Trust In The Lord

The Holy Bible

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,and he will show you which path to take
.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – Proverbs 3:5-6)

Thoughts:

I know this sounds like a fairly simple topic today, but if we’re honest with ourselves we will acknowledge how often we do things on our own, then when we mess up, we come back and ask God to clear it up for us. Often as I study the Word I will see what the commentators have to say about certain verses. Although these two verses seemed very clear to me, I want to still share with you what Matthew Henry had to say in his commentary on these: “In all our ways that prove pleasant, in which we gain our point, we must acknowledge God with thankfulness. In all our ways that prove uncomfortable, and that are hedged up with thorns, we must acknowledge him with submission. It is promised, He shall direct thy paths; so that thy way shall be safe and good, and happy at last”. This brought new life to these verses for me, because I have always just looked at these as simply placing my trust in the only one that knows everything, period. However, life can really have both twists to it like explained by Matthew Henry, pleasant or uncomfortable! The bottom line is friends, please consider being obedient to the Word and our Father. Don’t wait until you’ve made a stupid mistake before inviting God into the picture to clear it all up for you. Suppose that the decision you made is not His choice for you? Will He still clear it up for you? I don’t think so! When you are blessed to awaken each morning, you may have an idea of what your schedule is, but who knows what you will truly face? When you make a decision that day, who knows what long-reaching effects that decision will have on you and your family? The answer to both of these last two questions is “God”. He’s the only One that knows what lies ahead for us. So instead of us screwing this up, why don’t we commit today to always seek His perfect will for our lives at the beginning of each day? Let’s submit to Jesus for each decision we might make that day, that He might direct us and give us wisdom, so that He might ultimately receive glory from our actions and our decisions. We must learn to trust in God for the little decisions for which we feel like we have a handle on, as well as those decisions that really scare us. Will you, together with myself, dare commit to this today? We really need to if we are children of the King! God being our helper, please direct our path to obedience and submission each day, please dear Father!

Prayer:

Lord, we often sin by excluding You from the daily decisions that we make each day, and we ask Your forgiveness. Lord Jesus, my life belongs to You, so decisions I make every day must be guided and directed by You. Please work on me to humbly get before You each day in submission, and humility as I ask You to direct my path, protect me while on the path, and guide me to decisions that are pleasing in Your sight and that would prove beneficial for my relationship with You. Please work in the lives of my friends that will meditate on this devotional and recognize similar actions, and needs by them. May they also open up their hearts and lives to You, is my humble prayer, that I ask in the name of Jesus, my Lord, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each days devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!

Being Brought To Our Senses

The Holy Bible

8 …… We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.

12 We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness (honesty) and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – 2 Corinthians 1:8-12)

Thoughts:

