Archive for July 2015

It Is Time!

July 31, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (Contemporary English Version – Revelation 11:18): 18 When the nations got angry, you became angry too! Now the time has come for the dead to be judged. It is time for you to reward your servants the prophets and all of your people who honor your name, no matter who they are. It is time to destroy everyone who has destroyed the earth.” 

THOUGHTS: In this vision it is recognized that ‘the time has come’ to judge. Also, ‘it is time’ for God to reward His servants and prophets. Also, ‘it is time’ to destroy everyone else. Friends, while I believe that we all will be in that first group, we will only be in one of the latter two groups – based on decisions we make today on what we will do with Jesus. So of course, it is important that I ask you to soberly consider which of the latter two groups will you be in? Please don’t sit back and think for a moment that it makes no difference about what you decide, because God will ultimately decide which group He will place you in. For throughout God’s Word it is clear that no decision at all leads to an ultimate placement in the last group, as you decided today not to accept the free gift of eternal life through accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Conversely, it is also clear in the Word of God, that for those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ, they will have life eternal in heaven with Jesus and His Father (God). This seems like a decision that will not require very much thought, for who would consciously say ‘no’ to a friend who sacrifices His own life, so that you might live eternally? Best of all, this Savior of mine has offered this ‘gift’ of eternal life to you at no cost to you! No need to worry over the family savings plan having to be sacrificed so that you might have a future to look forward to! God has already paid the price through sacrificing His one and only Son on a cruel cross so that whoever accepts Him as Lord, might be free to enter heaven’s gates. I want to see you there friend! Please don’t disappoint me, and that includes not procrastinating in making vital decisions such as mentioned already. Today is the day!

PRAYER: Thank You Father for reminding us in Your Word how critical it is that we make sound decisions today. You have assured us only of the very moment in which we currently exist to make these decisions. Lord Jesus, please soften the hearts of those reading this devotional who may need to immediately make a decision to accept You as Lord, for I want the joy of knowing that this reminder not only served to excite me about my future home, but also served to convince a lost person about their need for a Savior. With this reminder indelibly printed on our minds, may we be wise and humble to prepare ourselves for group two and our ultimate union with You, face to face, in heaven! Oh what a day that will be! Thankful, yet asking a lot this morning, in the precious and bold 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 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 Extravagant, Generous, Deep Wisdom of God

July 30, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Message – Romans 11:33-36): 33-36 Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out. Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do? Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice? Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise!  Yes. Yes. Yes.

THOUGHTS: How Great is our God! Our God is an Awesome God! How Great Thou Art! Great and Mighty is the Lord our God! What a Mighty God We Serve! These are all great hymns/songs written and made popular because they remind us of the awesome God that we serve! Very often here in this life we feel like we can explain everything away. We have great knowledge and we have tremendous research capabilities with the internet. However, like we are reminded by Paul in this scripture today, there is so much that we just can’t explain about the awesomeness of our God. Think for a moment the sun that rises each day – it provides life for plants, yet its intensity is enough to give mankind skin cancer or a stroke. Think about the rain – this dry thirsty earth needs rain to grow its plants and even provide an ongoing supply of potable water, yet we have no control over when it comes, or what areas of the earth it impacts. It’s a ‘God’ thing! I just returned from an area of the world where they only receive a total of 8 – 10 inches of rain per year. Compare that to other areas that might receive that quantity of rain in a good day of rain. Yet, plants and people survive in both areas with what God provides for them. This is the ingenuity of my God! I believe that we must learn to adapt to the blessings that God bestows on us where we are at, for His ways are not our ways. He placed us perfectly where He needs us and we must learn to praise Him in all circumstances. In all of life’s circumstances, let us learn to give God praise. It is evidence that we trust Him to do His job perfectly!

PRAYER: Father, You are awesome in every way. You provide the things that we need when we need them. Please forgive us when we try to intervene, instead of praising You from hearts of thanksgiving and appreciation. Please be especially good today to those who have sacrificed everything, to serve those who have nothing, because they want to allow Your love to be expressed through them and draw the unsaved unto Yourself. Please tender the hearts of Your children who are spoiled because of all the blessings You bestow on us, yet we find reason to whine and complain. May this devotional today be a reminder of Your mighty and wonderful impact on our lives, and may we therefore learn to be a thankful people filled with hearts of thanksgiving and praise. Only You are worthy Oh Lord. May we learn to recognize that and glorify You every day for allowing us to be a part of that! I ask all this in the strong and awesome name of 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 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, pleas.e go to www.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!

