Archive for August 2014

Who Are You Able to Trust with Your Affairs?

August 30, 2014

The Bible – The Good News Translation

Psalm 91:1–2

1   Whoever goes to the Lord for safety, whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty,

2   can say to him, “You are my defender and protector. You are my God; in you I trust.”

Thoughts:

Friends, from the time I read the first word this morning, I felt a strong leaning from the Holy Spirit to remind us of the importance of our witness. In life, you’ve heard after an encounter with an individual, where someone might refer to the individual as “brash”; “selfish”; “different”; “unique”; “rude”; “Satan’s angel”; or any other description. Often this reference comes with “and they remind me of ?????”. Now this is not always bad, because I have also heard people say “surely that lady that helped me at XYZ Store today is a Christian, because they were ……”. I believe that our character, including the way we act and what we say under difficult situations, says volumes compared to the words that we might express on an evangelistic mission, or witnessing opportunity. The reason for this is that folk would rather see our faith in action, rather than hear about a Bible story that seems very fictional to them. So then, this leads to another important point, does God still work in our midst today as much as He did in the biblical stories that we read? To answer “No” to that question is to acknowledge that you believe that God is dead and that His interaction with His people only took place in biblical times. Friends, I will be the first to respond that my God is not dead, and that He lives in me, acts supernaturally through every circumstance in my life, and guides me in to right decisions daily that are in line with His will for my life. Christians must get to a stage in their relationship with God that they can say like David did, “You are my God, and in You I trust”. As we live that truth out, we will express the fullness it through our decisions, through our actions, through our words, and most importantly, we will become a bold witness for the One who saved us, guides us, protects us, and loves us through every circumstance of life. We serve a living, active God who is just as present in our relationship today as He was with Moses when all the great miracles were wrought during the exodus of thousands that followed Moses in route to the Promised Land! We can confidently place our trust in Him, dear friend!

Prayer:

What an awesome God we serve! Thank You Lord Jesus for who You are to me today, yes, way more amazing than I could ever imagine! Please continue to show Your miraculous work in and through me, but more importantly, please open my eyes so that I might recognize Your awesome grace, power, guidance and love. We have become a people who find it easy to say what our parents did for us, or our spouse, or our boss, but yet we ‘clam up’ when it comes to bragging on all that You do for us each day. Please forgive us dear Lord. Please give us a fresh boldness to not only recognize Your mighty hand at work in our lives, but also to freely volunteer praise for every little, or large, thing that You bless us with. Lord, I want to share Your gracious love with all those that I come into contact with, because You are so good to me. Please help me to give credit where it is due, and not attribute it to chance, good luck, Mother Nature, or any such commonly used ‘power’ today. You are still God, and God alone. In You I place my trust! Thank You for accepting this humble servant as Your very own. Bless all those that might meditate on this devotional and are in need of this word from You. I ask all this believing, and in Your precious and Holy name, AMEN!

 

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

We May Forget To Ask God for These Things

August 29, 2014

The Bible – The Good News Translation

Psalm 90:16–17

16             Let us, your servants, see your mighty deeds; let our descendants see your glorious might.

17             Lord our God, may your blessings be with us. Give us success in all we do!

 Thoughts:

 I believe that way too often we overlook reasons to praise God for His handiwork. For example, we look at a beautiful sunrise and we complain about the heat that must be ahead of us that day, instead of praising God for the sunrise that not only lights our day so that we might work, but also the sun is one of the major contributors to plant growth, which provides a great portion of our food chain. There are multiple other examples I could share, but David asked God in verse 16 to please allow us to see His mighty deeds. Not that he was blind, but so often we are blinded by the things that we take for granted, that we expect to be there for us. We must always be ready to ‘see’ the beauty and the good in all that God provides, and we must use those opportunities to praise Him for His wonderful works. In this verse David goes on to ask God to allow his descendants to see His mighty hand at work. Friends, we seem to be losing a generation that have no regard for God. Oh that we would adopt David’s prayer as our own sincere prayer to God. David continues his prayer to ask God for His ongoing blessings and to give him success. Friends, I love the unselfish prayers of our people, but I believe we get so hung up in asking for the needs of others until we brush aside asking God for those things that would help us personally grow successfully and that would allow us to succeed in ministry. Think about it friends, if we don’t practice what we preach, then what would our followers think that we do about our own success. They must know that we depend on God unwaveringly, and because of our relationship with God, we are accredited to minister to them and give them Godly advice. So yes friend, we have lots of needs when we go before the Master, but let us never forget the need to ask Him for our personal success, especially in anything that we attempt for Him.

