Archive for September 2013

Consistent in Character

September 27, 2013

Scripture: Ruth 2.  

OBSERVATION
(Key verses)

Ruth 2:11-12 (NLT)

11 “Yes, I know,” Boaz replied. “But I also know about everything you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers.

12 May the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.”

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

Ruth’s life exhibited admirable qualities: She was hardworking, loving, kind, faithful, appreciative, honest and brave. These qualities gained for her a good reputation, but only because she displayed them consistently in all areas of her life. Wherever Ruth went or whatever she did, her character remained the same.

Our reputation is formed by the people who watch us at work, in town, at home, in church. A good reputation comes by consistently living out the qualities you believe in—no matter what group of people or surroundings you are in. Jesus also set the example for us to follow when He was kind to even those that hung Him on the old rugged cross. Ruth reminds us of the importance of such qualities. Jesus has modeled these for us, so that those of us that follow Him will know the way to live.

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

Lord, today I am asking for consistency in my Christian character. I pray that circumstance nor people will change that, but that Your example will be a consistent reminder to me today. I pray that something resulting from this might touch the hearts of those I deal with today, and that they will want to know more about the Savior that I love, adore and follow. Thank You for choosing even me to be an ambassador for You here on planet earth. Please work mightily in the hearts and lives of my friends that may meditate on this devotional 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
**

What If It Were Today? Ready?

September 24, 2013

Scripture: Luke 21.  

OBSERVATION
(Key verses)

Luke 21:27-28; 34-35 (NLT)

27 Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. 28 So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”

34 “Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, 35 like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth.

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

I tried to think of times in my life when I really looked forward to an event. I thought of High School graduation, because I was ready to be done with school and begin my working career. I thought of my Wedding Day, because I had found the woman of my dreams and I was ready for my day of lifetime commitment to love and take care of her. I thought of the day our daughter came into our lives, because I felt like my wife and I had so much love to share with her and to help her blossom into all she could be. Then there are annual vacations and special family/holiday times like Thanksgiving and Christmas; vacations and other special events that arise. However friends, all of these times and the excitement they bring cannot compare to the glory that we can anticipate with the coming of our Lord! For you see, I have already been blessed with His touch on my life, His awesome power in speaking to me and directing me to salvation that comes only through accepting Him as my Lord and Savior! Now the bonus in all of this is found in the verses highlighted in this devotion, for He has promised that He will come and get His children one day, and take us on to live with Him in a perfect place – Heaven. The Bible describes my final home as best it could in writing, but being in the presence of my Lord and Savior, with no more war, pain, strife, crime and all those things that we despise here on this earth, will be nothing less that GLORIOUS! One of my favorite hymns describes just a glimpse of my feelings – What A Day That Will Be, when my Jesus I shall see! This brings great excitement to me!

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

Lord, who am I that You should have sacrificed Your Son so that I might enjoy eternity with You in Heaven? Thank You for that love displayed on Calvary’s cruel cross. Thank You for working in my heart to convince me of my sin and showing me the wonders of Heaven. Thank You for forgiving even a sinner such as I. Thank You for accepting me as Your very own dear Jesus. What a Day That Will Be when I see You face to face! Please soften the hearts of my family and friends that have not been able to see and accept the gift that You offer to each of us. May they see the urgency of the hour referred to in this Bible passage this morning.

 

**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
**

Don’t Just Do Your Own Thing

September 23, 2013

Scripture: Judges 17.  

OBSERVATION
(Key verses)

Judges 17:6 (NLT)

6 In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.

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

Today, as in Micah’s day, everyone seems to put his or her own interests first. Time has not changed human nature. Most people still reject God’s right way of living. The people in Micah’s time replaced the true worship of God with a homemade version of worship. As a result, justice was soon replaced by revenge and chaos. Ignoring God’s direction led to confusion and destruction. Anyone who has not submitted to God will end up doing whatever seems right at the time. This tendency is present in all of us. To know what is really right and to have the strength to do it, we need to draw closer to God and his Word. Friends, let us look diligently in our lives and in our homes for those things that might be replacing true worship to our Lord. There is so much being offered via TV and the internet that we might hear folk say that they could just as easily worship God around the TV or through evangelists on the internet, or out on the lake while fishing, or perhaps in the woods while hunting, and for some this may be true. We can be no one’s judge, because that is God’s role, but I would recommend that we commit like Nehemiah to the fact that, as for me and my house – we will serve the Lord. I believe that as we commit to such a statement, we will see the need to encourage others, be a light to those who have strayed away, obey God by assembling ourselves together with other believers, and friend, there is no way to accomplish this in our ‘alone time together with God’. Like in the case of Israel, we tend to do our own thing when the Word of God has not penetrated our lives and become the pillar of our decision making and commitments. How is it with you today, friend?

