Archive for September 2015

No Turning Back

September 30, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Voice – Hebrews 6:4-8): 4-6 It is impossible to restore the changed heart of the one who has fallen from faith—who has already been enlightened, has tasted the gift of new life from God, has shared in the power of the Holy Spirit, and has known the goodness of God’s revelation and the powers of the coming age. If such a person falls away, it’s as though that one were crucifying the Son of God all over again and holding Him up to ridicule. 7 You see, God blesses the ground that drinks of the rain and then produces a bountiful crop for those who cultivate it. 8 But land that produces nothing but thorns and brambles? That land is worthless and in danger of being cursed, burned to the bare earth.

THOUGHTS: I believe that the same types of problems that were being dealt with in the early church, are very evident in our churches and our world today. I believe the hardest part of this scripture is to imagine that one might be turned away at the cross. However, after closer study of this, I concluded that this is definitely referring to one who had given their heart to the Lord, enjoyed His blessings and His goodness, then went in a totally different direction that led to a very strong falling away from the faith. I don’t believe that there is a discussion as to whether the person is saved or not, but rather more about restoration of the heart. When one drifts away it is as if they are ignoring, or perhaps even denouncing the God in whom they claimed to have enjoyed a relationship. In fact, in this passage of scripture it suggests that this person is then very similar to the one that would have participated in the crucifixion of Christ, for they are literally denouncing the truth of what transpired in their life, and in the life that God provides to those who believe in Him. In fact, I believe that this deceiving action is the same as denouncing the Holy Spirit – the one unforgivable sin. Therefore I question if that’s not partially the reason why the writer felt like “it is impossible to restore the heart of one” such as described. I’m sure we’ll know when we sit at the feet of Jesus and can discuss all these questions in detail for a few hundred years!! However friends, the main thing I want to challenge you with today is that we should make every effort to not fall into the trap of falling away. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, His part of that covenant is to keep us secure in His hand throughout eternity. Why should we mean anything different? My greatest desire is that we will not fall into the trap of some who make a decision to do something, and that decision stands – until something better comes up. We expect God to keep His end of the covenant, I would encourage you to mean nothing less on your end of the same covenant.

PRAYER: Dear God, You have been so faithful to us, and I thank You very deeply for Your love in remaining faithful, even when I know that we have disappointed You. Please strengthen us with Your love and Your guidance today so that we may remain strong in the faith and totally committed to serving You all the days of our life. We tend to think of those who have chosen to step away from the faith, especially when we study scripture like the one today. However, if not for the grace of God, this could easily be us. So loving Jesus, please give us strength to be overcomers and totally committed to the everlasting covenant that we agreed to in accepting You, our everlasting Savior with whom we plan to spend eternity. I ask these things in the wonderful and blessed 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!

Our Accountability

September 29, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The New Living Translation – Hebrews 4:12-13): 12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

THOUGHTS: Ever get frustrated by someone telling you something, but not really telling you enough to help you understand the full impact of what they mean? Imagine telling a blind person that the sky is not blue today? Would that really help them understand what color the sky really is today? I got the impression from this scripture today that the Word of God is very much alive, meaning that it’s fresh, current, discerning, applicable, and will not cut any punches, but get straight to the point for us. It is through this same Word that God actually touches our heart, prompts our thoughts and energizes us towards living Godly lives that resemble His example. Think of it as us being an open book before God! So why is this important Christian friend? Surely God is saying to us that as a child we look to, and obeyed our parents in order to live obedient and upright lives. God is like our parent in helping us continue to determine right from wrong, and He sent His Son, Jesus, to set an example of the life He would like for us to live, and because we have invited Him to be our Father, we are His children and He will hold us accountable to all that He teaches. How are you doing with this? Are you in the Word enough to allow it to teach you the ‘right’ way to live – to walk, talk and act like Him? So then, why is this important to you who have not accepted my Lord as your Savior? I believe that there is no doubt that should remain in your mind about the choice you have made regarding the way to live your life. Without Christ, you will live by every shift of the wind, according to those around you and the circumstances that surround you. This will often lead to confusion, frustration, evil and hatred – just as the world lives. A choice to live a committed life to God, is a will to be obedient in ways that will please and honor God, to live according to the example He set for us while here on earth, and the excitement of living in the awesome expectation of one day being face-to-face with Jesus in glory. It’s the comfort of knowing that you are loved, protected and cared about by the God of this universe! How awesome is that friend? May I have the honor of introducing you to my Friend? Please read my ‘Footnote’ for additional direction. To all my readers, please read the last sentence carefully and understand that we are accountable to God for our decisions, our actions and our obedience. How would you fear if you were called before God today?

