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Free Daily Bible notes by Rev Stephen Thompson


March 2018

Daily Bible thoughts 1640: Friday 30th March 2018: Genesis 15: 1: Our greatest blessing.

Genesis 15: 1: Our greatest blessing.

“After all these things, this word of God came to Abram in a vision: “Don’t be afraid, Abram. I’m your shield. Your reward will be grand!” NIV

It seems to me that when people give up things to and for God, He very regularly gives those same things back to them, and often in multiplied ways. It also seems to me that this is in keeping with the general tone of Biblical teaching on generosity. We have seen something of how this worked out in the life of Abram. Only yesterday we saw how he refused an opportunity to gain even more wealth – probably because he discerned the possibility of defilement in the means (Genesis 14:22,23). The next thing God said to him included in it these words: ‘’I am…your very great reward.’’

 It’s important to remember that God Himself is our greatest blessing. He is our true treasure. He, the Giver, is more – so much more – than any of the wonderful gifts He bestows upon us. They can easily become idols if we love them inordinately.

To know God is simply the best of all blessings. On Good Friday, we remember that Jesus made this possible, at infinite cost to Himself.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord, for saving my soul; thank you Lord, for making me whole; thank you Lord, for giving to me, your great salvation so rich and free.

Daily Bible thoughts 1639: Thursday 29th March 2018: Genesis 14:17-24: Glory to God.

Genesis 14:17-24: Glory to God.

“17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,  “Blessed be Abram by God Most High,Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.”  Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me—to Aner, Eshkol and Mamre. Let them have their share.” NIV

In the previous story, we read how deeply invested Abram was in rescuing Lot. Have a look at verses 14-16 again and note how they express what Abram did. They speak of the effort he put in. But when he later met Melchizedek, the king priest (18-20), he was left in no doubt as to the reason for his success (20). God had blessed Abram with this victory, and God was to be blessed. To God be all the glory! Let us always say it, and always mean it. We cannot boast of our triumphs. In giving Melchizedek ‘’a tenth of everything’’ it was an acknowledgment on Abram’s part that all the glory belonged to the Lord.

Someone said, ‘Without us He will not; without Him we cannot.’ There is a major truth in that. It contains a balance we must maintain in our thinking. A similar statement says that we should work like it all depends on us, and pray like it all depends on God. It certainly does!

‘ ‘’Let us be as watchful after the victory as before the battle,’’ said Andrew Bonar. Abram was tempted to use God’s victory for personal gain, but he refused the offer. The king of Sodom came with a bargain, but the king of Salem (a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ [Heb.7:1-3] came with a blessing. Even a shoelace from Sodom would have defiled Abram’s godly walk! After every battle, give God the glory; and beware the devil’s bargains. If you aren’t careful, you may win the war and lose the victory.’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘With the Word’, p.25.

Daily Bible thoughts 1638: Wednesday 28th March 2018: Genesis 14: 1-16: Fighting for your family.

Genesis 14: 1-16: Fighting for your family.

 1-2 Then this: Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim went off to war to fight Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, that is, Zoar. 3-4 This second group of kings, the attacked, came together at the Valley of Siddim, that is, the Salt Sea. They had been under the thumb of Kedorlaomer for twelve years. In the thirteenth year, they revolted. 5-7 In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him set out and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim, and the Horites in their hill country of Seir as far as El Paran on the far edge of the desert. On their way back they stopped at En Mishpat, that is, Kadesh, and conquered the whole region of the Amalekites as well as that of the Amorites who lived in Hazazon Tamar. 8-9 That’s when the king of Sodom marched out with the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, that is, Zoar. They drew up in battle formation against their enemies in the Valley of Siddim—against Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar, four kings against five. 10-12 The Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits. When the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, they fell into the tar pits, but the rest escaped into the mountains. The four kings captured all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, all their food and equipment, and went on their way. They captured Lot, Abram’s nephew who was living in Sodom at the time, taking everything he owned with them. 13-16 A fugitive came and reported to Abram the Hebrew. Abram was living at the Oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and Aner. They were allies of Abram. When Abram heard that his nephew had been taken prisoner, he lined up his servants, all of them born in his household—there were 318 of them—and chased after the captors all the way to Dan. Abram and his men split into small groups and attacked by night. They chased them as far as Hobah, just north of Damascus. They recovered all the plunder along with nephew Lot and his possessions, including the women and the people.” NIV


