Live in Light of Eternity!

God’s Word Says….

Job 19:23-27 (GNT)

23 How I wish that someone would remember my words and record them in a book! 24 Or with a chisel carve my words in stone and write them so that they would last forever. 25 But I know there is someone in heaven who will come at last to my defense. 26 Even after my skin is eaten by disease, while still in this body I will see God. 27 I will see him with my own eyes, and he will not be a stranger. My courage failed because you said ….

 My Thoughts…..

At the beginning of this book God said of Job that he was a true man of God that stood tall among other men and was firm in his commitment to God, in spite of what might come his way. Friends, we have seen for the past 18 chapters where Satan unleashed his power on Job and, yes it became very discouraging for Job, because he even wished he was never born. But praise to the God of heaven and the Savior of all mankind, Job never lost his allegiance to God. He knew that God was right there, and that it was he (Job) that needed to lift his eyes above the troubles and look towards the day when he would see God’s wonderful and loving face. I believe that when he wished that these words were written in stone for others to see and be encouraged by, he not only thought of us, but he also wished that he could be encouraged by his own words when discouraging times came. Job realized and acknowledged where his struggles came from and at the end of the highlighted verses he is basically voicing the cause of his weakness and low times. Satan is very powerful friends, but our God is head and shoulders above him, He created this universe and He is very capable of ruling and reigning over Satan and any of his deceptions, lies or devious acts that could possibly be imposed upon us while living in this old world.

Challenge……

What a lesson this is for us friends! If we would take time to analyze the cause of our sin, our frustration, our weakness and our failing, perhaps it would help us to do like Job and stand firm in our faith in spite of all that goes on in our lives. I believe that our application here is that we must make God so much a part of our lives that not only He will be able to say like He did about Job, but that our friends will also see so much of Jesus in us that they will openly recognize in whom we believe, and in whom we gain our strength and guidance. While we are living each day in the fear of the Lord, others are watching for an example to follow, and they are making mental notes, so that when anything is said about us, whether in life or death, they will be ready to attest to our lives and what our principles and character meant to them. Let us then live in the light of eternity, in our everlasting hope, one that leads us to the love and provisions of our Almighty King and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Prayer……

Lord Jesus, You are my hope for all that I contend with in this old world, and for my joy, as I reflect on heaven where I will spend eternity with You, thank You for loving me enough to make such provisions for me. Thank You for always being there for me! Please continue to give me strength to look above my troubles and look towards the heavens and remember all the joys that are mine! Lord, You know more than we do, the many challenges that my friends and I face here on this earth on a daily basis. Please keep us focused on You, so that our challenging times down here will seem miniscule compared to the overwhelming joy that is ours when we join You in heaven. Thank You for watching over Job, yet allowing his true strength and joy to be revealed to us in the scriptures. May the light of Your Word always be the path that we will follow all the days of our lives! Jesus, I ask all this in Your precious and most holy name, knowing that You are master over everything that could possibly come our way, AMEN!

Action…..

In response to God leading You through this devotional today, please get with a Bible teaching Pastor you may know and allow him to guide you. Otherwise feel free to reply to my post online, or you may email me directly at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. I will gladly add you to my prayer list, and/or respond to your request(s) ASAP.

What Should We Do?

God’s Word Says….

Acts 21:20-22 (NCV)

20 Brother, you can see that many thousands of our people have become believers. And they think it is very important to obey the law of Moses. 21 They have heard about your teaching, that you tell our people who live among the nations to leave the law of Moses. They have heard that you tell them not to circumcise their children and not to obey customs. 22 What should we do?

My Thoughts…..