PRAYER: Dear God, we are so frivolous to believe that we can live our lives any way we please because of our freedom to choose. You gave us the freedom of choice, but we are accountable to You for the choices we make, and the resulting consequences or rewards for those choices. Please forgive us for our littleness in thinking that it’s nobody’s business but ours what we do with our life, for You sent Your one and only Son to the cross to help show us Your love and how much You care about our choices. Please awaken us and keep our eyes focused on You in all of our choices, and may this reflect in the way that we live, so that others might be drawn to You through our surrender, obedience and witness. I realize this is an awesome and powerful request Oh Lord, but because I am asking this in the name of my most awesome and powerful Savior, Jesus Christ, I am comforted that I can ask this in confidence and with thanksgiving. 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!

Why Jesus Came

September 28, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Hebrews 2:14-18): 14 We are people of flesh and blood. That is why Jesus became one of us. He died to destroy the devil, who had power over death. 15 But he also died to rescue all of us who live each day in fear of dying. 16 Jesus clearly did not come to help angels, but he did come to help Abraham’s descendants. 17 He had to be one of us, so that he could serve God as our merciful and faithful high priest and sacrifice himself for the forgiveness of our sins. 18 And now that Jesus has suffered and was tempted, he can help anyone else who is tempted.

THOUGHTS: There once was a gentleman running for governor who went to various job sites and worked at least a day in the workers’ shoes in order to see what he needed to correct or improve upon when we became governor. There is a local rehabilitation center that sends out it’s trainers to various job sites, so that when their clients are hired, the trainer will know exactly how to best train them for that specific job. I am in awe of how, the God of this universe could easily call into existence any and everything for us to benefit from, or protect us from the greatest fears that we might have, yet He knew that we would more easily accept someone who has been there and done that. He foreknew that this would be super important when it comes to us taking our petitions and our fears and our needs and our frustrations before Him! We are reminded in this scripture today that Jesus, God’s only beloved Son, was sent to earth for us and only us. He became just like us, so that He could witness firsthand why we would feel so despondent when coming before Him over the loss of a family member or friend, for He witnessed this through the death of His dear friend Lazarus. Or how we must feel when we are left alone to fend for ourselves, perhaps because of our blindness or because we might be crippled or otherwise immobile, for He stopped a procession to speak with, and heal a man waiting along the roadside, because the crowd chose to quiet him down rather than help him up. Remember that He also placed simple dirt on a man’s eyes to restore his sight? Friends, I believe this scripture is an awesome reminder that when we take our burdens, our concerns, our heartaches and share how despondent we are, before our gracious, all powerful, almighty God, we will know that He can identify with us. Jesus was saddened to tears when His friend Lazarus died, don’t you know that He also feels our pain when we hurt so badly at times because of life’s circumstances? For those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, may I remind you that we have a definite hope dear friend? We have a Savior, who not only hears our cries, but has already prepared a place for us in Heaven where we will spend eternity with He and His/our Father! This is exciting, and fills my heart with hope, especially as I deal with so many of life’s circumstances each day. For those who have not surrendered your life to Jesus yet, may I suggest that there is nothing to compare to the hope and joy of knowing Jesus. It’s like looking forward to the end of the day knowing that you have a peaceful home to go to with a loving spouse who awaits you! Jesus is ready to welcome you home friend, but you must make the first move in the ‘free-will’ given to you over your life by God. May I encourage you to take advantage of the day and hour in which you might read this reminder? Jesus tells us in His Word that “Today is the accepted day”. Won’t you be obedient to His call?

