Reasons to Praise God!

God’s Word Says….

Psalm 8:1-3 (NCV)

1 I love you, Lord. You are my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock, my protection, my Savior. My God is my rock. I can run to him for safety. He is my shield and my saving strength, my defender. 3 I will call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I will be saved from my enemies.

My Thoughts…..

It seems like we are such a needy people, as it just seems like our prayers are most often filled with our fervent plea for help. Friends, these verses were penned to record David’s worship after God had rescued him from the hands of his enemies (those who intended to kill David). While also allowing this passage to speak to me, I also want to encourage those of you meditating with me on the Word, to always make it a point of following up on answered prayer with a worship service of your own. I believe that one of the greatest ways to say thanks, is to praise the One who has blessed you, the One who has provided a way, even when we are undeserving of such love/blessing.

Challenge……

This may sound daring and bold, but I am surprised that there would be enough time in our worship services for preaching, if we were to become a people of praise and thanksgiving to the God that provides everything for us. Think about it: life (both physical and spiritual), family (both blood and Christian families), jobs, and ministry opportunities (after all, why would a perfect God use such weaklings as us to accomplish His will in this world?). Friends, the answer is all built into the word ‘Love’. God loved us enough that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, so that we may be presented before Him as holy and acceptable children of His. With a love like that, how could we ever fall short of things to praise our heavenly Father for? Please join me in making it a point to worship God and thank Him for all He has blessed us with, before we take out a laundry list of things to ask Him for again.

Prayer……

Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that I must really appear ungrateful most of the time, because I find it necessary to ask You for so much, without first thanking You for life itself and for all the many things that You have blessed me with. Please forgive me, and please don’t give up on me. Instead, please touch my mind and instill within me a grateful heart, filled with praise to You for undeserved blessings that You shower upon me. Lord, my friends sharing in this devotional may have similar challenges today. Please also tender their hearts to be grateful and honoring to You, even when life seems to be overwhelming to them. Thank You Lord for Your blessings on me! 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.

Practice What You Preach!

God’s Word Says….

Romans 2:21-24 (NCV)

21 You teach others, so why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but you steal. 22 You say that others must not take part in adultery, but you are guilty of that sin. You hate idols, but you steal from temples.

23 You brag about having God’s law, but you bring shame to God by breaking his law, 24 just as the Scriptures say: “Those who are not Jews speak against God’s name because of you.”

My Thoughts…..

Like me, I bet you also heard your parents use the phrase ‘Practice What You Preach’ at every applicable opportunity! In this passage of scripture Paul is also using the principle behind this phrase, for he was speaking with his fellow Jews about their pious teachings compared to their hypocritical actions. Unfortunately friends, this is still a very real problem for us even today. I cringe when I hear folk say things like “your actions speak so loudly that I can’t hear what you are saying”. Because, unfortunately these folk are often right in saying these things. It hurts me deeply when I hear of church leaders caught in certain acts of sin, because they often have such a large following who is looking to them as a role model. No matter how often we tell folk that they should model their lives after Christ, not man, yet we see more fall out from church members when a pastor leaves, or a church leader is caught in an act of sin. The bottom line is that we all should be guilty of following Christ’s example so closely that people around us would see no difference between our actions and those they expect from Christ. When we surrender Lordship of our lives over to Jesus, we ask Him to guide our footsteps every day so that we may walk like Him; guide our tongues each day so that we may talk like Him, and care so much for us each day that we may, in turn, love others like He would. Without Jesus Christ, it is virtually impossible to follow His ways each day in the world we live in, however, rest assured that in Christ, ALL things are possible.

Challenge……

If friends of yours never read the first thing about the Bible, but they trust you enough to follow in your footsteps and obeyed your verbal instructions to them, who would they look like, Jesus Christ or the world? Remember, we are to be little ‘Christ’s’, so our friends following us should ultimately look the same! How are you doing? Do you have portions of your life still left to surrender to God, or are you comfortable that your life is in line with Jesus Christ? Please don’t let Jesus say to you on Judgment Day what Paul said to his fellow Jews, that people are cursing Christ because of you. As a parent we gloat at the times that others praise our children, because we feel a sense of pride in the job that we did in parenting. Let’s live our Christian lives following the same formula, so that Jesus may one day say “Well done good and faithful servant, when these children of Mine followed you, it was the same as them following Me, receive now the crowns I have prepared and waiting for you”! Let’s live with the end in mind friend!

