Archive for April 2015

The Purpose of Discipline By God

April 30, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Century Version – Hebrews 12:7-10): 7 So hold on through your sufferings, because they are like a father’s discipline. God is treating you as children. All children are disciplined by their fathers. 8 If you are never disciplined (and every child must be disciplined), you are not true children. 9 We have all had fathers here on earth who disciplined us, and we respected them. So it is even more important that we accept discipline from the Father of our spirits so we will have life. 10 Our fathers on earth disciplined us for a short time in the way they thought was best. But God disciplines us to help us, so we can become holy as he is.

THOUGHTS: I believe that we can endure many things if we know why they are happening to us. This is the reason that we often complain, ‘why me Lord?’ However it is often difficult, and perhaps very ‘human’ to limit our sight to our current circumstances instead of looking for the possible good that God could achieve through our suffering or challenge. Friends if we are ever involved in making something – perhaps a piece of pottery or building something out of wood, we may have to smash it at times and start over. Similarly, God made us perfect, but He gave us free-will to do our own thing, so our sin nature often gets the better part of us and leads us down a path that could be destructive. Without having to smash us and destroy us, God, in His infinite wisdom and love, gets our attention, and brings us back on the road where we look more like Him again. This is called ‘discipline’. So if you get nothing more out of this devotional today, please memorize the words that are bolded at the end of the highlighted verses: “God disciplines to help us become holy, just as He is“. Why do we deserve such love, you might ask. I believe that the words that I first quoted as our main gripe, were also used in the title of a song that helps us voice our opinion to God but yet understand the great love shown to us by the Father. Listen to ‘Why Me Lord‘ as you ponder why God would love even you so much that He would send His one and only Son as a sacrifice for all your bad – your sin. Remember, He wants us to look just like Him and to be good representatives of His while on our path of life here on planet earth. His discipline serves an eternal purpose that only God knows, and that we may or may not ever see or understand. Just trust Him friend! I have been struggling with one challenge, or trial, after another recently, and yesterday while really feeling burdened, God sent a messenger to tell me that my trials are not to burden me or hurt me, but to strengthen me for greater and bigger things that will benefit His kingdom! Wow, what an inspiration! Our road to holiness is a challenging one while living in a challenging world filled with greed and sin, but our God can do all things in the lives of those who place their faith and trust in Him. Draw close to God, friend, so that He may draw close to you and help you on this challenging road of life.

PRAYER: What have I done to deserve God’s only Son? As I hear those words sung in the video reference above, I am reminded of all the love You have shown, both at Calvary, and through all phases of my Christian life, and I can only sit back and ask Why? Why me Lord? I may never know why You love me so much Heavenly Father, but I am compelled to say yet again today how much I appreciate all that You have done to make me more like You every day. I stand amazed in the presence of the King and Creator of this universe and humbly call You my Lord, my Savior, my Friend and my soon coming King! Please soften the hearts of the rebellious today. Please pour out Your love on those that may question why they are going through challenges. Draw them to Yourself in such a way that their rebellion will turn to pure love and submission, knowing that You only want us to be more holy, as You are. I love You Lord Jesus, and I thank You for first loving me! I ask all this in Your 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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 day’s 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! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Important Things To Pray For Each Other

April 29, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Century Version – Philippians 1:9-11): 9 This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love; 10 that you will see the difference between good and bad and will choose the good; that you will be pure and without wrong for the coming of Christ; 11 that you will be filled with the good things produced in your life by Christ to bring glory and praise to God.

 

THOUGHTS: Just as Paul had a deep desire for his church members at Philippi, I believe that God would have us do the same for each other. Please allow me to break down the above verses to show us two important end results that we should pray for each other:

  • That we present ourselves to God at His second coming without spot or wrinkle, and to help with that we should pray:
    • That our love will grow more and more. This reminds me that we will never attain perfection in this area here on earth, because of our selfish desires and personal greed. However, this is of utmost importance to us when considering that one day we will come face to face with our Savior. This also tells me that this particular attribute should be a daily prayer of ours so that we might love more today than we did yesterday, and that we love sacrificially as Jesus did for us on Calvary;
  • That we bring glory and praise to God:
    • In addition to the evidence of God’s love being reflected in our lives, I believe that verse 11 is pointing us to live a life that exudes a sweet savor of goodness, ordained and blessed by Christ. I believe the latter is important to avoid our selfish pride, and the possibility of doing good for personal attention and/or gain. I believe the type goodness referred to here is the same as mentioned in other scripture as ‘fruit’. In other words, our lives will produce ‘fruit’ or ‘qualities’ that immediately reminds the world of Jesus. When this type goodness, or ‘fruit’ is evident, not only will we honor and praise our Creator, but those to whom we minister will also praise Him.

