What Are People Hearing From Your Church?

Scripture: Acts 9.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Acts 9:35 (NLT)

35 Then the whole population of Lydda and Sharon saw Aeneas walking around, and they turned to the Lord.

Acts 9:42 (NLT)

42 The news spread through the whole town, and many believed in the Lord.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

In both of these verses it reminded me that as the good news of what Jesus is doing through His church spreads throughout our community, people will come to know the Lord. Unfortunately, what folk hear more about from the church today is the in-fighting, and the unbelievable sin that originates from Christian believers, workers and pastors. The whole towns of Lydda and Sharon turned to the Lord when they witnessed the miracle of Aeneas. Dorcas was raised from the dead through the prayers of Peter and many in the town of Joppa surrendered their lives to Jesus. I believe that non-Christians are looking for something different about the church. They are looking for a place where God is really working through His church. Friends, I don’t know about you, but I believe that we serve the same God that worked miracles through Peter, and I believe that He will still heal people today like He did through Peter. So if things are not happening in our churches today, then it must be us that have separated ourselves from the mighty hand of God. I think it’s about time that we let the world know about the Lord that we adore and serve. I believe that we need to take self out of the equation, and put God in first place in our lives and in our churches and allow Him to have His way and perform His miracles among His people, so that the world will hear more about Him and not the weak, faltering people that make up His church today. Friend, it’s all about Jesus, not us. Only Jesus and His mighty works will have the effect on our communities that’s so badly needed today. We need to do our part and let God be God.

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, we are so discouraged by what is going on in our churches today, yet we continue with business as usual. We understand from Your Word how powerful and effective Your ministry can be in our communities, but I’m afraid that we have placed so much of self in the way that the effectiveness of Your powerful hand has been diluted in the eyes of the world. Please give us power to step aside and let You resume charge of Your church so that You may work a miracle in the lives of individuals so badly in need of a Savior. There are many that attend church that need a touch from You. There are even more who never attend church that need to see You at work so that they may be convinced of the next move that they need to make. Please forgive me for getting in the way, and give me wisdom to see and understand Your will for my life and for the life and ministry of our church. People of my town want to hear about You at work, not anything that I or any church member can do or try to take credit for. Please have Your way dear Lord. Be God in my life, my church and my community.

 

àWords underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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Faithful Followers

Scripture: 1 Chronicles 11.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 Chronicles 11:9 (NLT)

9 And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord of Heaven’s Armies was with him.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

God had foretold to Samuel that one day David would become king, however God allowed the people to recognize the character in David that would make him a good king. While Saul was king, David was very faithful and worked extremely hard. In verse 2 of this chapter the Israelites gathered before David and told him that even though Saul was king, they saw where David was really the one who led the forces, and now that King Saul had passed away, they wanted to recognize David for his faithfulness. In the verse observed above we see where David became more and more powerful, because even though he was king, he still remained faithful to God and His commands, and the Lord of Hosts was with him. How does this apply to us today? I see so many cases where folk will sit back because they are satisfied that they have done enough to get by (in their eyes), or they give up because in their eyes they see no value in carrying on. David knew that his role was to be obedient to God and do the work. It was not his job to judge and take God’s role in saying when he had done enough. In today’s society, church leaders often give up because they can’t see where their little bit is doing very much for the kingdom. God expects us to become obedient people and obedient leaders. He will accomplish the work that He has established. In the end, and it may not be until we stand face to face with Him in glory, I could only imagine that He will touch us on each shoulder (as they do in knighting someone) and say “well done good and faithful servant, you followed me even when you didn’t see the end result, you were faithful in little while on earth, now welcome into my presence and my glory where you will reign with me forever”. It will be worth it all fellow church worker and co-partners in the ministry! Remember, the Lord of Hosts is with us!

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, You know what I need and when I need it. Thank You for encouraging me through Your Word this morning. Thank You for showing me that not only is it worth the effort I put into every labor of love and leadership, but that one day when You gather us around Your throne, we will see how You were with us through all the good times and how You were especially with us during the tough times of ministry. Thank You for being that kind of God. Thank You for loving me and loving my fellow workers in the ministry enough to remind us that the Lord of Hosts is with us and that in the end “It Will Be Worth It All”! Praise be to God for Your amazing love!

 

àWords underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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Instructed Anyone Lately?

