Careful about Your Claims

Scripture: Ezekiel 13.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Ezekiel 13:6-7 (NLT)
6 Instead, they have told lies and made false predictions. They say, ‘This message is from the LORD,’ even though the LORD never sent them. And yet they expect him to fulfill their prophecies!
7 Can your visions be anything but false if you claim, ‘This message is from the LORD,’ when I have not even spoken to you?

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

Through a vision, Ezekiel was told how to handle those who were falsely prophesying. It is evident that God dislikes anyone claiming that they have a word from the Lord, if it’s really a personal point that the messenger is trying to convey. I believe that way too often messengers throw in the thought that God told them to say this or that in order to emphasize the importance of the item. Unfortunately, no matter how important the subject is, and no matter how biblical the thought might be, we must be careful with our words. When we use the wrong words, we lift ourselves up to a level where we are so much closer to God than our audience, because we are hearing directly from God and they may have never heard His audible voice. As a child of God, I might say that I believe that God would have me share or emphasize a certain truth with you. That may be totally true, based upon the studies of His Word that day or that week. However, when I say that God told me to tell you something, then I have just elevated myself to a level where I had a personal conversation with God. Verse 7 indicates that I would have told you an untruth in the latter example. There is New Testament scripture that warns us to test the word of the messenger. I encourage you to always have the Bible opened when being taught from God’s Word so that you can see for yourself what the Word says. It is so easy for messengers to throw lots of personal belief and principles into a sermon or a teaching, and while that may still be vital information and great advice, you want to know exactly what the Word of God says.

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

O Lord, being in a teaching position I want to be honest in what I teach and not mislead anyone. You have given us so much to learn in Your Word, so I beg You to direct me into teaching what You have said in Your Word and not try to lift myself up in doing so, but to lift up the name of the Lord for Your honor, Your glory, for the lifting up of the saints and for speaking to the lost or non-Christian. This is all about You Lord, not me.

 

**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
**

What Does Your Life say about your Faith?

Scripture: 2 Peter 1.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

2 Peter 1:8-11 (NLT)
8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.
11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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

For anyone reading this devotional, I would highly recommend that you read the entire chapter, as it was difficult for me to choose just a portion of the chapter to share my thoughts with you. The whole chapter is good and filled with nuggets for the believer. Our faith must go beyond what we believe; it must become a vital part of all we do, resulting in good fruit and spiritual maturity. Salvation does not depend on our good deeds, but it results in good deeds. A person who claims to be saved while remaining unchanged does not understand faith or what God has done for him or her. Like the believers to whom Peter was teaching, I believe that we often become complacent and believe that because salvation is not based on good deeds we could live any way that we want to. Friend, I believe that if we truly belong to the Lord, we will work hard to prove it. If we’re not working to develop the qualities of a Jesus led life (like those listed in John 1:5-7) then we may not belong to him. If we are the Lord’s—and our hard work backs up our claim that we are chosen by God—then we will be able to resist the lure of false teaching or glamorous sin. I want to challenge each one sharing in this devotional with me today to ask yourself: “What does your life say about your faith?”

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

Father, thank You for challenging me each day to look deep inside of myself and firm up those areas in which I have become weak, or could improve, in order to result in a life fully committed to and exemplifying the One to whom I belong. I pray that You will be with me today and this week so that I might maximize my effectiveness because of my walk and talk. May others see Jesus because of my interaction with them, and may they be encouraged and have an even greater desire to want to know 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
**

He Cares for You!

Scripture: 1 Peter 5.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 Peter 5:6-7 (NLT)
6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.
7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

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

Carrying our worries, stresses, and daily struggles by ourself shows that we have not trusted God fully with our life. It takes humility, however, to recognize that God cares, to admit our need, and to let others in God’s family help us. Sometimes we think that struggles caused by our own sin and foolishness are not God’s concern. But when we turn to God in repentance, he will bear the weight even of those struggles. Letting God have our anxieties calls for action on our part, not passivity. Don’t submit to circumstances but to the Lord, who controls circumstances.

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

Lord, as I read this passage I was reminded how important it is that I remain humble. In fact, in verse 5 I was reminded that “… And all of you, serve each other in humility, for “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” Truly it is only through my humbleness that I will stop to realize that I don’t have all of the answers, that I can’t do it all myself, and that my God is able to do all things and, through my faith in Him, I am safe to surrender all my cares and concerns on Him, because He cares for me. In fact, You loved me so much that you sent Your Son to die as a sacrifice for me so that I might live eternally with You. I can only praise God for the love You display every day for me dear Jesus. Thank 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
**

Obedience vs Disobedience

Scripture: Ezekiel 3.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Ezekiel 3:20-21 (NLT)
20 “If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths.
21 But if you warn righteous people not to sin and they listen to you and do not sin, they will live, and you will have saved yourself, too.”

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

We could easily apply this vision given to Ezekiel to those who are sharing God’s Word as an Evangelist, or a Pastor or a Preacher, because we often think that these are the folk we pay to deliver the Word of God to the people of the world. However, I was reminded that for those of us that have accepted Jesus as Lord, we too have a responsibility to share the Word of God with those that we come into contact with. In fact, I would encourage you to read this whole chapter and notice how Ezekiel was told that his life depended on his obedience in sharing God’s love with the people of Israel. I find it so interesting how easy we find it to talk with friends about our love experienced in marriage, or from our children, or even from a friend, but yet we are so cautious about sharing God’s love and His goodness – often blaming it on shyness, or being afraid that we would offend someone. What a pitiful bunch we are! The best thing that has ever happened to us, and the best thing that could ever happen to a friend, yet we find excuses to withhold that blessing. Could it be the power of Satan that we allow to overshadow the good that God has done for us, and that He is wanting to accomplish through us? This chapter reveals that disobedience could lead to death for not only our friends that we decide not to warn, but also to us as a penalty for our disobedience. How is it with you friend? I hope that you are less guilty of disobedience than I am today.