I believe that what Paul was really saying at the beginning of these verses is something that we struggle with more often than we might care to acknowledge. It seems like many times we wait to seek God’s favor, help and/or direction until we have given up all hope of trying to handle the situation ourselves. The great apostle Paul was guilty of the same thing, because he declared in verse 9 that basically when they had exhausted all effort and hope for survival, then they stopped relying on self and turned the matter over to God. Friends I believe that stories like this were intentionally placed in the Bible under God’s leadership, because He knew that there would be another set of Christians just like Paul, who would follow the same stubborn path. Why is this? I believe that there may be several reasons: 1). It may be due to lack of communion with God. I have found that when my wife and I go through times of extreme busyness and don’t take time to communicate like we should, often there are things that I forget to share with her. You and I have allowed our lives to become so busy because of over committing ourselves and lack of priority, that the thing that screams most at us, gets our attention; 2). It may be due to us not wanting to bug God for every little thing, so we wait until items are totally out of our control (like Paul and Timothy did). Perhaps this study will serve to remind us that we build confidence in God through talking with Him and seeing answers to the little stuff and, that major items never grow into such. And 3). It may be that God intentionally uses times like these to wake us up from our sleepiness and distractions that interfere in our relationship with Him, and while He has our attention, perhaps deals with us about other spiritual/Godly things that require attention. Please also look closely at verse 10, for Paul tells us that this experience gave them confidence to know that God will rescue them in the future, because of the miraculous rescue and answer to prayer in the current application. Like Paul said in verse 12, having experienced God’s wonderful power, we must learn to depend on God’s grace at all times, and not our own wisdom. When the world sees that, then they will know whose we are! Lord, may they always see Jesus when they look at His kids!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank You for being my God, my Deliverer, my Healer, my Friend and Savior. May I be very open in my relationship with You, yet very dedicated to time with You, so that we may communicate at all times. Thank You for bringing Paul and Timothy to their senses, opening their eyes to Truth and reminding them of who’s in charge. Thank You for leading me to this passage this morning, because I desperately need Your guidance and overwhelming power in my life even today, I am guilty of trying to settle/handle the little things myself. Please keep me awake and willing to share with You every little life experience and challenge, so that You may show Your power, before the ‘big’ things ever develop. Lord, this will be very foreign to those that may read this without a close relationship with You. Please open their spiritual eyes to the Truth, Your Word that should direct our path every day. I love You Lord! Thank You for who You are, and for claiming me as Your very own Son! I celebrate Your goodness, and plead for Your ongoing grace, in the wonderful name of Your Sin, Jesus. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each days devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!

A Benefit of our Troubles

The Holy Bible

All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Thoughts:

I was reading a book recently and the writer shared that others don’t pay near as much attention to what we say, as to when they see us acting according to the advice we are freely giving to others! Similarly, when needing advice on fixing your car, don’t you suppose that you would be more apt to listen to a mechanic, than the smartest professor who read a book about your car, and even about the engine? This is very much like our Christian walk. Personally, I try to be careful in using the words “I know how you feel” unless I have experienced the same symptoms as the other person is encountering, and even then their scenario could be way more severe than I ever had. It is so much more helpful to listen and gain an understanding on how you might pray for someone’s needs, rather than minimizing their issue with your past experiences. Paul and Timothy are warning the Corinthian church, and God is using this experience to teach us, that no matter what we might encounter in our health, there will be others who go through very similar situations. Therefore, believe in God through the good times and through the challenging times, knowing that He can use your experience for you to personally help others. Look for/recognize His hand at work in your situation and be ready to give Him praise for His specific help, and we are to do this believing that God will grow us to use our circumstance in order to help another Brother or Sister who might develop a similar issue and who really needs someone to talk to who can identify with them. Don’t you know that in the case of the mechanic mentioned above, only he can share with you the little particulars and the bumps and bruises that you can expect when doing certain repairs, because of his years of experience? Friends, when you find hope, be ready to share hope with those who are hopeless. When you experience healing, go out of your way to share that with someone who is very concerned about their medical issues. When you suffer the loss of a loved one, be ready to come alongside that mourning friend who is now experiencing loss. Don’t you know that only then you can truly say “I know something about what you might be feeling, because I lost my __?___ and God worked powerfully in my life and comforted me every day – or whatever you might have experienced? God will point you to the individual(s) where He can use you. Remember, you are just a recovering sinner accepting God’s help so that you might come alongside another child of His that could use your experience to help them confirm their decision and/or direction. Just let go, and let God!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, just how You have highlighted these verses to me this morning, I believe that there are many who You have brought through life experiences who could very easily come alongside a hurting, troubled friend today. Lord, I also believe that as we show obedience in doing this, that You will give us the strength and guidance that we need to either be quiet and listen, or to share how wonderful You have been to us. The neat thing that I respect in You dear Lord, is that You know what a person is feeling, what they’ve been through, how much pain they are in right now, and the words they need to really refocus their life on You, in spite of their circumstance. Please keep us humble Oh Lord, so that we may be this witness and encouragement, all because of You, and nothing of ourselves. May we take this action because of what You want to see, and to encourage our friend to look to You and praise You in their storm. Lord, thank You for being my God, my Savior and soon coming King. May I learn to be a better witness of, and for, You every day in every way, and I ask this knowing that only You have power to respond to any of these requests. For I ask this in the name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each days devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!