Scripture: Acts 8.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Acts 8:30-31 (NLT)     

30 Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

31 The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

We may sometimes see a person reading the Word of God and we might step aside assuming that they are a Christian and therefore understand what they are reading. Philip had a different approach. He asked the Ethiopian man if he understood what he was reading. Now, because I believe that Philip was truly lead by the Holy Spirit to do this, I am not advocating that we should automatically walk up to everyone we see reading the Word and ask questions similar to what Philip posed. What I do believe is, that we should be so filled with the Word, and our faith in God so fresh and real that we would not back down when we see someone struggling, or if asked such a question like was posed to Philip. Whatever we do should be under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but I don’t believe that God would want us to delay responding because we feel inadequate. I believe that when we submit to working for God, explaining His Word, or teaching someone about the Lord, we will receive the knowledge, power and wisdom necessary to respond, from the Holy Spirit. We may not be able to explain something as good as a learned professor or preacher, but God can use any of us to speak through us and get to the heart of the individual asking. Too often I believe we back off trying to help because we feel inadequate. The truth is that we are inadequate, but friend let me remind you that the One that resides inside each of us is very adequate! Putting off responding could lead to frustration for the prospect, questioning of our faith, and possibly losing the opportunity to lead someone to the Lord when God is dealing with them. Many times we use the excuse that we need to get our pastor out to visit with the individual and properly respond to the questions, but if we are the person God placed in the situation at that particular time, then obviously He is prepared to work through us, and I truly believe that He is more than qualified to work through any of us that claim Him as Lord of our lives. Our words (those of the Holy Spirit working in us) could very well be what’s needed by the individual to convince him of his need for a Savior. I did a study at one time that reminded me that because an unsaved person is asking about Jesus or His Word, is evidence that the Lord is working on him already. So let’s not give up the opportunity to help anyone in need of knowing our Lord!

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord Jesus, often I may feel inadequate and totally unqualified to help someone in need, but You have reminded me this morning that this is quite normal. My faith and trust and wisdom must come from You. In fact, it is not until I realize that I don’t know the answers that I truly depend on You. I pray that there will be opportunities today where I may realize that someone that crosses my path is desperately in need of instruction, and I pray that with Your power, wisdom and boldness, I will gladly come alongside them and give necessary instruction. The end is nearing and there is no time for delay, please always help me to grasp the urgency of the hour when such opportunities present themselves to me.

 

àWords underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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What is it that You’re Known For?

Scripture: 1 Chronicles 4.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 (NLT)

9 There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. 10 He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

In this chapter of Chronicles it is difficult to gather anything other than genealogy. However, in the case of Jabez the writer found it important to detail why he had the name Jabez, and to explain a particular prayer that he was known for. Wow! We often attend funerals, and occasionally a ‘Roast’ to honor a person, and we hear about all that a person may have done. Seldom do we ever hear about an individual known for a particular prayer that they developed or often prayed. In my opinion, there would be no greater honor than to be remembered for my Godly beliefs/practices/prayers. I am very conscious about praying to God in thanksgiving, in remembrance, and petitioning for the many things that I have no control over or that I have concerns about, but to know that my prayer may have impacted others and their walk or commitment to God would be nothing short of a ‘God’ thing, intended to give Him glory and praise. I believe that others are impacted by our honesty and practices really not intended to impress anyone, but that are offered as a sincere expression of the heart. The detail of this man’s prayer is very powerful also. We often pray for the needs of others; however Jabez prayed that God would not only bless him where he was at in life, but to actually expand his opportunities. It’s like asking God to bless me in my home, my workplace, my church, and even in my community, state and country, and to ask this in sincerity knowing that God would bless me so that I would actually have an impact (spiritually) in these places. I can only imagine how something like this would impact our world. God is still looking for sincere, honest men of God that would develop such a prayer life that they would be known by others for it. Then as the end of verse 10 reads, “and God granted him his request”, I believe that God will also do the same for us.

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord, only You really know the condition of our world today and only You know, and have the power to overcome the evil that prevails. Like in the case of Jabez, I pray that You would not only bless me personally, but that You may expand the borders of my influence, keep me from trouble, and use me for Your glory.

