Honor Jesus through your Love today!

Scripture: Ezekiel 36.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Ezekiel 36:19-21 (GW)
19 I forced them into other nations, and they became scattered among the nations. I judged them based on the way that they lived and based on everything that they had done.
20 But wherever they went among the nations, they dishonored my holy name. People said about them, ‘These are the LORD’S people, yet they had to leave his land.’
21 I became concerned about my holy name because my people dishonored it among the nations wherever they went.

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

How it must burn the heart of God when He reflects on the sacrifice that He made at Calvary when, even though none of us deserved a better way to make Heaven, yet God went as far as sacrificing His one and only Son, so that we may have a means of one day making Heaven our eternal home. Having made such a sacrifice, yet to look down on us and see how much love we truly love Him in return, must really break the heart of God. I learned in earlier scripture that love is obeying Gods laws and command. Love is getting along with God’s other children who we live amongst, for God said that as we have loved them, reflect the manner or quality of our love for Him. Love is when we look beyond ourselves and love others with an unconditional, unbiased and sacrificial love. Love is that we represent the Father in our everyday lives in such a way that when others come in contact with us they will know to whom we belong, or they will confuse our identity with that of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately we often fail at all this, and unfortunately we often fail because we try to do it on our own. Verse 21 tells us what happens when we totally mess this whole thing up. God is then ashamed of us and is very concerned about how we dishonor His name before a lost and dying world. Unfortunately we fail so miserably among our own Christian brothers and sisters, it is no wonder that we don’t have a clue how to really love those who are unlovable. This makes God sad and very concerned to see His good name dishonored among our respective nations. Let’s think about the love shown by the Father in sacrificing His only Son for us, and let us then strive to top that in the way that we love those around us.

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

Lord Jesus, thank You for the sacrificial, unselfish love that You have shown to us. Thank You for ALL those You have placed in my pathway of life so that I might learn to love those who are easy to love and, with Your strength learn to love those who may seem unlovable. Please give me direction and wisdom today to find ways to love others – especially those who make it difficult to love them. Please help me to represent You and honor You in everything that I do today. May Your holy name be honored today because of the my existence and because of my reactions and actions with those that I come into contact with. I need Your power and Your direction to do this, and I thank You for hearing my prayer and making this possible for me today. I also pray that You may give all those that may read this devotional today the desire to love You in this way. Create a new heart within us and allow us to love as You first loved us, is my humble prayer.

 

**Words 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
**

Be Real Today!

Scripture: Ezekiel 33.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Ezekiel 33:30-33 (NLT)
30 “Son of man, your people talk about you in their houses and whisper about you at the doors. They say to each other, ‘Come on, let’s go hear the prophet tell us what the LORD is saying!’
31 So my people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you. They listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words, and their hearts seek only after money.
32 You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t act on it!
33 But when all these terrible things happen to them—as they certainly will—then they will know a prophet has been among them.”

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

Friends, these verses are addressed to the prophet Ezekiel, and related to the people of Israel who had become very hardened. I want us to consider that they are addressed to our individual pastor/shepherd, because I see the warning as very real and applicable to our congregations today. I believe that when you take these verses in this context, you will agree with me that it is time that we take off the false faces of pretense and come humbly before God asking forgiveness for our littleness. You see, we can pretend before the pastor, and we can pretend before fellow church members, especially if we only see them at church, but friend we cannot pretend before God for He can scale back the shell of pretense and can see to the very depths of our soul. In fact, I wish that we would consider going to church this week and assuming that it is Jesus standing in front of our congregation sharing God’s Word. Perhaps we will then break down the walls of pretense, falsehood, stubbornness, lying, evil thoughts and actions, ungodliness and pride. This would be a true revelation to us. This would bring revival to us individually and to our churches. The sobering thought is that we don’t need to wait until Saturday or Sunday to do this, for God’s Word is available today to speak to our very souls. Jesus loves us each and every day, and He is ready and willing to show that love in a very honest and sincere way even today, but we must open the door to allow Him inside our walls mentioned above. Won’t you consider joining me in allowing Jesus to fill our lives with His love and mercy even today?

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

Father God, You are awesome! When I look at Old Testament scripture that is often very difficult for me to apply to current day life, yet in this passage this morning You have opened my eyes to this passage in a very real and applicable way. Please help me today to be very attuned to all that you would do in my life and in my presence. Please help me to stay attuned to Your Word in such a way that it will become very practical and life changing for me and for those that I interact with. Touch the hearts of those that are hurting today and need a touch from You. Also be a great influence to those who agree with me in the applicability of this Word from you this morning. Use Your mighty hand to work in our lives today, is my humble prayer oh Lord.

