Archive for November 2015

Help Others To See God

November 30, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE – … didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ~ The Message (MSG)

THOUGHTS: These verses came at the conclusion of Paul warning the Corinthians about sexual impurity. However, I believe that we should look closely at all aspects of our life where we tend to abuse the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’ – our bodies. First, let’s stop and think about the holiness we recognize in our churches, and the respect we give to the ‘house of God’. I agree it should be respected, because it is a place where we go as a family to meet God and worship Him. However, God’s Word is clear on the subject of the Holy Spirit (part of the triune godhead) taking up residence within us when we accept Jesus (another part of the triune godhead) as our Savior and Lord. So if, at conversion, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us to help us live godly lives, wouldn’t you assume that He also partakes of all other aspects of our life? Wouldn’t it be obvious that some of the things we do must obviously be done against the will of the God who lives within us? Let me list just a few, just in case you are questioning what I could possibly be thinking about:

  • Gossip – the Word is clear that we are to build each other up and not tear down. When we spread news about a Brother or Sister we are helping to tear them down. Surely the Holy Spirit, who has been drug into this cruel act, is hurt that we have chosen to disobey His Father and deliberately disobeying what He desires of us;
  • Alcohol; Drugs; Tobacco; Gorging ourselves – Some of these are controlling substances, so we sinfully allow these things to take control while we put our primary Guide (the Holy Spirit) on the back burner, until we need Him to guide us again. Very sad. All of these things are destructive to our bodies, and remember this is where the Holy Spirit resides. So we ask Him to stand by while we send in very destructive things to make His living extremely challenging and impossible;
  • Pornography; and Undesirable movies – Ever noticed how embarrassed we are to let our friends see us watching such a movie. I wonder why we never stop to ponder why would we ever subject the Holy Spirit to such ‘trash’ that was obviously designed for the children of this world (Satan).

Perhaps there are other things that the Holy Spirit might speak to your heart about friends, but whatever it is, please seek the help of the Holy Spirit and work towards getting your ‘temple’ clean, respectable and worthy of the King of all Kings, for He deserves the same honor that we would give to God Himself. Let’s not take for granted all that was sacrificed so that we might become holy, even as God is holy. Remember, when we allow the Holy Spirit to fully control our lives, it is evident to others who rules and reigns in our lives. We become usable witnesses for Him!

PRAYER: Lord God, You are so worthy, and we are so needy. Please help us to stay focused on the Savior of this world and all that You have done for us. Please help us to always remember who resides inside of us, so that we may respect Your Holy Spirit who came to help us live life pleasing to You in every way. We all love choices, but yet we abuse those options so frequently. Please keep us accountable, but more than anything, please prompt us towards holy living so that we will offer no disrespect to the Holy Spirit. I ask these things in the precious name of Jesus and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, 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!

Recognize God’s Objection

November 28, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE – 31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him. 32 “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the Lord demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. 33 Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey.” 34 Then Balaam confessed to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I didn’t realize you were standing in the road to block my way. I will return home if you are against my going.”
~ Numbers 22:31-34 ~
New Living Translation (NLT)

THOUGHTS: In my reading of God’s Word yesterday I read about God becoming angry with Moses for not carrying out His orders as instructed. Moses got so angry at his people that he was leading that instead of merely speaking to the rock that would produce water for them, like God instructed, he actually struck the rock twice. I can picture Moses being angry and/or disappointed enough to do this, but it was a vivid reminder that God, nor His Word, requires any additions by us. Because Moses subjected himself to adding this special emphasis, God punished Moses by telling him that he would never personally enter the land He had prepared for Moses and his people. I’m sure this taught Moses a lesson, but remember that this is included in God’s Book of instructions for us, to show us the importance of obedience, right down to the finest detail. In this story today, Balaam had already received instructions from God on why He didn’t want him to follow through on king Balak’s request, yet when Balak insisted by sending an even larger crowd of messengers to plead with Balaam again, Balaam went before the Lord a second time. Surprisingly God agreed with him this time, but He gave Balaam specific instructions. Now although it is not specifically detailed in scripture, I believe that God knew full well that the head nodding that He received from Balaam was not sincere, because He sent an angel to reinforce what He wanted Balaam to do. Very interesting story, but as in the case of Moses, God showed us again in the case of Balaam that He knows our heart and our very intent. He is not pleased when we say ‘yes’ to Him, then leave His presence and do whatever we want to do. Friends, I believe that it behooves us to quickly recognize that God is God, and we are not. It is better for us to disappoint our boss, or our spouse, or our friends and be obedient to whatever God has called us to do. Doing anything else could very easily bring undesirable consequences, as God redirects us into the path He has set out before us. May I encourage you to not question why, and never feel like you have a better way than God? If you are His child, then more than any earthly father, my God knows what’s best for you. Trust Him and be obedient to His call, and to His directions. He will never lead you astray nor lead you wrongly. We are His chosen vessels and He is preparing for our arrival into heaven, so of course He will watch over us and protect us while we are still on this planet.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for being patient with us while we try to be so independent, thinking that we have this thing called ‘life’ under control. Moses accomplished a lot more that we could ever dream of, yet You disciplined him severely for ‘doing his own thing’. Please help us to not question, nor try to prove our insignificant abilities, but to be obedient down to the finest detail when we hear a word from You. We are so needy, and You are so worthy. Please help us to spend our days seeking Your face, praising Your name and worshipping You, so that Your commands will naturally lead to our obedience and not our questioning or modifying. It’s the power of God that saves souls, not any abilities of ours. I ask these things in the name of Jesus, my Savior, knowing that it is only through His name that souls are saved and lives touched for the kingdom of God, 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!

