What Say Ye, Christians?

The Holy Bible

     Now, let me ask you something profound yet troubling. If you became believers because you trusted the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead, how can you let people say that there is no such thing as a resurrection? If there’s no resurrection, there’s no living Christ.

(The Message – 1 Corinthians 15:12-13)

Thoughts:

I bet I am accurate in assuming that you are human, just like I am, and that you have sat idly by and allowed a friend to say something derogatory about our Lord and Savior. I wouldn’t even go as far as to say that the words that made you cringe were things like curse words, or something where folk have used alternate words to really mean something else that may otherwise offend you. I am of the impression that Paul faced a situation similar to that I just explained, where followers of the Corinthian church stood by and said nothing when friends made fun of their belief in the resurrection. God really spoke to me through this passage friends, because way too often we hold our tongue/words for various reasons: we don’t argue over religion; or I can’t afford to lose that friendship so I will keep quiet; or I can’t quote book and verse in my argument, so I had better keep silent; and I’m sure there is a multitude of other excuses that we convince ourselves of. If you read the whole chapter of 1 Corinthians 15, you will see how Paul was very critical of his followers for behaving in this manner. How do you suppose God feels about us when we act like that? Can you imagine how demanding you would be of folk for whom you permitted the sacrifice of your son/daughter/mother/father/brother/sister, and they were humiliated and put to death just for their freedom? Can you imagine how you would feel if you heard them talking about that loved one in a derogatory way, or even if they sat silently and allowed others to speak unkindly about your loved one? Friends, we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior because we believed that He died and rose again just for us and our freedom. Let’s hold Him in highest esteem and love Him with every fiber of our being. Although I am not encouraging you to fight, don’t you know that the easiest way to infuriate an opponent is to ‘bad mouth’ their loved one(s)? As children of the Lord of lords and King of kings, we should also be infuriated when we hear others speaking unlovingly of our Savior, and I believe that if we whisper a quick prayer to God, He will give us the right words for the moment, words that will reveal the love that God implanted into His kids so that we may imitate Him here on this earth, and impact the lives of those who are offending Him.

Prayer:

Father, please forgive us for our coward-ness and unappreciative attitudes in allowing just about anything to be said about You in our presence, but failing to speak up appropriately, and failing to defend the name above all names, the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords. I can honestly say that You mean the world to me. Please make me bold so that I may say the same thing in the presence of those that may feel otherwise. May my actions and words prove my relationship with You. May I represent You so diligently, that the lost might have a desire to know the Lord in whom I believe. Please touch the lives of those meditating on this devotional today and impress upon them the same need to be Your sincere representative inside the church doors and especially outside the doors, as we face the world, who is falling apart without You in their lives. I appreciate Paul, and our pastors today who are unashamed of the gospel, and encourages us to do the same. Huge requests today, but I ask this in the name of the One who arose from the dead and did many wonderful miracles, so I ask this believing, and in the precious name of Your son 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!

You Are Royalty!

God’s Holy Word – Good News Translation
1 Corinthians 5:1-2

1 And now I want to remind you, my brothers and sisters, of the Good News which I preached to you, which you received, and on which your faith stands firm. 2 That is the gospel, the message that I preached to you. You are saved by the gospel if you hold firmly to it—unless it was for nothing that you believed.

Thoughts:
As I meditated on this I thought about all that a palace subject must encounter in any given day. I don’t imagine for a moment they ever arise, go to school or work and forget they are a prince/princess, or a child of the queen. I don’t imagine for a moment they ever doubt if they are protected and secure in their position. I bet that they are extremely careful to protect the sovereignty of their parent’s kingdom. Wouldn’t you imagine that they are ambassadors for the kingdom over which their parent rules, and therefore talk it up with everyone that they come in contact with? So friend, what’s the difference with any of the above thoughts and our position as children of the King of all kings? When we accept Jesus as Lord, we become His protected ones, as Satan nor the world has any hold on us anymore. We can proudly wear our breastplate of righteousness and feel adequately protected in our royal position. So why then do we find ourselves so often in the doldrums of this world’s trials and tribulations and feel so distraught and beaten up? After meditating on Paul’s message to the Corinthian church, I am convinced that we need reminding constantly that we might be in this world, but we are not of this world as we are looking to a much bigger Savior that didn’t just rescue us when we first believed, but is there each and every day to take our hand a lift us up, comfort, protect and love on us as His special and chosen children. Friend, stay in the Word every day, stay in communion with God often so that you might be reminded of His love and special care over us. Refresh yourself on the gospel, so that it may be your guide and encouragement, constantly pointing you to the One who not only died for you, but still watches over you every day. Assume your royal position friend. Remember, God sees you as His very own child, why should you see yourself as anything less!