Prayer……

Lord Jesus, I respectfully ask that I not be a stumbling block to anyone here on this earth. I pray that others may see enough of You in me that they will not be disappointed over their expectations of You. Lord, may I always represent You in ways that might lead others towards You. Please gently speak to my friends that may meditate on this devotional today, and lead them into a time of soul-searching and revival in their personal lives. Lord, it’s You that we live for. May that be evident in our words and actions today, is my humble prayer that I ask in You very precious and holy name, 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.

Qualities of a Person of Integrity

God’s Word Says….

Psalm 15 (NCV)

1 Lord, who may enter your Holy Tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? 2 Only those who are innocent and who do what is right. Such people speak the truth from their hearts 3 and do not tell lies about others. They do no wrong to their neighbors and do not gossip. 4 They do not respect hateful people but honor those who honor the Lord. They keep their promises to their neighbors, even when it hurts. 5 They do not charge interest on money they lend and do not take money to hurt innocent people. Whoever does all these things will never be destroyed.

My Thoughts…..

I believe that those of us who aim to do what is right in God’s sight will constantly read His Word and look for areas of our lives that need correction. However, some of us are so caught up in the world that we don’t want to be the odd ball at the party, so we give in to the ways of the world. David asked the question in verse one, then he proceeded to share the answer to his question in the remaining verses. A commentator that I trust, explained that there are eight characteristics that David revealed in verses 2-5 that perfectly describes a man of integrity:

1. He speaks the truth sincerely rather than being double-tongued, saying what is true some of the time and lying at other times (2c).

2. He does not slander other people by saying things that are untrue and destructive about them (3a).

3. He does not do evil to his neighbor (i.e., anyone with whom he comes in contact, 3b; cf. Prov. 14:17–24).

4. He does not initiate or propagate information that would discredit others (3c).

5. He does not approve of those who turn away from the Lord but honors others when they choose to follow God’s ways (4a-b).

6. He keeps his promises even when it costs him to do so (4c).

7. He does not charge interest on money he loans to his brethren thus taking advantage of their weakness (5a; cf. Exod. 22:25; Lev. 25:36).

8. He does not pervert justice for his own advantage and so bring hardship on others (5b; cf. Deut. 27:25).

In conclusion David observed that such a person will experience stability in his life as well as enjoying intimate fellowship with God.

Challenge……

No man is righteous without the hand of God working in and through his life. However, God will not work through an unclean vessel. So if you desire to live a life of integrity, then I urge you to seek ye first the kingdom of God. Invite Jesus into your heart and allow Him to take control of your decisions and your actions. Tell Him of your desire to be a person of integrity that others may safely follow after. Be able to say like Paul, that to follow you is to follow Christ. There is absolutely nothing like giving our young people, and lost people in general, a modeled life that truly reflects the image and character of our Lord Jesus. May I suggest that you read the above qualities over and over so that you may commit to them and seek, through God’s help, to be a person/Christian of integrity. Others around you are desperately looking for an example to follow. Don’t disappoint them!

Prayer……

Father, I am convinced that when we plunder through this life without purpose, or without commitment to You, then we are tossed by every fad, and every practice of this evil world. You sent us into this world so that we may be a light in the middle of the darkness of sin. Our light is quickly distinguished and ineffective when we follow the ways of this world instead. We become the ones needing to be ministered to. Please help us to catch a glimpse of the need for You in our lives daily, and help us to be so consistent in our walk that we would be considered persons of integrity, as measured by You. People need the Lord. May they see enough of Jesus in us that they may be reassured of the gift of salvation and want to know our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. I ask all this in the precious name of Your Son, 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.

The Need For More of God!

