Category Archives: Scripture Thoughts

Meditations based on specific Scripture(s).

Written on His Hands

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…” (Isaiah 49:15-16 NIV)

Thank You Jesus, for going to the cross where my name was engraved on Your hands, maybe not on the palms–-with crucifixion, the Romans pounded spikes through the base of the hand where it is joined to the wrist. But You suffered and died for my sin there.

That reminds me of the hymn, “Nailed to the Cross,” which I learned as a young person:

(Chorus)
They are nailed to the cross; they are nailed to the cross.
Oh how much He was willing to bear!
With what anguish and loss, Jesus went to the cross,
And He carried my sin with Him there.*

Thank You, God, for forgiving all our sins and for never forgetting us.


“…He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-14) “……God has said,’Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:5) (Both NIV)

*Hymn author: Carrie Ellis Breck (1899) Music and lyrics at:

https://hymnary.org/text/there_was_one_who_was_willing_to_die_in

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Greater Joy

In hope I pray: Answer me when I call to you, O God who declares me innocent. Free me from my troubles. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

[God declares me innocent because I trust in the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ, instead of in my own righteousness.]

The psalmist instructs: Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the LORD.

[The right spirit is “willingly and joyously”—1 Chronicles 29:17. And we are to “Trust, rely on and have confidence in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and feed (securely) on His faithfulness”—Psalm 37:3 Amplified Bible.]

With joy I offer You praise, Lord God: You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.

(Image is Public Domain.)

[The joy of abundant harvests and new wine lasts only until they are used up. God gives lasting joy—joy in His presence and pleasures at His right hand forever more—Psalm 16:11.]

(See Psalm 4:1,5,7 -NLT)

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Skip the Bitter Fruit

For they hated knowledge and chose not to fear the Lord. They rejected my [Wisdom’s] advice and paid no attention when I corrected them. Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way.” (Proverbs 1:29-31, NLT)

The bitter fruit of living my own way– Hmm, not my idea of a great lunch. So I need to choose to fear the Lord today and listen to wisdom’s advice and correction. But how? What does that look like in practical living?

  • Maybe to receive this day from God’s hand and trust in God’s love for me and in His power to accomplish His purposes.
  • Or to let go of trying to control or struggling to prove I’m right.
  • Or perhaps to go God’s way as He teaches me in His Word, biblical teaching, and counsel, instead of leaning on my own understanding. (See Proverbs 3:5)

Proverbs 1:33 gives blessed assurance to those who listen to Wisdom: “But all who listen to me [Wisdom] will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” (NLT)

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Immanuel–God With Us

“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.” (Psalm 73:23 NIV)

Thank You, Lord, that You always hold me by my right hand as I walk through each day. When what I do seems just routine, You are with me. You know everything I think and do. May I bring honor to You even in the everyday things. If I stumble, You pick me up and steady me. When I face challenges, I’m encouraged by Your firm grip of my hand. And as Psalm 23:4 says, I will fear no evil because You are with me.

“But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the sovereign Lord my refuge….”Psalm 73:28 NIV)

I praise and thank You, Lord, that although You are sovereign over all the earth and heavens, You have made the way for me to draw near to You in Christ. Indeed, how good it is to be near You! Amen.

Psalm 138:6: “Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble….” (New Living Translation)

You are my help. You, the Maker of heaven and earth, are here—always and everywhere, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 121). I love You, Lord, for Your greatness which is great enough to care for even me.

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Struggle to Obey

“The Lord your God himself will cross over ahead of you….” (Deuteronomy 31:3 NIV)

No fear.

Lord God, I struggle to obey your command to be strong and courageous. Yet, You have promised that wherever I go, You go before me. You “cross over” ahead of me, whatever Jordan I cross over. You prepare the way.

You have told us not to be afraid or terrified because You, the Lord our God, go with us. You will never fail us in any way or for any reason. Holy Spirit, when I’m tempted to fear, please prompt me to remember these truths. I can choose strength and courage because You fill me with Your power, love, and a sound mind. Thank You, Lord.

Let me forget my failures from the past, though they are many; but let me remember Your love, Lord, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen.

(See Deuteronomy 31:1-7 and 2 Timothy 1:7.)