Living Christian lives that please God, will be evident to those we come into contact with. This only happens when you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and personal Savior, for there is not enough ‘good’ in you alone to please God. Only the work of His Son in us produces the kind of life acceptable to God. If you have not taken this leap of faith yet, may I introduce you to my Lord today, please? It’s the best thing that could ever happen to you! Read the ‘Footnote’ below for more information on how you might go about accepting Christ, please?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, without You we would be forced to pattern our lives after the ‘good’ we see in each other, which would lead to chaos, greed and selfish desires. Thank You for showing us the way to pure happiness and a life of purity that would be pleasing to You. Thank You for touching the life of Your saint, Paul, and the desire You gave Him to share these words, looked at this morning, with the saints at Philippi first, then made available to so that we might gleam truth and direction for our lives. Lord, we want to be just like You. Thank You for showing us what that entails, and thank You for the assurance we have of Your willingness to help us achieve that. I place my life in Your hands and pray that You might cleanse me of all sin and characteristics that displeases You, and that You continue to bless me with the way to true perfection through Your Word. Please touch the life of each friend that will read this devotional today and draw them closer to You because of Your Word. Without full surrender to You we are way too much like this old world, please keep us focused on You every day, is my sincere plea, that I ask in the name of Jesus, my Lord and precious 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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 day’s 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! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Choosing God Is Worth Far More

April 28, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Good News Translation – Hebrews 11:24-29): 24 It was faith that made Moses, when he had grown up, refuse to be called the son of the king’s daughter. 25He preferred to suffer with God’s people rather than to enjoy sin for a little while. 26He reckoned that to suffer scorn for the Messiah was worth far more than all the treasures of Egypt, for he kept his eyes on the future reward. 27 It was faith that made Moses leave Egypt without being afraid of the king’s anger. As though he saw the invisible God, he refused to turn back. It was faith that made him establish the Passover and order the blood to be sprinkled on the doors, so that the Angel of Death would not kill the firstborn sons of the Israelites. 29 It was faith that made the Israelites able to cross the Red Sea as if on dry land; when the Egyptians tried to do it, the water swallowed them up.

THOUGHTS: Choosing God Is Worth Far More Than …. Can you think of anything that is more important? This chapter of Hebrews is filled with so much of the faith our forefathers displayed in the King of all kings and the Creator of all things, that our lives should be impacted to the extent that nothing will ever cause us to stray in our faith. For because of their faith we saw where mere, humble, man stood before a very powerful earthly king and demanded that the majority of his people that were being held in slavery, should be freed and surrendered to the leadership of one who had absolutely no experience with leading a mass of people. Because of his faith in, and obedience to God, Moses saw where the king crumbled to the overwhelming power of God and gave in to the demands of Moses. We see where this one miracle of faith led to many more, as Moses followed in obedience to God. The masses were fed, when there was no food source in sight; they drank water from a fountain when there was nothing visible other than a shepherd’s stick and a rock; they faced death with the natural eye, but yet saw the waters divided and a path provided for them to cross between two lands, then looked back in human panic to see how the opposing enemy was gaining on them, only to witness the battle being won for them as the divided waters collapsed on the enemy and drowned them all. Friends, in these verses it is plain to see that Moses placed his trust in God, rather than any other earthly treasures or resources available to him, because he saw that his present obedience and future rewards could only come from, and lead to eternity with God. I believe this is a wake-up call for us to reexamine our lives to determine if we are placing our faith in something, or someone that leads us to this type of eternal rewards that Moses chose, or are we struggling to turn loose of the earthly assets, or clinging to earthly values, or placing our faith in mere man rather than God? If you are misguided in your faith, then I pray that God would quickly open your eyes to show you what your eternal rewards might be. If you are misguided, I believe that, based on the Word of God, I can safely tell you that you might currently be so earthly minded that you will be of little Godly use in the life to come. Unless you plead with God to intervene and help you to turn your life around, may I ask that you be careful not to take on the guilt of others who might be following you? Please read Ezekiel 3:17-20 to understand how God threatened Ezekiel with the sentence of bearing the guilt of all he led, if he was disobedient.