 

àWords underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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Our Reaction To Persecution

Scripture: Acts 7.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Acts 7:57-60 (NLT)

57 Then they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him

58 and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59 As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

60 He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Oh to be like Stephen when people speak evil of me. When they react to the envy they feel against me just because I may refuse to join in their evil. When I may have been obedient to the Holy Spirit and said something that rub them the wrong way. When, because of the evil one, folk lash back at me. Oh that I may be like Stephen and ask the Father to forgive them for they know not what they are doing. This was also the reaction of Jesus on the cross, when He asked God’s forgiveness for those that were actually responsible for placing Him on the cross and crucifying Him. Unfortunately it is natural to lash back at our accusers, or persecutors. Unfortunately it is exactly what they are expecting, and to some degree, the natural tendency of the normal man. Let’s not forget that our strength comes from the Lord. Our example comes from Him and His warriors like Stephen. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world, so who should have the power over the evil one? Of course, we should! Lean not unto your own understanding, but in all things acknowledge Him – the One who has all power, the One who is anxious to, and has the natural tendency to, love, forgive and forget. That’s the God we serve, and that’s the God that we should aim at exampling in our lives. Thanks to the story of Stephen, we now know that God’s children can follow the example of Jesus on the cross. To those that feel no sense of persecution in their everyday life, I would encourage you to check your walk. Perhaps you have softened your walk so much that there is little difference between the way that you act and those that would tend to persecute true/real/practicing children of God. I realize that this sounds harsh, but friend there is a large difference between light and darkness. Are you truly following the ways of Jesus?

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord, I acknowledge that I allow the natural man to shine forth way too often. I acknowledge that I need You each and every day to give me strength and wisdom to deal with earthly situations in a manner that would be pleasing to You. Please help me to always realize that if I am to follow You and Your example, then there will be folk who will dislike me – perhaps even hate me, and will find ways to persecute me. Thank God that I see strength in how You loved even Your persecutors and those that despitefully used You. Lord my aim is to love as You did, and still do. My aim is to exemplify You in all that I do and say, so that others, even if it upsets them, will know that Jesus is in control of my life and that my actions reflects those things that Jesus would do. I know that I can only do these things through Your strength and with Your power, so I humbly ask that You lead me, and guide me into the way of righteousness today. Bless those that would tend to persecute me because of my faith in, and love for, You.

 

àWords underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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When Our Consciences Become Desensitized

Scripture: 2 Kings 25.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

2 Kings 25:27-30 (NLT) – 27 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, Evil-merodach ascended to the Babylonian throne. He was kind to Jehoiachin and released him from prison on April 2 of that year. 28 He spoke kindly to Jehoiachin and gave him a higher place than all the other exiled kings in Babylon. 29 He supplied Jehoiachin with new clothes to replace his prison garb and allowed him to dine in the king’s presence for the rest of his life. 30 So the Babylonian king gave him a regular food allowance as long as he lived.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

In reading this last chapter of Kings today I was stumped on what God would have me take away from it. However, in reading my Life Application Study Notes on this, I was really stopped and caused to pause on what was concluded about the second book of Kings. I have appended it below, because I believe that it is important for all of us to take note of what is concluded about the results of our failing to follow God, then the reminder about how faithful God is to us, thanks be to God!

The book of 2 Kings opens with Elijah being carried to heaven—the destination awaiting those who follow God. But the book ends with the people of Judah being carried off to foreign lands as humiliated slaves—the result of failing to follow God. Second Kings is an illustration of what happens when we make anything more important than God, when we make ruinous alliances, when our consciences become desensitized to right and wrong, and when we are no longer able to discern God’s purpose for our lives. We may fail, like the people of Judah and Israel, but God’s promises do not. He is always available to help us straighten out our lives and start over. And that is just what would happen in the book of Ezra. When the people acknowledged their sins, God was ready and willing to help them return to their land and start again.

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, I am once again reminded about how important it is to follow You – Your commands and instructions as laid out in Your Word, as well as those times that You speak directly to us and give us direct instructions. I am reminded that You are the ‘Potter’ and I am just the ‘clay’. There is so much that I need to work on each and every day, and I know that there is still so much that You need to mold in shape so that I may look, speak and act more like You as I represent You here below. Please have Your will and way in my life dear God. Mold me and make me to be just like You, so that those that I come into contact with will come to accept You and want to know You to the fullest extent that we can here on this earth. Please be Lord of all in my life today and everyday.

 

àWords underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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