 Prayer:

 Lord Jesus, it was refreshing to see that strong patriots of the Gospel needed to ask You for things like discussed above, because it helps me to realize that I am not abnormal as I truly need You for every decision, every direction, every witness that I share and in all aspects of my life and the lives of those that I may impact, such as my child. Lord, please help me to never overlook the beauty of Your creation and all opportunities to give You praise. Dear Jesus, I also ask that You please show your might and Your worthiness to our children so that they may not only succeed in this life, but that they might have life everlasting to look forward to! As You bless me with success, please help me to be a channel through which You might use those blessings to impact the lives that need to know You personally.

 

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

Our Judge

August 28, 2014

The Bible – New Living Translation

1 Corinthians 4:3-4

3 As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. 4 My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.

Thoughts:

Whenever a court case occurs, one of the first things that an attorney wants to know is “Who is the judge on the case”. Based on the attorney’s knowledge of the judge and his/her previous judgments, they have a better idea on how to present their current case. Friends, I want to remind us that we have the rules of the game of life all set out for us in God’s Word. We know the heart of the Judge, God, as it is evident throughout the Bible. Why is it that so many of us go through this life trying to impress the pastor, church leaders, or members? In the Word we are reminded that it is God that knows everything about us and everything we do or say, and it is He that will judge us on what really matters. So what is important? What is it that really matters? That at one point in our lives we listened to God who pointed out our sinful condition; That we asked forgiveness and surrendered the Lordship of our lives over to God; and That we live the rest of our lives following His commands and the desires of His heart, as taught in the Bible. Our reward for doing all of this is that we are allowed into God’s kingdom where we will live eternally with Him. That will be glory dear friends!!! Now before you get the impression that I am discarding the importance of our church leaders, please know that they play an important role in our lives, for they are ordered to teach us the ways of God; to explain the Word to us who find it difficult to understand certain teachings; and to hold us accountable to be the Christian warriors that we should be. The most important thing for us to gain from this lesson today is: if we stood before our Judge today, would we be found guilty of being the Christian that He expects of us? Would we have a lot of regrets over things that we wish we would’ve done differently? If you answered positively to the last question, then please examine yourself and continue to ask for God’s wisdom and leadership to help correct your ways and live in accordance with His perfect will for your life. Please live to please your Judge and in the light of His accountability through knowing all things about us – both word and deed.

Prayer:

Father God, we are weaklings in that we live our lives based on the environment in which we find ourselves, and not necessarily in line with Your Word and Your commands. Please forgive me for not being consistently Yours in every walk of life. Lord Jesus, I ask for the strength of Your precious Holy Spirit to help me walk in the Light of Jesus, in every phase of life and in all circumstances. I pray dear Lord that You might awaken our church goers and remind them of this truth also. I pray that You would begin with me, then all those that might read this devotional, then our regular church goers, then all those who have accepted You as Lord, but still live like the world. I also pray that as You touch the unsaved person that may be led to this devotional today, You might emphasize to them the importance of an honest relationship with You and not just another superficial pretense. Lord, I acknowledge You as God, and while I thank You for awakening me today, I also pray that You might become a moving revival in the hearts of those that regularly attend church but live in pretense. May Your church be the church, is my humble request that I ask in the only name worthy of honor and praise, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

On Treating The Temple of God ‘HOLY’

August 27, 2014

The Bible – The New Living Translation

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? 17 God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

Thoughts:

Why would we look down on, scorn or rebel against folk bringing their bottle of whisky to church service, or wanting to show their rated ‘R’ movie filled with cursing, sex and wild living at the church? I know, you are probably thinking that the medication I am on must really be getting to my head, right?!! Friends, my questions are not far off when you consider what we allow in our homes and into our lives. I know, our private lives are private and the church, nor Brother Ed, have no rights to question what goes on in the privacy of your own homes, right? Well, I hate to burst your bubble Brother and Sister, because in this scripture we are reminded of what happens to us at the time our salvation (surrender to God). For we must constantly be reminded that God sends His Holy Spirit (One with God in the trinity), to take up residence in our lives. Therefore our bodies become the temple, or residence, of God. So when, in the privacy of our own homes, we drink our whisky, or we cheat on our spouses, or we show highly rated films that are unsuitable for showing in our churches, what do you suppose we are doing to all that resides within us? Can’t you see that you are subjection the holiness of God to the trash of this world? Further, when we do things that we are taught will destroy our bodies – overeating; smoking; drinking; etc, is it not clear that we are destroying the temple/residence of the Holy Spirit? Friends, it is clear in verse 17 that God will destroy anyone who destroys God’s temple. I believe it is also evident from that verse, that for all those preserve the temple, to them will be given eternal life with Jesus our Lord! I believe it is also easy to see from these verses, that whenever God resides within a clean, healthy temple, that individual is capable of openly, freely, and honestly worshiping amongst the corporate body (the church) in all sincerity and as a living example before the church and the world. So the question today is: How’s your temple? Is it tainted by the world and therefore saddens the heart of God as He watches us disrespecting the temple of His Holy Spirit? The good news is that God can help us to overcome our weaknesses and to live holy and clean lives so that our temple might be sacred at all times. Are you willing and ready to make this step?