Our Legacy

The Holy Bible

13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous (brave). Be strong. 14 And do everything with love.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

Thoughts:

I believe that most of us have a desire to leave a legacy of some sort. Yes, but I can also assure you that the way we live our lives today will be remembered by those who know us long after we leave this world, whether we specifically aim towards a planned ‘legacy’ or not. Sounds scary, but consider that thought carefully! If we are prone to do good, we will be referred to, in comparison, when someone else also does good to our loved ones. Unfortunately, the reverse also happens. After reading Paul’s admonition to his fellow Christians at Corinth during his farewell wishes, God really spoke to me through these two verses. You see, to me, each of the short phrases in these verses carry a very important message. Let me explain:

  • Be on guard: Always be ready. We are often told that we should never go to bed mad at our spouse. How much more powerful are these words when it comes to our relationship with Jesus? Always be ready to defend your beliefs. Always be in such close communion with God that You are ready (without regrets) whenever He calls you home. I was reminded last night of a friend who was watching TV and fell asleep. He woke up in heaven. There was no time to clarify and/or correct any misgivings. We must be on guard, for the Bible says that Jesus will come in an instant for us! Be ready, and stay finely tuned with the Master!
  • Stand firm: Know what you believe and stand firm in that. There are numerous agents of Satan that will attempt to lead us away from the Truth. It may even look and sound like the Christian faith, but without full knowledge and a close relationship with the Master, we might be easily misled.
  • Be courageous and strong: Those with opposing views to yours, will try to trip you up, ‘beat you up’ and try to force their point of view upon you. Don’t lose hope brothers and sisters. Let God be your guide. Be brave and proud that you are standing on the Word of God and representing the King of all kings! You are royalty, because your Father is THE KING!
  • Do everything in love: I find it very interesting how one person can say something and it creates havoc in a whole audience, while someone else can say the same thing in a different tone of voice, in love, and convince the audience of their need for change. Friends, we have the wonderful love of Jesus living inside of us. We represent the One who loved us enough to sacrifice His only Son so that we might live eternally with Him. When we surrender our hearts to Him, He sends His Holy Spirit to live inside of us. Think about the agony He must feel when we allow sin to govern us, instead of the One living inside of us. When we can’t figure out how to say something loving, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and give you the words. He’s as close as the whisper of His name. Friends, we must truly imitate Jesus if we stand a chance of impacting this world for Him!

If you are reading this and wondering how you might accept this Jesus of mine, so that His Holy Spirit lives within you, please read the footnote and allow a Christian Brother or Sister to help you. I would be honored to help!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, You told us in Your Word that You did nothing without the direction of Your father, God. May we be Your faithful follower and do the same. Thank You for loving us enough for providing the means by which salvation is available. Thank You for assuring us of Your power and strength that can guide us lovingly through this life, yes even life today that is so filled with a multitude of sins that temp and bombard us in every walk of life. Your very nature is ‘LOVE’ and because You reside inside of us through Your Holy Spirit, we too can be loving in all we do and say. Please give us the boldness to do exactly that. May we be faithful examples of our Father and His Son, Jesus, because of whose we are! I ask this believing and trusting, in the name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each days devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!

Depend on God

The Holy Bible

Who fills the sky with clouds,

    preparing rain for the earth,

    Then turning the mountains green with grass,

    feeding both cattle and crows.

    He’s not impressed with horsepower;

    the size of our muscles means little to him.

    Those who fear God get God’s attention;

    they can depend on his strength.