Actions Reveal One’s State of Christianity

November 27, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE – You still live as men who are not Christians. When you are jealous and fight with each other, you are still living in sin and acting like sinful men in the world. ~ 1 Corinthians 3:3 ~ New Life Version (NLV)

THOUGHTS: I want you to consider for a quick moment the frustration by a pastor on a Monday morning when he hears about the fight between two members of his church the previous night. Of course this is in light of a sermon the previous day on the characteristics of Jesus Christ. Now take this one step further: John 3:16 reminds us that God allowed His very own Son to suffer at the hands of sinful men in Herod’s court; hung to a cruel cross and suffer beatings and disgrace by the same men He was actually dying for. Time and time again Jesus modeled the character that He wanted His followers to display on this earth so that unbelievers might recognize and/or be reminded of the qualities of their Lord and Savior. Now, in addition to the Pastor being disappointed and frustrated on hearing the bad news of his church members the previous afternoon, imagine the sadness that must sink deep into the heart of our Lord. Paul made it very clear to the Corinthian church that they were fooling themselves, for they were acting like sinful men, or men of the world, or men led by Satan himself. I would like to suggest to you friend, that Satan is always looking for opportunities to bring division, and cause disruption among the people of God. For you see, God loved the world so much, that He gave His only Son so that we might have life eternally in heaven with Him. Satan’s job, and ultimate aim in life, is to stop folk from knowing the love of Jesus and the peace that comes from His almighty hand on our lives each and every day. Satan looks for opportunities and weaknesses every day to distract believers and cause them to question their actual relationship with Jesus. Friends, just as we stay in sweet communion with our spouse to maintain a healthy and loving marriage, it is also incumbent upon us to do the same in our relationship with Jesus. Because He has given us ‘choice’ in life, He will not force Himself upon us, but He is always ready and willing to respond to our desire to follow Him and to help us as we endeavor to learn His ways, communicate regularly with Him and exemplify Him in every aspect of our lives. Each day others can conclude whose we are. Jesus always knows the very heart of His children, so there’s no fooling Him. Where do you stand today friend? Christians, let’s not disappoint our Lord. To my readers, if you are totally new to the things of the Bible and have never met this Jesus of whom I have referred, please go on to read my ‘Footnote’ and either get in touch with me, or sit down with a local Bible-believing church leader. We would be overjoyed to introduce you to our Savior!

PRAYER: What a Might God we serve! Thank You Father for making the way for us to be assured of our ultimate destination! In much the same way that we live like a married man/woman – because we are married, I pray that it would be very evident to all that may come into contact with us that there is another ‘love’ in our lives also, because of the way we live and the things that we say. Lord Jesus, You very clearly know each heart and our innermost thoughts, so You know how messed up we can often be. Lord, we don’t want to be Christians still controlled by the world and therefore our lives sometime reflect You, while at other times the world can easily say like Paul did to the Corinthians: your actions strongly indicate that you are not ‘Christian’ at all. We never want You to embarrassed to claim us as Your very own child Lord, so please forgive us for allowing the world to so easily distract us and turn our eyes and dependence away from you. We need You each and every minute of every day. Please help us to always seek Your face so that we may stay focused on the joys of knowing You and having Your watchful eye and helpful hand upon us to guide, protect and lead us in the way approved and pleasing to You. I ask these things in the name of Jesus, because ‘I Need Thee Every Hour‘, 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!

Our God Is …..