Prayer:

Lord, this is a challenging message for all of us this morning. We always want You to be proud of us, yet we are silly enough to still act in disobedient and sometimes disrespectful ways when we feel like we are in our own private times and places. How silly of us, for You are everywhere at all times. Please forgive me for my littleness of mind, for my refusal to surrender all of me, and therefore fooling myself into thinking that I could keep areas of my life ‘private’ from you and the rest of my world. Please always impress upon me the importance and value of treating Your temple holy at all times. Please also tender the hearts of my readers today so that they may catch a glimpse of all that’s involved in making a decision to accept You as Lord of their life. Another scripture comes to mind: Be ye holy, even as I am holy. This is my desire dear Lord, and I seek Your strength to help me be the holy man of which You are referring. I ask all this in the name of the only One with such great power and strength, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

Reasons Why The ‘World’ Don’t See Jesus

August 26, 2014

The Bible – New Living Translation

1 Corinthians 3:3

3 for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?

Thoughts:

Sometimes I look around at failing churches and I wonder, Why? Sometimes I see our pastors stressed out and I wonder, Why? And then sometimes I look at regular church attendees who suddenly stop coming to church, and I wonder, Why? God used this passage of scripture this morning to open my eyes to the reasons why, and it’s written in plain English right within the content of these verses for us to see. When we act in any of the above ways, it proves that:
          *   We are still controlled by our sinful nature;
          *   We are often jealous of one another and quarrel with each other; and
          *   We are still living like people of the world.
Now before our pride kicks in, and we get our noses too high in the air and begin thanking God for helping us to not be like that described above, I want to suggest that we invite God to dig deep into our inner selves and allow Him to open our hearts and our minds so that there will be no misgivings about our spiritual well being. You see, we are all a long ways away from the ideals established for us by Jesus himself. No matter how godly we may think we are, we must still seek God’s mercy and His constant eye on us, constantly guiding us and giving us wisdom to always respond to things outside of the ‘norm’ established in this world, in fact, we need to constantly respond the way that Jesus did, or the way that we discern from His Word that He would want us to respond. Friends, this will require us being in constant communication with God. I’m afraid that most of us are so full of this world that our only response will naturally look like a ‘worldly’ response. Conversely, if we would fill ourselves with Jesus Christ and His teachings, we would be more apt to respond like He would. Where do you stand Brother? Do You truly fill yourself with the knowledge and teachings of Jesus Christ, sister, so that your normal, quick, right-out-of-the-box response would be one that Jesus is pleased with? If I might suggest, let us humble ourselves before Christ and allow Him to use and lead us to speak and act like Him in our every day dealings with others. Let’s learn to be so filled with the Spirit of God that His character might spill over into all that we are and all that we say.

Prayer:

Father, may the church be the church. I pray that when Christians are encountered by the ‘world’ that they will immediately see the difference in us and not a hypercritical view of Christendom. The ‘world’ truly needs You Lord Jesus, please help us to not be a stumbling block to their needs being met by You. I humbly ask this in Your precious and holy name dear Lord, AMEN!

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

 

Teach Me Lord!

August 25, 2014

The Bible – Good News Translation

Psalm 86:11

Teach me, Lord, what you want me to do,
and I will obey you faithfully; teach me to serve you with complete devotion.

