Category Archives: Bible

A Mother’s Request

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S – “Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, ‘What do you want?” She said to him, ‘Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.’” Matthew 20:20-21

O – The mother of James and John was like all of us who are mothers. We want the best for our children. She was asking Jesus to give them a place of honor. She thought they deserved the best. When she asked that they have this place, she didn’t know what she was asking for. She didn’t know how much Jesus would have to suffer. She thought she knew what she was asking but her perception was limited to earthly things. Jesus knew what was ahead for James and John.

A – What is in my mother’s heart when I pray for my son? When I kneel at the feet of Jesus, what am I asking for? When I ask Him to bless my son, do I know what I’m asking? Do I know what it will take for him to fully trust God? I know what my perception is. I know what I want his life to look like and that doesn’t involve suffering and hard things. Like this mother, I tend to picture great things. But God’s perception is different from mine. He knows everything from beginning to the end. He knows what is best and He knows exactly what our son needs. I have to trust Him. His ways are not my ways.

P – Father I do trust you. I know you love our son more than we can imagine. As much as we love him and want the best for him, it doesn’t begin to match the love you have for him. Please work your will out in his life. Give him strength and endurance for whatever is ahead. Help his faith to grow. May he know the depths and heights of your love for him. Thank you Father that we can trust you and know your plans for him are for his eternal good. Help us to walk by faith and not by sight.

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Pure Wisdom

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S – “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in you hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:14-17

O – Demonic wisdom = bitter jealousy (this is a harsh and violent jealousy, fervent), selfish ambition (courting distinction, desire to put self forward, partisan and fractious; intentional promotion of self) , disorder (confusion, instability) , every vile ( evil, wicked) practice

Wisdom from above = pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason (easily obeying, compliant, willing to yield), full of mercy (kindness or good will towards the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to help them) and good fruits, impartial (without dubiousness, ambiguity or uncertainty) and sincere (without hypocrisy, unfeigned)

A – The call is for me to be pure in heart, to seek peace always, be gentle and kind, be compliant and willing to yield to others; not demanding my own way, full of mercy towards others, mercy that calls me to action when a need is there, to be impartial and sincere with others not pretending, not being a hypocrite but showing genuine love and my life should result in good fruits.

If I decide to promote myself and seek my own honor, if I covet what others have and go after it…this results in disorder, confusion and sin in my life.

P – Father, help me guard my heart. Help me walk in purity and truth. Please help me seek your wisdom and let go of selfish ambition and pride.

 

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It is Finished!

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S – “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30

O – The greatest moment in history. “It is finished.” Jesus accomplished what He came to do. He paid the price for the sins of all humanity. He redeemed all humankind. He fulfilled the law and paid the price for our sin. He finished the work. It was complete. Nothing else needs to be done. All that is left is to believe and receive the gift. To accept his righteousness and confess Jesus Christ as Lord.

A – In that moment, Jesus paid for my sin. When He said, “It is finished”, that was for me. He suffered for every sinful choice I’ve ever made or will make. It’s finished, done. There’s nothing else I can do to earn it. All that I do now is a gift for Him. It is a way of showing my love. A way to show I believe. But salvation is complete.

P – Thank you Jesus for paying the price for my sin. Thank you that I belong to you. Thank you for being willing to suffer and die. Dear Jesus, help me to live for you.

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He is Lord Over Me

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S – “Jesus answered him, ‘You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore, he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.’”
John 19:11

O – This verse is another reminder of the sovereignty of God. He has all power, all knowledge, all authority. There is no one over Him. No one who makes decisions unless He allows them to do so. He has authority over all powers, over all that exists.

A/P – The LORD God has authority over my life. I belong to Him. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Nothing comes into my life unless He allows it. I acknowledge His authority over all that I am. Help me Father to walk in submission and humility, help me to not resist you. I want to yield my heart and soul. I want to walk open to you will, whatever it is, whatever it looks like. Please forgive me when I act as if I know what I need. Please forgive my rebellion and foolishness. I want your will and not mine. Please Lord. I know there is nothing good in me apart from your Spirit. I am your creation but marred by sin. Thank you for rescuing and restoring me. Please help me remember I am a sheep and I always need my Shepherd.