PRAYER: Father, there are many days when life here on earth seems so hopeless to many of Your children. May this be a reminder today that because of Your love for us, You have made every provision for our future. May the unsaved be reminded that this is not an automatic protection for every person, but rather for those who would like to see a brighter future and have accepted Your offer of salvation – the only means for us to enter an eternal future in heaven with You. Thank You for coming to earth to better identify with our challenges. May this serve to help unbelievers more openly share their heart with You and accept the love that You offer. With a heart of thanksgiving and love, I want to thank You Lord for hearing my prayer, for I ask this in and through the strong name of Jesus, the name above all other names, 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!

If You SEE Jesus You Will Worship Him

September 26, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Matthew 28:16-17): 16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!

THOUGHTS: In our scripture reference today we see one of many instances where folk saw Jesus, and they bowed and worshipped Him. I acknowledge that this particular instance is so miraculous that it would cause anyone to ‘worship’, because Jesus was crucified, died, buried, three days later arose from the dead, and now stands in their very presence. However, how often do we stand in awe of the presence of the Lord Jesus, but do we even acknowledge Him and/or offer up our sacrifices of praise to Him? Matthew Henry in his commentary on this verse says “All that see the Lord Jesus with an eye of faith, will worship him.” I could almost imagine by now you are dumbfounded as to what I might be getting at here, because the Lord Jesus stood in the presence of the disciples, and you probably can’t remember the last time that He did that to you, right? Friends, we are presented with reminders of our Lord Jesus every day and we make personal choices as to what we do with that. If you pick up the precious Word of God and read it, you will be flooded with evidence and overwhelmed by the presence of God as you read about Him, but do you stop to worship Him and acknowledge His greatness? If you walk out of your home and stop complaining about the humidity long enough to see the beauty of all that God has provided for you to enjoy, you might consider raising your hands in praise to Him for His miraculous touch on everything from the heights of the skies to the beautiful green grass and flowers that you see, to the cattle that produces dairy products and/or beef for your plate. If you enter God’s house of worship and hear the stories of how God has miraculously healed and/or touched His children, you will worship Him knowing that there is still hope for Him to also miraculously help you through your challenges that seem so unsurmountable to you. Friends, it is time for us to stop whining and start praising. It is time for us to stop attributing God’s miracles that occur all around us every day, to happen-chance, or good luck, or any other worldly credit, and truly SEE God in our miracles and then worship Him in deep sincerity like the disciples exampled for us in this scripture. Jesus is still alive and He is looking for opportunities to bless you, if only you will let Him into your world. Won’t you do that today friend?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your presence each and every day. Please forgive us for the times that we find every other reason in the world why something special occurred in our life, before we finally realize that it truly was the God of this universe that stepped in and took care of our situation. You have provided lots of evidence of your miraculous hand at work in our lives and all around us. Please open our spiritual eyes so that we may SEE Your goodness, Your miracles and Your love that You want so badly for us to accept and envelope. Lord, may we truly learn to worship You in every way, because of all that You place before us as evidence of Your presence. Please also open the eyes of the non-believer today so that they will realize that there is no other explanation for the miracles around them other than the awesome power and greatness of the Almighty God. Lord I pray that our worship and our praise will come naturally, as we recognize the originator of our blessings. Thank You for being so good to us! I ask these things in the gracious 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!

Dealing With Sin

September 25, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The New Living Translation – Genesis 27:26-28): 26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime. 27 Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our own flesh and blood!” And his brothers agreed. 28 So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt.