Thoughts:

Friends this is pretty basic stuff today. In fact, so basic that I reflect back on what my wife and I tried to accomplish when our child was an child. We didn’t just leave her to do whatever she wanted to do or say, we guided her and taught her to be someone we could be proud of, but also someone who could get a job and be liked and honored on her job. Although there were many challenging times, yet she looked forward to the benefits of obeying her parents. In other words, like the Psalmist said in this verse, she did everything with complete devotion to us. Friends, as we look around us in astonishment at the crimes and unbelievable behavior of our general population, we no longer need to ask the reason why, because in this passage we are reminded that folk will act according to what they have been taught to do. In other words, those that have no regard for life or other humans, or the good of the land, were never taught by God the expected behavior of His children. So for those who know Christ, how might one be taught what to do? Friends, please begin by finding yourself a good Bible teaching church, and this is not for the purpose of getting your name on the church membership role, this is for the purpose of understanding your book of life instructions better (the Bible). You see, some pastors will go to great lengths, and is supported by church leaders who will go to great lengths, to pray for church members and visitors, and ensure that they understand what the Bible says about all aspects of life. In other words, they go to great lengths to help you understand what The Lord would have you do with your life, and how to live in harmony and obedience with the Word of God. Although you might learn a lot from a casual visit on an occasional Sunday morning, it is much like you found with your child, discipline and teaching was a daily thing. So yes, attend church so that you might learn more about what God wants you to do, based on His Word, but also take time each day to open the Word and read a few verses, with a mind to learn more about what God would have you understand from His Word, and how you might apply it in your life that day. I like to journal my thoughts. This is not required, but it helps me to better share my thoughts and prayers and hopefully better apply what I just read. As you learn various Godly principles and apply them to your life, you will be helping the cause of Christ by being faithful to what you feel He wants from you. We can change this world for the better one day at a time, and through one learned and applied principle at a time. We are the hands and feet of Jesus on the ground, let’s show the world that He exists and that He is evident in and through us.

Prayer:

Lord, I’m sorry that I have allowed so much of the world to impact my life. I am reminded that to serve You more faithfully, I must learn from Your Word daily and commit to serving You with all my heart. Please speak to Your servant and give me the wisdom and fortitude to do Your will and be obedient to Your commands. This old sinful world needs You. May they find enough of You in Your servants today that their lives may be impacted and lead to change in very positive and meaningful ways, is my humble prayer, in the precious name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, AMEN!

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

Restore Your Church Oh God

August 23, 2014

The Bible – New Living Translation

Psalm 85:4–7

    4 Now restore us again, O God of our salvation. Put aside your anger against us once more.

    5 Will you be angry with us always? Will you prolong your wrath to all generations?

    6 Won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you?

    7 Show us your unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.

Thoughts:

In my first read through this passage of scripture I was touched by the prayer of David to save his people, and my heart was deeply touched by his prayer because I can clearly see how many around us, in our neighborhoods and in our cities, need the Lord. However, on closer study of this I realized that you can only restore something that at one time was resident there before. So my heart immediately went out to what David was really praying, because I believe that we are seeing churches dying today at a greater record than ever before in the history of our land. In part, I believe that this is because we need an equally as large evangelism effort to the once ‘saved’ who have fallen by the wayside, as we do to the ones who have totally disregarded the message of the cross. Like you, I am very concerned about all that is going on in our land, and in this world, where we are killing each other without any regard for precious life itself. However, this should come as no surprise to Christians, because even back in 2 Chronicles 7:14 it was declared that God is looking for His people, His children, to humble themselves and pray, before He would give consideration to healing our land. When Christians treat their relationship, their commitment, so flippantly, and when there is no humility in looking to God for His powerful, healing and restoring hand upon His people and our land, what is it that we should really expect differently? Friends, we are bringing damnation on ourselves, on our churches and on our land. Remember, God is still in control and His Word will endure to the end, so we must follow His plan if we ever expect to see God restore us again! What is your role? Are you following His plan, so that you might expect to see Him restore us again? Please, let us humble ourselves and pray…..

Prayer:

Jesus, my Lord, in all humility I pray that You might touch the hearts of Your people once again. Begin with me, I pray. May Your church be revived once again, I pray. May each person meditating on this devotional today realize that this is not the ‘place’ we call church, but the body of Christ that at one time or another made a sober decision to accept You as Lord and Savior of their life. May the places that we call ‘church’ burst wide open from the crowds that will be renewed/revived and reminded of their obligation to their Master and Lord. May Your ‘church’ truly come alive again, so that we may follow Your commands and humble ourselves before You and pray. Lord, may the uncommitted one that may be lead to read this devotional today realize the importance of surrendering themselves to Your Lordship today. We are in desperate need of a touch from You oh King, please hear my prayer and heal us. Please cause us to recommit ourselves to do Your perfect will. For I ask all this in the name of the only One with the power to do anything about our pitiful condition, Jesus, my Lord, AMEN!