PRAYER: Thank You for Your Word dear Lord. Thank You for loving us enough to show us the results of obedience to You and the effects of disobedience. We are again reminded of the rewards of choosing You as our personal Lord and Savior and being obedient to Your Word and Your commands. I know that “It Will Be Worth It All When we see Jesus“, so help us to live our lives in light of that truth and therefore surrender our lives totally and wholeheartedly to You in every aspect of our lives. All to You I Surrender. Thank You for hearing my heart and my prayer dear Lord, for I ask all this in the precious 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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 day’s 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! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Stop, Listen and Consider

April 27, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (Good News Translation – Job 37:14-16): 14Pause a moment, Job, and listen; consider the wonderful things God does. 15 Do you know how God gives the command and makes lightning flash from the clouds? 16 Do you know how clouds float in the sky, the work of God’s amazing skill?

THOUGHTS: I’ve often said around my house that if my family could move to the garden in quiet solitude, without any electronics, including the house phone, and just listen to the birds sing, catch a glimpse of the beautiful creation that God has put in place for us, and after a period of quietness before God, just chat with each other, I believe we would draw closer to God and to each other – if we don’t go totally insane through withdrawal symptoms!!! Ever noticed how we must always be attached to a device of some sort, or have background noise to seemingly block out the quiet? It ‘kills’ me to call someone and compete with the loudness of their television set while trying to speak to them! Like Job, I believe that often someone may try to comfort us or share a message with us, and our minds are so busy that we hardly remember they were in the same room with us. Can this happen with God? Of course it could, for often it’s not until we are laid out on our backs, that we stop, listen, and look up to God to consider how helpless we are without Him. Unfortunately, it’s often not until we have tried everything and failed, before we finally decide to call on God and seek His help. Friends, I believe that it is critical that we make time in our day to get alone with God. We need time in His Word so that we can listen for His voice through the written Word, but we need to stop the busyness of our lives for a few minutes each day to stop and gaze into the wonderful face of our Lord and give welcoming time for Him to just minister to us. Please don’t try to convince me, or God, that you just don’t have time for one more thing in your already busy schedule. When challenged by your accountability partner about your time with the Lord, try saying that it was just not a priority for you that day. For not having time for something directly relates to those things you gave priority to, or didn’t make priority for. I believe that if you respond in this way, you will be quickly challenged by God to reconcile who really is first in your life!

PRAYER: Father, ashamedly I come before You recognizing that the above sermon was first preached to myself, for I allow my day to be filled with so much that I often fail to step away from all of the modern day devices and distractions to truly look into Your wonderful face and savor time with You. I thank You for Your Word, and Your help in giving me energy to meet with you very early each morning to hear You speak through the written Word, but I would love to have time alone, with no other activities or time constraints, so that I might hear You speak through Your creation. Like Job, I have deliberately imposed upon myself very tight and busy schedules. In fact, it may even appear that I have scheduled You right out of my life, and for that I must apologize and seek Your forgiveness. I believe that many of my friends reading this devotional may have developed the same bad habits, so I beg You to patiently speak with each of Your children today and remind us of the importance of our time with You. I could only imagine how You must wait for us each day, and wind up disappointed at how we’ve scheduled You out of our lives yet another day. Please forgive us Lord, and please don’t give up on us. We need Your powerful touch upon our lives, so that we might be revived in our spirits and return to making the ‘main thing’ the ‘main thing’ once again. I ask all this in the patient, yet all-powerful name of Jesus, my 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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 day’s 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! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Evidence & Results of True Faith

April 25, 2015

The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – Hebrews 11:13-16): 13 Every one of those people died. But they still had faith, even though they had not received what they had been promised. They were glad just to see these things from far away, and they agreed that they were only strangers and foreigners on this earth. 14 When people talk this way, it is clear that they are looking for a place to call their own. 15 If they had been talking about the land where they had once lived, they could have gone back at any time. 16 But they were looking forward to a better home in heaven. That’s why God wasn’t ashamed for them to call him their God. He even built a city for them.