THOUGHTS: Sometimes the best way to understand how to properly deal with an issue is to look at situations where a similar instance was not handled properly, or as in the case today, where the corrective actions led to even more sin. The first sin that I see evident in the case of Joseph’s brothers is jealousy. They were at a stage of hatred for Joseph, because of the love shown towards him by their father. Had they taken time to deal with that sin, I believe the chances of the additional sinful actions may not have transpired. However, because they didn’t take care of the jealousy problem the following additional sin occurred:

  • They would not talk to their brother – an obvious sign of jealousy and hatred;
  • They jumped to conclusions about his dreams that only developed more envy and hatred;
  • They opted to kill their brother when he was sent to the field by his dad, to check on them;
  • They chose to override the last sin by what they thought may have been a lesser sin, they chose to desert Joseph in a pit in the wilderness so he could, supposedly, die naturally;
  • Because the last thought would still involve them placing hands on Joseph and deliberately throwing him into the pit, they opted instead to sell him to traders. Human Trafficking today is a horrific crime getting more attend than terrorism. It was no better back when Joseph was sold, as there were no assurances as to what would happen to him after being under the control of his new masters.

Friends, are we any different today? God’s Word teaches us to bring our burdens and our concerns to Him. It also teaches that we are to love others as we love ourselves and that vengeance is mine (the Lord’s), so why would we take it as our job to bring vengeance on that friend who is not acting like we think they should. Our responsibility is to love them with the love of God and earnestly pray for their best interest and their personal relationship with God. As Christians, we are to imitate Christ. So how did He act when we sinned? He loved us enough that He willingly went to the cross of Calvary to open the gates of heaven for us. Because of His sacrifice for us – while we were still steeped in sin, we now have access to the forgiveness of our sin and a straight path to glory to be with Jesus and His/our Father.

PRAYER: Thank You for giving us options dear God. Thank You also for giving us wisdom, and access to You, so that we would make the best choices in the options presented to us each day. It is unfortunate that our natural desire tends to automatically lead us to revenge, or deeper and/or additional sin. Please provoke us to once again praise You today for being our guide and our deliverer from the evil one, and instead lead us in the paths of righteousness, when we place our faith and trust in You. Lord, we read about the actions that Joseph’s brothers took, and we quiver over the fact that they were so cruel. However, I believe that You must also look at us, your proclaimed children who have surrendered our lives to You, yet we often act in much the same way towards our Brothers and our Sisters. Please forgive us oh Lord, and renew within us a right spirit – one that aligns with Your Word, and Your life as demonstrated while here on earth. I believe that Christians living any other way than matching Your expectations are useless to Your kingdom. May we be true to You in every way and live lives pleasing to You in every way, is my humble prayer that I ask in the name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or 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!

Preparing For Desertion

September 24, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The New Living Translation – Matthew 26:33-35): 33 Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” 34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” 35 “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same.

THOUGHTS: Imagine for a moment the feeling of walking into a room with your subordinate staff and hearing them put you down to an indescribable degree – imagine how you will feel. Then imagine that there is a dangerous situation at hand, and all of your closest friends come and look on, but choose not to get involved, so they just move on and leave you to suffer through it. That’s how Jesus must have felt when Peter and his peers did exactly as I described, even after talking about the subject in advance. Now take a moment and think about how Peter must have felt. He swore up and down that he would never forsake his Lord, yet he did. By now you are probably anxious to see how this might apply to you and I, right? May I suggest to you that in the heat of our conversion, we all probably swore up and down that our decision and commitment was an eternal one and that we would live the rest of our days standing up and promoting Jesus, until the day He calls us together in heaven. So let’s look at what might have been important to us at the time we made such an awesome commitment: Probably things like Bible study, so we could learn as much about the Lord and His commands for our lives? Perhaps attending every church service possible, so we could learn from those who are also striving for the same direction as we are, and encouragement from the ways that God is alive and working in their lives? Probably to be a model Christian to any and all of our coworkers, friends or family, so they could look at us and see Jesus, or hear from, and be encouraged that we are speaking with the wisdom and faith of one who is walking the talk? So what has happened friend? Have you been, and are you still faithful to these things? Please don’t try to convince yourself that these things are no longer relevant, for God’s Word will prove you wrong in that. Desertion immediately hurts the one you are deserting, so please don’t hurt my Lord today. Desertion also hurts the one doing the deserting, so please don’t put yourself in that position today. All of the actions I suggested were probably important to you as a new Christian, but they are still just as relevant to you today. Seek God’s help, then concentrate on these things to help cement a solid relationship with your Lord today. He has promised never to leave or forsake you, please don’t even think about doing just that to Him. He loves you way too much to deserve that kind of treatment. To the unbeliever reading this devotional, may I remind you that your ongoing desertion will lead you through much ‘hell’ here on earth, but to an even worst place when you leave this world. Jesus loved us just as we were when He went to the cross for us. He still loves you enough to forgive you of your sin and direct you through the Christian life that I have described, but He wants you to ask for it. May I encourage you to read the tips I have included in my ‘Footnote’ and make this very important, life-changing decision today?