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

Blow A Trumpet For God!

August 22, 2014

The Bible – The Message

1 Corinthians 1:27–31

Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”

Thoughts:

God is nothing less than amazing! Do I hear an AMEN?!! Just when we are about to throw in the towel, or just when we think we are only a speck of dust in God’s overall kingdom, our eyes are opened with scripture like this that reminds us that we are royalty – children of the King of kings. We are also reminded that as in the case of an earthly king where the country men are subjects of the king, we too are subjects or servants of our King. Also, as in the case of a country being recognized for its valor and earthly production where the king is primarily recognized because of his leadership and his provisions that made the country what it is, so it is with our heavenly King. For it is only through the provision of the King’s Son, Jesus, that we are saved from our sin and accepted into His glorious kingdom where we will reign with Him forever. It is only through the power of this Jesus, that blind men regained their sight, the crippled began to walk again and the dead was brought back to life again. It is only through our faith in Jesus, that we are blessed with miracles even today. But friends, all these blessings come with somewhat of a warning, for we are told that although we may be the servant praying for the sick to be healed, or praying for an unsaved loved one, we can boast of no personal accomplishment in any turnaround seen in any of these cases, for we are only the beggar, the servant, asking for a favor from God Almighty. God is the healer, He sacrificed so that salvation might be available to us, our family and our friends. So as we see God’s hand at work, let’s intensify the praise and worship to our Lord, for it is He who is responsible for the miracles wrought! To Him be all glory and praise! Lift Him up before the people around You so that they too might be introduced to our Savior and Lord! Why not use your weekly worship services to especially praise the Father for His goodness? He is worthy, and deserves a lot more praise than what He hears in our labeled, ‘praise and worship’ services!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, who am I that You would send Your Son to die sacrificially so that I might easily find my way to You? Who am I that You would heal my body, or bless me with a job, a family, and a comfortable place to live? Lord, I realize that I will never understand the sincerity and depth of Your love, but thank You for opening my eyes, and reminding me of my obligation to offer constant praise and worship to You for all that You do for me. You are all powerful, but thankfully You are all loving also, because You forgave me of my sin and accepted me as Your son. Thank You Lord Jesus for being my King, my Savior and my deliverer. May I always be mindful of Your awesome presence and love for me, and therefore never beat up on myself when I feel like things are not going my way. The provision for life eternally with You has already been made, so anything that happens on this earth is really very minor and possibly even irrelevant. Please forgive me for missed opportunities to praise You and lift You up before my family, friends and coworkers. May they be  encouraged to look to You because of the evidence of Your love in and through my every action and/or word. To You be all glory, honor and praise, for I honor You and ask all this in Your precious name, Lord Jesus, AMEN!

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

Nothing We Say Overrides The Power of the Cross

August 21, 2014

The Bible The Amplified Bible

1 Corinthians 1:1719

17 For Christ (the Messiah) sent me out not to baptize but [to evangelize by] preaching the glad tidings (the Gospel), and that not with verbal eloquence, lest the cross of Christ should be deprived of force and emptied of its power and rendered vain (fruitless, void of value, and of no effect).

18 For the story and message of the cross is sheer absurdity and folly to those who are perishing and on their way to perdition, but to us who are being saved it is the [manifestation of] the power of God.

19 For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned and the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify [them] and bring [them] to nothing. [Isa. 29:14.]

Thoughts:

Thank God for seminaries and dedicated theologians who teach and counsel our pastors. But I am most thankful for the intervention of the God of this universe sending His Holy Spirit to dwell among men and to impact our lives daily. I am amazed how God is able to use the uneducated and especially those having graduated from seminary. As I said, I am thankful for our seminaries, so I have nothing against them, but a person filled with head knowledge but who refuses to call on God for help in delivering His message is totally missing the point, and therefore much of their preaching is in vain. Friends, I know that all seminary graduates do not fall into the same box, so I am not condemning them. However, we must all remember that the Word of God is worthless without the power of God and the presence of God. For without God, we speak mere words of man, and it is only through the Word of God and His mighty hand that man is saved, or hardened hearts are touched. In fact, when we stand before a crowd and attempt to preach or teach without inviting God to direct us and fill us with His words and His wisdom, we are assuming that our knowledge is greater than the power of the cross of Jesus Christ. Friends, we are truly wasting our time and making a mockery of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we meet (supposedly in His name) yet deliberately leave Him out of our meeting and not totally depend on His mighty hand. To our pastors, preachers, evangelists and teachers, please be encouraged that you can’t do the preaching or teaching on your own. Yes, you are capable, but why open your mouths and speak empty words that can’t possibly touch the heart of man? Please allow God His rightful place as Commander-In-Chief of worship services dedicated to Him. Please allow Him to use you in spreading His Word to His people that need Him so badly. Friends, we have a responsibility to pray for our pastors and teachers. We need a word from The Lord when we go to our worship services. Words from mere man is a waste of our time, so let us pray earnestly for the hand of God to work actively through the man of God that stands before us each week. God could demand even the stones to speak, so as we pray let us do it in confidence that He could speak through His messenger in ways and with the words that will touch, uplift, encourage and challenge our hearts.