Thoughts: I believe I was renewed in my faith as I read this scripture, and was reminded of the faith shown by our forefathers. The writer reminds us that all the faith shown by these powerful men of God, such as Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Jacob was not necessarily on the promises that would be revealed to them during their lifetime, but because their minds were not fixed on eartly things and/or places, God was not ashamed of their human failures and instead prepare a heavenly home for them that, no doubt, was their ultimate goal. I am reminded of a saying that often we are so earthly minded that we are of no heavenly good!! It sounds just the opposite for these great saints, and I believe that this may be much of the reason why they were particularly made a part of the scriptures – to help show us what 'true faith' really looks like. To my readers, let me encourage you to join me in re-evaluating the level of our faith. Let's begin with evaluating our priorities – are they more earthly minded than heavenly? Do our actions reflect the qualities learned from our relationship with Christ, or those inherited from our earthly interactions? Would God be ashamed for us to say that He is our God, or would He be proud of His children? We have a hope friends! We have a heavenly home and a gracious heavenly Father that awaits our arrival in His presence. Are you ready? Let's make Him proud of us as long as we are allowed to remain on planet earth, and may others be drawn to our Savior through the faith they see in us!

Prayer: Father God, I thank You for the awesome experience of knowing You, and being blessed by the many ways that You have already touched my life. Please help my readers and I to place our relationship with You as our very top priority, and please help us to learn from the faith of our ancestors, while giving us the urgency to also allow our faith in You to be so obvious in us that those following in our footsteps would see more of Jesus than of our sinful selves. May our lives be so focused on You, oh Lord, that You would be proud to hear us call You our Father and our God. May all who come behind us find us faithful! I ask this in humility and in the wonderful 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 day’s 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! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

 

Faith Demonstrated

April 24, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Good News Translation – Hebrews 11:1-2, 7): 1To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see. 2It was by their faith that people of ancient times won God’s approval. 7It was faith that made Noah hear God’s warnings about things in the future that he could not see. He obeyed God and built a boat in which he and his family were saved. As a result, the world was condemned, and Noah received from God the righteousness that comes by faith.

THOUGHTS: I believe that way too often we take this word ‘faith’ very lightly, for we tell others that we have ‘faith’ in them, or we might say that “yes, I am a person of ‘faith'”, however as we read these verses in Hebrews I believe it is evident that ‘faith’ is much deeper in meaning than the ways that we use it in light conversation. I believe that our ‘faith’ in God is developed first through the things that we learn about God throughout His Word, and because of the ‘faith’ developed and shared with us by great men and women of God that we have come into contact with. These experiences reinforces the ‘faith’ that we gain in God and therefore results in the surrender of our lives to Him through accepting His Son Jesus as our Savior. Understand, we have never seen God, nor have we seen Jesus, but because of all that we have learned, and in turn trusted, we have developed a ‘faith in God. I also believe that sinful man will have no desire to know anything about God, so when one starts to question, or when one becomes curious about this God we know and adore, this is pretty good evidence that God is actively working on them already, for the Word tells us that God will draw mankind unto Himself. He made us, and He has the power to open our eyes to Truth, and to draw us to a relationship with Himself. There were other great men of God mentioned in verses 3-6 of this chapter, so let me encourage you to read the whole chapter. But notice in verse 7 that Noah had to say ‘no’ to the whole world and ‘yes’ to God when he did the extraordinary – built a huge boat on dry land with faith to know that God will bring rain for the very first time in the creation of the world, and that the ‘boat’ would be required by he and his family, in order to survive. That is a demonstration of ‘FAITH’ friends! Is that truly the type ‘faith’ you have when you use that word? If not, may I encourage you to get into God’s Word and read about how He created the earth and how He created our first ancestors, followed by one miracle after another. Invite Jesus to open your eyes of ‘faith’ so that you might believe. Then invite Jesus to be your Lord and Savior so that your ‘faith’ might develop and draw you closer to God that will result in total surrender of your life – in faith! It’s the only thing worthwhile and meaningful to mankind today, and I sincerely pray that each of you reading this devotional will make this relationship of which I have spoken about, a reality today. Seek God, while He is near and while you are still able to, friend.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I pray that we might be like the father in Mark 9:23-24 who cried out to God with all the faith he had, but asked Him for even more faith so that any gaps in his faith might be filled. Some reading this devotional today may feel like they have no faith at all, while others may feel like they have loads of faith, but….. May I please ask that You, oh God, might fill us with as much faith as You know we can handle, and as much as we need for each day. Lord, we believe, but please help our unbelief. We know You exist, and we know about Your power and awesome love for us, but we need so much more confidence in our Christian lives before we can say like Noah, ‘Yes’ to God, in spite of the whole world telling us it just can’t be right. Fill us with all the faith that we need, and that You know we can confidently handle. For those You have led to read this devotional who may not even know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, please help them to understand that this is the first step of ‘faith’, and is critical to their life here on earth and for eternity. I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, my Savior and my King, in whom I have placed my faith, 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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 day’s 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! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