It seems Lot had not been too long in Sodom when any illusions he had about the place were punctured. It appears he had seen only beauty there (13:10). He soon discovered that danger lurked around the corner. As we will discover, Sodom posed dangers to Lot and his family in more ways than one. But he had made his choice.

‘We make our choices, and then our choices turn around and make us.’

Lot became a captive (12).

But Abram’s attitude was not that Lot had made his bed and he should jolly well lie in it. No, he went to war on behalf of his relative (14-16). In this, Abram is an example to us all. We have relatives who are captives to sin. They don’t know Christ and maybe it seems they don’t want to know Him. What are we to do? Wring our hands in discouragement and see it as inevitable that they are lost? Not at all. Let’s determine we will go to war in prayer for them and bring them back. If we never do see them return it will have nothing to do with our unbelief and prayer-less-ness. Whenever I hear a story of a conversion, or a prodigal coming home, I often read about a praying person in the wings of their life.

So, don’t be disheartened. I heard a Scottish preacher on one occasion and he just kept saying, ‘It’s a fight all the way, but fight on brother!’

Into battle!!

PRAYER: Lord I bring to you in prayer…and ask that this prisoner to sin will be set free. Help me, please, to persevere in praying for them, and not lose heart.



Daily Bible thoughts 1637: Tuesday 27th March 2018: Genesis 13:14-18: Divine economics.

Genesis 13:14-18: Divine economics.

“14-17 After Lot separated from him, God said to Abram, “Open your eyes, look around. Look north, south, east, and west. Everything you see, the whole land spread out before you, I will give to you and your children forever. I’ll make your descendants like dust—counting your descendants will be as impossible as counting the dust of the Earth. So—on your feet, get moving! Walk through the country, its length and breadth; I’m giving it all to you.”       18 Abram moved his tent. He went and settled by the Oaks of Mamre in Hebron. There he built an altar to God.” NIV

One thing every generous Christian finds is that you can’t out-give God. As in the Joseph story, we regularly find our silver back in our sacks! It seems to me that all that Abraham had given up to Lot was given back to him, and with interest.  ‘Whatever Abram renounced, when he left his home, or gave Lot the right to choose, he received back in the usual measure of God, with an overflowing surplus. God gave him the entire land, including Lot’s portion. We can never give up for God, without receiving in this life more than we gave.’ F.B.Meyer.

We should never give with a view to receiving blessings back, but if we do give in the right spirit, we will regularly find that God pours back into our laps in ways beyond our asking or imagining.

What is a person’s response to God’s goodness? Like Abram’s, it should surely be to worship the God whose goodness to us is way beyond anything we could ever deserve (18).

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for your overflowing generosity.

Daily Bible thoughts 1636: Monday 26th March 2018: Genesis 13:10-13: The lust of the eyes

Genesis 13:10-13: The lust of the eyes

“10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodomand Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. 13 Now the people of Sodomwere wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.” NIV


May God help us to live with insight (13) and not merely sight (10). We need to be able to see through to what lies beneath – to see how hollow and superficial and vile things can be just below the surface. Superficially, ‘Vanity Fair’ can seem bustling, attractive and exciting, until you spend time there. Then you realise it doesn’t live up to its glossy publicity

‘All that glitters is not gold.’ Lot saw the garden, but he did not smell the smoke (10, c.f.19:28)!

