Satan Is a Pickpocket

When my husband was pick-pocketed, I realized that Satan is also a pick-pocket. This 1-minute devotion offers 3 ways to stop him.

If you'd like to watch this devotion on YouTube, you can do that here: Satan Is a Pickpocket.

We used to do Christian work in Budapest, and one time shortly after returning from a visit to the States, my husband's wallet was pickpocketed on a crowded tram. The thief managed to remove the wallet from my husband's buttoned pocket!

Afterward, we remembered some suspicious behavior. Perhaps if we hadn't been jet-lagged, we'd have been more careful and alert. But you can bet we've been more careful since this theft.

In some ways, this situation mirrors our spiritual lives.

John 10:10 identifies the world's worst thief, and 1 Peter 5:8 warns us: "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." (NLT)

Fortunately, we have solid biblical ways to keep Satan from stealing our treasures by:

1. Keeping our treasures in the right "pockets," i.e., not storing them on earth (Matthew 6:19-21).

2. Staying alert in prayer (Colossians 4:2).


3. Wearing protective Christian "gear" (Ephesians 6:10-18).


Have you suffered a defeat recently? Let it make you more alert and prepared in the future.

I also encourage you to read: 5 Ways Satan Speaks.

If you've purchased Wisdom for Life, I suggest you read or re-read Day 89 to reinforce the truths in this devotion.
 
When my husband was pick-pocketed, I realized that Satan is also a pick-pocket. This 1-minute devotion offers 3 ways to stop him.



Bible Love Notes

Three Ways to Give Your Agenda to the Lord

Are you too busy like Martha? This 1-minute devotion offers 3 ways to give up our agenda and sit at Christ's feet.

“Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40)

My natural inclination is to sympathize with Martha in Luke 10:38-42. Who likes being stuck in the kitchen while your sister relaxes with guests? But Jesus rebuked Martha.

It was a sweet rebuke—the doubling of her name was a form of endearment (Luke 10:41). He wanted her company more than a fancy meal.

I hope Martha decided to serve pita sandwiches, took off her apron, and plopped down next to Mary at Jesus' feet. We can do the same by:

1. Welcoming "divine interruptions" in our day. 
See Divine Interruptions.

2. Simplifying and prioritizing our schedules. Busyness is often motivated by pride and immaturity.
See Christian Time Management
 
3. Seeking first the things of God and letting Him work out the rest (Matthew 6:33).
See Give Careful Thought to Your Ways.

If God asks, will you give up your agenda today and sit on the floor?

© copyright Gail Burton Purath, 2011

If you haven’t read the story of Mary and Martha, it’s just five verses: Luke 10:38-42.

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A great hardcover devotional priced less than most paperbacks.
If you own Wisdom for Life, I encourage you to read or re-read Day 35. It talks about a time when I was struggling and I foolishly started reading less of God's Word!

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Are you too busy like Martha? This 1-minute devotion offers 3 ways to give up our agenda and sit at Christ's feet.



Bible Love Notes

As God, Christ is Also the Logos

What a wonderful name for Christ! This one-minute devotion explains.

Besides proving Christ's deity, John 1 describes Christ as the Word (Logos). 

Revelation 19:11-13 uses this name for Christ at His second coming: 
 
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.” 

Our finite minds cannot fully grasp the concept of Christ as the Word (1 Corinthians 13:12), but we know Jesus fully expresses God: 

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven” (Hebrews 1:1-3).

The word logos is sometimes used for the written Word of God (e.g., Hebrews 4:12), but John 1:1-18 uses it to describe the Lord Jesus Christ, our preexistent Creator God who brings life and light to mankind.  

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A hardcover devotional priced lower than most paperbacks.
Please read The Message or the Messenger for further understanding of Christ as the Word. And I also think you'll enjoy Jesus in the Old Testament.

If you own Wisdom for Life, I encourage you to read or re-read Day 28 for further insights. If you'd like to know why you sometimes see these little blue boxes about Wisdom for Life devotions, I explain HERE.

https://biblelovenotes.blogspot.com/2001/01/jesus-in-old-testament.html


 
 Bible Love Notes

More Proof of Christ's Deity and of the Trinity

Scripture clearly informs us about Christ's deity and the nature of the Trinity. This one-minute devotion explains.

In Part 1 we discussed how John 1
Genesis 1, and Colossians 1:15-17 combine to prove that Christ is part of the Trinity, preexistent, present at creation, and fully God. 