God is Coming Soon!

April 23, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Hebrews 10:36-39): 36Learn to be patient, so that you will please God and be given what he has promised. 37As the Scriptures say, “God is coming soon! It won’t be very long. 38The people God accepts will live because of their faith. But he isn’t pleased with anyone who turns back.” (Habakkuk 2:3–4) 39We are not like those people who turn back and get destroyed. We will keep on having faith until we are saved.

THOUGHTS: To some who will read the subject and the Bible verses, we might hear “Come Lord Jesus, come!”, and they may be referred to by their friends as Paul said of himself, “They have fought a good fight and they have kept the faith, enter now into the kingdom of heaven prepared for you by our Lord”. However, some will try to claim the victory and protest their position with the Lord because of their giving, or church attendance, or the faithfulness of their parents, only to sadly hear the words of Jesus reverberate “I never knew you”. There will also be some who will face eternity as lost as they are here on earth, because they consider the Word of God as ‘fables’ or ‘meant for the people of old who knew no better’. Friends, I believe that you should clearly understand the intent of the gospel – the Word of God, and this scripture serves as a great tool to remind us of that. An example to help explain this might be the need for a driver’s license to legally drive a vehicle on the public roads of any country. You know, and understand that driving without that legal document could lead to a prison term for you. You should also clearly understand that you are required to surrender your life of sin, and ask for forgiveness from the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. According to John 3:16, God loves us all, and if we Admit our sin, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and Confess our unworthiness and our ‘lost’ condition without Jesus, then we will become His very special child; saved from this sinful world and kept secure in His keeping until the day He calls us home to heaven to live with Him eternally. So compare the two scenarios given: driving without legal permission (a driver’s license) will send you to prison; living without ever personally accepting Jesus as your Savior will lead to eternity in Hell with Satan. The choice is clear, but it is totally up to you to decide your destiny, or what you will do. My desire is that God will soften your hardened heart and lead you to the cross of Calvary where you would see the great love expressed by my Savior to make your only positive choice a viable option. The plan is in place Brother and Sister, the choice is entirely yours. Please be smart and choose faith in Christ. I really want to see you in glory where we will kneel together at the feet of Jesus and praise He and His Father forever!

PRAYER: Lord God, we are given the liberty of making choices every day. Often some will lead to success, while others lead to failure, and possible destruction. In Your Word, You revealed our options about whom we will serve while here on this earth, and where that will ultimately lead us to in death, as we know it here on earth. I thank You and praise You that I accepted the best option available for my life, and that, based on Your Word, I have fore-knowledge about where I will spend eternity when the day comes for my graduation from earth to my new home in Heaven! I believe You have led me to clearly explain the above to my readers today so that they may KNOW in whom they believe, and with whom they will spend eternity. I humbly plead for Your help to those who are challenged with making a sound choice today. Please, may this be the day of clarity of mind and sound decisions, so that all who have received this challenge will walk away having made the only decision that leads to eternal life with You in heaven. I ask all this in faith, and in the name of Jesus, my Lord and soon coming King, 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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 day’s 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! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Important Responsibilities of the Christian

April 22, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Hebrews 10:23-25): 23 We must hold tightly to the hope that we say is ours. After all, we can trust the one who made the agreement with us. 24 We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things. 25 Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord’s coming is getting closer.

