Archive for January 2013

Wanted – Men of God!

January 30, 2013

Scripture: Ezekiel 22:30.  

OBSERVATION
(Key verses)

Ezekiel 22:30 (NLT)

30 “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.

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

I wonder if this is the problem with our world today? In one or more of the translations the Word actually says that God searched for a ‘man‘ to guard the land and couldn’t find one. Think about this with me carefully, friend. Many of our children are going to school hungry, but then many of the homes from which they come are single parent homes, and the majority of those homes are parented, supported, and directed by a female only. I am a firm believer that children brought up in a home where they learn the characteristics, habits and actions of one parent only, will take on those attributes, because it’s all they know. Have a look inside of our schools and see who is called to care for kids in trouble or to take them to the doctor if they are sick. Don’t forget to look inside of our churches and see who most of our attendees and leaders are. In many cases, our churches would have to close its doors if we depended solely on our men. But where are our men? Why is this happening to us? In verse 31 of Ezekiel 22, God said that because He could not find a ‘Man’ He would have no choice but to destroy the land. Unfortunately there are lots of males around, but where are the real men? I wonder what God’s next step is in dealing with our land? Men, it’s time for us to step up to the plate and be all that God meant for us to be. Badly needed in our country today are men of God; Christian fathers; Christian community leaders; Christian politicians – imagine how refreshing that will be to actually feel like we could trust what a politician is saying to us is true, and all that he stands for is actually for our good and not just to benefit his pocket. Men, I believe that God will bless us as we endeavor to be all that He created us to be and all that He has called us to be.

PRAYER
(What I will ask of God, in order for me to properly apply His Word to my life)

Lord Jesus, I have learned very humbly that if I point a finger at anyone, there are actually 3 of them pointing back at me. So I humbly ask You this morning to work in my life. Reveal my weaknesses, and give me the boldness and humbleness of spirit to accept what You tell me and be ready and willing to do as instructed. I will not question You on why You would choose to use me in any capacity You desire, because only You know all that You have already perfected in me. Most of all I plead with You to help me to always be obedient to You and to Your Holy Word. Boys and young men are in the mess that they now find themselves because of the poor excuse we have become, primarily in straying from Your Word, Your commands and Your example. Lord, may this be turned around, beginning with 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
**

The Kingdom of Heaven is Near

January 17, 2013

Scripture: Matthew 3.  

OBSERVATION
(Key verses)

Matthew 3:1-2 (NLT)

1 In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was,

2 “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”

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

I found it intriguing that the same message that formed the basis of John’s ministry is still so applicable today. These words remind me that as humans we are made to naturally thrive from the things of this world, then through the miraculous hand of God we are convicted of our sin and therefore turn to God for forgiveness and righteous living. Every time we turn around we find preachers who will want to try a new twist to worship services or even new and innovative ways to share the Word of God. Friends I believe that we have seen in some preachers, like Billy Graham, that there is much more success in winning the lost through a simple, but consistent, message like John the Baptist preached. This is also not just for preachers, for as laypersons; our message is as simple: for just as Jesus showed us to the Father, we too must show those that we come into contact with, the need for repentance from their sin, and the alternate direction they should follow by allowing Jesus to rule and reign in their lives. The reason we do this, is because the Kingdom of Heaven is near, meaning that the day of Jesus’ reappearing to capture His followers.

PRAYER
(What I will ask of God, in order for me to properly apply His Word to my life)

Thank You for the reminder about the nearness of Your return dear Lord. Please help me to live my life in light of that today so that You may be given freedom to work in and through me to reach the lost in my family, among my friends, in my church and in my circle of life. I realize that You don’t need me to win these ones to You oh God, but I pray that I may find a kind or encouraging word for someone today that may open their minds towards You so that they may be more open to hearing and obeying Your voice.

 

**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
**

The Results of Obedience

January 16, 2013

Scripture: Genesis 6.  