(The Message – Psalm 147:8-11)

Thoughts:

When we depend on God, several things occur:

  • We gain faith in Him: Imagine as a child you not would invite a friend over nor take something out of the refrigerator without first asking your parent(s). So it is with God. If we would learn to depend on God for His provision, and for His direction, and for His wisdom, can you imagine the faith that we would truly develop in Him? The truth is, God provides everything for us already, we just need to stop and recognize His goodness and His provision.
  • We learn to depend on Him: I have heard stories of missionaries who went overseas to teach folk how to farm, because they learned that as long as their church/group continued sending food, the people would sit and wait for the food to arrive. However when they taught them to farm, they actually taught them to depend on God for rain, mentioned in the first part of this passage, and to wait on God instead for His provision. Imagine if we would learn to depend on God for the simple things in life? I’m not advocating that we not try to help ourselves, but we should always acknowledge the role that God plays in our everyday necessities (the very air that we breathe, the good health to rise and care for our families, the precious love of Jesus when we feel so alone, etc).
  • We learn to fear God: Fear is another word for respect, or stand in awe of God. What if a farmer stopped being blessed with rain from above? What if we stopped being blessed with the daily provisions of God? When we depend on Him and recognize that we can do nothing without His powerful, strong hand upon us, then we grow to honor Him, stand in awe of His majesty, stand amazed in His love for even us, and respect Him for His very nature, for He is a loving and caring God to such an unloving world. I am overwhelmed by His love for me!

Friends, I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus, my Lord. His ways are not my ways, but always the best way! I honor Him, respect and fear Him and I have developed a great faith in Him. Please allow Him to work in your life, to love you, care for you and always provide for you. He truly deserves our praise!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, You breathed life into mankind and each and every day provide the very things that we need to survive. Thank You for being such a loving and caring God. There is so much that I can praise You for each day. So much that can really serve to open my eyes to Your awesome presence and willingness to care for me. Lord, I pray that should one of Your children read this devotional today, who has not recognized the truth of Your goodness because they really don’t know You personally, that You will work in their hearts and make them curious enough that they might follow my tips in the footnote as they personally seek You and come to know You in a very personal way. I love You Lord! You are so good to me! I praise You and ask these favors in the wonderful name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: 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. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!

Be Steadfast

The Holy Bible

56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

(New Living Translation – I Corinthians 15:56-58)

Thoughts:

Earlier in this chapter Paul had taught the Corinthian church, and us, about death and what it means to the Christian. In his conclusion here Paul is reminding us that only those without Christ need worry about death, because the Word says that the sting of death is sin. However, for those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of their life, be assured that He has taken the sting out of death because He made atonement for our sins. We may think calmly on the horrors of the grave; assured that our bodies will be asleep there, and in the meantime our souls will be present with the Redeemer! Death is terrible to the unbeliever, and the thought of it to the remaining loved ones. However, although death may appear real for a believer, it cannot hold him in its power. In light of this glorious truth, in verse (58), we (believers) are taught and encouraged to be steadfast, strong and immovable in the truth of God’s Word and in the promise of what will come! Imagine, being raised incorruptible (without sin) and immortal (able to live eternally with Christ). We are also encouraged to be steady and consistent in the work of the Lord, always serving the Lord, and obeying the Lord’s commands. Friends, may Christ give us even more faith, so that we may not only be secure and safe in our faith, but also live joyfully and triumphantly here on this earth as we prepare for an even better life afterwards. You can be assured of this future life friend, if you do not already know and serve the Lord faithfully! Use the information in the footnote to seek help today.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, what a glorious future is ours that know You as Lord and personal Savior! We worry so much about death because we worry about the loved ones left behind, but the glory for the Christian who has passed on from this mortal and corruptible life in which we currently live, to the one promised with You is nothing short of glorious and filled with joy and expectation! Thank You for prodding me enough times that I surrendered my life over to you in 1976, and in spite of a few struggling times in between, overall You have kept me strong and steadfast in my faith, and I sincerely thank and praise You for that dear Lord. Verse 58 has challenged me to keep on ‘trucking’ in my walk with You here on this earth, because there are so many that I would like to be reassured of their standing with You so that I may see them again in glory. I ask that You continue to give me strength, wisdom and boldness to not only work steadfastly for You, but to share the truths of Your gospel with all that You may place in my path of life. Please touch the lives of those that need You today, humble them to understand their need for the Savior before it is eternally too late. I love You Lord, and I lift my voice to worship You, oh my soul rejoice! Take joy my King in what You hear, may it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear! This is my song of rejoicing today, and my sincere prayer that I’m asking all this in the name of Jesus, my Lord, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: 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. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!