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for often falling into the same path of Peter and his peers. We understand that the flesh is weak, even when the intent of our hearts are in the right place. This is evidence that we can’t do this alone. We need You, Heavenly Father, to fill our hearts with Your love and Your priorities, but most of all with obedience and faithfulness to Your powerful Word. Please use this devotional to stir the hearts of the saved, and provoke a renewed desire within the hearts of the unbelievers, so that today might be the day of salvation for them. We never want to be guilty of desertion. So help us to be faithful and true to You and strengthen the bond that must exist between us in order to fight off the evil one and fully serve You for the rest of our lives. Only You can intervene and help us achieve this kind of perfection Father, so I ask this in and through 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 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!

Accountability Matters

September 23, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The New Living Translation – Matthew 25:19,29): 19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.

THOUGHTS: In today’s society we are very investment conscious, because we want to see our retirement dollars stretch as far as possible. To make sure that this occurs, we are trained to look for the best investors – people we can trust to achieve the same goals that we set for ourselves, and we hold them accountable to do just that for us, or we consider changing to a different investor. This is similar to what occurred in this story, for Jesus used an illustration of giving three individuals money, then returning to see whether they were responsible with the money. May I suggest that God has also given each of us great talents, gifts, abilities and opportunities and He will one day look for our response on how well we’ve done with those gifts? There’s a popular saying that if you don’t use a gift you might lose it. I wonder how many of us have already lost most of what God has blessed us with, because we have refused to invest our lives into the needs of others. When we give a gift to a kid, then see them abuse it and destroy it in no time at all, it often frustrates us and makes us angry. Do you suppose that God should feel any different? In verse 29 Jesus said that if we choose to ignore and not use the gifts we are blessed with, we will lose them. Please consider using all that you have, to bless as many as you can. I believe it is clear from verse 29 that our remaining gifts will be multiplied, not the opposite like the world might expect. It matters to God what we do with our gifts, He holds us accountable. Let’s make Him proud today as we seek to serve Him by helping others.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for Your blessings on me! Thank You for the gifts You shower on me and thank You for opportunities every day to use those gifts to bless others. Please touch the hearts of those who will meditate on this devotional today. May we all recognize our gifts and be willing to see them multiplied, by helping others in every way possible. We want to hear your words of affirmation “Well done good and faithful servant” when challenged by you with our accountability question. Please grant us grace to be obedient in every way to the needs You present to us every day. Thank You Lord for being so good to us. May we be faithful to You. For I ask this in the strong and faithful 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!

Created to Be Virtuous

September 22, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The New Living Translation – Ecclesiastes 7:28-29): 28 Though I have searched repeatedly, I have not found what I was looking for. Only one out of a thousand men is virtuous, but not one woman! 29 But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.”