It seems like James and the elders were getting distressed over the fact that the converts under their ministry in Jerusalem were still bent on following the law of Moses, so they were trying to force Paul into clearing this up for them. How often do we try to get the preacher/pastor/evangelist to try and get the people straight, or at least thinking our way today? Of course it still happens! A lesson I’ve heard taught over recent months is that we have a responsibility to teach and preach the Word. It is powerful enough to save the world and more than sufficient to teach us the ways and heart of God. When people accept Jesus as Savior, and when they learn from God’s Word what is expected of them as a child of God, and as an imitator of His Son Jesus, then we will see folk turn away from sin, leave old worldly practices aside and straighten out any misconceptions about the will and way of God. We don’t need our pastor to be a puppet, let him preach the Word. We don’t need our Sunday School teachers to tickle our ears with interpretations of the Word that really pleases us. What we need is that the Word of God be taught and preached in a manner pleasing to God. The best of us can still learn from the living Word of God that is very applicable to our lives today. The worst of us can receive new life and refreshing new hope in knowing from God’s Word, that Jesus loves even them and offers a better way and a joyous hope that we can be with the Lord eternally – yes even after we pass away from this life.

Challenge……

Friends, God’s Word declares that if we humble ourselves and pray, and seek God’s face, THEN He will hear from heaven and heal our land. This means all of us that follow the underlined commands. From evidence in our prayer meetings, there is no wonder our land is still in much need of healing. A great preacher once said that our prayer meetings are the barometer of our churches – indicating it’s strength, ministry, reaching and its effectiveness in the community and for God. So is your church thriving, or in deep trouble? Are you a contributor to the problem, or towards the solution? We don’t need to tell the pastor or preacher what to do, we need to get our lives straight, and stay in the Word – the power source for fighting all evil in this world and in our lives. Please consider making a new commitment to seeing the Word of God taught and preached without restraint, whether you do this personally, or in sincere prayer for those that do this so well in your churches. This will quiet the voices of the devil, the opposition to peace and good will that God desires among His people. Commit to placing yourself on the right team, friend!

Prayer……

Lord Jesus, in Your precious and Holy name, I ask that You continue to work miraculously in my life, so that I may shone evil, gossip, and the desire to do anything but pray for my pastor, elders, deacons, teachers, leaders and believers of my church. Bless them beyond measure today Jesus, and use them and myself in powerful witnessing opportunities for You. May we be so full of You that no unkind word be spoken or evil thoughts of any kind be evident in our lives. As unsaved loved ones and friends look on us today, may they see the face of Jesus, and may our actions be indicative of Your love, Your mercy and Your grace. For it is only possible, and it is only in the precious name of Jesus that I ask all this, AMEN!

Action…..

In response to God leading You through this devotional today, please get with a Bible teaching Pastor you may know and allow him to guide you. Otherwise feel free to reply to my post online, or you may email me directly at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. I will gladly add you to my prayer list, and/or respond to your request(s) ASAP.

When Convinced By God to Minister….

God’s Word Says….

Acts 21:10-13 (NCV)

10 After we had been there for some time, a prophet named Agabus arrived from Judea. 11 He came to us and borrowed Paul’s belt and used it to tie his own hands and feet. He said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘This is how evil people in Jerusalem will tie up the man who wears this belt. Then they will give him to the older leaders.’ ”

12 When we all heard this, we and the people there begged Paul not to go to Jerusalem. 13 But he said, “Why are you crying and making me so sad? I am not only ready to be tied up in Jerusalem, I am ready to die for the Lord Jesus!”

My Thoughts…..

When convinced by God to go somewhere, or to be involved in a certain ministry, who or what can stop us or change our minds? Satan will make many attempts to distract us and cause us to break promises to our God. Paul shows us that in spite of all the warnings being given to him, yet he is determined to follow through on his charge from God to minister in Jerusalem. I believe that Paul would rather obey and be beaten by man, than to disobey and disappoint God through his weakness and Satan’s influence on him. What a great lesson this teaches us! I have a personal experience where, after much time in prayer and talking with God, I made a decision to make a critical, life-changing, physical move in my life. Although this brought disappointment to my family left behind, yet I, and my family soon saw where this was actually an act of God, as it resulted in the possibility of two family members receiving proper medical help that, we are confident, saved their lives. Warnings to friends making such a move is fine, if directed by God for you to share that warning, however if someone is following God’s call on their lives, we are obligated to pray for the individuals and their actions in obedience to God.