God’s Word Says….

Romans 1:28-30 (NCV)

28 People did not think it was important to have a true knowledge of God. So God left them and allowed them to have their own worthless thinking and to do things they should not do. 29 They are filled with every kind of sin, evil, selfishness, and hatred. They are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, lying, and thinking the worst about each other. They gossip 30 and say evil things about each other.

My Thoughts…..

I thank God that we can turn to His Word for every situation in our lives. Based on this passage of scripture, it is evident that Paul faced the same evil with the Romans as many pastors do today. I would dare say that one of the most challenging things about any job involving coworkers, or just people in general, is the matter of bad attitudes, jealousy, gossip, fighting, lying and just thinking the worst of each other. The exact characteristics that Paul spoke of! So let’s look closer at what Paul said was the root cause of these problems. It begins with the people not having a desire to know God or to learn His teachings. This is very evident today for we are suffering from declining church attendance because people have lost the desire to know more about God. Friends, God will not force Himself on us, however He is available to us if we seek Him and have a desire to draw close to Him. As we turn away from Him and He lifts His hand of love and protection from us, we assume more of the characteristics and attitudes of the world, such as those listed above. So what we really face today is like Paul faced back in his day, we, the people, need God in a personal way in our individual lives each and every day. More of God will result in less of the world and its evil characteristics.

Challenge……

There is an old hit song titled something like “All we Need is Love”. I believe that the formula for much of today’s worldly characteristics that have crept upon us, is a plea to God along the lines of the popular hit song – “All we Need is God”. Paul was permitted to presdent this thought for us in the scripture written under the inspiration of God, so that we may realize what is lacking when we notice the decline in moral values and Godly attributes that tend to bring us down as a people. Friends, it is critical that we awaken ourselves from our sinful, sleepy stupor and get our lives in line with God and His perfect will for our lives. As we take in more of God, we will replace our ungodly attitudes and character with the wonderful message of the cross and our loving Savior. As a reality check, we must look at our lives and insure that we are an image of God and not of this sinful world in which we live.

Prayer……

Dear Jesus, we are such weak examples of You, because we have allowed so much of this sinful world in. Please forgive me for not doing more to saturate my life with You and Your divine qualities. Thank You for reminding me of this today. Please guide me into Your way, and please touch the hearts of Your children reading this devotional today so that we may become stronger witnesses and soldiers of Yours here on this earth. I’m Yours Lord, and I want to be the best representative that I could be. I need You to guide and direct me, please? I ask all this in Your precious and holy name, Lord 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.

Is God Happy, Sad or Angry at You Today?

God’s Word Says….

Romans 1:18-21 (NCV)

18 God’s anger is shown from heaven against all the evil and wrong things people do. By their own evil lives they hide the truth. 19 God shows his anger because some knowledge of him has been made clear to them. Yes, God has shown himself to them. 20 There are things about him that people cannot see—his eternal power and all the things that make him God. But since the beginning of the world those things have been easy to understand by what God has made. So people have no excuse for the bad things they do. 21 They knew God, but they did not give glory to God or thank him. Their thinking became useless. Their foolish minds were filled with darkness.

My Thoughts…..

If you responded to the subject of today’s devotional with “How should I know?” then you are probably not totally honest with yourself. Please re-read the scripture above, and I believe that like me, you will understand that there are some things that make God angry at us. There are so many times that we hear people say things like “wow, what a beautiful morning!” without acknowledging who’s responsible for the beauty, or to add insult to injury we might hear them add “mother nature is at her best today”. I believe that every time we hear the words “Mother Nature” we know the person is wanting to say “God”, but they make every effort to be ‘politically correct’, or to simply not offend anyone who refuses to acknowledge the truth. Friends, according to this scripture, I believe these are the types of things that really makes God angry. It seems like when we see something miraculous, we look for every possible physical reason to acknowledge the majesty of it without openly acknowledging His Majesty, Jesus Christ, who created everything and still commands the wonder and majesty of all natural and supernatural events even today. From the beautiful sunrise, to the heat necessary to grow plants, to the wonder of the rain that offers 100% more nutrients to plants than weeks of irrigation, to the beauty and majesty of a star-filled sky at night to help us grasp the peace and comfort of the Savior that controls it all. Our God is extremely active in our every-day lives. How could we possibly ignore Him or seek other scientific reasons for certain events? He’s still God, and to Him be glory and honor and praise, all the days of my life!