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

Lord Jesus, You are well aware of my weaknesses, but I thank You this morning for touching my life and removing the fog from my eyes so that I could see my own weaknesses and disobedience. Please help me to be concerned enough about my family and friends that I would share Your love and Your promise with them very openly and without hesitation. Although not an excuse for me, I don’t believe that I am alone in this state of disobedience dear God, so I pray that through this reminder today, You will reach out to my friend that may read this devotional and that You will impact their life like You have done in my case. May this be a day that Your people will wake up and obey Your Word like Ezekiel did, and may our boldness have an impact on our lost world for You. Thank You for loving me enough to give me another opportunity today. May I be about Your business, is my humble yet bold prayer to You 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
**

Provide a Way While Time Permits

Scripture: 1 Peter 4.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 Peter 4:7-9 (NLT)
7 The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.
8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
9 Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.

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

Peter, listening to God’s instructions for His people, told the church that the world, as they knew it, is just about over. I believe that this applies to us today. All signs indicate that we are nearing the end of life on this earth. Peter warned his church that there are some important things that they must be doing while remaining here on earth, if they are to be identified with Christ and known as a Christian. Friends, I need to remind you that being a Christian today is more than just walking forward in a church service and having the pastor pray for you. If you have deliberately obeyed the voice of God and truly surrendered your life to Jesus; reading His Word and living according to the commands in His Word, then you should also be following such commands as these given by Peter. We are reminded to do some very basic things:

  1. Be consistent and disciplined in your prayer life – Think about it. As we learn more from God’s Word each day we will be convicted of our shortcomings and our sin. We will want to talk to Jesus about our weaknesses and seek His strength, guidance and wisdom on how to overcome our weaknesses and live a life more aligned with His perfect design;
  2. Show deep love for fellow Christians – The world will know us by our love. Our love for God, our love for fellow Christians and our love for the unsaved – as we will have such a desire to see them won to the Lord before it is eternally too late;
  3. Be hospitable – instead of sharing our regrets with those that are in need, share what we have. Many times all they need is a place to lay their head, or a basic meal. So often, these are the last ones we would invite into our homes, yet we have so much to share with family and loved ones that we burst at the seams and throw so much away.

Peter was emphasizing the important things that the church should be doing when they know that they only have a short time remaining to correct their ways and show evidence of their citizenship. I see no difference in what we should be doing today brother and sister.

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

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for being so selfish. I am very much like the people that Peter loved enough to correct and remind them about their actions during a very critical time remaining in their lives. In order to live a life that is an example of You, I must follow Your will and Your way every day. Please help me to be more like You every day, and especially sensitive to those in need. You provided a way for us when there really was no other way. Please help us to love others enough to follow Your lead and provide a physical way for them while there is still time.

 

**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
**

This is What God has Called You To Do!

Scripture: 1 Peter 3.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

1 Peter 3:8-9 (NLT)
8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.
9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.

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

For those that will read the verses observed above for the first time, or the first time in a long time, you may question if Peter had his right mind. Friends, the Bible, God’s Holy Word, are writings inspired by God, therefore they have a purpose in being included in this Holy Book. Here’s what I see in these verses. When we think and follow the ways of this world, we will often do the opposite of this admonition of Peter. However, God’s Word is provided to show us a better way, a way exampled and taught by Jesus so that we may be more like Him. Let’s look closer at some of things Peter is reminding us about as originally taught in Psalm 34:12-16:

  • Be of one mind – Folk heading for the same goal will generally have the same things in mind, in order to arrive there safely. When we feel like we are thinking totally opposite to our Christian brother or sister, we must stop and look inside of our thinking first and determine we if are off-base or why can’t we align our thought with the ways of our brother or sister. Don’t automatically jump to the conclusion that they are wrong and you are right. To be of one mind, we will often have to adjust our thinking as much as they would need to. Remember, the world has taught us to be selfish and demand our own way. To get away from that we will need God’s powerful hand and guidance.
  • Sympathize with each other – Feel the pain and/or sorrow they are going through. This will show your love and support for them as you sympathize with them.
  • Love each other as brothers and sisters – As Christians, we claim the same father, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Let us therefore treat other believers as our brother and sister. Love them just as they are. Imagine this: Jesus loves us in spite of our peculiarities and our unlovable ways. We should be able to do the same for those we call brothers and sisters.
  • Be tenderhearted – be concerned about things that concern our brother and sister. Be tenderhearted towards the hurt they may be feeling, even if it really doesn’t affect you as much as it does them.
  • Keep a humble attitude – A humble attitude will help us to openly look at self first and seek help to admit our wrongs and accept the other person’s decision, if it is in line with God’s Word.
  • Don’t repay evil for evil – vengeance is mine says the Lord. We therefore need to pray for the well-being of those that we are convinced and lead by God to know is wrong. It is not our place to repay a little more evil to the person who displayed evil against us. Use the above tips to help them – sympathize with them, love them, be humble, be tenderhearted.
  • Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult us, but pay them back with a blessing – This sounds impossible, because we tend to think about this based on all that we have learned from the world all of our lives. With God as our Master, let’s listen to Him and do what He says. I can’t imagine the impact that that this would have on a sinner!

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

Lord Jesus, we can only accomplish these ideals with Your help. Please help me to stay focused on Your commands and Your teachings so that I may live more like You here on this earth. You have provided the perfect example for me. As I obey Your Word, I will align myself more perfectly with You and therefore represent You better in all that I say and do. Lord, may others see You in and through me in my actions, words and through my love today. I want to be more like You so that others may want to know You. May this be accomplished 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
**