Category Archives: Passages of the Bible

From this Morning’s Devotions

I read Hebrews 8 and Jeremiah 1-5

Some verses that stood out to me; along with brig thoughts.

Hebrews 8:1 (NKJV) “Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,

Hebrews 8:12 (NKJV) “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

This is the main point, the writer says, we have Jesus. We have Jesus as our personal High Priest in the heavenlies, who has offered Himself on the cross, and because He ever lives, continues to minister on our behalf…every day. This better covenant with better promises – promises to wash away my sins so thoroughly, that God will remember them no more. WOW!

Hebrews 8:13 (NKJV)

13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

The Hebrews were going back to Judaism. Why would anyone go back to the law and religion? Why would they leave Jesus thinking that He is insufficient?

O Lord, that I would never go back, that I would never, ever leave You!

Jeremiah 1:5 (NKJV)

5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

God ordained beforehand the what, and where, and to whom for the life of Jeremiah. He’s done the same for us!

Do not be afraid, God would say, over and over again, “for I am with you.”

Jeremiah 2:13 (NKJV)

13 “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.

Which means they would die of thirst! Suffer from dehydration. Dehydration makes us delirious.

Judah would have appearances of revival, but they did not return nationally, with her whole heart (Jeremiah 3:10).

Jeremiah 3:15 (NKJV)

15 And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.

A promise and a prayer. O Lord, that we would have Your heart; that we would feed the flock Your Word…faithfully.

Over and over again God invites His people to return to Him; He would pardon and receive.

Jeremiah 4:14 (NKJV)

14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved. How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you?

So much of our mannerisms begins in the mind. O Lord, please weed out all wickedness! Please help us to set our minds on You.

Jeremiah 4:22 (NKJV)

22 “For My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are silly children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.”

Many people know how to connect the dots of evil, but Lord, how do we apply Your Word for good? Please show me.

Jeremiah 5:25 (NKJV)

25 Your iniquities have turned these things away, and your sins have withheld good from you.

O Lord, please help me, make me strong and set apart from sin. Not to sound selfish, but the last thing I want is for You to withhold good things from me, my family, and the flock.

Jeremiah 5:30–31 (NKJV)

30 “An astonishing and horrible thing Has been committed in the land: 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?”

What a horrible thing, that we continue to see, even today. Prophets and priest speaking their own word by their own power…and to think that the people love it. What will they do in the end? O Lord, may I speak Your Word with Your power, please Lord!

What if we Gave it ALL to God?

I’ve been pondering and meditating on what it would look like if I completely rendered my life to God?

Among other things it would include, surrendering all my thoughts, 100% of my eyes, everything that goes into my ears, the taming of my tongue (words), all “my” time, talents, treasures – all my decisions…myself would “die” to self.

And what would happen if I did that, gave it ALL to God?

I want to find out.

This is the life of obedience that the Lord deserves. I am created in His image, and I am therefore to give Him all that I am.

Assurance of Salvation

Romans 8:16, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”

How can we truly know we’re saved? Is it even possible to know for certain that we’re children of God? Absolutely! Three things stand out to me:

1. The Witness of the Word
2. The Outer witness
3. The Inner witness

The Witness of the Word (the Bible) is an understanding of the Gospel as given in Scripture. We read in Mark 1:15, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” John in his epistle elaborates on this in 1 John 5:13, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” We can know we have eternal life…by believing the Gospel centered on Jesus Christ.

Secondly, there’s also the Outer Witness which is a changed life. Jesus said you will know them by their fruits (Matthew 7:20). As C.H. Spurgeon said, “A faith that does not change my behavior, will never change my destiny.”

Thirdly, there’s the Inner Witness. When a person is born again and becomes a child of God (John 1:12-13; 3:3) the Holy Spirit comes to live within us. (Ephesians 1:13; 2 Corinthians 6:16). As we read in our passage for today, the Holy Spirit Himself bears witness from within. The witness of the Holy Spirit is powerful because He’s so close and personal. His witness may include communication and even feelings but it’s deeper than that, it’s fellowship. I know I’m a child of God because He lives within me.

Do you have that peace knowing you’re a child of God? Praise God if you do! If not, I would encourage you to draw near and search your heart. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.” I would encourage you to talk to God, go to church, and maybe even speak with a pastor. We’re here for you. Our heart is that you would be saved and that you would be sure.