How To Be Happy!

The Holy Bible

12    May our sons in their youth be like plants that grow up strong.

May our daughters be like stately pillars which adorn the corners of a palace.

13    May our barns be filled with crops of every kind.

May the sheep in our fields bear young by the tens of thousands.

14    May our cattle reproduce plentifully without miscarriage or loss.

May there be no cries of distress in our streets.

15    Happy is the nation of whom this is true; happy are the people whose God is the Lord!

(Good News Translation – Psalm 144:12-15)

Thoughts:

There are probably more ‘How To’ books and articles available for individuals today than there have ever been before. In fact, some are also called “For Dummies”, meaning that the “How to” is very simplified so that even a dummy would understand! In verse 15 David shared with us ‘How To’ be eternally happy, when he said: “Happy is the person whose God is THE GOD ALMIGHTY”. Now, before you begin thinking that I repeated this out of context, please read all the verses above. I believe you will quickly recognize that God spoke through David to tell us that when we call on Him for every aspect of our lives: our sons; our daughters; our income source and the safety and security of our cities, states and country, then not only will we be claiming God as our true, all sufficient and loving God, but we will also join the number of other Christians praying that our respective country leaders would humbly do the same, so that our nation would also be a happy (secure, safe, prosperous and caring) one. Can you imagine a ‘happy’ person living in a ‘happy’ nation, in the terms mentioned, this side of heaven? Didn’t you say that you believe in the power of prayer and of the One who answers our prayers? Then is there anything too big for our God? Friends, please don’t get caught in the trap of only asking God for as much as you can safely see the resolution to. He is much bigger than that! Remember, He created this earth and everything in it. There is nothing bigger, or more powerful than our God! We are not asked to be militant, we are to follow David’s example and Pray! If you are reading this devotional and have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you have a more urgent prayer first. Please follow the directions in the Footnote for help in resolving your dilemma, then pick this devotional back up and re-read it so that you can join the army of God praying for your own success and that of our nation. Our God loves us so much, yet unfortunately we try every other possible source for help before we finally break down our walls and seek after God. Please change that today friends!

Prayer:

Jesus, my Lord and Savior, I am humbled by the love that You make very evident to me every day, in spite of my pride to try everything else before turning to You for help. In any good relationship, we talk to each other about our joys and concerns before sharing that with others. Please continue to humble Your servant so that I might always interact with You about every joy and every concern that I might have. Please help me to always seek Your guidance, especially for everything that leads to my happiness and or the happiness of those around me. On earth I want to be known as a man who is happy because of my relationship with You. In heaven I would really like to be known as one who had such a relationship with You that there was nothing in life that I ever failed to first discuss with, offer praise to, or request from, You. I acknowledge that You hold the key to my success and happiness now and throughout eternity, I must learn to lean on You for all this, so that my joy may be complete in You. Please touch the hearts of those who might meditate on this devotional today with the truth of Your Word and Your everlasting love for them. I ask all this in Your dear name, Jesus. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: 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. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!

Ask God to Guard You

The Holy Bible

    Post a guard at my mouth, God, set a watch at the door of my lips.

    Don’t let me so much as dream of evil or thoughtlessly fall into bad company.

    And these people who only do wrong — don’t let them lure me with their sweet talk!