Challenge……

Friends, let’s try to be careful not to compete with God and His call on the lives of our family and friends. It is super important that we support them and pray for them. When God makes a move in a person’s life, it is not to bring glory to us, although we may be led to glorifying God for His great work through our family and friends, but instead it is to bring glory to Himself. And in doing this, perhaps lost persons will be saved, or Christians might be discipled and drawn closer to the Lord. Ours is not to question, but to obey the God of this universe, the Savior of the world! May we always be a part of the work of the Lord, and not on the opposite team trying to disrupt His powerful work in saving lost mankind.

Prayer……

In the powerful name of Jesus, I humbly ask that You kindly continue to show patience with us dear Lord. We are such control freaks, and we are way too confident in our belief that we know what we should be doing and also what our family and friends should be doing. Please forgive us, for I acknowledge that we have no control over this very moment, much less any future minutes that we may be blessed to spend here on planet earth. Please guide us into all Truth, Your precious Word, so that we may become so sensitized to Your will for our lives and know our role in decisions being made in response to Your call on the lives of those we know. I am convinced that our role is to pray for, and support the decisions made by our loved ones operating in obedience to Your commands. I am also convinced that we have the same responsibility for those that are not obedient to You, for only You are capable of changing them and convincing them of their condition and need for a Savior. Please help us to always take our appropriate role and let You be the God that You are. Thank You for loving us even when we try to take control where we have no business interfering, please continue to always gently nudge us back to a life of total surrender and obedience to You. I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord, AMEN!

Action…..

In response to God leading You through this devotional today, please get with a Bible teaching Pastor you may know and allow him to guide you. Otherwise feel free to reply to my post online, or you may email me directly at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. I will gladly add you to my prayer list, and/or respond to your request(s) ASAP.

Opportunities For Enrichment

God’s Word Says….

Acts 21:4 (NCV)

We found some followers in Tyre and stayed with them for seven days. Through the Holy Spirit they warned Paul not to go to Jerusalem.

My Thoughts…..

“We’ve come a long way, baby” is the first thought that hit me as God caught my attention on this verse this morning. Imagine with me for a moment that we were on a trip from south Florida to north Georgia, and instead of sitting down and mapping out the best restaurants, or the motels that we prefer staying at, that we actually mapped out family and friends who lived within close proximity to our route! Especially Christian friends that we met at some point in our lives while visiting their church! Imagine the closeness that would reignite in our relationships! Paul and his entourage was forced to stop into the port at Tyre because they were traveling on a ship that had cargo for that port. They didn’t stay on the ship, nor did they look for a local establishment, but instead they searched for and found believers in that city that they could stay with. Now I know, you don’t want to be the local Holiday Inn bothered by folk always stopping in to stay with you, but friends we really need to do a better job of spending time with one another and enriching our family and friend relationships. Based on the verses that follows, I get the distinct impression that the lives of Paul and his team, as well as the families they stayed with, were enriched by this short stay. In fact, God even worked through one of the host members to share concern with Paul about his next visit to Jerusalem. Imagine that in today’s environment. You stop over for the night with a cousin, and the next morning they advise you to go west through Alabama instead of going straight north to north Georgia, as God shared with them there is trouble ahead for you! What on earth would our reaction be to that?

Challenge……

We have become so independent and want to do things on our own without any bother to anyone. Unfortunately, this has crossed the line in two ways:

  1. We have become distanced from our family and friends;
  2. We have distanced ourselves from God, because we refuse to allow Him to speak to us directly, or through other believers.

Friends, we must do a better job of “Leaning on the everlasting arms” of God, and “Trusting Him what‘er betide”, because “Trusting Jesus, that is all” – our only hope. Let’s draw nearer to God and to each other as we struggle along this cruel pathway of life.