Our Personal God!

July 29, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Message – Isaiah 43:2-4): “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end— Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you:

THOUGHTS: It seems like we are in very dire times where we often feel like we are in way over our heads – whether it’s finances, health issues, family issues, work challenges or just coping with everyday life. I was extremely happy to be reminded of the awesome love, power and overwhelming concern my heavenly Father has for even me, when I read these verses today. Friends, just imagine:

  • I’ve been redeemed by the King of all kings;
  • He has personalized our relationship to the extent that He calls me by name and reassured me that I am His!
  • I am assured that even when I feel like I am in over my head that He is there with me!
  • At times when it seems like the waters are rough and I struggle to see light at the end of the tunnel, God assures me that I will not go down, for my hand rests in the hand of the Rock of all ages! My Strength and my everlasting Guide. My Savior and my Lord! No worries about hitting a dead end!

Friends, I am reassured in the latter part of these verses that because God paid such a huge price for me, I can rest assured that He has my back and that I am in good hands. You can have this same assurance friend. Contact me using the information in the Footnote and allow me to introduce you to my Friend! My Master and my personal God!

PRAYER: Oh what a Savior, oh hallelujah! Thank You Father for loving me enough that You’ve allowed me to have a personal relationship with You, the designer and maker of this entire universe. Wow, who am I that a King would die and live for? I am so thankful that You drew me to You and rescued me from a world of sin – pointing me instead towards the joys of heaven and eternity with You in heaven. There is nothing more that I can live for Jesus! Thank You for the cross and for the joys of heaven that is mine, because of all that You did for me. Please touch the lives of all that will read this devotional today. May they also find joy in serving You and drawing closer to You every day. I ask all this in the awesome and powerful 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 www.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!

Instruments To Be Used of God

July 29, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Message – Romans 11:16-18): 16-18 Behind and underneath all this there is a holy, God-planted, God-tended root. If the primary root of the tree is holy, there’s bound to be some holy fruit. Some of the tree’s branches were pruned and you wild olive shoots were grafted in. Yet the fact that you are now fed by that rich and holy root gives you no cause to crow over the pruned branches. Remember, you aren’t feeding the root; the root is feeding you.

THOUGHTS: The scripture that includes the verses above is rich, for it reminds me that I must be careful that my faith and trust is so grounded in God that my life is a reflection of all that God shows Himself to be in His Word. I’ve heard folk say that a child is a branch off the old tree – meaning that the child reminds them so much of the parents that one can’t help knowing who the child belongs to. Friends, there is a God who loves us unconditionally and with such great love that He sacrificed His only Son for our benefit. When we surrender our lives to God and ask Him to be our God, and to live and work in and through us, we essentially ask Him to plant Himself steadfastly in us so that our lives might be a true reflection of Him. Paul explains in these verses that God is able to implant within us His Holy Spirit to guide and direct us – to make us holy – just as He is holy. However, we are immediately warned that when we recognize this added strength and wisdom, we are to never lose sight of where that new character comes from. It is the root, or strength of the Almighty that lives within us, and nothing that we ourselves can boast of. Friends, I believe that there is nothing more obvious to a non-Christian than a fake, or self-serving Christian living life in their own pride. We are what we become, only through the grace of God, and only because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Let us therefore learn to boast only of Him and give Him the glory for any accomplishments in and through our lives. It is only through the precious fruit that He implants in us and magnifies through us that result in our unsaved friends recognizing the source of our hope. It’s all about Jesus, friend. He is the root that supports our strength and feeds our growth. It’s Jesus that our unsaved friends need, not us. I pray that we will continue to be vehicles in which Jesus can travel as we come into contact with our friends and loved ones.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, Israel may have gotten cocky because of the manifold mercies You bestowed on them. I recognize that we may tend to get like that at times also, because for some reason we may feel like we have the power to save or touch lives that really need You. Thank You for reminding us through this scripture today, that we are only the branches that are plugged into the most powerful source available to mankind – the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ! Please help us to never boast of self, for we are nothing without our power source – Your sweet Holy Spirit. Please help us to always be available to be used of You, and never assume the leadership role hoping that You will jump on board our vehicle. Miracles, like that of new birth in the lives of our family and friends, will only be possible when You touch their lives, so please help us to take our rightful roles as Your instruments that can only work when the Master chooses to use us for His glory and His honor. People Need the Lord more today than ever before. May we be usable instruments in Your hands oh Lord. I ask this in faith and in the awesome and strong 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 www.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!