Because the deity of Christ and the Trinity are denied by Christian cults and other false religions, it's important that we understand what Scripture teaches. So let's look at further proof.

Christ's deity:

1. In Titus 2:12-14 Paul specifically refers to Christ as God.

2. In John 20:26-29 Thomas refers to Christ as God and Christ says those who believe this are blessed.

3. Hebrews 1 applies a number of divine descriptions to Christ.

4. Isaiah 9:6 is a prophecy of Christ that calls Him God. 

5. God calls Himself I Am to Moses in Exodus 3:14, and Jesus identifies Himself by saying Before Abraham was born, I am in John 8:58

6. In John 5:18 the Pharisees were angry with Christ because they knew He was claiming to be God.

The Trinity, one God in three Persons:

1. When Jesus was baptized each member of the Trinity was present (Matthew 3:16-17).

2. In the Great Commission, Christ tells us to baptize believers in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit (Matthew 28:19).

3. We see the unified mission of the Trinity throughout Scripture. For example: John 14:261 Peter 1:1-2Ephesians 4:4-6.
 
We live in times of great apostasy and compromise, dear Christians. Let's make sure we know God's Word.

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Notes: There are other Scriptures that reinforce these truths, but these should give us a good start in refuting false beliefs. 

Mormons deny both Christ's deity and the Trinity. See 8 Beliefs You Should Know about Mormons. Please pray that the producer of The Chosen will stop promoting the false belief that his Mormon friends worship the same Jesus as evangelical Christians. See Amazing Contradictions
 
Besides the Christian cults which deny Christ's deity and the Trinity, there is a false belief called Modalism which does not deny Christ's deity but teaches that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate ways that God represents Himself, not three distinct persons in the Godhead. Matthew 3:16-17 refutes this belief because all three are present at the same time at Christ's baptism. 

Scripture clearly informs us about Christ's deity and the nature of the Trinity. This one-minute devotion explains.


Bible Love Notes

Make Sure You Know the Passages that Confirm Christ's Deity

It's important that we know which Scriptures define Christ as fully God because many false beliefs and cults redefine Christ to fit their false doctrines.

False religions often use the name of Jesus while denying Christ's divinity.
(1)

It's important for Christians to understand how to refute these cultist errors, and John 1 is a great place to start.

John 1:14 identifies Christ as the Word and John 1:1-3 says: 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 

“In the beginning” is the first phrase in the Bible, the first words in the creation story (Genesis 1). The Father and Spirit are clearly defined in this passage as preexistent and present at creation.(2) 

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters (Genesis 1:1-2). 

John 1 and the passage below confirm that Christ was also preexistent and present at creation.  

Colossians 1:15-17The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

It's important to understand that Christ is fully God, a member of the Trinity, one God in three persons. I discuss other pertinent Scriptures in More Proof of Christ's Deity and the Trinity.

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Footnotes:

(1) Groups defined as Christian cults use the same words and phrases Christians use, but they redefine biblical words to fit their false teachings, and they always deny the true character of God.

✔ The Bible Love Notes Collection of Articles on Mormonism – I especially recommend When Angels Tell Lies, Cults Are Formed.


 
Beware of Ex-vangelical Teachings – Also called "progressive Christians," these people redefine Christ in a number of different ways.
 
(2) Please note that in Genesis 1:26 God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.…” This is a good illustration of the Trinity, one God in three persons. We'll discuss the Trinity more tomorrow.

A great hardcover devotional priced lower than most paperbacks.


If you enjoy Bible Love Notes one-minute devotions, I think you'll enjoy my devotional Wisdom for Life. It's a hard-cover book priced lower than most paperbacks. ~ Gail


It's important that we know which Scriptures define Christ as fully God because many false beliefs and cults redefine Christ to fit their false doctrines.


Bible Love Notes

You Can Pick Your Teeth and You Can Pick Your Sins

A trip to my dentist taught me something about the health of my gums and the health of my soul.

My dentist recently told me to quit using the plastic dental toothpicks I’ve been using for years. I thought they were a good way to clean my teeth, but she said they were damaging my gums. 

I was grateful to know this because I don't want to do something that is harmful to my body.

It made me think of how similar this situation is to sin and how differently we respond. When someone confronts us about some sin or we feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we’re faced with the fact that our behavior is damaging us. And it’s not simply damaging something physical like our gums—it’s damaging our heart, our conscience, and our relationship with the Lord. 

We should be grateful to be corrected or convicted. Sadly, we often respond proudly and illogically. 