Prayer……

Dear God, please continue to work on us and make us humble, obedient servants of Yours. We absolutely cannot do this thing called ‘life’ all by ourselves. We especially need You, Your wisdom and Your direction, but we also need our family and friends, for we are support for each other. Please help us to look for ways to spend time with family, and not the opposite. Please help us to look for ways to show servant-hood to others. Please speak to us on behalf of our loved ones so that our relationships would become more cemented, and ultimately centered on You. Please help us to never think that we can do this ‘life’ thing alone. I don’t believe that You intended it to be that way, instead I believe that You want us to reflect Your love towards others, and that can only come through us getting involved in their lives. Please help us to daily walk and talk more like You, because we want others to see You as they interact with us. Lord, this can only be done with Your power and in Your name, so I ask it in the almighty name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, AMEN!

Action…..

In response to God leading You through this devotional today, please get with a Bible teaching Pastor you may know and allow him to guide you. Otherwise feel free to reply to my post online, or you may email me directly at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. I will gladly add you to my prayer list, and/or respond to your request(s) ASAP.

Sincere, Heartfelt Ministry

God’s Word Says….

Acts 20:31-33 (NCV)

31 So be careful! Always remember that for three years, day and night, I never stopped warning each of you, and I often cried over you. 32 “Now I am putting you in the care of God and the message about his grace. It is able to give you strength, and it will give you the blessings God has for all his holy people.

My Thoughts…..

I am reminded of program implementations at my workplace. When we purchase a new program, we are given an implementation team to work with us to insure that everything works flawlessly on the actual day of implementation. This often involves long tiring days by this team to insure success. A few days after implementation and the program is working flawlessly, we are then turned over to the regular support team so the implementation team could give their full attention to the next customer who is ready for the program. Paul had spent about three years ministering with this church at Ephesus, and we know that his work was heartfelt and sincere because he shared how he often prayed and ministered both day and night through hours of tears, concern and love for the people. Friends, I believe that many of our pastors today have this same genuine concern for our spiritual wellbeing. I hear words from my pastor often that tells me that his heart is burdened for the flock God has given him charge of. No doubt our pastors that decide, like Paul, to move on to another church or area of ministry, must really have a heart-to-heart session with God and ask for His ongoing tender loving care over the flock being left behind. From previous moves to different locations, I know how hard it is to leave dear friends behind, hoping that their success will continue even without you in their lives.

Challenge……

Friends, this passage was not placed in the Bible just for pastors, although I feel it is very applicable to them. But how is your concern level for the salvation of family members, friends or other church members? When last have you gone to bed praying for them, awaken the next morning with a burden to pray for them again, or shared with them about the love of Jesus and His desire to see them surrender their lives to Him? Do they see enough evidence (gifts of the Spirit) in your life that they would respect hearing your concern for their salvation? Are you ever burdened to the point of tears? How serious are you, really, about the salvation of those in your realm of influence? This chapter shows us that Paul labored without pay from the church, but with such passion that he was often brought to tears and endless hours praying and/or ministering to the people. I believe that God can use more folk like that today – you and I!

Prayer……

Dear Lord, in Your powerful name, I want to ask that You work on the hearts of Christians – my friends and I, that we may be more concerned/burdened for the souls of those that we know and love. Our family and friends are dying all around us and we are missing opportunities to show them the way to salvation. I thank You Lord for saving my soul, please help me now to use this enriched life to minister to my family, friends, coworkers and acquaintances, so that they too might accept You as Lord and therefore ready themselves for our hallelujah meeting in the air with You one day. Oh, what a day that will be! Lord, we Your soldiers are living under the radar, and friends are not seeing enough evidence in our lives for them to want any part of what we may boast of at times. Please forgive us, but do strengthen us with the boldness and heart of Paul, so that we will not rest until we see results in the lives of those that we are praying to accept You as Lord. I humbly ask all this in your matchless and wonderful name, the name above all names, JESUS. AMEN!

Action…..

In response to God leading You through this devotional today, please get with a Bible teaching Pastor you may know and allow him to guide you. Otherwise feel free to reply to my post online, or you may email me directly at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. I will gladly add you to my prayer list, and/or respond to your request(s) ASAP.

Clear Conscience about Evangelism?

God’s Word Says….

Acts 20:26-27 (NCV)

26 So today I tell you that if any of you should be lost, I am not responsible, 27 because I have told you everything God wants you to know.