Justice, Fairness and Righteousness

July 27, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Message – Amos 5:21-24): 21–24 “I can’t stand your religious meetings. I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes, your public relations and image making. I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to me? Do you know what I want? I want justice—oceans of it. I want fairness—rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want.

THOUGHTS: I have just returned from a trip into another world, it seems, so I hope that my view on the scripture that really spoke to me this morning will not be too slanted! It was good to step back from our busy world and enjoy the peace, obscurity, simplicity and humbleness of all that God provides for us, if only for a week. Yes, we missed the conveniences and pleasures of this world and all that we are blessed with in our modern world. However, after being reminded by Amos in this scripture today about how God must feel when we feel obligated to provide everything that our world demands, just so that they might listen to the gospel message, then I wonder how much of God we must truly portray to the world. In these few verses, God not only said what He was displeased with, but He also told us what would really make Him pleased: Oceans of justice; Rivers of fairness and a true, honest, one-on-one, heartfelt song to the Master. Sounds fairly simple right? Sounds like something we do almost every day, but at least once a week during our church service, right? Friends, I believe that God is just as anxious today, as He ever was, to hear from us personally with our praise and worship and not just to raise our hands and voices in worship when asked to do so by our worship leader. Think for a moment how thought provoking it is to prepare a day of celebration for a loved one’s birthday or anniversary, yet how little thought we put into preparing for our daily worship of God, or even our weekly corporate worship time. Yes, we really put time into planning what we will wear to church, but do we stop to ponder what all God has blessed us with during the week so that we might truly look full into His wonderful face and just worship Him with a thankful heart? One translation includes ‘righteousness’ (right-with-God) as a characteristic in verse 24 that God is looking for in His people. May I suggest that as we look for justice in God’s form, fairness in His example and righteousness sampled after His righteousness, that we will have no trouble lifting up holy hands and hearts in worship to our King in a manner acceptable to Him?

PRAYER: Lord God, You alone are holy, just, fair and righteous. You have blessed us with so much and shown us how to live this life imitating Your characteristics in every way, yet we so easily allow this world to sway our thoughts, our character and even our appreciation of You. Please forgive us for straying so far away from Your ideals and the example You set for us. Please help us to return to the basics of what You have taught us, what You have exampled for us and what You expect from us – as detailed in Your Word. May we learn to be more like You every day and in every way, is my humble prayer that I ask in the precious and holy 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 www.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!

No ‘Nuggets’ this week…..

July 20, 2015

PLEASE NOTE: I will be out of town on a mission trip to be of service to our friends in Mexico during the week of July 19th. I will not be able to publish these devotionals during that time. Please pray that God will use His servants, our group of 30, so that His children in this foreign land might be encouraged and drawn to Him through our honest and sincere representation of our Savior. May God be glorified in all things through our witness! I expect to resume these devotionals on Monday, July 27th.

The Tender Compassionate Love of Our Father

July 18, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Hosea 11:3-5): 3 I took Israel by the arm and taught them to walk. But they would not admit that I was the one who had healed them. 4 I led them with kindness and with love, not with ropes. I held them close to me; I bent down to feed them. 5 But they trusted Egypt instead of returning to me; now Assyria will rule them.

