, and even our mistakes can’t.  God is love, therefore, His love remains forever.

If we crave more love in our life the answer is found in Jesus Christ.  First John 4:15 says, “whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God.” As long as we abide in God, we can love others.  First John 4:4 says, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Jesus said in John 15:10, “If you keep My commandments you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”  First John 4:16 says, “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”

As a result of abiding in God, and He in us, we will love one another because it is His Spirit in us doing the loving.  John 3:6 tells us we must be born again to receive this Spirit. When He comes to live in us He is responsible for guiding us in all truth, convicting us of sin, of righteousness and of judgment to come, which helps us stay on track with God’s commandments.

Then the fruit appears.  Galatians 5:22 tells us the first fruit of the Spirit is love.  Everything the Spirit, of God, does is loving.  Once we accept Jesus Christ into our life, God gives us His Spirit which empowers and equips us to desire and do what is pleasing to Him.  That means we have the ability to love others as our self and love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.

Just because we have received God’s Spirit doesn’t mean we automatically love all the time.  For God designed us each with free-will.  We can choose to walk by the Spirit or by our old worldly ways.  The Bible calls this walking by the flesh.

God gives us every opportunity to love.  He has equipped us to love, but the choice is still ours.  Next time we are tempted to ________________________, (you fill in the blank), S.T.O.P. Before you react, respond or rehearse how you might react, think of this acrostic.

S eek God’s perspective

T urn to God’s Word

O pen your heart to truth

P ray for God’s leading

Hiding God’s word in your heart and mind is a great way to guard against temptation.  You may be tempted to become easily angered, be rude, be selfish or any number of other ungodly things.  Whatever your temptation God always provides a way out.  Seek Him before, during and after the trying time and you will have peace that surpasses all understanding.

Thank you, God, for helping us to love as you have loved us. Thank you for your Holy Spirit to guide us along the pathway of life and righteousness. Thank you for making us right in your sight by the gift of Jesus Christ. In His 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.  Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

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Consider Your Ways

Thus says the Lord, “Consider your ways!” Haggai 1:7 NKJV

Proverbs 14:12 tells us there is a path that seems right to us but it really leads to death.  When we only look at things from our human standpoint we are doing the very thing proverbs warns us about.

Our ways are not the Lord’s way, no matter how good they appear in our eyes (Isaiah 55:8-9).  The Lord’s ways are much higher, more pure, more truthful, and always right. Our ways are but filthy rags when standing before Almighty God.

So what is so wrong about our way anyway? Using Jesus’ teaching from Matthew 5 – 7, here’s a list of some of the ways we go wrong.

  • Angry without cause
  • Unresolved conflict with others
  • Lust after others
  • Divorce
  • Lying
  • Exaggerating
  • Not loving our enemy
  • Doing to be seen
  • Not forgiving
  • Desiring money over God
  • Worrying
  • Judging others without considering own sin first
  • Not asking God
  • Not doing what Jesus taught

 

Jesus said whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, he is a wise man.  No matter what comes against him, he will not fall because of his foundation on the Rock.

So looking at the list above, are there any that stand out or resonate with you? Ask God to help you overcome these and align yourself with His ways instead.

Consider our way means to validate our ways against God’s Word.  Let’s examine six things Scripture tells us about living God’s way.

  • Romans 3:23 says all have sinned. No one is immune, no matter how “good” they appear.  Everyone is a sinner. We must recognize this about our self.
  • Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus.  Though sin must be dealt with, God sent Jesus to take on our sin, so we don’t have to die.  God took care of the sin problem for us, without ever asking if we wanted the help!
  • Matthew 7:21-23 tells us that doing religious things won’t save us.  Only a relationship with Jesus can! Just knowing about Him won’t cut it. We must have a relationship with Him to be saved.
  • Proverbs 3:5-6 says lean not on our own understanding but acknowledge Him in all our ways.  Give proper reverence to God who saved us.
  • Galatians 5:16 tells us to walk by the Spirit and we won’t fulfill the lust of our flesh.  God’s Spirit was given the moment we believed. He helps us live right.
  • Matthew 22:37-40 says to pursue love because it fulfills all the law.  God is love.  Pursue God through Jesus all the law and the commandments are complete in Him.

We live, breathe, and have our being in Christ.  If we stray away from Christ we sin.  We must cling to Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith.

 

Lord God and Father of Jesus Christ, we thank you for loving us enough to take on the sin problem and dying in our place.  Thank you for your Spirit to guide us in your truth.  May we continue to recognize we are only dust without Jesus.  In your precious name we pray, Jesus. 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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