Bible Devotions

Revelation is Worth the Wait

While reading the Bible one morning, nothing happened at first. Typically, I will experience an “Ah ha” moment. The moment where I know there is something I need to learn from the passage. But that moment didn’t come.

Sometimes it is silent. Read a passage and hear no nudging of the Spirit. It was this way on the morning I’ve described. As I sat and thought about the verse, my mind was blank. Literally, nothing came to mind. I could not figure out what I was to do with the verse or whether there was anything specific in it directed for me and my situation.

Some verses are not us. Then again a lot of them are. This silent verse proved to be for me in the end.  But I had to wait for it.

I’m not talking about waiting days, weeks, months, or years for the verse to speak to me. But I did have to wait a few minutes. I had to wait long enough to see if I would give up on the search and become frustrated with the nothingness that resonated from the verse.

I sat there pondering the character, thinking how his situation could related to mine. I tried imagining what my life would be like in his shoes. Still nothing came.

I read the section of Scripture over and over again, pausing after each word to see if other meaning would come. Still nothing was revealed.

I was about to move on, but something held me fast. I could not go on to the next verse. This was an indication there was something that hadn’t surfaced yet. I waited.

I asked the Holy Spirit to show me what was needed from this verse. Then it happened. Like the sun dawning, bright light illuminated the way. The truth of the verse showed itself. I realized what was intended for me. It was stunning.

Never would I have thought this verse would apply to me.  A quick reading and I might have glossed over it. A little frustration could have caused me to move on too quickly. Yet I was obedient to the Holy Spirit and waiting for the insight. And it came!

Be still and know I am God. Let me encourage you to take time with God. Be still. Let the Bible speak to you. Sit through the silence. Wait for further revelation. It will come.

Enjoy your time with God through the study of the Bible. I know I do!

Lord, I thank you for the lesson of waiting for your revelation. Thank you for guiding me in your truth.  Thank you for being patient with me. Help me have patience to wait for your revelation too. In Jesus’ name I 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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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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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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Thus says the Lord, “For three transgressions of ___________, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment…” Amos 1:3 NKJV

This phrase is repeated 8 times in chapter one and two combined.  Each time a different city or people group is called out. There are two categories of people mentioned in this ominous phrase. One category of people was anyone who did bad things to God’s people. We see Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, and Moab in this category.  The other category of people is God’s chosen people – Judah and Israel.

Six of those cities were being punished for things done against God’s people. They had done violent things, took people captive, delivered people into captivity, pursued his brother with a sword, and burned the king’s of Edom bones to line.

But interestingly God’s own people were also included in these phrases.  Judah is judged for having despised the law of the Lord, and keeping His commandments, and allowing lies to lead them astray. Israel is called out because they sold the righteous for silver, sold the poor for a pair of sandals, perverted the way of the humble, incest, defiling God’s holy name, idol worship, and drinking wine of the condemned.

Why does any of this matter to us?  This section of Scripture clearly shows us God will hold each of us accountable for our actions. That should cause us to shudder a little bit!

Which category of people do you fall into? Are you in the group opposed and against God’s people? Are you among God’s people?  In either case you will be accountable to God for your actions.

Let’s say you answered “I’m part of God’s people.” That’s great.

Let’s look at the flaws God pointed out to see if any apply to us today.

Judah despised God’s laws. They did not keep God’s commandments and were led astray by lies.

Do any of these apply to you? Are you despising or obeying God’s laws? Do you follow truth or lies?

Israel was more concerned about money than people. They perverted the humble with heavy regulations. They allowed incest in their families. They defiled God’s holy name and worshipped idols instead of God.

Is there anything that comes before God in your own life? Watch out that’s idol worship. Are you caught up with the cares of this world? This too can be a slippery slope leading to idol worship.  Are you a perfectionist, holding others to an impossible standard?  This is what the religious elite in Jesus’ day did and He scolded them more than once for it.

Father God Almighty, thank you for your word that reveals the truth. Help us recognize the truth about our self and turn to you for mercy and forgiveness.  Thank you for your hearing us. Thank you for your faithfulness to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness through Jesus Christ. In His precious 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 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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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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Role Model of Walking by the Spirit

Read Colossians 4

Paul is a wonderful role model for us who choose to walk in the Spirit rather than walk after fleshy desires.

He does three things, in Colossians four, we need to do.

First he asks for prayer that God would open the door for the word.  Paul gives glory to God by giving God the credit for opening the way of sharing the gospel. He also is aligning his will and purpose to God’s.

The second thing we see Paul do is encourage the Colossians to walk in wisdom towards those who haven’t come to know Jesus yet.  He goes on to say “let your speech be seasoned with grace and salt.” Remember what Jesus said?  We are to be salt and light to the world.  Our words play a vital role.