THOUGHTS: I believe that one of the most antagonizing things that a parent can experience is: after bringing a child up in the fear of the Lord, loving that child and teaching them to honor and respect mankind, giving them an education to help them succeed in life, then for you to stand by and watch them throw it all to the wind and lead a life of crime, or unconcern for their fellow man. Imagine what that does to a parent. Imagine how God must feel when considering that He went the ultimate step of sacrificing His own life for our benefit, yet we brush it all aside and do our own thing without any regard for His reason for blessing us in unimaginable ways – His deep, sincere, unconditional love for us. This is what it sounds like Hosea was referring to in this scripture today, for God blessed Israel and then blessed her over and over again. In verse 4 I can picture how an earthly father would show only endless love for his child, and not in any way punish or revenge his child for the times they turned against him. Why at every opportunity, the dad would hold that dear child close to him, bend down so he could look the child in their eyes and feed them. Loads of evidence that not only earthly fathers pour out love for their children, but also a very clear indication that God’s love is at an even greater level. How are we doing in acknowledging the love of our heavenly Father? Do we show appreciation for His love by trying to be obedient followers, and by loving our earthly brothers and sisters in like form? Or are we as bad as Israel, in that we have learned nothing from their experience? Are we still as obstinate as they were? Are we OK with receiving the judgment of God that will ultimately be forthcoming for those who reject God and/or show total disregard for His Word and His commands? Friends, I want to encourage you to accept this precious love of our Father today. I want you to know without a shadow of doubt that He loves you just as much as expressed by Hosea in this scripture today. He will meet your needs, He will meet you wherever you are in life and He will feed you, if hungry; He will encourage you, if discouraged; He will be your constant guide, if you feel you are floundering; He will love you when you feel like no one else does. This is what He sacrificed His only dear Son for friend. Run to His open arms today. Ask Jesus to forgive you of your sin and total disregard for His love and sacrifice, and invite Him to be your Savior, Lord, King and eternal guide. Just make His day friend, and of course, make your everlasting eternity secure in Jesus!

PRAYER: Father, You showed such awesome love to Your chosen people of Israel, and we are thankful that we got to hear about and meditate on that awesome love today. We are also aware of that same unexplainable, unconditional, unending love for us, because we know ‘more of the story’, and the sacrifice You allowed on Calvary by Your very own Son, Jesus. Thank You Lord for Your Blessings on Me! Please touch this child with a desire to return that love through my obedience to You and through my love and service to others. Lord there’s a day coming when I’ll be presented to You. May my other readers striving to live this life of which I refer here, join me at Your throne and be blessed to hear “well done good and faithful servant”. Here on earth we call that ‘accountability’, Lord may we live our lives knowing that we are accountable to You, the King of all kings, the Savior of this world! I ask these things in the beautiful, strong and awesome name of Jesus, AMEN!

PLEASE NOTE: I will be out of town on a mission trip to be of service to our friends in Mexico during the week of July 19th. I will not be able to publish these devotionals during that time. Please pray that God will use His servants, our group of 30, so that His children in this foreign land might be encouraged and drawn to Him through our honest and sincere representation of our Savior. May God be glorified in all things through our witness! I expect to resume these devotionals on Monday, July 27th.

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 www.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!

Oneness – So The World Might Know

July 17, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (God’s Word Translation – John 17:20-23): 20 “I’m not praying only for them. I’m also praying for those who will believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that all of these people continue to have unity in the way that you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they may be united with us so that the world will believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me. I did this so that they are united in the same way we are. 23 I am in them, and you are in me. So they are completely united. In this way the world knows that you have sent me and that you have loved them in the same way you have loved me.

THOUGHTS: In this chapter Jesus prayed to His Father for His disciples and the church at large. In these verses He prayed in all sincerity that those who know Him (Christians) would be in such unity that the people to whom they speak (the unsaved world) would believe in Him and accept Him as the Savior of the world sent by God the Father. Friends, I often reflect on what the opposite effect might be if the will of the Father is not accomplished. That leads me into considering what happens to the ministry of Jesus Christ when children of God can’t agree – when they fight and bicker among themselves so much that the unsaved world wants no part of the confused mess they see occurring in and among churches. Is it any wonder sometime why we stop and ponder why our ministries are ineffective? It seems like even among ‘friendly’ denominations, we go out to minister in Jesus’ name, and wind up putting down another denomination. Oh my, friend, that is not a sign of ‘oneness’. When our job description dictates that we spread the love of God, and our lives reflect the joy of the Lord living inside of us, doesn’t that mean that we should be so busy praising and bragging on our Lord that there will be very little time or desire to reflect on the beliefs of some that we may not agree with? In fact, when I reflect on this prayer of Jesus and really gain the breadth and depth of His heart as He prays to His father, I see where He really wants us to reflect the ‘oneness’ that He portrays with His Father. There is no where in scripture that Jesus puts down His Father or speaks evil against Him or disagrees with Him. Instead, it is just the very opposite, for He respects the role of the Father in ultimately making decisions (especially about the second coming of Jesus), and He speaks as one and the same when conveying the truth and love of the gospel. So where do we get off at in being His follower, imitating Him in every way, yet being critical of fellow disciples who are working towards the same goal of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ? This type behavior or ministry will not serve the ultimate wish of Jesus in verse 21 when He prayed that we will go out and minister in such unity that the world (the unsaved) would know that God truly sent the One in whom we believe, and the One we are spreading Good News about. ‘Oneness’ points to us truly representing Jesus, who was sent and is representing His Father. Anything else tears down the ministry of Jesus Christ and promotes the intent and heart of Satan. I believe we all know what we should be busy doing today and every day of our life. Let’s get to work – unified in the Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ!

