Bible Verses to Ponder

Just Make a Decision

You can be neutral about a lot of things. I like coffee and tea; baseball and football; lukewarm water; comedies and dramas; and so the list goes on. I can like things that are opposite, likeing one does not cancel out the other. But God forces us to make a decision when it come to Him.
"He who is not for me is against me..." (Luke 11:23 NIV)

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other. So because you are lukewarm -neither hot or cold- I am about to spit you out of my mouth." (Rev 3:15-16 NIV)

It's real simple, make a decision! do you believe God exists, yes or no. Do you believe Jesus died for your sins, yes or no!

Too many people want to put conditions on their belief. They want to hedge their bets. "Well I believe in God, but I don't believe... I believe in Jesus, but..." The human tendency is to believe a little of a lot of things just in case we are wrong.

But that is not what God wants, "He who is not for me is against me". Make the decisions above and worry about the details later!

You Really Don't Want God Mad at You!

Quick, list three attributes of God. If you are like most, those descriptions of God will probably be positive such as loving, forgiving, merciful, etc. And these are indeed good descriptions of our God, but there is more to God that these.

As Christians we often see God through the life and teaching of Jesus the Christ. But to the pre-Jesus Hebrews, God had other characteristics. In fact, one of the first visions of God was very different. The second commandment of the ten Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai gives us a glance at another side of the Creator. It is found in Exodus 20:4-6:

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form ofanything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. (underling added)

And what does God get the most upset about? Idols, that’s right, those statutes and monuments to other gods. Whew, I’m glad that’s all since we don’t have any of those idols around now, do we?

But if you think beyond the words and to the depth of the emotion, you see another layer of meaning. Jesus emphases this deeper meaning when He responds to the teachers of the law when they ask which of the Commandments is the greatest. He says,

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind.” (Matthew 22:36)

The key word here is “all”. God is a jealous God, He want no less than all of you.

This puts a little different slant on the scripture above. God is not just talking about those statutes or monuments dedicated to another god. He is talking about anything that you hold more important than Him; such All American things as money, or position, or power or ego or achievement or an addiction to sex or drugs or a political idea or a personality or a relationship or anything that takes your focus off Him. When this happens, God gets jealous. And when God gets jealous, He gets angry.

Just for kicks, read these Old Testament passages about God’s treatment of those who commit idolatry. Leviticus 26 esp vs 14-39, Deuteronomy 11 esp 13-17.

You really don’t want God to be angry with you!

Where Did That come From?

Evolutionists tell us everything evolved from a simpler form of life. When we ask how humans evolved, they respond confidently, "A sea creature developed legs and crawled on the shore where animal life began to evolve." When we ask how the sea creature evolved, they condescendingly answer, " A single cell developed in the sea environment." When we ask how the single cell got there, they reply, become increasingly tired of our questions, "The single cell was carried to the earth on a meteorite that struck the earth."

"But where did the meteorite come from?" we persist. Pulling themselves up to their full intellectual height, they respond haughtily, "The meteorite was debris from the explosion of the Universe. The Big Bang, you know!" With a small grim beginning to creep across our face, we ask, "But what was before the Big Bang; what caused all those gases to compress; how did the gases develop into solid matter." Suddenly they fall silent, the wind seeps out of their sails and they reply, "We don't know"

Well, the ancients knew the answer to the question although they didn't have science or elaborate theories. As they pondered the Universe and all that was around them, they confidently wrote:

In the beginning, God...

Read the whole story in Genesis. If it makes you feel better, substitute "age of time" for day. But no matter what you read or what you substitute or how you imagine it was done, the fact remains, God was in the beginning.
I Saw an Angel, Did You?

Do you really think Angels come in neat clean white packages with small halos and big wings? If you saw one like that, I suspect you would approach them with awe and ask humbly, "What do I need to do for you?" But what if you saw an angel dressed in ragged clothes with unkept hair and a stagger in his walk? Or what if that angel was clothed as a single mother working a minimum wage job to support her children? Or what if the angel was being transported to prison. What would your response be? What should it be?"

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing 
some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.  

I'm the Best Christian There is, See you in Heaven, or Will I?

I am a great spokesman for God.  I can speak in tongues; I have prophetic abilities; I understand the mysteries of the universe and am extremely knowledgeable. Through my faith, I can move mountains. I am generous to a fault and have given all my possessions to feed, clothe and shelter the poor. I even offered to give up my life for God.  And yet if I don't have this one single thing, it will all be for nothing!

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing." 
(1st Corinthians 13:1-3 NIV)

All clouds have a silver lining
Why do bad things happen to good people? The book of Job is a good reference but I found another scripture that helps me understand this question.  It is in Genesis 50:20 (NIV). This is the end of the story about Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers.