Your brother in Christ,

Reflection – Exodus 34

(Suggested reading – Exodus 34)

As Moses was called to be ready in the morning, to go up the mountain to meet with God, I’ve always seen this as God’s invitation to wake up and “come up” to spend time with Him. Back then God wrote on the tablets of stone, today He writes on the tablets of our hearts (2 Corinthians 3:3).

Moses was allowed to see the afterglow of God Who revealed Himself with a description of mercy, grace, and long-suffering with toward us and our sins and at the same time, God is revealed as holy and just, by no means clearing the guilty. This Biblical balance of the revelation of God in His own words is critical to remember. God is willing to forgive our sins, but can only do so in Christ.

The LORD renewed His covenant with Israel and was about to do marvels unparalleled. The Canaanites would be defeated and expelled from the land. Israel was not to make any covenants with them, just as we are not to do so with the world.

This section reminds me that commandments need to be repeated; some are more personal to me, for some reason God’s commandment not to appear before Him empty-handed has always struck a chord within (give to God what belongs to God). And how important it is for the men to gather (Exodus 34:23).

Moses fasted supernaturally for 40 days and 40 nights…can you imagine the fellowship he experienced with God?

In reference to the shining face of Moses there’s a deeper lesson in all this. Moses’ face glowed as he spent time with God intimately, and personally. We stand in awe of such an experience don’t we? And yet we who are under the New Covenant have even more than Moses had! Moses was compelled to wear a veil so that the people would not see the fading glory, but we in Christ can not only meet with God face to face, but we can have a glory that never fades as we are transformed into the image of Jesus.

Reflection – Matthew 28

(Suggested reading – Matthew 28)

I’ve always admired the ladies for loving our Lord the way they did, willing to anoint His body early that Sunday morning. God blessed them for the heart they had, and it came to pass, they were the first witnesses to the resurrection of Christ! Initially it was surreal, it was a mixture of fear and great joy. Can you imagine what was going through their minds?

The instruction from the angel was to “go and tell”; the instruction from Jesus, was to “go and tell”…I have a hunch the instruction for us is the same.

When the ladies saw the Lord, they worshipped Him (Mathew 28:9)…it’s something they had been doing all along.

With the most wonderful truth in the history of the world about to stare them square in the face, the religious leaders chose to deny it, and in that foolishness denied life. They bribed the soldiers and appeased the governor. It’s tragic what pride, power, and money can buy.

When the eleven disciples saw Jesus, they also worshipped Him (yes He is God), but some doubted…just keeping it real. Jesus dealt with the doubts of Thomas in John 20:24-29.

How beautiful the Great Commission is! Jesus, the One with ALL authority is with us wherever we go, and that we must do – He commands us to GO, preach the Gospel and make disciples of ALL nations. Help us Lord, to do just that.

Reflection – Exodus 33

(Suggested reading – Exodus 33)

Initially the LORD would not have gone with the people in His special presence, this is what they deserved, but Moses pleaded with the LORD on their behalf.

Moses would meet with the LORD in the Tabernacle of Meeting outside the camp, and those who sought the LORD joined him (in one sense). It’s here we read those amazing words that Moses spoke to God, “Face to face.” What a privilege! And then to think that in the New Covenant all Christians can meet with God in an even more intimate way (2 Corinthians 3:12-18).

As Moses pleaded with God for His special presence, God graciously answered in the affirmative and Moses would be blessed to see the “afterglow” of God. Wow!

Reflection – Exodus 30

(Suggested reading Exodus 30)

The Altar of Incense symbolized prayer (see Revelation 5:8; Revelation 8:3-4). Can you visualize the prayers rising as incense before the Lord? Here we read of special prayers every morning and twilight, as well as perpetual prayers going on constantly. I couldn’t help but think of 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

O Lord, please grant me victory in my prayer life.

As the people are preparing to construct and maintain the tabernacle a tax of “Ransom Money” is established. Here it is half a shekel of silver for every man 20 years and above. In Jesus’ day it would be one-third of a shekel.

O Lord, please help me to give my part towards Your “house” and “work.”

The Bronze Laver provided the place and water for the priests to wash their hands and feet before entering in to serve the Lord. This brings to mind (John 13:5-10 and Ephesians 5:26).

