Bible Devotions

Avoid Things the Lord Hates

These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him; Proverbs 6:16 NKJV 

Read Proverbs 6. 

The book of proverbs is a wonderful gift of God.  It is written for our instruction to provide us practical advice for living, how to get along with others and how to make godly decisions.  We are wise to heed the instructions found in this book. 

Let’s look at the seven things mentioned in Proverbs 6:17-19:

(1)   A proud look

(2)   A lying tongue

(3)   Hands that shed innocent blood

(4)   A heart that devises wicked plans

(5)   Feet that are swift in running to evil

(6)   A false witness who speaks lies

(7)   And one who sows discord among brethren

Now before you dismiss this list and say to yourself “I don’t have any of these”, please prayerfully consider where you might be deceiving yourself.    While we may not have hands ready to kill, we may struggle with feet swift in running to evil.  Another way to put it is our willingness to do our thing rather than God’s.   

Or have you ever pretended everything was going well in a relationship, but underneath it really wasn’t?  Well, that example falls into the “false witness” camp.  Are you argumentative?  Do you always have to be right?  Again that’s a good example of sowing discord.  Do you try to figure things out on your own, without consulting God?  This too I’m afraid, is an example of a heart that devises wicked plans. 

We are not free from this list.  It applies to us in some shape or form.  We would be wise to listen to God’s Word, seek His counsel and forgiveness. 

For further study, you might consider comparing this list with the last five of the Ten Commandments found in Deuteronomy 5: 17-21.  See if you can recognize how both lists relate to our relationships with others.

 Lord, thank you for your life-giving word.  Help us to see our self as we really are – in need of your Spirit to guide us in righteousness.  Thank you for dying to pay for our sins.  Thank you for rising again to give us life eternal.  In your precious name, Jesus 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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Humble Yourselves In The Sight Of The Lord, And He Will Lift You Up

Read James 4

Fights, wars, murder, coveting, and seeking pleasures are all signs of someone who is an enemy of God. These outward expressions reveal the adultery within. The heart is far from God, puffed up with pride.

Pride makes us do things against God. We speak evil of others, judging them as though we ourselves were god. We boast of all we plan to do. Yet this boasting is foolishness and arrogant.  Being preoccupied with all we plan to do, causes us to miss what God wants to do in and through us.

Humility protects us from pride, self-will, and arrogance.  James exhorts believers to submit to God by doing two things: (1) Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (2) Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

So when these ungodly behaviors appear in our life, stop. Confess our sins and turn our hearts back to God.

Thank you God, for being willing to hear our prayers to forgive us one more time when we confess our sins. Thank you for your faithfulness to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and purify us as though we never sinned.  Thank you, Jesus, for taking our punishment for us.  Thank you for your Holy Spirit who helps us live a pleasing life to you. 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.

Bible Devotions on Humility
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The Meekness of Wisdom, Spiritual Wisdom

Read James 3

There are two kinds of wisdom. One is a worldly wisdom. The other is a spiritual wisdom. How can we tell the difference between them?

James explains where there is bitter envy, self-seeking, boasting, and lying this is wisdom of the world, which is earthly, sensual, and demonic. Spiritual wisdom comes from God is pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, with no partiality or hypocrisy.

Picture the meekness of wisdom as we consider how Jesus behaved during his arrest and crucification.  He was pure and sinless. He was peaceful when arrested. He was gentle when He healed the soldier’s ear cut off by his overly enthusiast disciple. He willingly yielded Himself to cruel men to be killed. He was full of mercy as He hung nailed to the cross and asked the Father, “Forgive them they know not what they do.” Jesus played no favorites when he told the thief on the cross next to Him, “Today you will be in paradise.” Jesus was not a hypocrite as He said He would lay down his life and take it up again and He did!

True wisdom allows us to be meek, as Jesus’ example points out. He knew who He was. He knew where He came from and where He would return.  He knew His power and that of His Father. He knew He could do anything He wanted to do, yet He choose to do the One thing to save all who believe!

Unless we understand who we are in Christ, it is difficult to be humble. Only seeing the reality of our hopelessness of our own strength, and the power of Christ can we humble ourselves.

How is your wisdom?

Check it against James’ definition. Are there signs of bitter envy or self-seeking embedded in your logic? If so watch out. You are operating from a worldly view.  Are you able to show good conduct through works done in the meekness of wisdom? If so you are on your way to walking worthy of your calling as a child of God.

© 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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Freedom or Captivity by Rebellion

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17 NKJV 

Freedom is obtained when we believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and allow His Spirit to reign as supreme authority over all parts of our life.  Doesn’t that sound easy?  Then why is it so difficult?  

Rebellion on our part is why it’s so difficult.  Any time we put our own way ahead of God’s way is rebellion.  Thinking we know what’s best puts us on a disaster course headed for the opposite of freedom — bondage.  The funny thing is we don’t even recognize our own rebellion.   

That’s why studying God’s Word is so important.  Look at what 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV says about God’s Word,  “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  The Bible shows us who we really are, who He is and how He has every right to rule in authority over us.  After all He made us.   

Do you have any locked doors in your heart?  Those locked doors represent rebellion in our life.  The more we study God’s Word, the more He reveals places we thought were open to Him but are not.  Don’t live in rebellion any longer.  It’s time to shed God’s light on those dark places, so we can be set free.    

God’s given us His Spirit with the power to enable us to be all that God’s called us to be.  “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” 1 Corinthians 2:12 NKJV 

 

Lord God who made us, open our eyes to the places we have not yet invited you in.  Enable us to unlock the doors to every part of our heart.  You have complete, supreme authority to rule.  Your Spirit in us gives freedom, let it flow freely through all parts of our life that we may become all you intended for us to be.  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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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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Honoring God with Sabbath

And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own works, then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; Isaiah 58:13-14 NKJV 

 

Have you ever wondered how we can honor God?  I have.  Today’s verse clearly indicates by choosing not to follow our own ways or relying on our own works we can honor Him.