‘Lot had a tent but no altar (Gen.13:5), which meant he did not call on the Lord in making decisions (James 1:5). Instead of lifting up his eyes to heaven, Lot lifted up his eyes to the plain of Jordan (Gen.13:10) and stopped there. The eyes see what the heart loves. Abraham had taken Lot out of Egypt, but he could not take Egypt out of Lot. Outlook helps to determine outcome…First, Lot looked toward Sodom (Gen.13:10); then he moved toward Sodom (13:11-12); and finally, he moved into Sodom (14:12). Instead of being a pilgrim who made progress, Lot regressed into the world and away from God’s blessing (Ps.1:1). He ‘’journeyed east’’ (Gen.13:11) and turned his back on Bethel (‘’house of God’’) and toward Ai (‘’ruins’’; see 12:8). The people in Sodom may not have appeared wicked to Lot, but they were wicked as far as God is concerned, and His evaluation is all that matters.’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘The Wiersbe Bible Commentary (OT), p.62.

‘’Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world -the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does -comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires will pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.’’ 1 John 2:15-17.

PRAYER: Lord please give me eyes to see things clearly, and to be able to make wise decisions as a result.

Daily Bible thoughts 1635: Friday 23rd March 2018: Genesis 13:8-13: You first

Genesis 13:8-13: You first

“8 So Abram said to Lot, ‘Let’s not have any quarrelling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are close relatives. Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.’  10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan towards Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out towards the east. The two men parted company: 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. 13 Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.” NIV

It’s been said that the secret of JOY is:

Jesus first;

Others second;

Yourself last.

It is encouraging to know that following a major failure people can bounce back. When Abram was in Egypt he acted selfishly, putting his own welfare before Sarai’s. But now we see a different man. He puts Lot before himself. ‘’Lot chose for himself…’’ (11). But that is exactly what Abram did not do. He honoured Lot above himself (Romans 12:10). He exhibited the spirit of Philippians 2:3, 4, long before these wonderful words were written by the apostle Paul:

‘’Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.’’

 But won’t living this way make me a door mat? Will people just walk all over me? Didn’t Abram lose out by exhibiting such a humble, unselfish attitude?

No, he did not. Stay tuned and you’ll see.

PRAYER: Lord give me the grace to live humbly before men, and to trust you with the outcome.

Daily Bible thoughts 1634: Thursday 22nd March 2018: Genesis 13:5-8: Meekness of spirit.

Genesis 13:5-8: Meekness of spirit.

“5 Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. And quarrelling arose between Abram’s herdsmen and Lot’s. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time. So Abram said to Lot, ‘Let’s not have any quarrelling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are close relatives.” NIV UK

‘While in Egypt, Lot acquired wealth and a taste for the world, and his temporal interests were partly Abram’s fault. God forgave Abram’s sin, but He did not prevent the sad consequences. We reap what we sow, even after we are forgiven. Abram’s first test of faith came from a famine; his second test came from his own family. Family tests are the hardest of all.’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘With the Word,’ p.24.

How many family rows there are about money! Sadly, how many family members fall out over a will!! ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a queue!!!,’ someone quipped. Attitudes towards money and possessions are great revealers of the heart. In this story, Abram exhibited a different, and better, spirit than Lot

‘’Let’s not have any quarrelling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers’’ (8). It seems to me that this should be the attitude of Christians towards one another. Prize unity in Christ and work hard to kept it (Ephesians 4:3). This dispute did not start with Abram and his nephew, but when believers quarrel, there is a danger of leaders inadvertently, often unwillingly, getting sucked in. It’s hard for people to ‘fight’ without the spat affecting others in some way. Wiersbe points out too that this was happening before a watching world (7). When believers are divided this can hurt our testimony. It can tarnish our witness

Abram was a peacemaker. For him, harmony between the two camps mattered more than having the pick of the land. His attitude was right. His heart was good, and God wonderfully blessed him – as we will see.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for Abram’s example. Help me to value people and relationships above things.