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

Lord God, I seek Your forgiveness for the times that I have not sought You faithfully and followed Your way closely. I am reminded from this passage this morning that, like the Israelites who had fallen prey to this type living, the end result is not good at all. Thank You Father for dying on Calvary’s cross just for me. Thank You for providing Your Book of Instruction, Your Holy Word, so that I might learn the way of true life in You, thank You for Your power in directing me to a path directed by You! Thank You for the promise of eternal life with You in Heaven. Now, may I talk the walk and walk the talk so that others may also come to a saving grace in You and live their lives pleasing to You in every way. Thank You for loving me in spite of my weaknesses and sin. May Your strength in me serve to overcome the power of sin that face me each and every 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
**

Combat Oppression

September 19, 2013

Scripture: Judges 13.  

OBSERVATION
(Key verses)

Judges 13:1 (NLT)

1 Again the Israelites did evil in the LORD’s sight, so the LORD handed them over to the Philistines, who oppressed them for forty years.

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

I believe that we all can conclude that we are no different to the Israelites, and I’m sure that we can conclude that God is the same today as He was back in the days referred to in the book of Judges. With that being cleared up, I’m sure that we can also conclude from this one verse that God will not put up with the repeated sin of His people today. Friends, unfortunately that includes you and I. You see, when it comes to blessings, we often remind ourselves that God will bless us today, just as He did throughout the ages, and I believe that to be true. However, I also believe that God will not put up with us flaunting our sin in His face. He oppressed the Israelites for 40 years in this one instance, much like He also oppressed their forefathers that traveled 40 years through the wilderness, who received His daily blessings, and yet continued in their pagan worship and sin. How long, and how many times will God have to oppress us, or punish us for our sin before He gets our attention to straighten up our act? He is a holy and righteous God, He will not allow sin in His presence. Have we tried doing exactly that with expectations of a blessing anyway? Read the book again friend, and you will quickly be reminded that God doesn’t work that way.

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

Lord Jesus, thank You for loving us in spite of our sinful nature. Thank You for standing firm to Your genuine holiness and sinless life exampled before us so that we may know the way and live our lives accordingly. Please forgive me for my failures in meeting these ideals. I pray that You will continue to work in my life as You have done in this passage this morning, so that I may stand accountable before You today and every day. Please give me the wisdom, strength and power to overcome the evil of this world and its many temptations. Please help me to be more like You each and every day that I am blessed to be here on this earth. Please touch the hearts of all readers of this devotional that their eyes may be opened and that there will be fresh commitments to You towards more holiness in their walk and everyday lives here on this earth.

 

**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
**

Persistent Commitment

September 17, 2013

Scripture: Judges 10.  

OBSERVATION
(Key verses)

Judges 10:9-16 (NLT)

9 …. The Israelites were in great distress. 10 Finally, they cried out to the LORD for help, saying, “We have sinned against you because we have abandoned you as our God and have served the images of Baal.”

11 The LORD replied, “Did I not rescue you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, 12 the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites? When they oppressed you, you cried out to me for help, and I rescued you. 13 Yet you have abandoned me and served other gods. So I will not rescue you anymore. 14 Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen! Let them rescue you in your hour of distress!”

15 But the Israelites pleaded with the LORD and said, “We have sinned. Punish us as you see fit, only rescue us today from our enemies.” 16 Then the Israelites put aside their foreign gods and served the LORD. And he was grieved by their misery.

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

Like in the case of the verses chosen, we read time and time again how the Israelites strayed from the worship and leadership of God, the One who lovingly provided for them and lead them into the Promised Land. In verse 10 we read where they came to their senses and acknowledged their wrong before God. In verses 11 thru 14 we read where God expressed His disappointment with the Israelites and even told them that He had reached the end of His rope, and would not rescue them anymore. Yes friends, God eventually looks at us in disgust and questions our real intention sometimes when we plead with Him for something. He knows our selfish motives, and He knows how quickly we back off our commitments when everything is going smoothly. It wasn’t until the people acknowledged their sin and acted on the change they wanted to bring about in their lives that they really got to God. For at that time God was grieved by their misery. Does this sound similar to us today? The cycles we go through when things are desperate versus the times when everything is going smoothly. And what about our churches? Think about the times when churches are really struggling and hurting, how desperate we could get in prayer and renewed commitment to the Lord. Don’t you think that our ups and downs with commitment and displaying love to God, just to get His attention, and answers to our prayers, must really get to God sometimes and therefore causes reactions to our actions like in the case of these verses with the Israelites? Oh that we may be persistent is our commitment, worship and service to our Lord!