OBSERVATION
(Key verses)

Genesis 6:22 (NLT)

22 So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.

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

There are several amazing facts about Noah in this chapter that really touched my heart. In verse 9 it says that Noah was a righteous man, in fact he was the only blameless one on earth, and he walked closely with God. I bet that it was because he walked closely with God that he was found righteous. What if you were asked to pick one righteous person from your church? Now notice that I said ‘church’ and not your neighborhood, or place that you hang out. Yes, even at church I bet we would have difficulty finding a person we consider ‘righteous’. However, we find in the story that Noah was told by God about all the unrighteousness going on, and that it had disturbed God so much that He was going to destroy everything. Then God gave Noah instructions to build a boat – this was a first, but Noah followed the instructions. God told Noah that the reason for the boat was because He was sending a flood. It had never rained, so this was a first time event. Noah was told that he would not only take his family on this large boat, but also two of every kind of animal, bird and every creepy crawly thing. Yet in verse 22 we are told that Noah did everything that God told him to do. Friends, I believe that God showed me that I am to listen and obey when He speaks, and not be finding excuses or reasons why I feel like God messed up with His instructions. I believe that God wants us to be so closely in tuned with Him that we will hear His voice, understand His instructions and have no doubt that He is 100% right in what He is telling us to do. THEN we will begin accomplishing the work that God would like to do through us! Let’s set self aside and allow God to be God in our lives. The lives of Noah and his family, and every living creature were saved as a result of his obedience. Imagine what God can do through us in response to our obedience!

PRAYER
(What I will ask of God, in order for me to properly apply His Word to my life)

Lord, You are well aware of how many excuses we find to not be obedient to You. Please forgive me, and please touch the hearts of my readers that they too may surrender whole heartedly to You in complete obedience. You are God alone, and I need You to work on me so that I may not only allow You to assume Your proper position, but also that I may obey You without question or comment. As I was reminded in our sermon last Sunday, delayed obedience is actually disobedience. Please help me to be Your obedient child through whom You can accomplish Your work in and through me to my church, my family and my friends.

 

**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 Vigilant About Your ‘Serpent’ Today

January 15, 2013

Scripture: Genesis 3.  

OBSERVATION
(Key verses)

Genesis 3:1 (NLT)
1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

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

Back in the only time that our world was ‘perfect’ (no sin), a newly created creature, a serpent, reared his ugly head and tempted Eve to sin. This started a domino effect, because not only did she sin, but she also pulled Adam in with her. As I read this today I was reminded that each day we are faced with our ‘serpent’ that comes to spoil our day and lead us into temptation, or sin. Unfortunately, like Eve and also Adam, our ‘serpent’ finds a willing party and we follow through into the sinful act while blaming the whole thing on our ‘serpent’. God is the victor, and only He can grant us the protection and strength to keep our minds focused on Jesus and not wander off into the ways of Satan. As we saw in the case of Adam and Eve, submitting to our ‘serpent’ will often bring drastic negative measures into our lives. Friends, this is just one more reminder: that when we feel like our life is filled with pain and so many things going wrong, we should look at our relationship with God and seek His direction in helping us to see our shortcomings (sin) and the strength to overcome those things, so that we may enjoy a perfect relationship with Him and receive His blessings instead. Be alert for your ‘serpent’ today and be ready to order him like Jesus did on the mountain when tempted, when he said “get thee behind me Satan”!

PRAYER
(What I will ask of God, in order for me to properly apply His Word to my life)

Lord Jesus, I believe that You are a perfect God and that You would prefer to see and have perfect children. However, You sacrificed Your very life so that we may have access to You and Your strength, power, wisdom and forgiveness, in order to be made whole, or perfect. We can only overcome the evil one with Your strength and power. We are reminded in this passage that the evil one attacks in many different forms, however we know in whom we believe, and we know that no form of sin or even hell itself could stand against You. It is because of this reminder that I come humbly before You today asking for Your love – so that I may share that with others today that may be unkind or unloving to me; Your strength to help me overcome and ignore the ‘evil one’ today so that my witness for You may go unhindered; and Your wisdom, so that I may be alert to the temptations that will face me today and try to pull me down.

 

**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
**

Did you Ever Cheat God?