Challenge……

My challenge to you today friend, is something that I believe that God says to us through this passage of scripture: When we recognize the majesty of God, please give Him the glory, thanksgiving and praise that He deserves. Don’t worry about who is present when you say it, just blurt it out. I believe that it is times like this that God arranges for us to proclaim His name, His Word, His awesome power and His love for us. Imagine how unhappy we must make God when we use the brains that He blessed us with, to try and find a ‘politically correct’ way of explaining His awesome handiwork. To dilute the truth of God and avoid giving Him credit for all that He does is spiritual suicide. Imagine what that does to your relationship with God? I want to encourage every reader to find ways to give God credit for something today. Please get out of the worldly habit of avoiding His wonderful, holy, miraculous name. Instead, use these times as opportunities to spread the name of the Lord! Allow me to direct you to a prayer by a true man of God before his state senate. I believe that this will give you inspiration as your work towards implementing my suggestions today! Friends, we know what makes God happy, now devote yourself to doing just that, God being our helper!

Prayer……

Lord Jesus, I am convinced that You know our hearts. Therefore I am convinced that You are aware of our weaknesses. Lord, this world is pretty bold with all the filth, greed and unholy things that it subscribes to. However, I know that You are bigger than anything this world can conjure up, so I ask that You give me, and fellow saints the boldness to truly represent You today. Please use us as Your instruments today to love the unlovable, encourage the brokenhearted, rejoice with the happy, and in all things to be the witness that would make You proud of us, and happy that You created us in Your own image. You are all powerful and I know that we can do all things through You, the one who strengthen us, guides us and uses us for You marvelous glory! For it is because of You and for Your glory that I ask all of this today dear 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.

Intentional Unselfish Evangelism

God’s Word Says….

Romans 1:16-17 (NCV)

16 I am not ashamed of the Good News, because it is the power God uses to save everyone who believes—to save the Jews first, and then to save non-Jews. 17 The Good News shows how God makes people right with himself—that it begins and ends with faith. As the Scripture says, “But those who are right with God will live by faith.”

My Thoughts…..

Like Paul, occasionally we must stop and evaluate why we are doing what we do. Yes, this is especially appropriate in our ministries today, for denominationalism, financial greed and selfish desires often become the driving force for growing churches. Paul reminds us that the following are some reasons why we should be busy about God’s work:

  1. A deep love for God;
  2. A love and admiration for God’s precious Word;
  3. A full understanding of, and acknowledgment in, the fact that it is God’s Word that saves the wicked and ungodly of this world, not anything of our own ability;
  4. A pure love for people of all races and all walks of life who need the Lord;
  5. A personal desire to build up our faith in God, so that we can encourage and win others for the Lord. An act that requires ‘faith’ from beginning to end.

Challenge……

Friends, I know that you will not find all of the above things verbatim in the highlighted verses, but these are things that God directed me to an understanding of as I studied this passage. Perhaps you might be drawn to these things and even more as you study this passage. I believe that the bottom line is that we must learn to listen to God and be obedient to His voice. We must be ready to acknowledge that our efforts are not to be centered on what we can do or what we might get out of our efforts. As we love others and inherit a desire to see God’s very best for them, we will learn to earnestly pray for their spiritual welfare, and how God might be glorified from their changed life. I once heard a preacher say that he loved us way too much to see us go to hell! We need to take on more of that attitude, instead of constantly looking to promote self or gain from every experience for our own selfish good. Isn’t it time that we put self aside, love our family and friends enough to share the Truth and awesome power of God’s Word with them? It is the only thing that can save them and the only thing that can help them develop a right relationship with God.