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

Lord Jesus, it is sad to read Your Word and see how Your people of old were so inconsistent in their commitment to You, and how quickly they turned from You when there was no accountability or reason for concern. Unfortunately, I am convinced that things have gotten no better in this arena, as You probably see worse in us today. Folk that have strayed away from You and doing their own thing, even in light of all that You may have done in their lives and in the lives of their relatives. Please forgive us. Please have mercy on us. Please humble our hearts so that we may truly recommit ourselves and honor You in every way for who You are. Thank You for loving me, in spite of my past and in working in me to overcome present weaknesses. Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true, so that I may represent You genuinely in this current world.

 

**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
**

Today, Tell Of Your Need To Jesus

September 16, 2013

Scripture: Luke 18.  

OBSERVATION
(Key verses)

Luke 18:35-41 (NLT)

35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road. 36 When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening.

37 They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was going by.

38 So he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

39 “Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

40 When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him. As the man came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord,” he said, “I want to see!”

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

God spoke to me on several items in this passage of Scripture:

  • I wonder if this was coincidence that the procession, of which Jesus was a part, passed by the given route coincidentally, or deliberately, seeing that Jesus knew there was a need along the way? Of course a similar question might be: Was it coincidental that the blind man was along the same road that Jesus would pass? Either way, I believe it was the appointed time for the meeting of Jesus and the blind man. And much like this story, I believe that God has appointed a time for us to meet Him at times when we feel like we are at the end of our rope and can go no further. Jesus loves and cares for us friend, and He will arrange many meetings such as the one with the blind beggar, so that He could get our attention or meet our needs.
  • In spite of all that might be going on around us, we must be like the blind beggar and persist in our cry to Jesus for His help. Friends, pastors and other respected leaders may try to tell us where to go and what to say, but Jesus knows our heart and our cry, and He wants to meet our need. Let’s never lose hope and sight of His love for us.
  • I believe the most striking thing about this story is the point of Jesus asking the blind man what He could do for him. Friends, it is so easy of us to judge from the surface, or the circumstance what might be a person’s needs, and we may even start praying for that assumed need, but like in the case of Jesus’ question to the man, we must always ask first, as there may be something much more important, and urgent in the mind of the needy person, for which they are even more concerned and seeking God’s help and answer. Also, much like in the case of an addict, verbalizing their need or concern is most of the battle towards recovery.

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

Lord Jesus, You have shown me once again how much You care of us, and how You would meet our need even when others around us may try to silence us or steer us in a different direction. Please help me to never try and do Your job by telling someone to do something contrary to Your will and way. Please help me to lead them to You and allow You to do Your work in their life. Please provide opportunities this week where I might do exactly this, lead someone to You so that You may perform miracles in their life. Thank You for loving us this much, that You would have a personal encounter with us and meet our needs.

 

**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
**

Let’s Talk About This!

September 9, 2013

Scripture: Joshua 22.  

OBSERVATION
(Key verses)

Joshua 22:11-13 (NLT)

11 The rest of Israel heard that the people of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had built an altar at Geliloth at the edge of the land of Canaan, on the west side of the Jordan River.

12 So the whole community of Israel gathered at Shiloh and prepared to go to war against them.

13 First, however, they sent a delegation led by Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, to talk with the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

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

God’s Word is truly a book from which we can not only learn about God’s powerful hand at work in many visible ways, but it also provides insight and direction to us on how to deal with the daily struggles and challenges of everyday life as we know it today. We are so easily misunderstood at times, and of course we easily misunderstand others. We can see in this short chapter today that the actions of the people of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh we clearly misunderstood, but it took actions on the part of the other tribes who were about to bring war on them, to abort their mission to destroy them. Had it not been for the actions in verse 13, a total misunderstanding could have caused a lot of death and destruction among tribes of the same nation. I have seen this so prevalent in personal scenarios recently where, if I would have acted on first impressions or on what it appeared to me was happening, I would have really caused unnecessary conflict between myself and other parties. Imagine what conflicts would be aborted in our churches and among Christians, if we use the process taught in verse 13? I wonder if we don’t go to God’s Word looking for support of our stupid arguments, instead of going to The Book looking for examples and ways to resolve the arguments and bring peace? Evidence of the difference between these two scenarios are evident in this chapter today. Now, if only we can commit ourselves to looking for peace rather than strife! If only we can talk about it!