THOUGHTS: We often hear the term ‘Virtuous Woman’, especially around Mother’s Day, but I found these two verses touching and challenging. In fact, God really got my attention through these verses. Let’s first define the word ‘virtuous’ – “conforming to a high, moral and ethical standard”. Later in this chapter it is referred as ‘honest and true’. So I believe that God is really saying through His word here, “Hey, I made you to be honest and true, virtuous in every way, so how did you get to where you are today?” Now friends, as you consider this and perhaps seek God’s face about being more virtuous, I want to encourage you to put down your glasses of piety. Relax your pride and selfishness for just a moment. Be reminded that you are looking to the God of this universe for answers. Be willing to open your eyes, your ears and your heart to what He might respond, realizing that He not only knows everything about you, but is very aware of even your inmost thoughts. Remember, He created you! But what’s super important today is that He made you to be ‘virtuous’. Unfortunately, I believe that we are much like the folk that Solomon was thinking of when he penned these words – there wasn’t one who could be found in the whole lot, that he considered ‘virtuous’. So what’s the problem folk? I believe that it’s a small three letter word that has drastically impacted on our lives – SIN. Remember, God will not abide where sin abounds. Solomon said that we have each turned to follow our own downward path. In other words, a path that leads to nothing Godly or nothing good. Friends, if God created us to be virtuous, then I am convinced that He wanted us to live virtuous lives that He could be proud of and use for His earthly work. Are you worthy of this, or have you followed your own downward path that is good for nothing that imitates God? Christians, we are not perfect – just forgiven, so this challenge very much applies to you. Non-Christian, you may tend to think that you are so entrenched in sin that there is no way that you can ever be classified ‘Virtuous’. I have great news for you friend. God loves you and with such passion that He decided even while we were deep in sin, to send His only Son into this world as a sacrificial lamb, providing the only means for salvation and ultimately, virtuous living. This is all accomplished with Him as our Guide, our Defender, our Redeemer, our Master and our Lord. Jesus alone can turn your life around, and into something beautiful that can be used for His glory. Will you let Him do it? My ‘Footnote’ contains helpful tips.

PRAYER: Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, for I can hardly imagine the love of a Savior for those who had you crucified, yet You went to the cross for us. Yes, so that we might have a chance of seeing You face to face, but also to provide the means and direction for us to live ‘virtuous’ lives here on this earth. I know this is what’s required of us to be true witnesses of Yours, but in our carnal minds this seems so impossible. Yet we know that You are the God of everything that seems ‘impossible’ to us, so it is in that assurance that we come before You today asking for forgiveness of our less than virtuous living, and asking that You might give us power and a desire to turn our lives around and refocus our lives, our speech and our actions to closely imitate You dear God, so that we may be acceptable and usable witnesses. Bless us with Your presence and Your power today, is my humble prayer that I ask in the name of Your Son Jesus, AMEN

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or 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!

Our All Sufficient God

September 21, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Ecclesiastes 7:13-14): 13 Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked? 14 Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.

THOUGHTS: Most of us tend to pray hardest when we are flat on our back and have no other choice but to look up and pray! That’s a saying that I’ve heard over the time that I’ve been a Christian, because most people pray hardest during times of adversity. At one point I had a pastor who would dedicate the first portion of our prayer meetings towards giving thanks to God in our prayers. It was amazing how challenging it was to just give thanks, without tending to also ask, ask, ask. I believe we are truly a ‘gi’me’ kind of people. In this scripture today, we are admonished to always remember to give God thanks when we recognize His handiwork, or as we prosper by His graciousness, His power and His provision for us. In fact, I would encourage you to join me in giving God thanks for everything. How dare us to attribute God’s goodness to happen-chance, or our lucky day, or coincidence, or any other description we may tend to use instead of simply thanking the Creator of all things, the One who gave His life so that we might enjoy eternal life. If God made such an awesome sacrifice just to show His love for us and His desire to have us join Him around the throne in heaven one day, don’t you suppose He will do everything possible to take exceptional care of us until such time that He calls us home? I can assure you He will!! However, an area that I believe many of us struggle with, is when things don’t seem to be going ‘peachy’ (as some would say!). Let me remind you of two songs that reflect on God’s awesome plan, and confirms that God is always with us: ‘God of the Mountain‘ and ‘Through It All‘. Listen to these two songs as you meditate on the rest of this devotional and be blessed. Friends, I believe that God has a wonderful plan for our lives, but while in this old world, life will not be perfect, so let us learn to trust in God when everything is going the way we think it should go, but we should especially trust in God during those times that we realize that we could only overcome our circumstances with a great big touch of the Master’s hand. May I encourage you to lean on a friend for prayer support and encouragement when life seems impossible? Often it is difficult for us to see outside of our struggles and circumstances.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I just want to thank You for who You are. So much bigger than my circumstances, so much stronger than my weaknesses, yet Your love is so awesome that You love me in spite of my inadequacies. Many will meditate on this devotional today that are overwhelmed with struggles and hardships. Thankfully we are assured in this scripture today that Your love and Your power is consistent and persistent, if only we will remain faithful in every circumstance of life. May it be so, please dear God. For I ask all this in faith, and in the precious name of my Lord and Savior, 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, 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!