My Thoughts…..

I don’t know about you, but I have had situations where I beat up on myself pretty good for not sharing more of the gospel than I did with certain individuals. I often wish that I might be bold enough to share God’s love for each person with them in such a bold, yet humble and vivid way that they might be truly impacted and see the need of my Savior. In reflection, did I say as much as God wanted me to say to that lost person? I believe that because I prayed God’s will on my visit, that perhaps I did say all that He wanted me to share. But reflecting back on the fact that my visit was the last opportunity to truly witness to the individual, I can’t help but have regrets. Paul has set a good example for us in the Scriptures, for he was bold, forthright and unapologetic. He knew that he would probably be arrested and imprisoned, but he knew more so that he had the gospel of Jesus Christ to declare to the lost and dying of the communities that he visited. The latter always took precedence in his life. Can we say the same? In these two verses Paul declares that he had a clear conscience and that there were no regrets. In fact, he place any regrets on the hearts and minds of his listeners, for they would be held even more accountable after hearing the Word of God but yet rejecting it and not allowing God to have His way in their lives.

Challenge……

God will place someone in our path today that needs to surrender their life to Him and know Him intimately. Paul has reminded us in this passage that he was able to leave his ministry area without regrets. In fact he was so sure that he had shared everything that the folk needed for salvation that he basically told them that their fate is now totally in their hands. Hopefully we can rest our heads tonight with no regrets, knowing that we have been totally obedient to God, and that we showed total love to those that we came in contact with today by sharing with them the only way to live eternally with Jesus in heaven. Will this be easy? Only if we do like Paul and acknowledge that this type work must be done without any thought of danger or worldly distraction, and that God will accomplish His will through the work that we do in His name and for His sake.

Prayer……

Lord Jesus, I believe that only what’s done in Your name, under Your direction and for Your glory, will be of value in eternity. I also acknowledge that there is no power in this human body that can impact the life of an individual enough that they would want to change their whole lifestyle and their allegiance to a life dedicated to, and patterned after, You. Therefore, I pray that my life will be so prayed up and dedicated to You that I would overflow with Your joy and be filled with Your Holy Spirit so that a lost person might actually see You in all Your glory and flawlessness, and not the weakness and ineffectiveness of mere man. Please use me even today, so that You may impact a lost person through me. I also pray that my friends who meditate on this devotional today may also hear from You and realign their lives to be useful by You.

Action…..

In response to God leading You through this devotional today, please get with a Bible teaching Pastor you may know and allow him to guide you. Otherwise feel free to reply to my post online, or you may email me directly at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. I will gladly add you to my prayer list, and/or respond to your request(s) ASAP.

Stop Talking and Listen!

God’s Word Says….

Job 13:5-6 (NCV)

5 I wish you would just stop talking; then you would really be wise!

Listen to my argument, and hear the pleading of my lips.

My Thoughts…..

Ever have someone visit you and they don’t stop talking long enough for you to get a word in about how you are really feeling? Frustrating, isn’t it? I’ve been on both sides, so I believe I can identify with Job’s friends and with Job. As the visitor, we tend to feel like it is our responsibility to visit and make the person feel better. So we gather as much information about the person, then we either build up a wall of defense, just in case they decide to tear us apart, or we load up our minds with what we think they need mentally to help them feel better. As the sick or hurting person, Job in this case, we need someone that we can talk with and possibly identify with us. So if the visitor would just listen and nod their head occasionally to show they are listening or identifying with us, we would feel like we are not alone in our struggle. The last thing we need is a visitor, friend, pastor, elder or deacon, to visit and beat up on us about what we should have done, or how another member never overcame the illness that they had similar to ours. We don’t want false help, because although sick, we can quickly see through lies or false pretenses. Fortunately Job listened to all his friends had to say, but now he is lashing back at them. A visit to the unknown, and this would include a visit to a friend or fellow church member, is like walking into the unknown. Pray and ask God for wisdom, a listening ear and a kind word to encourage the person with. Remember, the sick person has been shut up in a room all day and needs someone to just listen to all they’ve been thinking about. Ask God to take away your desire to make them feel better with unending talk. There may be stuff the sick person would lay on the visitor that they want you to pray for and possibly help them find ways to correct, like family matters or unresolved differences or best of all, to know Jesus personally! If we don’t listen, we will leave without knowing the heart of the one we visited!