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

Lord Jesus, You have proven Your love for us, even when we were unlovable. You show so much love for us today, even when we show no regard towards being a true example of You in our everyday lives. Please work in my life to be more like You in every way. Please work in the lives of those that may meditate on this word today so that they may see the value in following Your will and Your way. I believe that the unsaved world is looking for genuine examples of You in the lives of those that call themselves ‘Christian’. Please forgive me for the times I have misrepresented You, and please give me strength and guidance to be more like You in my daily life so that the unsaved world around me may be impacted in a very positive way.

 

**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 Your Church Following Jesus’ Example?

September 5, 2013

Scripture: Luke 15.  

OBSERVATION
(Key verses)

Luke 15:1-2 (NLT)

1 Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach.

2 This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!

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

This is a chapter often preached on because of the story of the Prodical Son, but God really spoke to me this morning from a slightly different angle. Right at the very beginning of the chapter we are told that Jesus’ teaching seemed to have attracted notorious sinners. Just imagine, these are the folk that we strive to find ways to get them into our churches, but have such a challenge in trying to find the right programs or the right giveaways or the right meals to attract them. Now stop for a moment and consider that if we were to be like Jesus, and if we were to follow in His footsteps, these are the folk that we should be gearing our ministries towards, and not necessarily the influential in our membership, or not even those that tend to give us gifts or tickle our ears with encouraging words. Now, in verse 2 we find the real church today, for I assure you that if our church leadership concentrated heavily on the poor, the needy, the down-trodden, the unsaved, or hung out in areas where the notoriously sinful people hung out, our church membership would have a hay day whining and complaining and calling pastor and his team some real choice names. Can’t you hear us say, “I sure hope he thinks about who pays his salary”! Friends, it is so unfortunate that our churches have become an entertainment center for our pious Christians, catering to their every whine or complaint. If we truly follow Jesus’ example, our church services would be filled with more folk that need the Lord, than those who know Him but feel an obligation to tradition in being dressed up and in church service so all our friends could see how ‘religious’ we are. I wonder how we would honestly answer the question today, if asked “How are you following Jesus’ example in your church today”?

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

Lord Jesus, please forgive us for the unfortunate path we have taken in our churches today, for it seems like we have become more of an entertainment show, or theater for the entertainment of our attendees. Jesus taught in a way that attracted sinners, I pray that our churches will place that as priority in their planning sessions, so that sinners will be invited, welcomed and accepted in our churches to listen to the Word of God preached. Help us to individually get excited about inviting our non-Christian friends to church with us, and may they find a place of refuge as they attend. As we see Christians trying to build relationships with non-Christians, please help us to not be judgmental, but instead admire the example You set before us in all that You have taught us in this chapter of Luke. Lord, may we be more like You every day. Lord, may our churches follow more of Your example every 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
**

September 4, 2013

Scripture: Luke 14.  

OBSERVATION
(Key verses)

Luke 14:16-20 (NLT)

16 Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. 17 When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’

18 But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ 19 Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 Another said, ‘I now have a wife, so I can’t come.’

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

In Jesus’ story, many people turned down the invitation to the banquet because the timing was inconvenient. We, too, may resist or delay responding to God’s invitation, and our excuses may sound reasonable—work duties, family responsibilities, financial needs, or other reasons. Nevertheless, God’s invitation is the most important event in your life, no matter how inconveniently it may be timed. Are you making excuses to avoid responding to God’s call? Jesus reminds us that the time will come when God will pull his invitation and offer it to others—then it will be too late to get into the banquet.

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

Dear Jesus, thank You for providing a way for us to enter into your kingdom. Thank You for thinking enough of me, a sinner saved only by Your grace, to love me, to accept me and invite me to sit at Your table of mercy. Lord, as I consider the span of my life, who am I that a King, the King of all kings, would sacrifice His only Son so that I might live eternally with Him? Thank You for inviting even me to Your banquet and giving me the joy of Your salvation. But for Your love Lord, I would still be lost in sin with no hope for life in heaven with You. Thank You Jesus for loving me this much!

 

**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
**