Prayer:
Father, Daddy, Jesus, my Lord and Savior, thank You for Your gracious love for me. Thank You for the ultimate sacrifice You made for me. Thank You for adopting me as Your very own royal prince. I am truly blessed. Please help me to daily assume my royal position and represent You well. Please strengthen me to always allow Your love and character to shine through me in everything that I do or say, so that others might recognize You and want to know you as their Lord and Savior. For my friends meditating on this devotional today, please allow the words of Paul in this scripture to remind you of your royalty and your position as God’s very own. LLord, may Your children arise and be Your faithful followers today so that Your Word may come alive to the unsaved, is my humble pray that I ask in the name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote:
If you have read this devotional and do not know this wonderful Savior of whom I have spoken, may I encourage you to speak with a Bible teaching pastor or church leader today? If you know of none, I would welcome an email from you with information on how I may be of help to you, or how I might pray with, and/or for, you. You may reach me at nuggetsfromgodsword@outlook.com. If you are in the Highlands County area of Florida and do not have a church home, may I recommend my church home to you, Bible Fellowship Church? Let me know if you plan to attend and I will personally welcome you and help you feel at home with God’s people as we worship and learn more about His love for us!

The Results of Getting Along

The Holy Bible

 How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along!

    It’s like costly anointing oil flowing down head and beard,

    Flowing down Aaron’s beard, flowing down the collar of his priestly robes.

    It’s like the dew on Mount Hermon flowing down the slopes of Zion.

  Yes, that’s where God commands the blessing, ordains eternal life.
(The Message – Psalm 133:1–3)

When we worship the right way, God doesn’t stir us up into confusion; he brings us into harmony. This goes for all the churches—no exceptions.
(The Message – 1 Corinthians 14:33).

Thoughts:

I normally read an Old Testament reading and a New Testament reading each morning. I had already sensed that God wanted me to share the passage in Psalm 133 when I turned to 1 Corinthian 14, only to find the same theme. To those meditating on this devotional but have not yet surrendered their life to God, you might consider this a great coincidence. However, I believe that finding both readings to contain a similar theme only confirmed what God wanted me to share. For God is just that awesome! The first passage dealt with individuals, while the second dealt with harmony in the church. However friends, the church is made up of individuals, and if the individuals (church members) are not getting along with each other in their homes and in their family relationships, can we truly expect anything different in the church, or anywhere else that the individuals find themselves? I would dare say that there is little chance of seeing a difference in one venue vs another. So how important is this to God? In the Psalm, David calls the act of getting along as ‘harmony’. He then compares harmony to the dew that drops off the steep slopes of the great Mount Hermon, and he declared that God had commanded His blessing on that type harmony, and even ordained eternal life to it. Now think about this friends, we know that it is only through Jesus Christ that we can obtain eternal life, so obviously David was prophesying that those who accept Jesus as Lord (Christians) who live in harmony, will receive the eternal life that only He offers. You see, it’s very evident that living in harmony is a gift of the Spirit, and therefore if we live in disharmony, we should really go back to the cross and seek the face of Jesus so that He might pour out His Holy Spirit upon us and allow us to live in peace, in harmony with one another. For this results in the greater gift of eternal life that can truly be yours. For my Christian brothers and sisters who have allowed disharmony to sneak into your holy lives, let us go before the throne, ask for forgiveness, and seek a fresh anointing from our heavenly Father. Our aim should be to please Jesus in all that we do. Let’s make sure that we get along with others like He expects of us.

Prayer:

Lord, Your Word is extremely powerful and often used to correct areas of our lives that need attention, and truly needs be better aligned with You and Your awesome example detailed in Your Word. There is a powerful song “Lord, I want to be Just like You”, and I pray that this will not just be my desire today, but that Your Word might provoke the hearts of all that will read this devotional and also help them commit to living a more dedicated and committed life for You. Please help us to live in perfect harmony with one another, just like You would. I ask this in the precious 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!

Lord, Hear My Prayer!

The Holy Bible

1 Lord, I am in great trouble,

so I call out to you.

2     Lord, hear my voice;

listen to my prayer for help.

3     Lord, if you punished people for all their sins,

no one would be left, Lord.

4     But you forgive us,

so you are respected.