PRAYER: Father, please forgive us for our weakness in allowing so much of this world to indwell us and interfere in the ministry that You have aligned for us, and as these verses today reflect, that You have actually prayed for. Our lack of success in ministry is directly impacted by our disobedience to You and Your Word, and our selfish desire to tear down another while trying to promote our selfish goals. Reading these verses today causes me to seriously consider keeping these pinned in an obvious place for daily inflection, and as a guide towards my daily goal. Lord, I need Your power to overcome the desire to tear another down in order to promote self. May I ask that You grant me strength to overcome this weakness, but also to touch the heart of Your followers today and embed a deep desire within them to also do the same. Please strengthen and guide us towards ‘Oneness’ – the kind that You exampled before us in being ‘One’ with the Father. I ask this knowing that Your desire is that through our ‘Oneness’ the world will know that You were sent by the Father to save them. May this be accomplished today in and through your earthly representatives, for this is my pray that I ask in the name of Jesus, AMEN!

PLEASE NOTE: I will be out of town on a mission trip to be of service to our friends in Mexico during the week of July 19th. I will not be able to publish these devotionals during that time. Please pray that God will use His servants, our group of 30, so that His children in this foreign land might be encouraged and drawn to Him through our honest and sincere representation of our Savior. May God be glorified in all things through our witness! I expect to resume these devotionals on Monday, July 27th.

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 www.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!

Perseverance Pays Off

July 16, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (New International Version – James 1:12): 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 

THOUGHTS: We hear about ‘fair weather’ Christians, where we find it very easy to praise God when we feel like everything is going our way. We also hear about ‘hard times’ Christians, for it is only then that many of us look up to God and truly seek His face. Friends, as I read this verse this morning I felt like God was saying that He will truly bless us and/or reward us if we stick with Him while He is blessing us with riches and good fortunes, or testing our faith through very tough times. There’s a song that has lyrics similar to this “if I never have a burden, how would I know that God can truly pull me through“. I believe that ‘to persevere’ is to be consistent and/or dedicated in spite of our circumstances. Imagine taking a road trip from one location to another. You don’t turn around and head back home if your car has a flat tire, instead you have your problem repaired and then you travel on to your destination. On those trips when you’ve travelled hundreds of miles and arrive without incident, hopefully you then take time to thank the Lord for safety and protection on the road. These types of scenarios are similar to those that we face each and every day, and indicative of our walk with the Lord. If you are not already a praising person, may I encourage you to learn to ask God to bless you each day! Ask Him to use you as His faithful witness here on planet earth and to bring glory to Him in all things. Don’t place any conditions on that, such as “if things go my way” or “if there’s no setbacks”. Learn to praise God (persevere) in all circumstances and look for the lessons that He is teaching you, or how He uses those circumstances to redirect you into His perfect will. Oh that we may learn to let go of self and let God have His perfect will in our lives. Let’s commit to honor God, worship Him, serve Him and follow Him in spite of our circumstances. Obeying God in every circumstance, no matter where He leads, is an important way of showing our love towards God for His rich blessings, protection, guidance and leadership. This scripture assures us that when we do this, we are sure to receive a crown that God has promised to all who love Him.

PRAYER: Father in heaven, thank You for Your love and Your assurance of being our Guide, our Protector and our Provider each and every day. Please give us strength and fortitude to let go of our selfish desires and self-will to do ‘our own thing’ instead of leaning on the everlasting arms of the One who created us and who knows what lies ahead for us and the ones we need to help. Lord, may we learn to be as instruments in Your hands so that You may accomplish Your will through us in every circumstance of life. We are appreciative of our promised reward, but Lord, may we be content in knowing that we are obedient followers of the One who has this whole world in His hands and under His control. We are Your children Lord. We love You and long to be obedient in following Your plan for our lives. I ask these things in faith and in the precious and all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving name of Jesus, AMEN!