The third thing that stands out is how Paul describes others. Notice how he lifts up his fellow workers. He honors and encourages them.  Remember though Christ died for the world, it was the people which filled the world He cared about.  People are the priority.  How we treat others will demonstrate our love.  Jesus told us “they will know you are true disciples of mine by your love for one another.”

 Father, thank you for your Word that bring wisdom and life to us. Thank you for your guidance in truth.  Help us to love others the way you love us. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

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Fools Despise Wisdom

Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon his God.  Isaiah 50:10 NKJV 

My way says the Lord.  No, my way says the people.  We see this over and over in the Bible.  The Lord is so patient with us, isn’t He?  He knows our heart better than we do, yet He repeatedly calls to us, “Follow Me”.   

God’s given us a map with all the directions we need: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105 NKJV.  We must learn to turn to it and allow our minds to be renewed by it (Romans 12:2). 

With proper awe and respect of God and His authority, we become willing to be led by God’s Spirit.  Look at what Proverbs 1:7 NKJV says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”   

Are you despising wisdom and instruction?   

If you answered yes to that question, you are not on a good path.  See what God says in Isaiah 50:11 NKJV, “Look, all you who kindle a fire, who encircle yourselves with sparks: Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled— This you shall have from My hand: You shall lie down in torment.”  The emphasis is mine.  If we choose our own path, instead of God’s, we will lie down in torment!   

Lord, we recognize your right to rule us.  We ask for your guidance from day to day.  Enable us to walk in your ways, instead of our own, for we don’t want to lie down in torment.  Your word is a light to our path and lamp to our feet, help us walk along the path you desire 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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God is God

“Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:22 NKJV 

Only God is God.  There is no other like Him.  Any that claim to be god, are only fooling themselves.  If you ever waver sometimes on whether God has the right to rule over us, try reading Isaiah chapters 40, 45, and 46.   

God has the right to determine how His people will be saved.  God’s Word is clear, there is only one way — God’s Way.  Even in the Old Testament, God told His people only His way would work.  Isaiah 46:11 NKJV says “Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.”  God tells us, through His Word, He will bring it to pass for He purposed it.  God can not lie, therefore, if He said He would do something, we can rely on Him to do it just as He said He would.   

Salvation doesn’t come from us trying to earn it.  The only part we play in salvation is the part of being saved.  God’s doing the saving, we are the saved.  Look at what Isaiah 46:13 NKJV says, “I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, for Israel My glory.”   It is God’s doing.  He brings His righteousness near.  When His righteousness is near, salvation is sure to follow.   

Do you recognize God’s right to rule? If not, read His Word and ask Him to reveal Himself to you.  He won’t resent your asking.  Look at what 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.” 

Lord God above you have every right to rule your creation.  Where we struggle to submit to your sovereignty, help us turn to you.  You alone save us by your righteousness.  Help us look to you and be saved. 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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Seek Jesus Diligently

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me. Proverbs 8:17 NKJV 

 

In the Beth Moore Breaking Free Bible Study Session 5 video, Beth mentioned a phrase that hit home for me.  She something to the affect we receive salvation when we ask for it, but we have to continue to seek satisfaction. The lesson explained salvation and satisfaction are not the same thing.  Once you are saved doesn’t mean you become satisfied.  Can anyone relate to that? 

 

As an ex-perfectionist, I surely can relate.  Nothing was ever enough for me.  But that’s changed now that I know Christ personally.  It wasn’t because I was saved by His grace when He forgave me though.  It’s been an on-going journey of learning satisfaction comes from seeking Him daily. 

 

Our satisfaction comes from knowing Christ.  Not just knowing about Him, but knowing Him deeply and intimately.  That kind of knowing doesn’t just happen either.  It takes work to develop.  Notice today’s verse says “those who seek me diligently”?  It requires effort on our part to diligently seek Him.

 

How do you seek Him?  There are several ways I seek Him.  Maybe some will work for you.  Here’s a partial list to get you thinking.

 

  1. Turn to God – Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

  2. Pray – Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38 NKJV

  3. Confess – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 NKJV

  4. Be Filled with the Spirit – And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, Ephesians 5:18 NKJV

 

The results of all these diligence in seeking Him–You find Him!   Knowing Him intimately and allowing Him to come into your deepest inner parts is a most extraordinary, wonderful, and pleasant experience.  It’s difficult to put into words so you’ll just have to trust me on this.  Better yet, why not find out for yourself? 

 

Lord thank you for making yourself known to those you diligently seek you.  Thank you for your guidance and love. Thank you for your Holy Spirit drawing us into an intimate relationship with you.  Thank you for filling us up with your presence. 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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