 

Speaking as a former perfectionist, I used to be terribly disappointed when things did not occur the way I thought they should.  This disappointment caused a division between me and the people around me, because I was, unknowingly, judging them based on some impossible and very unrealistic standard, in my mind.   I was measuring them up according to what I thought was my “right” way.   Well, God’s Word is true when He tells us in Matthew 7:1-2 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged;”.

 

So what you might be thinking.  What does your old perfectionist ways have to do with today’s verse?  Perfectionism is all about control and doing things according to your own way.  Isaiah tells us that going our own way is NOT honoring to God.

 

It is when we choose to follow His ways and are obedient to His commandments that we honor God.  One commandment was created for our rest, the Sabbath.  Isaiah 58 is talking about how the people had made the Sabbath into something it wasn’t supposed to be.  God intended us to use the Sabbath for rest, giving ourselves to Him, and to focus more on Him as a way of renewal, strengthening and filling us up each week. 

 

Do you have a set day where you honor God by not doing your own thing?  Do you offer Him yourself and allow Him to renew your mind, body, and soul?  If not, maybe it’s time you stop and be refreshed.  Isaiah tells us when we do rest on Sabbath by not doing our own thing we shall delight our self in the Lord.

 

Lord, thank you for knowing exactly what we need.  Thank you for making the Sabbath for rest and renewal that honors you in the process.  Help us to be quick to obey your commandments, for in doing so we demonstrate our love for 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.  Visit us at http://www.ThinkOnIt.org today.

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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.

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The Center of Pride

Looking at the word “pride”, we can see the “I” is in the center.  Doesn’t that make perfect sense?  If you think about your dealings with prideful people, what is the one characteristic that drives you crazy?  “They’re so full of them self!”   Pride and selfishness go hand and hand.  A lot of times we’re quick to label someone selfish, but the root of the problem is really pride. 

Let’s look as a few verses to see what the Bible says about pride.

Psalm 59:12 NKJVFor the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips, Let them even be taken in their pride, And for the cursing and lying which they speak.”  This verse seems to indicate a prideful person doesn’t know what they’re saying.  They speak cursing and lying without considering the implications of their speech.   

Proverbs 8:13NKJV “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.”  Pride is something the Lord hates.   

Proverbs 13:10NKJV “By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom.”  There are several verses in Proverbs like this one regarding pride.  (Proverbs 11:2, 14:3, 16:8, 21:24)  

For a further study of pride, consider reading some of the Old Testament books.  They are full of examples on how pride ruined the people.  Here’s a list for your reference:  

2 Chronicles 26  Uzziah

2 Chronicles 32  Hezekiah

Isaiah 9  Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria

Isaiah 13 Babylon and the Chaldeans

Isaiah 16 Moab

Isaiah 28 Ephraim and Jerusalem

Jeremiah 13 Pride of Judah

Ezekiel 30 Egypt

Daniel 4 Nebuchadnezzar

Hosea  Pride of Israel

Amos 6 Pride of Jacob

Obadiah 1 Edom

Zephaniah 2 Judgment on the nations

 

Now, if pride is mentioned so many times in the Old Testament we know Lord wants us to understand HE HATES PRIDE.    Pride sets us against God, thinking we know better than the Mighty Creator.  Pride blinds us from truth, as we consider only what we want to rather than following God’s guidelines for living. 

Have you checked your own life for signs of pride?  Isn’t about time you did?  If you can’t see any pride, ask a trusted friend, family member or co-worker if they can spot any pride in your life.  Chances are they will be able to give you plenty of examples, you never thought were pride to begin with!

As 1 Corinthians 10:12 says “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”  Be watchful and humble enough to admit where pride creeps in.  No one is immune.  Proverbs 29:23 NKJV “A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor.”  While pride brings us down, the solution is clear – in humility we will be able to access our selves accurately.   

Lord, thank you for your life giving word that straightens us out and guides on the pathway to life.  Enable us to be willing to check our lives for pride and to confess and repent of sins quickly.  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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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.  

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Released from Bondage

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Hebrews 2:14-15 NKJV 

Jesus Christ came that we might be freed to live a life abundantly (John 10:10), being no longer bound by sin’s power (Romans 8:4).  When He willingly followed God’s plan of salvation and chose to die on the cross for us, He broke the power death had over us.  For now, we know with certainty where we will go when we leave this life.  We will enter into the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8).   Death is no longer a threat to us, but now a doorway into eternity with the Lord.

 

 

 

 

Are you afraid of death?  If you answer yes, I encourage you to read God’s Word.  The more you learn of God’s glorious plans, the more you will be comforted knowing God has saved you. 

Have you given your life to Christ?  If not, you can be freed from the fear of death.  Read God’s Word, recognize you are a sinner (Romans 3:23) and Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).  Pray to the Father, “I know I’m a sinner and need a savior.  Please forgive me and come into my life. In Jesus’ name Amen.”  Continue reading God’s Word and watch the glorious change appear in your life. 

Let’s take a look at some of the things are freed from, where Christ comes into our life:

Selfishness

Pride

Stubbornness

Bitterness

Resentfulness

Hatred

Anger

Self-loathing

Perfectionism

Envy

Strife

Jealousy

Complaining

Loneliness

Lust

Sinful desires

When we stop to remember all that we’ve been freed from, there is plenty of reason to “Shout to the Lord” with praise and thankfulness.  Rejoice, Christian, rejoice!

Lord, thank You for freeing us from bondage of sin.  Let us rejoice always with thanksgiving and gratefulness to You for setting us free to live an abundant life in Christ. 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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