THOUGHTS: There are some important reminders for Christians in these few verses today that, I believe, we can be encouraged by, and that also serve to show us our worth, while representing Christ here in this earth:

  • Because we can trust our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to do all that He has promised to us in His Word, we need to hold on tight to the hope this brings, and not let the trials and tribulations of this earth pull us down, which is exactly what Satan sets out to do every day with children of the Most High. In fact we need to memorize the scripture that Jesus used against Satan when He was being tempted by him (Satan) in the wilderness. Remember, the power of the One who lives inside of us (God’s Holy Spirit) is far greater than any obstacle that might be placed in our way. So let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, and not our circumstances;
  • Because of this hope that we have, we must be constantly aware of those around us who are getting bogged down in the trials of this world, and the adversary, Satan. Notice the Word said nothing about this being the responsibility of the pastor, although I’m sure that he equally shares the responsibility that is ours. Friends, I believe that if we were to actively look for folk that we could encourage or minister to, we won’t have near enough time to sit and sour about the lack of attention the pastor may have paid to us when we attended church! My experience has been that the more we try to minister to others, the more we are ministered to by the Holy Spirit. Try to bless others, and watch double the blessings outpoured on yourself!
  • The Day of the Lord’s return is closer now than ever before. It is important that we get used to being around those that we hope to be in heaven with! Church attendance and worship times together are some of the best opportunities for us! Now I’m sure that many reading this can quickly tell me of the excuses why this just doesn’t work for you, but friends, the Word is clear. We are to not only make every effort to attend worship services, but go there with the intention of encouraging as many brothers and sisters as you can. This can be done simply through a smile, or a sincere handshake, or listening carefully to what the other person is sharing with you. Make them the most important person in the room while listening attentively to them. Share with them how God has blessed you. They might be encouraged to continue praying about a need. They might come back for the very next service because of the time you spent with them!

Friends, if you are challenged to do any of the above, may I suggest that you go back to square one and reacquaint yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ? All of the above is characteristic of the King, and since you are supposedly His child, you also should have these characteristics. I believe He is waiting and willing to help you mature in these qualities!

PRAYER: Father in Heaven, thank You for sending Your Son to live on earth and, in turn, showing us the way to live. Thank You for touching these great writers who shared Your heart with us throughout the books of the Bible, and making its contents so applicable to us even today. Please draw Your children closer to You, so that we might be reminded of how much more blessed it is to give, than to receive. Please help us to look for opportunities to minister to others, so that Your love might be expressed through us in the words that we speak, and in every opportunity we have to act in love towards others. Please fill us with Your character and help us to be better representatives of Yours each day, for I ask all this in the wonderful, matchless name of Jesus, my Lord and 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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 day’s 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! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Personal, Intimate Worship

April 21, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Hebrews 10:16-18): 16“When the time comes, I will make an agreement with them. I will write my laws on their minds and hearts. 17Then I will forget about their sins and no longer remember their evil deeds.” 18 When sins are forgiven, there is no more need to offer sacrifices.

THOUGHTS: In Jeremiah 31, Jeremiah spoke about the coming Messiah and the power He had over sin, however He was speaking to a people with hardened hearts and who only knew one way of seeing sins forgiven, and that was through sacrifices made at the temple. To the Israelites, any other preaching on forgiveness of sin was heresy. In the New Testament, and particularly in this passage being studied today, we see where Jeremiah’s prophecy is being repeated again in verses 16 and 17, because the people had fallen into a rut and chose to believe, and practice the same old teachings of their forefathers. This made me question if times have changed any for us today? Do we still attend church out of tradition, and practice forms of worship as passed on by our forefathers, or have we truly connected with the Holy Spirit of God that resides inside of us, and gladly anticipate times of worship so we could truly speak to God through the Lord Jesus Christ? Do we in all honesty, and in close communion with Jesus, place ourselves bare before Him and seek forgiveness of our sin, and just melt away into honest and sincere worship of the King of this universe, giving thanks for His bountiful mercies and His amazing grace? Do we leave a corporate worship service wondering if anyone else was in attendance that day, because all we remembered was the sweet time of fellowship and worship of the Savior that we immersed ourselves into, with God’s help? Knowing Jesus as our personal Savior, and continuing a sweet, honest relationship with Him each day, involves times that we stop, recognize Him for who He is, and worship Him as Master and Lord over our lives and everything around us. I believe that if we struggle with the latter, then perhaps we need to return to the former and insure that we have a personal relationship with Jesus! Where do you stand friend? Please talk to Jesus about this and make sure that all is well between you two!