THE Most Important Things

September 19, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Matthew 22:36-40): 36 “Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40 All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.

THOUGHTS: In our fast-paced world today, I believe most of us like to set our priorities for the day so that we could make sure we don’t get side-tracked with all the other things that will be sure to bombard us and try to win our attention. Furthermore, we tend to try very hard to accomplish our top priority items more than anything else for that day. I believe that is good reason why this passage of scripture should be very important to us. Jesus knew that He and His Father had given us many commands over time, but here He chose to show us what constituted a priority for us. In fact, He teaches that these two particular commands will help us ensure that we are following all of the other commands given to us over time. Let us therefore examine these two carefully:

  1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind – Love comes from the heart, so to love the Lord with all of our heart means that we must love Him with all that we are. Also, that all other things, or people, that attract our love is below the level of love that we have for the Father. In fact, Jesus goes on to say that we must love Him from the very depths of our soul – our very inmost being. And from our mind – in other words, be thinking of ways to love Him more or ways to love Him better than anything else.
  2. Love others as much as we love ourselves – It is very natural for us to love ourselves. Often this love is corrupt, and often leads to our greatest sins (envy, boasting, jealousy, etc). However, there is also a sincere self-love that is expected, because of the mere fact that God made us in His own image, and He loved us enough that He sacrificed His only Son to make us right with Himself. So if He loves us that much, ought we not to also love our own selves? Of course we do, but Jesus is teaching here that with that same love, we are to also and always love others. In other words, love them because you recognize that God loves them in the same way that He loves you.

Isn’t it interesting that God added at the end of this revelation, that if we concentrate on these two important things, that we will master all other commands? I thought yes, I can see that, because I wouldn’t dare consider lying, or stealing, or murdering, or being envious, or any other wrongful act against God or against anyone else that I love as much as I love myself. So friends, I believe it all boils down to these two things, just as Jesus taught us. Can we put these at the top of our daily prayer list, and at the top of our to-do list, and at the very top of our personal priorities? If you are one to place stickers around the house filled with very important reminders, then these two priorities should probably be at the header and footer of each of those notes, so that you will be reminded of the most important things, before looking at the item you want to accomplish in addition to these. Can we do this? Can we do it on our own? Why would we try, when we have been promised that God is always there to help us achieve the desires of our heart? Lean on Him friend, and let Him be your guide and your help, especially with these things that He told us are key commands that He wants us to do.

PRAYER: Father please forgive us for being so anxious to set our daily priorities, with so little attention to Your priorities You taught to us. I know that You are Master, Creator, Almighty God, and Love in its truest form, so there is every reason for me to be obedient to Your teaching, knowing that You have my best interest at heart. Please help Your children who might meditate on this devotional today, and myself, to put our selfish desires aside and dedicate ourselves to following Your commands, especially Your two primary commands taught in this lesson. May we love You, and those that we come into contact with today, with the love that You have shown towards us. For I ask these things in the precious and holy name of Jesus, my Savior, with thanksgiving, 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!