January 8, 2013

Scripture: Malachi 3.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Malachi 3:8-12 (NLT)

8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me.

9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me.

10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!

11 Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.

12 “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.

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

“Did you ever cheat God?” – I am sure that most of us would respond ‘No, of course not’ to this question. Unfortunately we will then have two reasons to get before the altar and beg forgiveness, cheating and lying! Friends, God has blessed us with everything that we have and He continues to bless us each and every day with the good health to enjoy His bounty; a job to earn money to support our families; opportunities to share the good news of Jesus in response to all He did for us. Having blessed us so wonderfully, why would we then cheat God by holding back on what we are obligated to give? We are taught that at least 10% of our income is due to God. Many of us will reason away that this means 10% of your net check. God expects us to give Him the first of our fruits, meaning right off the top. Example: if I earn $500, and $150 is taken out for taxes and $100 for a loan payment, I would then cash my check for the remaining $250. Some may reason that I only owe $25 in tithes. 10% of my income is $50, not $25 which is 10% of the leftovers. Would you rather see God bless you abundantly as He promises in verse 10, or would you rather that He blesses you in response to your half-hearted giving? Friends, when Jesus went to Calvary for us, He gave of himself fully and completely. He didn’t find excuses, nor did He call down thousands of angels (like He could have) to rescue Him and only partially cover the sacrifice for our sin. Our obedience to God will call down the blessings promised in verse 10: I will open the windows of Heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great that you won’t have enough room to take it in! Wouldn’t that be a tremendous expression of God’s love to us for a lost world to catch a glimpse of? Wow! God told us through the prophet Malachi, enough of the doubting, “Try it! Put me to the test!”

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

Lord Jesus, I am so aware that there is little I can do in giving, that could compare to all that You gave for me. However, I pray that You will help me to always give in accordance with Your Word, and I pray that You will always prompt me to give even more in response to the awesome love You displayed for me at Calvary and to all that You shower upon me each and every day. Thank You for being such a giving, caring and loving God to me. Please touch the hearts of all that may read this devotional so that they could never be accused of ‘cheating God’ in their giving. Please help us to imitate You and be a giving people.

 

**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
**

Coming Soon – Ready or Not!

January 7, 2013

Scripture: Revelation 22.

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Revelation 22:20 (NLT)

20 He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

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

It is exciting to reach the end of a book, and reading the last chapter of Revelation is no exception to the feeling of success that one would feel after reading any book. The difference is that after reading the rest of this book, the Bible, I have seen the consequences of sin (separation from God). Reading verse 20 also tells me that soon could be today! Of course many have tried to say, based on various scripture and timelines when that day will be, and we have seen much hype and publicity over those man-made calculated dates. Friends, just as you have seen these dates come and go without the physical return of Jesus Christ, I want to remind you that scripture is very clear that no one knows the day or the hour when God will send His Son Jesus to come and get us (the saved; the redeemed; Christians; followers of Christ; those who have accepted Him as Lord). Secondly, I want to remind you that ‘soon’ could mean before I stop typing, or today or just sometime soon. If I am preparing for my wife to return home ‘soon’, I will go ahead and get everything ready for dinner now, because she could be just around the corner. This is precisely the way it is with the return of our Lord, He’s coming ‘soon’! Would His sudden appearance catch you off guard? The road to preparation is very clear friend. There’s no excuse for you to be left behind. Why not consider getting with your pastor today, or a trusted and proven Christian brother or sister, or write to me using the email below? Let us help you to be ready, because I am more convinced than ever that Jesus will return soon! I’m ready, and I really want you, my friend, to be ready also!

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

Father, thank You for the gift of salvation! Thank You for Your Word and the multiple ways that it has spoken to me over the past two years. Thank You for my friends. Lord, I really don’t want them to be left behind, but unfortunately I can only share with them what they need to do. Please soften the hearts of my friends, that as they read this devotional, or Your Word today, that they will see the need for salvation and that they will surrender their total lives to You. There are many in my sphere of influence that already know You as Lord. Unfortunately there are many that have not made this important decision and if You came today they would wind up in Hell. Each of my friends are super important to me Lord, please deal in their hearts today and speak to them like never before, is my humble plea.