(The Everyday Bible: New Century Version – Psalm 130:1-4)

Thoughts:

This may seem like a very simple theme today friends, but I believe that God has no intention of making His Word complicated, nor His commands of us impossible to obey. Like David prayed in desperation (in verse 1 he said that he was in deep trouble), so it seems like we often find our way to the foot of the cross to pray in our times of desperation. But I believe that God got my attention on this today about the many times that I hesitate coming before Him for a need until I am absolutely too stressed out, and realize that I just can’t do it on my own. When we have a sincere deep relationship with our Savior, like we should, then we should be talking (praying) with Him all the time. We should be discussing our distresses and praising Him for our successes. I believe that when we succeed at this, we will be blessed to note the many times that we wind up making good decisions, or making the right turns in life, for He knows our heart’s desires and will guide us in His way everlasting. Now, just to clarify, God knows our hearts without us saying anything at all, however, He enjoys our conversation and is blessed by us turning to Him for our every need. David even gave us a little tip in verse 4 on why God forgives us and handles so many of our requests – so that we might stand in awe of Him and respect Him as God. So I have a very challenging question for my friends meditating on this devotional today: What are the three most challenging things in your life right now? Now the kicker: Have you placed these things in Jesus’ hands for a resolution? These are the things that we should have foremost in our prayers to God. Friends, I know that He will hear our voice and, knowing that He cares for us and knows what’s best for us in the long run, He will relieve us of the stress we are going through and answer our prayers according to His blessed will (Matthew 6:31-33). Trust Him, won’t you?

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, it is so rewarding knowing that we can talk with You about all of our needs, concerns and wants, knowing that You will keep it confidential, and that You will respond with our best interest at heart, despite what we might ask for. You know my name, and Your Word says that You even know every strand of hair on my head. How much more You must care about me when things of this world burden me down, or when I make stupid mistakes. Thank You for answering my prayers in the past and thank You for answering them in accordance with Your perfect will and not necessarily the selfish, silly and worldly ways that I might ask for things. You truly are the God of this universe and You have our best interest at heart. Please humble our hearts to have our one-on-one times with You and to share our most intimate desires and thoughts with You, knowing that You will either answer our prayers or at least comfort us to know that You may have even better plans for us. We have such a small view of our lives and of this world, please help us to trust in You, the one who created it all and who controls its every movement. You are an awesome God in whom I place my trust dear Lord. Bless this day in Your own special way, I pray 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.

Allow God Control of our Homes and Cities

The Holy Bible

If the Lord doesn’t build the house,

the builders are working for nothing.

If the Lord doesn’t guard the city,

the guards are watching for nothing.

(New Century Version – Psalm 127:1)

Thoughts:

In this short verse we see the importance of always looking to God for providing our every need. Especially in the day that we find ourselves in, we must depend upon God for His blessing in the upbringing of our family, the challenges of our finances, our protection and giving us boldness to always stand for Christ in spite of all the distractions from the outside world. In the context of this verse we are reminded of several important things that are affected as we place our faith and trust in God:

  1. For raising our family. – For if God is not acknowledged, we have no reason to expect his blessing; and the best-laid plans fail, unless He crowns them with His blessing;
  2. For the safety of our family and/or our city. – For except the Lord keep the city, the watchmen (our law enforcement), though they may never sleep, they stay awake and on duty in vain; mischief could still break out in spite of all they might do to prevent it; and
  3. For enriching our family. – I firmly believe that God blesses those who depend on Him. I agree with verse 4 further down where Solomon reflects on what could happen when children leave our home, as we can no longer direct them. But friends, we are ordered to do our part in bringing them up while they are with us, then when they do go off on their own they will remember and practice what they were taught. No need for us to worry what might happen later, with ongoing prayer, God will continue to guide them for us.

So friends, the bottom line is that we must live the Godly lives that God expects of His children. When we live that life in our homes and in our jobs, God will bless us, protect us and provide for our cares and concerns. Can you trust Him with that day? If you do, He can be trusted to do His part, I assure you friend!

Prayer:

Dear Lord, please give me strength/wisdom/power to surrender my home, my family and my city to Your powerful, awesome, protective and guiding hand. I am reminded daily that these things are way bigger than me, but in recognizing the great big awesome God that I serve, I surrender these things to Your care and direction. While still in this world, I need You in my life though, to help me be the man You designed and could be proud of. Please help me to depend heavily on You so that You may truly bless my home and bless my city. I also ask that You intervene in the lives of my friends who will meditate on this devotional today. For those who have never committed their lives totally and completely to You, please open their eyes to the truth of the gospel so that they may make that first, very important choice to accept You as Lord of their lives. For my fellow Christian friends, may they be filled with Your peace, Your comfort, Your strength and guidance to surrender themselves as guided in this scripture today, and allow Your mighty hand to guide them in every circumstance of life. I ask all this believing, but also knowing that only You can change our families and our cities, Therefore I ask all this in Your holy and precious name, 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.