 

**Words 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
**

Love as exampled by Jesus

Scripture: 1 John 4.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 John 4:7-8 (NLT)
7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.
8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

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

There is no doubt that one of the strongest attributes of a Christian is that of love one for another. Let us consider the love of the Father who sacrificed His one and only Son so that we may have a means by which we might seek forgiveness of our sin and seek redemption from our lost condition. In other words, love was demonstrated and exampled before us in a very real and powerful way. If we accept that gift of eternal life, then we are taught in God’s Word that we are to no longer follow our old traditions and thoughts about love, but we are to love unconditionally, sacrificially, and without any expectation of love in return. After all, that’s the kind of love displayed at Calvary by our Creator. On the flip side of all this, if we say, and act like, we don’t love or can’t love someone, then verse 8 tells us that we really don’t know God. Let us therefore seek God’s help daily to fill us with His love and humble us to truly love all those that may cross our paths each day, whether they deserve it or not.

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

Dear Jesus, thank You for that unconditional love that You showed to me even before I accepted You as Lord. Thank You for that persistent love that is so evident in my life each day that I live. Thank You for that promised love in knowing that one day when You take me away from this world, I will be in Your very presence in glory for all eternity. With this kind of backdrop filled with Your precious love, I have all I need to love anyone that I come into contact with today. However, since I am located on this side of glory, I want to plead with You to give me strength and wisdom to act properly with all of Your kids today, as some will be lovable and some will not. I know that with Your guidance You can help me to love them all. May others that come across this devotional also receive strength from you to live in a way pleasing to You and in a way exampled by You.

 

**Words 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
**

Is God Getting Your Attention?

Scripture: Ezekiel 27-29.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Ezekiel 29:21 (NLT)
21 “And the day will come when I will cause the ancient glory of Israel to revive, and then, Ezekiel, your words will be respected. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”

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

It is tough for us to see outside of our circumstances. In these chapters noted above God sent messages to Israel through the prophet Ezekiel, and He actually followed through on the prophesies in order to get the attention of Israel – to get them to turn away from their sin and change their sinful lifestyles. Much like us today, I’m sure that many in Israel may have cursed God for all the bad stuff that was happening all around them. But what really caught my attention was the verse I noted under ‘Observation’, because no matter what happens, God is still a God of love, but a jealous God. I believe that He has every reason to be jealous. Let’s take a quick peek at the Israelites, He brought them safely through the wilderness for over 40 years and provided everything for them to not only survive, but to flourish. Yet the people worshipped their pagan gods and disrespected God in multiple ways. Should God be upset with them? Now what about us today? God allowed His one and only Son, Jesus, to die a cruel death on a cross designed for criminals of the day, but He did this with a specific purpose in mind, for it is only through the shed blood of Jesus that we can seek forgiveness of our sin, and receive the grace of eternal life with Jesus in heaven. Do we deserve this? No way, for we are a sinful and ungrateful bunch who deserve the pits of Hell. As in the case of the Israelites, God may try to get our attention through various challenging times. Like the Israelites, we have a choice of either cursing God or actually recognizing His power and His ultimate love and accept the unconditional gift that He has provided for those who believe on Him. The love of God, is greater far …..

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

Father God, please open our eyes to the times, places and circumstances when You are trying to get our attention. We go about this busy life without slowing down enough to really pay attention to what you are trying to accomplish in us. Please help us not to ever get in the position of the Israelites where whole towns were destroyed, just to get them to stop the party – the evil, long enough to truly listen to You. We are truly a needy people Lord, but we are such a busy people that often it will take a lot to get our attention. I pray that today You will work in my life and help me to be keenly aware of your love and work and actions all around me. You are deserving of my total attention. Please help me to give full attention to listening to Your voice, recognizing Your actions all around me, loving others as You love me, and being more like You in everything that I do or say.

 

**Words 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
**

Proof of our Sin or Sinless Life

Scripture: 1 John 3.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 John 3:4-6 (NLT)
4 Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God.
5 And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him.
6 Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.