SOAP

 

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Known

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S – “O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.” Psalm 139:1-3

O  – David knew how much God loved him. He trusted God wholeheartedly. What a beautiful account of how God knows us.

A – Everyone wants to be known. We all want someone to know us, really know us. It is so wonderful to know God knows me inside and out. He even knows my thoughts before I do. He knows what I will say before I speak. He surrounds me. I can’t go anywhere where He won’t be there. I can’t hide from God. He knew me when I was being formed in the womb.  He knew me the instant that egg was fertilized and knew what my life would be. I’m never alone, Never abandoned. I always have His love.

P – Thank you dear Father. You know everything there is to know about me. I’m your child. Please show me if there is anything in me that is hurtful or wicked or that gives you grief. Lead me the way you want me to go.

SOAP

 

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What Am I Devoted To?

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S – “I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7:35

But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16

O – Ruth is an example of devotion. She was devoted to Naomi and was determined to be faithful to her to death. Paul was writing to the Corinthians about matters concerning relationships and living in this world but I think his point is we are to live with undivided devotion to the Lord. Whatever else we do or whatever relationships we have, it should not take us from our undivided devotion to the Lord. He is first. We should say like Ruth, “wherever you lead, I will follow.”

A – Do I have undivided devotion to the Lord? I can’t say I do. I’m distracted by so many things. People, possessions, life. How do I get to where nothing can take me from my devotion to my Lord. How do I deal with the world as if I had no dealings with it? (v.31) The NLT says to “not become attached” to the things of the world. The original word means to not use it much or excessively. To not use fully or overuse. I guess it means to not be obsessed with this world. To not look to the things of the world as what we need to be happy and fulfilled. God wants us to see Him, to know Him as the primary source of all our needs. He is all we need to survive and be happy.

P – Father, please show me how to live in this world and deal with the world yet stay detached from the world. Will you show me or give me an example? Please be my strength. I am so grateful for your love and grace. But I want to be like Ruth and say that I will follow you no matter what to the death. You are the source of all I need Jesus! I love you!

SOAP Bible reading method.

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In the Face of my Enemies

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“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23:5

Who are my enemies?

I don’t have the kind of enemies King David faced every day. I don’t go into physical battle to fight other nations. I doubt my son will ever wage war against me (as David’s son did). But I do have enemies. My biggest enemy is the enemy we all have, Satan. Our accuser, the father of lies, the evil one. He’s the one who wants to steal from us, kill us and destroy us. I also face the enemies in my own heart. My pride, selfishness, apathy, jealousy, self-protective bent, and desire for comfort to name a few.

Sometimes when I am struggling with these “enemies”, I have a hard time writing or sharing spiritual truth. I find it difficult to write out scriptural insights because my enemies accuse me and tell me I’m not worthy. As I was reading Psalm 23:5 one morning, it struck me that God wants to prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies. When I come to Him in the morning to read the Bible, pray and write my thoughts, He has promised to spread a table before me, to give me truth and insight into His word even in the presence of my enemies of pride, selfishness and sin. Even in the presence of the accuser, the devil. When I come to Him with an open heart and mind confessing my sin and seeking Him, He will give me truth. He will feed my soul with a banquet spread out on the table. I can ignore the enemies who mock me and jeer at me. They are defeated. Jesus has made a spectacle of them.

He has won the victory!

When I tremble and lay down my sword in the presence of my enemies, I believe a lie.

I am letting my enemies deceive me by convincing me I’m defeated. They rejoice when I let their accusations keep me from seeking my Lord and from acting on His truth. His truth stands no matter how I “feel”. Yes, I’m an imperfect vessel but God still chooses to use me as He has used sinners through the ages. He sees me through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. My faith is in Him and not in my own abilities. I can do nothing apart from Him.

So, I’ll seek Him and I’ll search the Scriptures and I’ll write about His truth even when my enemies mock me. He is my strength and shield. My ever present help in time of trouble.

Originally published at Internet Cafe Devotions

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