Challenge……

For those considering a visit to a sick friend, a shut-in or hospitalized, I would challenge you today with the words of Job, please don’t fill the room with chatter but listen to the person. You are visiting to help them feel better, this might very well be best served by listening to them. They may have had all day, or even several days without a visitor, so they may have lots on their mind to talk about. I’ve heard of scenarios where a visitor went to help someone feel better, but left being uplifted and blessed themselves. This is hard to gain, if you don’t stop and listen! Sure you may leave without saying half of what you wanted to share with the person, but who are you going there to help, them or you? This is very hard for us to do anymore, because we often feel like the room has to be filled with chatter, and that there is so much that we need to get off our chest. Sitting or standing in the room of a person who has been bedridden or home-bound for days is not the place for you to unload! This reminds me of our times with God, is that time spent mostly allowing yourself time to unload, or do you give yourself time to listen to God? Think about it friend!

Prayer……

Lord Jesus, in Your precious and wonderful name, I ask that You humble us to listen more and speak less. You are the designer and maker of each person, so You know how prone we are to build ourselves up and show off our knowledge and our experiences, yet You placed us here on earth to worship and praise You, and to be a blessing to others. Please help us to get off our ‘soap boxes’ and to show humility in all things, like You did, especially in our dealings with others. Yes, we may have something important to add to a conversation, but I know that we need to be more like You and place You at the very top, or leader of all things, then place others before ourselves. No matter how uneducated the other person is, they are a valued child of our King, please help us to always bear that in mind and learn from them and their experiences. As You lead us with the right words to say, may we be obedient and loving in sharing, so that You may ultimately receive honor and praise from all involved. We can only accomplish this with Your guidance and Your help dear Lord, so I ask this in Your powerful, yet loving name, Jesus my Lord. AMEN!

Action…..

In response to God leading You through this devotional today, please get with a Bible teaching Pastor you may know and allow him to guide you. Otherwise feel free to reply to my post online, or you may email me directly at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. I will gladly add you to my prayer list, and/or respond to your request(s) ASAP.

Of Course We Have Time For….

God’s Word Says….

Acts 20:7-12 (NCV)

On the first day of the week, we all met together to break bread, and Paul spoke to the group. Because he was planning to leave the next day, he kept on talking until midnight. We were all together in a room upstairs, and there were many lamps in the room. A young man named Eutychus was sitting in the window. As Paul continued talking, Eutychus was falling into a deep sleep. Finally, he went sound asleep and fell to the ground from the third floor. When they picked him up, he was dead. 10 Paul went down to Eutychus, knelt down, and put his arms around him. He said, “Don’t worry. He is alive now.” 11 Then Paul went upstairs again, broke bread, and ate. He spoke to them a long time, until it was early morning, and then he left.

My Thoughts…..

Ever have friends over for a meal, and an evening of board games and fellowship together that might run into the wee hours of the morning? This really helps us to keep our relationships intact and rejuvenates our personal lives, doesn’t it? Ever go to a party that lasts well after midnight? I’m sure that you didn’t even get sleepy because you found ways to keep yourself entertained, right? Isn’t it interesting though, how the least little thing will interfere with us attending a church service or a Bible Study or a Prayer Meeting? Isn’t it just as pitiful when we make the awesome sacrifice and please the preacher by attending a service, only to fall asleep in the service? Isn’t it also just as pitiful that we have plans already lined up for 60 or 70 minutes after the church start time? I believe that we have made a mockery of our time with God for we have placed Him in a box – both as to what He can do, and how much time we will give Him to do it.