(Joseph speaking) 
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.."


You are a serious Christian trying to do your best.  You read the scriptures, go to Bible studies and listen in Church, but the "do's and don'ts" list seems to get longer and more daunting. Then one afternoon, you read from a minor letter in the New Testament and it all begins to make sense.  The verse below from 1st Peter helped me to finally "get it".

"Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, 
since love covers a multitude of sins." 
(1st Peter 4:8 RSV)


Hold my hand, Daddy
The most comforting image in all the World is of a
father protecting his children

"For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you,' Fear not, I will help you.' "


What better help than someone who has walked in your shoes
 and experienced your temptations. The writer of Hebrews writes:

"For this reason, he (Jesus) had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God...Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted" 


If Paul, the Apostle, has this problem doing the right thing, How in the world can I expect to be able to do the right thing?

"For I do not do the good I want, 
but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing."
 (Romans7:19 ESV)

This is the problem we have with trying to obey the laws.  We just can't do it! But there is a way to gain God's favor. Paul talks about the Way in Romans. There is a Way apart from the Law.  And that Way is faith in Jesus and what he did for us.

Don't just read the verses below and think, "That's interesting." Read them over again and again, at least three times. These verses are condensed in the prayer Jesus teaches in Matthew 6:12 "...forgives us our debts as we forgive out debtors." The verses are an update on the OT law, "... an eye for an eye." (Exodus 21:24 and Deuteronomy 19: 19-21).  In modern times, the verses are reflected in the phrase, "Give him tit for tat." "Give as good as your got". Basically, it says; ...well, read it again!

"Do not Judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way
you judge others, you will be judged and with the
measure you use, it will measured against you. Why do 
you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay
no attention to the plank in your own eye? ... You hypocrite,
first take the plank out of your own eye, and then 
you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
    Matthew 7:1-5 (NIV)

Is the only benefit of faith in Jesus to be found in eternal life?  Are there benefits of being a Christian in the here and now? Paul is in prison when he receives a gift from the Philippian Christians. He graciously thanks them for their concerns for him in his letter to them and then he tells them he has learned to be content regardless of his circumstances.

"...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know 
what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have 
learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether 
well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do 
everything through him who gives me strength." 

Rev Mike Glenn has a great sermon on this scripture. Watch the whole service as the music is inspiring and the Communion comments are worth remembering.


These verses are from "The Living Bible" Paraphrased. I like it because it is simple and I can understand it. James is a very practical man and his message is full of advise to fledging Christians.

"You will be judged on whether or not you are doing what Christ wants you to.  So watch what you do and what you think...Dear brothers, what's the use of saying that you have faith and are Christian if you aren't proving it by helping others?...So you see. it isn't enough just to have faith.  You must also do good to prove that you have it. Faith that doesn't show itself by good works is no faith at all - it is dead and useless...Faith that does not result in good deeds is not real faith." (James 2:14-26)


I was reading the scripture for a study group and this verse stood out. People often ask, " Why read the Bible regularly?" These verses are straight to the point.  By the way, this is from "The Living Bible, Paraphrased".  If you are uncomfortable with the word 'paraphrased', read it in your translation. The message is the same.

"The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God's way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone." (2 Timothy 3:14-17)


More time has been spent talking about doing good than has been spent on actually doing good. We think and we plan and we gather resources and we fiddle around. The Nike tag line is appropriate here, "Just Do It". John says the same in 1st John 3:18 (NIV)

Dear children, let us not love with words or 
tongue but with action and in truth

Just Do It!  If it's not perfect, so what, just do it in love and let God make it perfect!

What does God intend for us? I have often heard the comment, "I am not so much interested in the sweet by and by but am more interested in the here and now". In other words, what are the benefits of being a follower of Christ while we are still in this earthly body. John's Gospel records Jesus talking about being the Good Shepard. (John 10:1-18 NIV) There are a lot of great lessons in these few verses, but I particularly like the second half of verse 10.

"...I have come that they (the sheep, you) may 
have life and have it to the full."
 (the King James Version says ...have it more abundantly.)

A full and abundant life, now that's something for the here and now!

Just how responsive is God to your prayers?  Jesus talks about God and what you can expect from Him. Luke records Jesus's words in Luke 11: 1-13.  There are several key verses in this short passage, but the summation is in verse 10:

For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; 
and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

To get the full inspiration, read all of the verses. This passage also lets us know the relationship we have with God; He is not a distant, overpowering, disinterested God, but rather a loving, responsive and giving Father.


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