Daily Bible thoughts 1633: Wednesday 21st March 2018: Genesis 13:1-4: The road back.

Genesis 13:1-4: The road back.

 “So Abram left Egypt and went back to the Negev, he and his wife and everything he owned, and Lot still with him. By now Abram was very rich, loaded with cattle and silver and gold. 3-4 He moved on from the Negev, camping along the way, to Bethel, the place he had first set up his tent between Bethel and Ai and built his first altar. Abram prayed there to God.”   The Message

If you find you’ve come off the motorway at the wrong exit, the best thing to do is to get back on right where you came off. In effect, that’s what Abraham did. He got back to where he once belonged. He returned to the tent and the altar and the life of a pilgrim. If you have a sensitive conscience, your internal ‘Satnav’ will be telling you to make a        u-turn as soon as possible. You know the way back. Don’t delay. The further you get from the ‘M1’, it is all the more likely that you will end up lost.

Let this be an encouragement to you today if you have strayed; if you have got off the beaten track. Come back to God. Repent of the sin that took you away from the main carriageway, and trust in Jesus’ blood for forgiveness. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be a winner where previously you became a loser. Make sure He’s in the driving seat. There is a way back on to the main highway.

There are also vital lessons to be learned.

‘The practical lesson from all of this is simply never abandon your altar. Stay in fellowship with the Lord no matter what the circumstances may be…Remember: ‘’The victorious Christian life is a series of new beginnings.’’ That is not an excuse for sin, but it is an encouragement for repentance.’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘The Wiersbe Bible Commentary (OT)’, p.61.

Daily Bible thoughts 1632: Tuesday 20th March 2018: Genesis 12:17-20: The sanctity of marriage.

 Genesis 12:17-20: The sanctity of marriage.

“17 But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram. ‘What have you done to me?’ he said. ‘Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, “She is my sister,” so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!’ 20 Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had. ” NIV

It is a serious thing to violate the sanctity of a marriage. It’s not surprising, then, that major consequences were visited on Pharaoh’s household (17). You may say, ‘But Pharaoh didn’t know what he was doing.’ That’s true, but this was, in part, God’s way of alerting him to the fact that something was awry.It was an alarm bell ringing loudly in his palace. God was merciful to Abram and Sarai (and Pharaoh), enabling them to get out of this sinful situation. Abram and Sarai were also able to escape Egypt with their lives.

How terrible it is when we tarnish our testimony by compromised behaviour and fall under the rebuke of ungodly people. Pharaoh comes out of this looking better than Abram. God called Abram to be a blessing to the nations (12:1-3), but because Abram was disobedient, judgment came upon Pharaoh and his family. This was contradictory to the call on Abram’s life. It was not why God had raised him up. Some sins cling tightly to us. We don’t easily shake them off. (Certain ones even seem to run in family lines). There was to be a repeat of this particular failing in chapter 20, and later in the life of Abram and Sarai’s boy, Isaac. Even great men and women of God can have potentially fatal character flaws, and be slow to learn. Thank God for His mercy shown to us in Jesus. There can be forgiveness and mercy as we trust in Him. Someone said ‘the victorious Christian life is a series of new beginnings.’ However there may also be unwanted consequences that cannot be avoided. Everything Abram got in Egypt was to cause him problems at a future date.

‘If you want to be a blessing to others, then stay in the will of God. Jonah ran from God’s will and caused a storm that almost sank the ship. Like Jonah, Abraham lost his testimony before unbelievers and had to face embarrassment and rebuke…If Sarah had become one of Pharaoh’s wives, what would have happened to the promise of the Redeemer? When we don’t let God rule, He overrules and accomplishes His purposes, but we pay dearly for our disobedience.’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘The Wiersbe Bible Commentary (OT)’, p.61.

PRAYER: I see, Lord, that there is much at stake in the way I live from day to day. Apart from your grace and mercy I would be lost. Please help me to so live that I bring honour to your Name and not disgrace.

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