Challenge……

Friends, I know that we have become a really busy people, and we just don’t have time for everything in our busy lifestyles, so surely God will understand if we can’t get up early to meditate on His Word, or attend a Wednesday night Prayer and Bible Study service, right? Careful how you answer this friend, for you are not just answering a question for the writer, but you are acknowledging to the Creator of life and this world, the One who knows all things, that you have other priorities that are far more important than your time needed to spend with Him and His people. Now before you turn this Brother off and promise yourself to never meditate on another ‘Nuggets’ devotional, I want you to try an experiment for one week. I want you to make an effort to attend Bible School and at least one weekend service and a midweek service at your church. I also want you to commit 10-15 minutes of private, quiet and undisturbed time with the Lord in prayer and Bible Study each day. Then, should you not make one of those times, I want you to ask God for forgiveness for not making time with Him a priority in your life at that time. Please DO NOT give God the excuse that you didn’t have time. After one week I want you to analyze how you did and whether this is something you can continue. Know that this suggested time with God represents 0.04% of the time God blessed you with during that week! So although it sounds like a lot of time compared to what you are spending with God today, it is minute compared to the time He is blessing you with to do everything else you have to do or want to do. In a good relationship with our spouse or our friends, we don’t place a cap on the time we spend together, please join me in not doing this in our time with God – whether at church or at home. He deserves our best!

Prayer……

Lord Jesus, in Your precious and holy name I ask that you please allow us another opportunity to right our relationship with You. I am ashamed that my friends and I invest so little of the time that You bless us with each week, in actual study of Your Word or in worship services, where we join hearts and souls with other believers to worship You. We are a blessed people, yet we go on with our lives like You owe us these blessings. We take for granted You and Your precious love for us. Please forgive me, and please touch the hearts of my friends meditating on this devotional today so that they may correct their allotted time with You. We are blessed with daily wonders and rich blessings, plus You have even provided means for us to spend eternity with You, please help us to never cheat ourselves of any time that we can spend with You and/or Your people. Thank You for loving us enough to help us draw closer to You, for it is in Your wonderful name that I pray, AMEN!

Action…..

In response to God leading You through this devotional today, please get with a Bible teaching Pastor you may know and allow him to guide you. Otherwise feel free to reply to my post online, or you may email me directly at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. I will gladly add you to my prayer list, and/or respond to your request(s) ASAP.

On Receiving the Correction and Punishment We Deserve

God’s Word Says….

Job 11:6-9 (GNT)

6 …. God is punishing you less than you deserve. 7 Can you discover the limits and bounds of the greatness and power of God? 8 The sky is no limit for God, but it lies beyond your reach. God knows the world of the dead, but you do not know it. 9 God’s greatness is broader than the earth, wider than the sea.

My Thoughts…..

Job was a man that God trusted enough that He allowed Satan to test him and try him to prove his faithfulness to the Lord. He had already gone through quite a bit dealing with Satan, and his closest friends were now trying to comfort him and offer strength to him to help him overcome the discouragement of feeling like God had abandoned him. Yet, Zophar is telling Job that God is still very merciful to him, and that he would really be in trouble if God had to allow everything on even him (Job) that he deserves. Wow, what a thought!

Challenge……

To the world, it may appear that we are pretty good folk. But how do you suppose we look to God? The One who knows every hair on our heads, and who knows even our inmost thoughts and desires even before we make them public, or perhaps never make them public. This is a frightening and mind-sobering thought friends. This tells me that we have no one to fool but ourselves. We cannot fool God! In spite of this challenging thought, further down in this chapter we are told how we should expect to see live correctly. In verses 13-15 we read: “You must give your whole heart to Him and hold out your hands to Him for help. Put away the sin that is in your hand; let no evil remain in your tent. Then you can lift up your face without shame, and you can stand strong without fear.” These are some power-packed verses friends, and I don’t know about you, but I have actually printed these out to pin up on my wall in front of my study area to remind me of what God expects from me. We must constantly be reminded that this Christian life is not just a one-time decision and then no worries about the relationship between God and us. This type attitude affects marriages, so imagine what it does to our relationship with God. Let’s follow the direction of verses 13-15 so that we can stand strong and without fear before our God.