(The Message – Psalm 141:3-4)

Thoughts:

I believe that I can easily identify with David, but really wish that I could be more like him in taking everything before the Lord in prayer and open, pure, relational conversation. Let me explain, Satan is out to get God’s children in every way possible. He is very conniving and knows our weaknesses and exactly how to distract us from our Christian walk. Let’s suppose that I am a recovering alcoholic. The biggest warning to a person recovering is that they stay far away from any distraction or temptation that might entice them to take the first drink again. How many times, and how many people still go after these individuals to just join them in the bar, they don’t have to drink just sit and socialize with old buddies? Or a former smoker invited into a smoke-filled room? Won’t they breathe in enough of that smoke to be tempted into a very large cigarette or cigar? Friends, I believe you should be getting my drift by now. Even when God has caught hold of our lives and rescued us from the pit of sin and destruction, He still allows us to live on this earth and learn to depend on Him when tempted, but I sincerely believe that He expects us to stay way clear of anything that Satan may use to distract us from our heavenly walk. I heard a story about a recovering alcoholic. Every day he had to walk past the bar that he used to purchase his alcohol when he was overtaken by its addiction. After finding God and, with His help, got on the road to recovery, he took a different road home altogether to avoid the temptation. David begged God to place a guard, and to even help distract his dreams to avoid him thoughtlessly falling back into sin. Friends, God wants you to avoid sin. He sacrificed His only Son to provide the means for a better life for you. Why dabble in sin when you have a future that is ‘out of this world’ waiting in store for you? Please don’t be timid in talking with our heavenly Father about things that we see as a trap to ensnare us. And especially don’t be timid in asking God to guard you and protect you from those traps that may not be evident to you. Try your very best, with God’s help, to live today in light of the bright hope that is ours in heaven! You won’t regret it friend, and you have the awesome power of the creator of the universe to help strengthen you! You can do it!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank You for saving me from the depths of sin and the evil so evident on this old earth. Please continue to guard my eyes so that my mind may remain pure, and guard my lips so that my heart might be pure. Please give me the boldness to express the love of God that is shown to me every day in so many ways, so that others might catch a glimpse of your handiwork, and might want to also know You as their personal Savior. There is nothing secret from You, so You are well aware of the temptations that Satan throws at us to entrap us. Please guard us and direct us always in the path of righteousness so that You may continue to use us for Your glory. Thank You for loving Your kids in such awesome ways! May we do our part to make You proud, yet humble enough so that You may complete Your work in us. I ask this in the precious name of my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: 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. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Just let me know you are coming by emailing me!

Search Me Oh God

The Holy Bible

1 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.

3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.

4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.

5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!

7 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!

17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

(New Living Translation – Psalm 139)

Thoughts:

I acknowledge that a lot more scripture has been given today that you would normally expect, but I wish I could have included the whole chapter for your meditation! May I strongly recommend that you click on the scripture reference link and read the whole chapter? Yes, even if you are a Bible scholar, I believe that God can still speak to you through this chapter, again! Friends, read these verses as they are written, but as you read please do not assume they are the words of David, the psalmist. Lay yourself before the altar of God and acknowledge/remind yourself that He is God indeed and that you cannot hide from Him, no matter where you might go. Imagine for a moment – I just took a business trip out to Arizona. God was with me here in Florida before I left. He not only protected me on my drive to Orlando airport, but thousands of feet into the air on that airplane. Crowded though that plane may have been, He was looking out for His dear child. I was routed through Detroit, Michigan for a connecting flight, and praise God, He watched over me even through those extra miles. In Arizona, where my wife could not see what I was doing or who I may have been with, God knew all about it, because He was there with me also. I won’t go on, but I believe you get the drift, right? Don’t for a squeaky moment think that because you are out of sight of your pastor or teacher that you can do whatever you please? They are just your earthly teachers and accountability partners, God is ALWAYS present and ALWAYS watching over you. Imagine if He wasn’t, could I truly have called on Him if my plane to Detroit ran into scary turbulence? Don’t you realize that if we expect to call on Him in an instant when we are in trouble, He is also there when we are getting into trouble/mischief/cheating? Like David, we need to acknowledge God as he did in verse 17, praise God that His thoughts about us and His omnipresence is very precious to us! I sent a copy of verses 23 & 24 to my work email, because I intend to print them out and attach them to my monitor as a constant prayer to God. You see, we can be real good Christians inside the church building, and almost as good at home, but when we walk in the doors of our workplaces, we are really entering our mission field. We don’t need to tell our coworkers we are Christian, we need to show them by our actions and through the things we say, so that they might know that we must be children of the King. Please don’t let them see you as hypercritical. I challenge you to put God back in charge of your life today friends!