To use my analogy, I could have called my dentist a Pharisee for focusing on some little thing I was doing wrong instead of affirming me for faithfully brushing and flossing. 

I could have gotten angry and called her picky (pun intended). 

When I’m confronted or convicted about some sin, it’s not as easy to swallow as my dentist’s warning, but if I ignore or excuse it, I’m just plain stupid. 

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid (Proverbs 12:1).

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๐Ÿ’™ I encourage you to check out the Bible Love Notes collection Accepting Correction. I especially recommend When One Falls Down, which talks about the time Hurricane Irma almost did major damage to our home.

๐Ÿ’™ And I encourage you to check out Wisdom for Life, on sale 25% off on AmazonLifeway, and Christianbook.


A trip to my dentist taught me something about the health of my gums and the health of my soul.


Bible Love Notes

Psalm 119—176 Verses Filled with Wisdom, Comfort, and Instruction

this devotion offers a fun and practical way to explore various elements in Psalm 119. It will give you a deeper appreciation for God's Word.

I enjoy reading psalms. They are so rich with wisdom, comfort, guidance, and poetry.


But sometimes when I'm going through the Psalms, I find Psalm 119 a bit overwhelming to read in one sitting. After all, it's the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses.

One time when traveling in Hungary, I decided to use a four-hour train ride to concentrate on Psalm 119. So I pulled out my journal and read the psalm three times. The first time I listed the benefits of God's Word. The second time I listed the descriptions of God's Word. And the third time I listed the psalmist's attitudes toward God's Word. 

It gave me a deeper appreciation for Scripture as I better understood how it guides, protects, restores, instructs, counsels, strengthens, comforts, delivers…

Well, I couldn't possibly fit all I learned into this one-minute devotion, but I want to encourage you to study Psalm 119 on your own. It's well worth your time.


 

You can start by checking out today's Bite Size Bible Study which explores the first eight verses. And this devotion based on Psalm 119 is also helpful to read: 3 Ways to Overcome Temptation.

 

And I hope you'll also check out my book Wisdom for Life because it shares wonderful insights about Psalms and Proverbs.

this devotion offers a fun and practical way to explore various elements in Psalm 119. It will give you a deeper appreciation for God's Word.

 
Bible Love Notes

Yoga Syncretism or 2 Corinthians 6:14-18?

I hope you'll consider these important biblical truths if you're involved in yoga or other pagan or new age practices.

Sometimes we think something is good for us when it's actually damaging our faith.

Most Christians who get involved in pagan or new age practices do so through ignorance. But ignorance quickly gives way to compromise, syncretism, and loss of discernment. 

Let me use one of the most popular examples: yoga. 

When I share my concerns with Christians who’ve never done yoga, they see the wisdom in avoiding anything with pagan origins that is still practiced by Hindus. They realize 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 contains an important warning about such things.(1)

However, Christians already involved in yoga typically have more difficulty realizing these truths because the deeper their involvement, the less their discernment and objectivity. 

Despite the multiple options for exercise methods, yoga takes people captive, convincing them it's better than anything else they've tried. It leads most Christians to “syncretism,” thinking they can incorporate Scripture into Hindu rituals

We’re commanded to separate ourselves from pagan practices and reject worldly patterns for important reasons: So we’ll be God’s faithful sons and daughters (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) and we’ll “be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). 
 
Yoga is a spiritual practice that's been around for thousands of years. It's no coincidence that it has become more popular as our culture has moved further away from Christian principles (2 Corinthians 4:4).(2)
 
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I hope you'll consider these important biblical truths if you're involved in yoga or other pagan or new age practices.
Personal note 

I know that I will get negative feedback and unsubscribes when I write things against yoga, but I feel very strongly that yoga affects every Christian's faith to some extent. In the 1980s I met a woman who had become demon-possessed by doing yoga, even though she thought she was simply doing an exercise. She wasn't a Christian. But if it has this effect on a non-believer, why would we want to have anything to do with it? If it's simply an exercise, why is it always described as involving both mind and body?

It's also interesting that so many ex-vangelicals (people who've walked away from biblical faith) are advocates of yoga. 

If you believe yoga helps you, I challenge you to quit doing it for a while and seek God about it. And please be open enough to read these articles: 

 
 
 
 
While yoga may be the most popular form of syncretism in the modern church, there are other practices to avoid. See Pagan Influences and Major Warnings in Old Testament Narratives for more examples. I also encourage you to avoid The Enneagram. 

Footnotes
 
(1) 2 Corinthians 6:14-18“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ Therefore, ‘Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.’ And, ‘I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.’” 