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Glorious!

“What does glory look like?” I asked the question as I looked at Colossians 1:27. It says that God lets the Gentiles know “the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (NIV).”

Part of the answer may come in asking, “What results from ‘Christ in me’?” As Jesus lives in me, He produces Holy Spirit fruit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Again, what does that look like? Maybe it shows up as my listening to the news the way Jesus would if He were me—not feeling threatened and not getting angry about things I can’t control. And I might remember to ask Father what parts of the news I need to pray about and how He would have me pray.

Perhaps it appears as compassion and joy in the Lord pushing out envy and self-seeking. Or a time when I experience contentment instead of jealousy and when I triumph over people-pleasing with confident trust in God’s love and care.

That sounds glorious to me. And Jesus Christ in me is making me like that.

And we who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV).”

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Glory

My Old Testament Bible reading one morning, Exodus 36-38, gave a lot of yawn-producing (at least for me) repetitive detail about the wilderness tabernacle and its furnishings.

But I thought about how You, God, “gifted Bezalel, Oholiab, and the other skilled craftsmen with wisdom and ability” in construction so that the result was perfect and beautiful (Ex. 36:1). And you also put on the hearts of the people such willingness to give that they had to be told to stop because so much was given.

Oh the beauty and glory of that tent and furniture where You dwelt with Your people! Yet how much more beautiful and glorious is Jesus Christ, God’s Son. And He lives in me.

Lord God, may I become purer and purer and more transparent so Your beauty will be seen in me. Amen.

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Never Alone

Father, please help me live today in a way that brings joy, not sorrow, to Your Holy Spirit because You have identified me as Your own (Ephesians 4:30 NLT: “And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.”)

Ephesians 4:30 brings other verses to mind, like the ones in Romans 8 which tell me that nothing can separate me from God’s love and Hebrews 13:5 that says God will never fail or abandon me.

An old hymn also comes to mind: “Never Alone” which we sang with this chorus:


“No, never, never alone. No, never alone. He promised never to leave me.
He’ll claim me for His own.
No, never, never alone. No, never alone. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone.”

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Source of Sabotage

In a conversation with a respected friend, one remark flew right past the logic center of my brain and poked a hole in my heart. My friend had said one thing and somewhere between my ears and my soul it got twisted so that I heard something entirely different.

I heard blame: “XYZ’s unpleasant behavior is all your fault,” and I heard put-down: “You are a bad person, worthy of rejection.”

Aha! Rejection! There’s a mental stronghold where the enemy twists thoughts, shreds meanings, and shoots out his lies. I see other strongholds in my soul too, but what can I do?

Asking the Holy Spirit to show me the truth might help. He points out a foundation stone of pride—thinking life should work the way I want it to. So I could start with humbling myself before God and remembering that He’s God and I’m not.

I’ve let past rejections and hurt feelings build up instead of dealing with them God’s way. Now fortress walls guard a breeding ground for grief and misunderstanding. They ought to come down as I choose to repent of my bitterness and to quit focusing on myself.

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NIV).

(Picture by Colin Smith, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13083522)

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The Soul’s Delight

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live” (Isaiah 55:1-3a NIV).

“Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. [Other versions say, “and the unrighteous their thoughts.”] Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously” (Isaiah 55:6-7 New Living Translation or NLT). [Other versions—“freely pardon,” “freely forgive,” and “abundantly pardon.”]

Holy Spirit, I need Your help to forsake my old negative ways of thinking that I learned from the world and culture around me. I want to come and drink living water and partake of the bread of life. Please point out to me where I’ve chosen the wrong ways so I can repent. I will choose to be transformed by the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2).

Ephesians 4:22-24 instructs me to get rid of my old corrupted nature—my ways of thinking and doing which aren’t under Your control. Instead, I am to “let the Spirit renew [my] thoughts and attitudes,” and to “put on [my] new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy” (NLT). So with Your help, that is what I’ll do.

I’m determined to quit feeding the old me with its negative thought patterns and behaviors which have no life. I want to start feeding my new nature which is becoming more and more like Jesus. He is life and the Giver of life. I will partake of Him and His Word, and I will grow.

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