Prayer:

Lord, to mere man this whole passage of Scripture must seem very fictional, but to the believer in Jesus Christ who knows Your power and have read about and seen your mighty works in action, we humbly pray that You would work very powerfully in the hearts and lives of our pastors and teachers this week, so that as we gather in Your name, we would receive a word from You. Please humble the hearts of the educated, and please uplift the uneducated, so that as they stand before your people this week, they will each depend solely on the power of the Almighty to do His good work among His people gathered together. Lord, as we strive daily to live for You and like You intended, we are constantly marred by Satan and his evil followers in this world. Please forgive us for our weaknesses and encourage us to draw even closer to You so the power within us might always be greater than the power in this old world. Jesus, we depend heavily on You daily, please forgive us of our sinful attitudes and desires and strengthen us to do Your will, and this I humbly pray in Your name, knowing that only You can grant this, AMEN!

 

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

Be Completely United

August 20, 2014

The Bible – The Good news Translation

1 Corinthians 1:10

10 By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ I appeal to all of you, my brothers and sisters, to agree in what you say, so that there will be no divisions among you. Be completely united, with only one thought and one purpose.

Thoughts:

I bet that as you read the above verse you may have thought that it was something that I came up with concerning your church, or perhaps telling you gossip from my church, right? I agree with you friends, however this is obviously one of those verses that Christians today throw over their shoulders and let it go on to apply to the church on the next block for whom it was truly written!! In our secular jobs we often remark that the most challenging part of our job is dealing with the people/staff. I would imagine that for our pastors the most challenging part of leading a small, or a large church is the same – dealing with the folk who cause upheaval that could quickly lead to division. Paul addressed two important areas that we should consider as we think about what we might do to prevent division:

  1. To agree in what you say – I believe that if we did like one pastor suggested when he said “Let the main thing be the main thing” then we would quickly refocus our minds, and subsequently our conversation, to the mighty works of God among the congregation; the Word of God that speaks to us in powerful ways today, as it did in the days we read about in the Word; the blessings that God has bestowed on us instead of the small aches and pains that we might feel; the great teachers that God has provided to share knowledge with us instead of the small insignificant, humanly faults they may have; and the heartfelt desire to see our family members saved; and
  2. Be completely united – Do you know what happens in marriages when a husband and wife cannot be completely united in one thought and purpose? Don’t you imagine that the same thing would happen if we bring that type of behavior into the church? Independent thinking is important friend, but in a heart of compassion and love and caring about the good of others, we must learn to be understanding, appreciative and patient in what others have to say also. We are not all at the same maturity level, so sometimes we will find that someone else may have a different idea about a topic than we do. They may not be wrong – in fact they may be trying to say the same things as you are saying, just using different terminology. We must learn to not only talk, but also to listen, and try to appreciate the heart of the person speaking.

I heard a preacher approach this subject recently and he advised that should a third party be brought up in a conversation you are having with another church member, stop the conversation until such time that the other party could join you in the conversation! Great advice to avoid the issues that Paul was addressing with the Corinthian church, and to help with the unity of our churches today! These are tips on how we can help keep unity in our church today, are you willing to do your part friend? Let’s ask God for the strength to do His will, even in our relationships with others who should know better!

Prayer:

Lord, thank You for Your patience with Your people as we try to get along here on this earth and live in such a way that we would be a witness of You to our lost family and friends. Lord, please remind us often that we will never impact the lost when we act just like them. If we are different, and if we belong to the King of Love, the King of compassion and the King of all Kings then it is time for us to leave the things of this world behind and center our hearts and minds on You, and not our personal desires and selfish ways. More of You in this old world will force out the ways of Satan that has become so prevalent, even among Christians. Please have Your will in my life dear Lord, and may my friends also see the need for a similar prayer today, is my humble plea, that I ask in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, AMEN!

 

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.