Prayer……

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your mercy and Your grace. Even while we were still sinners, You went to the cross and sacrificed Your life just to provide eternal life for us. It is very hard for me to imagine that kind of love, yet I believe Your Word that You are that kind of loving God. Thank You! Through all the busyness of this life, may I plead with You to keep me focused on Your love and Your mercy. Would You kindly help me to daily put away the sin in my life and any evil that remains in my home, so that I may lift my face without shame, and stand strong in Your presence without fear? I very badly want this for my Christian brothers and sisters also, because I need that soldier by my side to be equally as strong as we face Satan and his ugly darts in our daily walk. Please keep us humble, but very honest before You. Please keep us pliable so that You can mold us and use us as You have need, in order to reach unsaved family, loved ones, neighbors, friends and coworkers. This all sounds like an enormous request, but I am asking this in the all powerfully name of my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, who can do all things! AMEN!

 Action…..

In response to God leading You through this devotional today, please get with a Bible teaching Pastor you may know and allow him to guide you. Otherwise feel free to reply to my post online, or you may email me directly at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. I will gladly add you to my prayer list, and/or respond to your request(s) ASAP.

Distractions

God’s Word Says….

Acts 19:39-41 (NCV)

39 If there is something else you want to talk about, it can be decided at the regular town meeting of the people. 40 I say this because some people might see this trouble today and say that we are rioting. We could not explain this, because there is no real reason for this meeting.” 41 After the city clerk said these things, he told the people to go home.

 My Thoughts…..

I read through this passage today and thought that there were no takeaways for me. However, as I reflected on what was really taking place in Acts 19 I believe that God made it clear to me that distractions will often disrupt the meat of what God is placing before us to feed our souls. I recently took a trip, and the morning I that I was leaving I awoke early so I could have my time with God. My mind was so diluted and distracted with all of the planning for the day that I just couldn’t settle down to properly study the Word. As part of leadership in a local church, I remember that every time we began preparing our hearts and the church body for revival services, Satan would barge in and disrupt the work of the Holy Spirit with hopes that our people would be so distracted that it would be virtually impossible to receive true revival from God. Based on what the city clerk said to the people in verses 35-41, it is evident that Demetrius and his gang had no real case to present Paul before the people of Ephesus for any type of action, so Satan was using this as a distraction to Paul’s continued efforts to reach the people for Christ.

Challenge……

Friends, we must be constantly on guard for these types of distractions in our personal lives, and in the life of our churches. It would be extremely challenging for us to stand before Jesus with lame excuses about how our opportunities to teach a lesson from the Word, or preach the Gospel was interrupted or distracted by some of the simple things that we allow to occur in our Bible teaching classrooms or our churches. Imagine being questioned by God about a lost one who waited for you to share the love of Christ with them, but instead you were too distracted by the television, or by the gossip that arose. Wouldn’t that be sad? But we must realize that it would then be too late to do anything about the problem. So our challenge, is to stay on target with teaching, preaching and witnessing. Let’s ask God to get our attention when He sees distractions interfering with His mission for us, so that we may stay focused and determined to do God’s work, and that He might be glorified through souls being won to Him. So many of us never find time for study of the Word of God. We must acknowledge that it is not a matter of finding time to be alone with God, but rather the lack of priority on our part. We can do anything we set as a priority in our lives, so it’s up to us!!

 Prayer……

In the name of the one true God, my Lord and Savior, may I please ask that You work in my life to steer me away from distractions that cause me to lose focus on the study of God’s Word. May I also be wise enough and humble to listen to Your voice and bold enough to help stop distractions. It is way too important to stop a soul from going to Hell than any conflict that might cause a distraction. Please speak to the hearts of those who might identify with me and my interpretation of the events in this passage. May we, together, seek to do a better job in our lives today is my humble and respectful prayer to You, My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; for it is in Your name alone that I ask all this, AMEN!

 Action…..

In response to God leading You through this devotional today, please get with a Bible teaching Pastor you may know and allow him to guide you. Otherwise feel free to reply to my post online, or you may email me directly at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. I will gladly add you to my prayer list, and/or respond to your request(s) ASAP.