**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
**

Ever Wondered About Eternity?

January 4, 2013

Scripture: Revelation 21.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Revelation 21:3-4 (NLT)

3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.

4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

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

Have you ever wondered what eternity will be like? The “holy city, the new Jerusalem” is described as the place where God will remove all sorrows. Forevermore, there will be no death, sorrow, crying, or pain. What a wonderful truth! No matter what you are going through, it’s not the last word—God has written the final chapter, and it is about true fulfillment and eternal joy for those who love him! We do not know as much as we would like, but it is enough to know that eternity with God will be more wonderful than we could ever imagine, praise be to our most holy God! I was also impressed with the words “…God’s home is now among His people! He will live with them…..”. I believe that this helps to put into prospective that on this earth we could never attain perfection. However when at home with God, He could come and dwell among us! Wow, that helps to put the icing on the cake, for not only will we enter heaven filled with peace and contentment, but to have God living among us will be more than we could possibly handle down here on earth! I don’t know about you friend, but I can hardly wait for the day! This is a trip, a destination that I am anxiously awaiting to be with my Savior! Do you know Him friend? Do you have that assurance of one day being with Jesus? Please contact me if I can be of help to you to sure up your decision, and give you that confidence today! The benefits of this important decision is simply ‘out of this world’!!

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

Thank You Jesus for all that You did on Calvary to sure up my access into heaven. Thank You for persistently tugging at my heart to convince me of accepting You as Lord. I pray that today You will be as persistent with my friends who will read this devotional. I pray that You will give them one more chance to make this most important decision. Please tender the hearts of all who may be reminded of Your glorious home as they read this today. Thank You for preparing a home for me and thank You for thinking enough of me to even consider living among me and my fellow believers as we enter heaven! I can hardly wait for the day!

 

**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
**

Biblical Instructions for the New Year

January 2, 2013

Scripture: Zechariah 7.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Zechariah 7:8-10 (NLT)

8 Then this message came to Zechariah from the LORD:

9 “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another.

10 Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other.

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

I can’t imagine better timing than reading the above scripture within the first two days of a new year, 2013. What better time to listen to God’s words to us and take heed to them? Let’s break these instructions down into smaller chunks:

  • Judge fairly – this may sound like it is intended for our courts, and while this may apply to all of you serving in our judicial system, it also applies to each of us. For we are to be careful in judging others based on our own preconceived ideas. In my upbringing I was always taught to not judge the book by its cover. Get to know the real person inside and see if there isn’t a tender, compassionate individual looking for someone to share their love with.
  • Show mercy and kindness to one another – Oh if we were to practice this, instead of always looking for the bad, or weakness in someone. Oh if we were to look for ways to praise that person, instead of pulling them down in order to see ourselves uplifted. Just as God showed mercy on us and is kind to us in spite of our evil minds and actions, so are we to show mercy one to another and show kindness without any expectation of a returned favor.
  • Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners and the poor – If we think of a positive way of saying this same thing, we would say “always be looking for ways to uplift the widows, orphans, foreigners and poor among you, or that you come in contact with.” That’s a powerful command, and as I think of ways to do that I believe that I will truly be taking on the likeness of God’s Son, Jesus, for He perfected this while here on earth with us.
  • Do not scheme against each other – I believe that I touched on this when I said that we are not to pull someone else down in order to make ourselves look good. I trust that we will not look for, or scheme up ways to bring anyone down. Let’s lift up one another in every way Brother/Sister!

The only thing I can add to that is, thus sayeth the Word of God! Let us obey His Word today and every day in 2013!

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

Lord Jesus, I am reminded again of how I should be treating others if I am to truly reflect You in every phase of my life here on this earth. Please give me strength today and throughout the year to follow Your will. For that Brother or Sister who reads this today and really struggles with obeying Your commands, I ask for strength for them, I ask You to encourage them to place their full dependence on You so that You may give them all they need to follow in Your footsteps. Thank You for allowing me to see another year, now please allow me to accomplish Your will this year.

 

**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
**