Prayer:

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” This is my sincere prayer before You today, oh Lord, and I ask this with expectations of Your help and strength, for I want to be Your honest representative, and therefore I am asking in Your precious name oh Lord, my Savior, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: 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. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!

Prepared For The Resurrection?

The Holy Bible

21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.

(The New Living Translation – 1 Corinthians 15:21-23)

Thoughts:

Living in the part of the world where I live, we are used to the idea of being prepared for hurricanes, should one become a threat to our area. We have written plans on the type kits we should have prepared to just take off with, should we hear of a threat, and we have our escape routes all mapped out ahead of time. No doubt many of you have similar scenarios in your respective areas. Many of us do well with these, and we are therefore ready when the call comes, others sometimes die a horrible death because they become trapped in their environment by the terrible storms, due to their lack of readiness. I find it interesting that many non-Christians take these preparation efforts so seriously, especially when they are basing their actions on the weather man’s word, and on something that he/she has no control over. However, when it comes to believing the Word of God, we are often told by these non-Christians about the many fallacies they see in the book. Lord Jesus, oh that they may realize in time, that the same God who steers the currents that control hurricanes, winter storms or any other type of natural disaster, is the same God that inspired the Word of God, and who stands firm on His Word and its promised actions. Matthew Henry, in his commentary on these verses wrote: “There will be an order in the resurrection. Christ himself has been the first-fruits; at his coming, his redeemed people will be raised before others; at the last the wicked will rise also. Then will be the end of this present state of things. Would we triumph in that solemn and important season, we must now submit to his rule, accept his salvation, and live to his glory.” So friends, I realize that we don’t care to think about morbid things like the end of our life, but I want to remind you that the decisions you make today will result in whom you will serve here on this earth, and with whom you will spend eternity. As in the case of natural disasters, how prepared are you for your eternal peace? If you feel a tugging in your heart to straighten up your spiritual life, please use information in the Footnote as your guide for help. One of these resources would love to pray with you and guide you into a peace that surpasses all understanding, I especially would love to help!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, my friends are I are crazy about, and super concerned about tomorrow, next year and especially about retirement. We become super excited about preparations and readiness for hurricanes or other such disasters. Yet, unfortunately, we spend little time in our readiness for eternity. I realize that there is so much hype about the various ‘feel-good’ programs, that we are generally not anxious about preparation for such things as death, but I thank You Lord for reminding us in Your Word today about the reality of this life-event, and the good, bad, and the ugly about what our outcome will be, based on our decisions today. Please forgive me for my littleness in not sharing this enough with my lost loved ones, in an effort to help them be as prepared for eternity as they are for all other milestones in their lives. Please touch the hearts of those who are ready (Christians) so that we might not only stay closer aligned with Your will for our lives here on earth, but enabled to help others who have not yet prepared themselves of this inevitable life event. Please tender the hearts of the non-believer today dear Jesus, and encourage them to accept You as their Lord and Savior, for without salvation, eternity with You is impossible. Lord, You are good and Your mercies endure forever. I ask this all in Your precious and wonderful name, believing that You will touch the lives of Your children (Christians) to better prepare for this important resurrection day, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: 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. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!