24/7/365 Availability

The Holy Bible

 


1 I look up to the mountains—

does my help come from there?


2  My help comes from the LORD,

who made heaven and earth!


3  He will not let you stumble;

the one who watches over you will not slumber.

 

(New Living Translation: Psalm 121:1–3)

 

Thoughts:

 

There are so many help aids available to us via books, or Google or any of the other online search engines that we can easily become a bunch of do-it-yourself professionals. However friends, I don’t know of any cases where someone may have called for prayer, and they indicated that they have searched every online search engine for help and they have failed, so now they are turning to God for help! This may sound humorous friends, but way too often we try everything else before we finally look to God for help. David asked a rhetorical question about whether he should look to the hills/mountains for help, but like David, we must always look way beyond the hills for our help, for our help can only come from the Lord, the One who makes all earthly things. Now one thing that we must be cautious about, is that when we ask our parents for something, most of the time we don’t receive it immediately. This God that we serve, knows exactly what is best for us and the best timing for us to receive those things. Sometimes the response may be immediate while other times delayed to a more appropriate time. This Psalm teaches us to be comforted in always knowing where our help comes from in its perfect form and timing. Unlike times when we go to the internet for help where we might find it down, our God is always available to us! This is an exciting reminder friends! This is reassuring to Christians, and although this may sound strange to those who have not yet placed their faith in our God, it is vital that we share our experiences with them so that they too might have a desire to meet our Jesus, know Him personally, and experience the comfort of knowing that He is always available and comforting to us in every circumstance.

 

Prayer:

 

What a comfort it is to know You as my Lord and Savior, dear Jesus! Thank You for being there for me at all times and in every circumstance. May I learn to always depend in, and trust You during the good times in my life and especially in the challenging times. Thank You for hearing my cry and answering my prayers. I appreciate Your perfect timing as I have become so impatient in this instantaneous world that I live in. Please touch the hearts of those that will be led to this devotional today. May they too find comfort and peace in knowing You, or a deep desire to accept You as their Lord and Savior so that they may experience this peace of which I speak about. I ask this in the precious name of Jesus, my wonderful Lord and 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.

Let Go and Let God!

The Holy BibleThe Good News Translation

 

1 Corinthians 14:1

 

Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit givesespecially the ability to prophesy.

 

My Thoughts:

 

Over recent days our studies seem to have highlighted Paul’s teaching to the church at Corinth, and this may be because we see so many similarities to our church today! God spoke to me through this verse today in conjunction with the ending of verses 4 and 5, where Paul emphasized that these gifts are for the uplifting of the church, not ourselves. So based on the verses referenced, I would humbly suggest: desire the gifts of the Spirit that are available to you, pray for them and be anxious to receive them. However should you be blessed with one or more gifts, remember, it is not for personal gain or bragging, but for the benefit of others and for the glory of God. I believe that God will use these gifts to enrich His church; to encourage those that you come into contact with and you are especially at a loss for words; to help someone when, ordinarily, you may feel very inadequate to handle such a thing. Friends, I am convinced that when we set self aside and allow God to freely work through us, we will be amazed at what He will do through a humble, fully surrendered individual. Are you willing to give this a try? Just let go, and let God have His way in and through! After all, God has a lot of work to do in this old sinful world, and I believe that He would just as soon fulfill His promise to touch hearts, take care of the weary and challenge the unsaved through us who belong to Him. He just wants our availability, not our abilities!

 

My Prayer:

 

Father, You are so wonderful to us! You have blessed us with the gift of Your Son, Jesus, and yet You continue to shower us with gifts through Your blessed Holy Spirit. How can we ever thank You enough? I am personally very thankful for all that You do for me each day, and I am thankful for the gifts that You have already allowed me to use for Your service and for the benefit of others. Please continue to work in our lives, so that we may not gloat about our gifts, but rather, use them for the benefit of Your church and for Your glory. To God be the glory for any and all things accomplished through the miracles of the Holy Spirit working in and through us. Lord, may You be lifted up, magnified and glorified through me, and all those meditating on this devotional today, is my humble prayer that I ask through Jesus, my Lord, AMEN!

 

 

**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.