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

I was reminded in this passage how simple it is to identify a sinful vs a sinless life. I know for many who will read this devotional, you probably had me beat on this, and I praise God for you! Here’s the simplicity of this. Sin is breaking God’s law, as it is totally opposite, or contrary to God’s Word – His law. How do we know this? Well, Jesus died a sinless life so that we may be forgiven of our sin. Furthermore, He said in His Word that we must follow His example and live like Him, for it is by this that we will be known as Christians. Therefore, when we see someone keep on sinning, we will know that they either don’t know Jesus as Savior or they don’t understand who He is. So what’s our problem today when we sin and yet pose to be Christ-like on our Sabbath day? We want to show a certain bunch of friends, family or perhaps church leaders that we are a Christian by attending church? The big question is – will they think the same of you if they visited you on the job or at one of your social functions during the week? You see, there is nothing in the Scripture that makes reference to part-time Christians. It’s a yes/no type response if we are asked about our Christianity. If we answer, “well I believe so” or “I am trying to be” or something similar, then chances are that we have not totally surrendered to God. Think about this like you would your marriage (if you are married), you would never give the lousy responses I exampled. You are either married, or not married. Therefore, as for our Christianity, please be sure that you have placed a marker on your commitment day. A designated date when you made that vital decision, and subsequent commitment to Jesus. For those of us who have, then let us press on towards the mark – the day when Jesus calls us home. Let us fix our eyes on the goal and live our lives like it could very well be today. When others see Jesus in our walk and in our talk, there is no way they will also see sin.

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

Lord Jesus, I need Your guidance and Your strength each and every day to live my life in accordance with Your commands, while in and among those that have no desire to do this. Please give me this strength to not only help me be loyal to my commitment to You, but also in hopes that You could use me to reach others who are touched by You through me. For those that may study this passage with me, I pray that You will also convict them of their sin and make this a turning point in their lives. May You be glorified in all that we say and do today!

 

**Words 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
**

Advice on How Not To Sin

Scripture: 1 John 2.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 John 2:1-6 (NLT)
1 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.
2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
3 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments.
4 If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth.
5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him.
6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

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

So often we hear, and of course we use, the excuses like “the devil made me do it” or “I just couldn’t help myself” or “well, I’m only human” or many other excuses that we try to use to explain our turning away from God and allowing Satan to use us. We are told in this scripture that the proof of our allegiance is proven in our obedience, or disobedience to the commandments of God. Furthermore, for those of us that claim Jesus as our Savior and yet don’t obey His commandments, we don’t have the truth in us and we are really considered to be a liar. Ouch, very abrupt but yet very sobering to know that when we pledge our allegiance to the King of this universe, then we need to live in accordance with His plan and His design. I love an example we use in my church to explain conversion, and that is the principle of doing a 180 degree turn from the way we were travelling. How is it with you friend? Are you fully dedicated to your walk with Jesus, and therefore leaving the world from which you came behind you? Let us learn to live as Jesus did!

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

Lord Jesus it is awesome that although You sacrificed Your life for me, and although You have provided a book of instructions for me to live as a Christian, yet You went even further to reveal Your truths to me in this passage this morning and reminded me of the importance in being true to my commitment to You. It is so easy to give in and mix things of this world with Your precious principles, but I believe that this has a very negative impact on our witness for You. Please give me guidance each day to be more like You and to live a life worthy of You and identifiable with You. Please also touch the hearts of those that may read this devotional so that they too may properly align themselves with You.

 

**Words 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
**

Be The Light of Jesus

Scripture: 1 John 1.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 John 1:5-7 (NLT)
5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.
6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth.
7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

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

Light represents what is good, pure, true, holy, and reliable. Darkness represents what is sinful and evil. The statement “God is light” means that God is perfectly holy and true and that he alone can guide us out of the darkness of sin. Light is also related to truth in that light exposes whatever exists, whether it is good or bad. In the dark, good and evil look alike; in the light, they can be clearly distinguished. Just as darkness cannot exist in the presence of light, sin cannot exist in the presence of a holy God. If we want to have a relationship with God, we must put aside our sinful ways of living. To claim that we belong to him but then to go out and live for ourselves is hypocrisy. Christ will expose and judge such deceit. Friends, is it any wonder that the church is losing its grip on society today? After all, when we (Christians, and more specifically, Christian leaders) stop and reflect honestly on our personal spiritual condition, we can quickly see that we are not as committed as we should be, we are not living as close to God’s design as He taught us to in His Word, yet we expect God to overlook all of this and bless us personally and bless the work that we are supposedly doing in His name. Verse six teaches that we are lying when we do this. Having a right relationship with God and following His perfect will is God’s design and will bring peace to our troubled minds, plus perfect results to the ministries that we become involved in. God will not be mocked, He wants our honest and totally dedicated efforts to reflect Him in every way.

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

Lord Jesus, it is so important that Your church be the church that You expect today. A church filled with leaders and followers who are truly representing You in our everyday lives in total honesty and conformance to Your teachings, one that You could use to accomplish Your work in a world that is so filled with darkness and sin. Father, I pray that I will not be a stumbling block, or a blot of darkness, that will dim Your light or disrupt Your work among those that You are reaching out to – whether Christian or non-Christian. Please help me to be a vessel that You could use.

 

**Words 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
**