PLEASE NOTE: I will be out of town on a mission trip to be of service to our friends in Mexico during the week of July 19th. I will not be able to publish these devotionals during that time. Please pray that God will use His servants, our group of 30, so that His children in this foreign land might be encouraged and drawn to Him through our honest and sincere representation of our Savior. May God be glorified in all things through our witness! I expect to resume these devotionals on Monday, July 27th.

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 www.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!

Prepare for Praise and Worship!

July 15, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (Contemporary English Version – Revelation 4:8-11): 8Day and night they never stopped singing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord, the all-powerful God, who was and is and is coming!” 9 The living creatures kept praising, honoring, and thanking the one who sits on the throne and who lives forever and ever. 10 At the same time the twenty-four elders knelt down before the one sitting on the throne. And as they worshiped the one who lives forever, they placed their crowns in front of the throne and said, 11 “Our Lord and God, you are worthy to receive glory, honor, and power. You created all things, and by your decision they are and were created.”

THOUGHTS: If we were to give advice to an Olympic swimmer hopeful, it would be that they practice, practice and practice some more, right? So what if you were to give advice to a Christian who might be questioning what they could do to best prepare themselves for their eternal home in heaven? God has shared the above verses with us to give us a glimpse of what it will look like in heaven, our eternal destination. It seems like our preparation might be along the lines of constant praise and worship, to the Lord in whom we have placed our total trust, while here on earth. So how could we possibly prepare for such an awesome time as that? Perhaps like the Olympian swimmer, we should aim at practicing this praise and worship while still here on earth, and like the swimmer would try to improve his/her time, we too should look for ways to draw closer to God and express that closeness through our increased effort to lift up our praise and worship to our King. I believe that if I asked most Christians if they do a fair job at praise and worship already, I would probably receive some ‘canned’ responses, such as “yep, I attend worship services every weekend, and we have the best praise team in town”, or “we don’t need praise and worship at our church because our pastor is such a phenomenal preacher – we can just sit and listen to him endlessly”. I wonder sometimes if our first misconception of praise and worship, is that it can only occur inside a specific building at a specific time. Isn’t it amazing how we believe God is on duty to handle our prayer requests 24/7/365, yet our praise and worship to this same God is limited to specific times and places? Here’s something that Matthew Henry shared on this passage: All true believers wholly ascribe their redemption and conversion, their present privileges and future hopes, to the eternal and most holy God. Thus rise the for-ever harmonious, thankful songs of the redeemed in heaven. Would we on earth do like them, let our praises be constant, not interrupted; united, not divided; thankful, not cold and formal; humble, not self-confident. I believe that while here on earth we should learn to worship our King based on our heartfelt response to Him for His manifold blessings and in deepest sincerity and honesty to our Savior. This should not be something that is only turned on in time for our weekend services, but may our weekend services instead be filled with the overflow of our personal praise and worship to our King. May it not surprise God to see You lift up holy hands to him in church, or to hear you cry out in praise to Him during the church service, because He is so accustomed to seeing and hearing similar acts of praise and worship from you throughout the week. Friends, we are preparing for the greatest day in history, and to meet the awesome God who created mankind and everything in this world, let us be busy readying ourselves by doing all that we are should be doing here and now!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, it is so exciting to think about a time when we can bow before you with no external interruptions and just worship You as if no one else even exists. For those who are accustomed to lifting You up in praise and worship here on earth, this will be a natural transition. For those who depend on external resources to trigger their worship of You, they may find that they have missed out on an awful lot here on earth, and the idea of personal one-on-one worship may seem challenging. Lord, please open our hearts and our minds to be very aware of Your presence and Your unlimited blessings that You bestow on us daily. May it then come natural to us to burst into praise and worship of You, no matter where we are or who we are with. You deserve our praise today, and every day, as we move closer to the time when we will humble ourselves at Your feet in heaven. Blessed be the name of the Lord forever and forever! These things I ask in the name of Jesus, the name above ALL names, AMEN!

PLEASE NOTE: I will be out of town on a mission trip to be of service to our friends in Mexico during the week of July 19th. I will not be able to publish these devotionals during that time. Please pray that God might use His servants, our group of 30, so that His children in this foreign land might be encouraged and drawn to Him through our honest and sincere representation of our Savior. May God be glorified in all things through our witness! I expect to resume these devotionals on Monday, July 27th.

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 www.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!