(2) The number of people doing yoga increased by 63% between 2010 and 2021. There are 34.4 million people in the U.S. who practice yoga. (source)


Bible Love Notes

Believing in Yourself Is Overrated. Believing in God Is Underrated.

We're fools to think high self-confidence makes us more effective in ministry. This 1-minute devotion explains.

S
tudy the lives of those who walked closely to God and you won't find people with high self-esteem.

You'll find people with high God-esteem.  

Modern culture tells us that the solution to insecurities, fears, and inferiority is believing in ourselves. But our human problems began when Eve believed in herself (Genesis 3).

God says the solution to insecurities, fears, and inferiority is believing in Him and putting no confidence in our human efforts (Psalm 20:7; Philippians 3:3). He calls us to self-denial, not self-promotion (Luke 9:23).

We don't judge ourselves by human standards. We have a realistic view of ourselves, admitting our sins and weaknesses while acknowledging our victories and maturity in our faith.

"Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you" (Romans 12:3).

So let's quit bragging on ourselves and start bragging on God!

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Read how Moses messed up when he had high self-esteem and how he excelled when he had low self-esteem: Moses to the Rescue

If you've purchased Wisdom for Life, I suggest you read or re-read Day 46 to reinforce the truths in this devotion.

We're fools to think high self-confidence makes us more effective in ministry. This 1-minute devotion explains.

 

Bible Love Notes

Unloading and Reloading: A Devotion from Wisdom for Life

The Psalms teach us a wonderful way to replace stress and lies with truth and peace.

Today I'm sharing one of my favorite devotions directly from my book Wisdom for Life! Enjoy!

Unloading and Reloading

Sorrow, confusion, frustration, anger, fear, hopelessness—negative emotions can be our undoing if we don’t handle them constructively. 

Psalms gives us some wonderful examples for dealing with discouragement biblically. It’s what I call “unloading and reloading.” 

Repeatedly throughout the Psalms, the psalmists unload negative thoughts and feelings and reload, restore, refresh, and refocus their thoughts on God’s love and faithfulness. 

For example, I can feel negative at times because God is so often misrepresented and maligned in our modern culture. Like Asaph in Psalm 74:10, I feel like asking, “God, how long will the enemy mock? Will the foe insult your name forever?” 

But Asaph also shows me how to reload when he reminds himself that “God my King is from ancient times, performing saving acts on the earth” (v. 12). We may be tested by the negative pressures of culture, but our God is still in control. 

When Asaph says, “Rise up, God, champion your cause!” (v. 22), he knows our God is able to do that. 

Another example is Psalm 86 where David unloads by admitting he feels “poor and needy” (v. 1). He’s being attacked by arrogant people, and he has concerns about his own faithfulness. Have you ever felt that way? 

If so, you can reload as David did by saying, “You, Lord, are kind and ready to forgive, abounding in faithful love to all who call on you” (v. 5). 

Many of the psalms follow this pattern of unloading negative emotions and reloading truths about God’s character. It’s a good practice for all of us. 

For Further Thought 

How does Romans 12:2 (AMP) confirm the truth of unloading and reloading? How does it offer a more permanent solution? 

And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].


Check out the purpose of the "For Further Thought" section of the Wisdom for Life devotional.
This devotion is Day 16 in Wisdom for Life, which contains 100 devotions based on Psalms and Proverbs. I wanted to give you a taste of what you can expect if you buy the book. 

I hope you noticed the “For Further Thought” section. It's something you'll find below each devotion in Wisdom for Life for those times when you have more than one minute and want to dig deeper.

In addition, there's some space in the book to journal your thoughts, if you'd like. Just be careful to use a pen or pencil that doesn’t bleed through the page. 

Wisdom for Life: Helpful, Practical, and filled with biblical Wisdom.
The “For Further Thought” sections take a number of forms, suggesting a verse to memorize, asking a personal question, encouraging you to do a short Bible study, etc. All of these things help you more fully grasp the truths shared in the devotion.

If you enjoy the Bible Love Notes one-minute devotions, I think you'll enjoy this handy-sized hardcover devotional, especially because it's priced lower than most paperbacks.

And it's on sale for 25% off at Amazon, Lifeway, and Christianbook.

If you live outside the U.S., scroll to the bottom of the devotion Why Gail Has Written 1-Minute Devotions for Eleven Years and you'll find where you can order the book outside the U.S.

The Psalms teach us a wonderful way to replace stress and lies with truth and peace.


Bible Love Notes