Prayer……

Lord Jesus, please help me to center my life on You and Your desire for my family and friends who are currently showing no fruit of ever being saved. I must acknowledge that I can’t save anyone. In spite of my desire to see this miracle, I just do not have that power. Please use me for Your glory today, as an instrument to share Your love and Your Word with those that I come into contact with. There are people in my realm of influence that need the Lord. I pray that I may not get in the way of Your much needed work in their lives, but that I may be obedient in sharing Your Word with them, so that it’s very power may indwell their spirit and convict them of sin and the need for a Savior. Thank You for the promise that You love us and care enough about us to save us from the ill effects of this world in which we live. Please impress the importance of this scripture upon the lives of my readers today so that they too might open their hearts to Your Holy Spirit and allow Him to accomplish His work among their lost family and friends. For I ask all this in Your most precious and holy 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.

Serving or Ministering with a Purpose

God’s Word Says….

Romans 1:2-6 (MSG)

The sacred writings contain preliminary reports by the prophets on God’s Son. His descent from David roots him in history; his unique identity as Son of God was shown by the Spirit when Jesus was raised from the dead, setting him apart as the Messiah, our Master. Through him we received both the generous gift of his life and the urgent task of passing it on to others who receive it by entering into obedient trust in Jesus. You are who you are through this gift and call of Jesus Christ!

My Thoughts…..

I believe that it would be a good idea for all who enter into service for the Lord, whether as a pastor, evangelist, elder, deacon, teacher or as a leader filling other areas of ministry, to stand up and declare their stand for the Lord Jesus, and their declared ministry purpose. I believe that Paul did this when addressing his fellow Jews at the very beginning of the great book of Romans. I also believe that if we are to be of any impact on the lost within our realm of influence – family, friends, coworkers and acquaintances, then we should, like Paul, clearly state the power of our awesome God, the purpose of Him sending His Son and the importance of why and how we must believe on Him. Especially if we want to live a noble life here on this earth and impact its inhabitants with the good news of the only One who can save us from our life of sin, and who makes His home accessible to us after our life here on earth. I believe this would be ministering with a purpose, and not just filling a job description. Paul declared this at the very beginning of the book, can we expect anything different as we continue through its chapters?

Challenge……

I believe we would show great expectations and goals in our ministries, if we would declare our purpose, and our allegiance to our Master, as we accept areas of ministries and commit ourselves to serving our Lord through His work here on earth. Too often our work for the Lord has been brought about because of an obligation by church leaders to fill a job description that might go unfilled, unless we step forward and accept it. Friends, I don’t believe that is scriptural, and I don’t believe God will use us if we do something out of a sense of obligation, and not from a heart of love and purpose. Now, I do believe that often God will use other leaders to encourage us into areas of ministry that we may not otherwise voluntarily step forward to do. But in accepting, I feel like we should have a similar sense of purpose and commitment that we could easily share, like Paul did, what we hope to achieve with God’s help and for His Kingdom. Sure, every job will have a job description, but we must learn to accept areas of ministry as a place to serve the Lord and to fulfill His great commission. If we aim at achieving anything other than God’s kingdom work, then we are leaving Jesus out of the picture and essentially doing our own think. We must love like He did, and we must serve showing His love through everything that we do or say. We must always remember that it is His work we are called to do, so we are to promote Him in everything we do, not ourselves.

Prayer……

Lord, from the very beginning You declared the heavens and Your glory in all that You did. You called men so that they too might fulfill Your purpose and Your will, so that all glory might be Yours. Please forgive us for so often getting in the way, for so often not allowing You to rule and reign through everything that we do. It often feels like the battle to win our world for You is being lost. Please help us towards surrendering Your work into Your powerful hands to accomplish Your glory. If You can use us to help in any portion of that, we would be willing, and eternally grateful. I acknowledge that we are mere instruments available to be used by You to accomplish Your work among Your people here on this earth. Please help us to be available to You, and not step in the way of Your mighty work. May Your will be the primary purpose and focus of our efforts in ministry for You, is my humble plea today, and I ask all this in Your most precious and marvelous 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.