O Lord, please create in me a clean heart. Please forgive me, wash me, allow me to serve You with clean hands and clean feet.

The Holy Anointing Oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. This anointing must be pure as prescribed in God’s Word and not manufactured by men.

O Lord, please anoint me, anoint us with the personal presence and power of Your Holy Spirit.

The Incense (prayer) must be pure as well, may it be Spirit led and from the heart. Twice in this chapter we read those words in the NKJV, “Where I will meet with you.” How beautiful is that? But it makes sense doesn’t it, for 141 times we read of the “Tabernacle of Meeting.”

The Importance of Good Soil

A quick word from my devotional reading this morning in Matthew 13:1-9, 18-22. This is the Parable of the Sower, the Seed, and the Soils.

A Parable is in one sense, an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. The people were not able to understand the straightforward teaching of Jesus because they were not saved and they were not open, so Jesus tried even harder to reach them with everyday things they might more easily understand.

In the Parable, the Sower is the same (Jesus). The Seed is the same (God’s Word). The only variable in the story is the Soil. The four places the seed landed is:

  1. The wayside
  2. The shallow stony ground
  3. Among weeds and thorns
  4. On good ground

To summarize briefly, these represent the different hearts God’s Word lands on. Some people have hearts that are not hungry or open at all, so the Seed doesn’t penetrate, they don’t understand, and the enemy comes and takes the Seed away. What a tragedy! Other are more open but shallow, and they get excited about the Lord and His Word when all is well, but the moment trials hit, they fade away because their faith has no depth. The third example is intriguing – it might even describe some Christians, who are saved, but have seasons of virtually no fruit – and why is that? Because their hearts are crowded and not exclusively devoted to Christ. We read in:

Matthew 13:22, “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.”

But the fourth heart is the heart that I pray for (Psalm 51:10; Proverbs 4:23). It’s the heart that’s open. It’s good ground and soft soil. I pray this would be us friend. Open up that Bible with an open heart. Sit in that study eager to hear…always be sensitive – for the Spirit of God will take the Word of God and conform us into the image of God. God will do miracles in your life if you take this Seed seriously!

Love you, praying you have a blessed day and abundant life!

A Contemplation of Crowns

Revelation 19:16 (NKJV) “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Some refer to them as England, others as Great Britain, but the name most appropriate for today is the United Kingdom – all the above referring to a single nation, who is mourning the passing away of their dearly beloved, Queen Elizabeth. She was queen regnant of 32 different sovereign states during her life, and served as monarch of 15 of them at the time of her death. Her reign of 70 years and 214 days is the longest of any British monarch and the longest recorded of any female head of state in history.
I haven’t done extensive research, but I’m hearing through the gracevine that she had faith in Christ. Queen Elizabeth is quoted as saying, “For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life.”
Franklin Graham posted the following on his IG account, “I’m especially grateful for the Queen’s friendship with my father Billy Graham. He cherished their friendship that was built on a shared love for Jesus Christ and belief in God’s Word. My father had the privilege of meeting with the Queen more than a dozen times, and she was a gracious host, inviting my parents to visit Buckingham Palace on several occasions. My father said he found Queen Elizabeth “to be a woman of rare modesty and character,” and made a pledge to pray for her and her family every day. He also appreciated how she often talked about Jesus Christ during her public addresses—there was never any question about where she placed her faith. Queen Elizabeth once said, “I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel.”
We mourn the Queen’s passing, but find solace in the comforting truth that because of her faith in Jesus Christ, she is home in heaven forever.
All this leads to our passage for today.

Revelation 19:16 (NKJV) “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

England, a.k.a Great Britain, a.k.a. the United Kingdom has a new monarch, King Charles III. When I heard about it, it seemed almost surreal to me. Wow! A new king! It made me think how one day, and it could be very, very soon, at the passing of this era, the world will crown a new King, the King of kings, Jesus Christ. This will be the true and final “United Kingdom.” Just as the transition of power was inevitable, it was expected (Queen Elizabeth was 96 years old when she passed), so too this is inevitable, and the expectation mounts each and every day.
Are you ready for the coming of Christ? You can only be ready if you’ve placed your faith in Him and are abiding in Him.
Maybe this is a sign for us to see, a not so subtle reminder…the King is coming.
Looking forward to His return, 
– Manny