PRAYER: Father, thank You for making us so that we would have a relationship with You, and a heart and mind to worship You. Please forgive us for failing miserably in the aspect of personal worship, and so often blaming our lack of desire on our worship teams, or our pastors, or the tone of the services that we attend – if we find time to attend. We are such an ungrateful bunch dear Lord, please forgive us. You gave the very life of Your one and only Son as a sacrifice for us. You’ve brought us through many trials and burdens, yet we pitifully proclaim that we were not ‘led into worship’ at a church service. Father, I believe that my heart is filled to overflowing from the many blessings that You willingly pour out on me, and the overflow alone is enough to fill times of worship and adoration as I come before You. I praise You Lord Jesus for all that You have done for me. I thank You for forgiveness of my sin. I am again reminded that there is nothing I can place at Your altar in place of my sin, but because of the shedding of Your precious blood on Calvary, I can seek Your forgiveness and know that my sin is forgiven! Blessed be the name of the Lord, most high! I worship You, and I lift my voice… Please touch the heart of each one meditating on this devotional today dear God. May they release the offering of praise that is welled up inside of them! May I always give thanks for who You are, praise You for Your amazing grace, and place these petitions at Your feet, humbly asking all this in the wonderful name of Jesus, my King, my Lord and my wonderful 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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 day’s 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! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Believers Are Made Perfect!

April 20, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Message – Hebrews 10:12-14): As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process.

THOUGHTS: Before you conclude that I am crazy in believing that I, or any other believer in Christ, might be ‘perfect’, as announced in my blog title today, please read the Holy Scripture quoted directly from the book of Hebrews in the New Testament of the Holy Bible. You see, God created us and placed us here in a perfect world that He created for us to enjoy. However, God gave us the freedom to live our lives like we want to. Given the knowledge that God is the only ‘Perfect One’, mankind tried finding ways to draw close to God. Unfortunately, in spite of trying every type of sacrifice and trying to obey every type of man-made law, yet a large gap remained between God and man. I don’t believe that God ever wanted us to stay at odds with Him, so He sent His very own Son, Jesus, as a final, and ultimate, sacrifice to provide a very simple means for mankind to seek forgiveness, and to bridge the gap between God and man caused by sin. This process was explained in our passage as Jesus, the only Perfect One, making the way for an imperfect people like us (where sin had created a gap between God and us) to become perfect, even as He is ‘perfect’ before God the Father. Friends, I believe that many times our churches today still try to complicate this process by throwing in many rules and stipulations of their own. I believe that many spiritual leaders today still find it challenging to accept that God made it so simple for us to be made ‘perfect’ just as He and His Son Jesus are perfect. In a life of imperfection, or life without Christ, I’m afraid that you tend to look at life like a pessimist who looks at a glass half filled with water and sees it as almost empty. For Christians who truly know the ‘Perfect One’ in a very personal and victorious way, our glass is always nearing capacity, because we know the hope that our future holds! To live here on earth as a witness to others, is a glorious life! But to be called out of this world to be with Jesus and His Father, is truly beyond our earthly description and/or imagination, for that will be glory, be glory for us!! Have you been introduced to this ‘Perfect One’ that I call my Savior and Lord? Please refer to my ‘Footnote’ for a means of introduction, or at least for contact information so that I may personally introduce you to Him!

PRAYER: To the only true and ‘Perfect One’, I come before You with a heart filled with thanksgiving, for sending Your Son Jesus, to provide the means for us to also become ‘perfect’ in Your eyes. I am amazed yet again by the love that You have shown, Thank You Lord for Saving My Soul‘. While perfection, for the purpose of being better than others is not my goal, I sincerely desire to overcome the temptations of this world and to be more like You in every way possible. I want to see my Savior when called away from this earth, and knowing that He is the ‘Perfect One’, I know that I must strive towards the perfection that only You can provide, so Lord I place my life in Your hands today and ask for a special touch from You. I pray that my friends who are led to this blog today will receive rich blessings from a ‘Perfect Savior’ who loves them so much that He gave His very life for them. Lord, You are so good to us! Bless us this day with Your ongoing hand of perfection. I pray and ask all this in the matchless name of Jesus, 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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 day’s 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! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!