November 26, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE – 25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity. 26 To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. 27 You rescue the humble, but you humiliate the proud. 28 You light a lamp for me. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness. 29 In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall. 30 God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. ~ Psalm 18:25-30 ~ New Living Translation (NLT).

THOUGHTS: This is another case where I would encourage you to read the whole chapter of Psalm 18, for David has just gone through many verses praising God for His goodness and His care and protection. Based on his first-hand experience, David is now trying to help those of us who are struggling to comprehend exactly what we can expect from God, and why our experiences may differ, based on our relationship with God. In fact, let me challenge us with a sobering thought – based on our current relationship with God at the very moment you read these words, what aspect(s) of your life do you suppose God would challenge you on, if you were standing before Him? Unfortunately, this applies to the Christian or non-Christian, for I believe that Christians may sometime get the false impression that their ticket for heaven is bought and they are just waiting on the flight. May I suggest to you, Christian Brother or Sister, that you never went to the altar to purchase a ticket, you went to ask Jesus to forgive you of your sin and accept you into His family. You promised Him to leave the ugliness (sin) of this world behind and show love towards Him in every way possible. Unfortunately, many of you have seen that your stubbed toe did not take you to the hospital, so you returned to the acts that gave you the stubbed toe. Of course I am using this analogy to show you how we treat sin, and wind up damaging our relationship with Jesus. What can you possibly accept back in return from Jesus when you turn your back on Him? He has given us the freedom of choice, but read this chapter to be reminded of your consequences when you disobey. You don’t like it when your earthly child disobeys you, why do you suppose that it will be any different for the Savior who gave His life for your forgiveness of sin, when He sees you doing the same? To the unbeliever: I am convinced that you are well aware of the Jesus to whom I have devoted this entire blog, because many of you will quickly look for Him, or someone who knows Him personally and willing to intercede for you, when something goes wrong in your life, or when things may not be going right for you. With all the love I can muster up today, I must tell you that our God is not a God of convenience, He is looking for a relationship with you. Just as you can’t purchase home insurance if a hurricane is already in route, God is looking for a relationship with you before you approach Him with your grocery list of needs. My Father takes care of His children, even if our earthly fathers may fail in this. Will He recognize you as His child when you call upon Him? I used today’s blog title based on a recent prayer conference, where we were encouraged to use scripture in our prayer life. May I encourage you to complete the following sentence based on today’s scripture? “My God is __________ because _________, praise be to God”!

PRAYER: My God is loving because He saw my need for a Savior and sent angels to convict me of my sin and lead me to a wonderful, life-long relationship with Him, praise be to God! Thank You Jesus for loving even me! Thank You dear Jesus for loving each one who reads this devotional today. I am convinced that You are standing with opened arms right now waiting to respond to their prayer, especially the prayer for salvation. Lord You are worthy and we are so needy. We need You every minute of every day, and we long to draw closer to You each and every day. Please patiently lead us towards a more intimate and sincere relationship with You, so that we may have a godly impact on all that we come into contact with. I ask these things in the wonderful name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If 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!

Jesus Will Never Give Up On You!

November 25, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE – 7–9 Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that. ~ 1 Corinthians 1:7-9 ~ The Message (MSG)

THOUGHTS: I am excited in being reminded of how special I am in God’s eyes! Wow!! But I am not alone in this, for this scripture refers to the special provisions for all those who have accepted Jesus as Savior. That’s you Brother, and yes, you Sister! Now because I believe it is just like God to provoke someone to read this devotional today who is incapable of understanding the same joy in this passage that I find, I would ask that you kindly allow me to highly recommend that you contact me, or any other Bible believing Christian, so we could introduce you to the author of the book from which I extracted these verses. He’s the One referred to throughout these verses as the provider of all good and perfect gifts in store for those who have called on Jesus and surrendered their lives to His care. Friends, I could never expect to benefit from the estate of a very rich unknown person, because I am not a son. In other words, I’m a stranger. However, for those of us that have accepted Jesus as Savior, we are sons and daughters of the King. So these are some of the exciting promises found in just this small clip from His Word:

  • We are in need of nothing!
  • God has provided for our every need until He returns to take us home to glory with him!
  • We have reason to be excited about our future, in spite of how dismal things may appear here on planet earth, for our Lord will come back for us to take us out of this evil world, to join Him in the glories of heaven, in just the right time!
  • Our Savior will NEVER GIVE UP ON US!!!!

To my friends who can’t expect to benefit from this wonderful promise because you are a stranger, and not a part of the family of God, may I remind you that as long as you have breath – and know that you have absolutely no promise of your next breath, but while you can, please consider reaching out to Jesus, asking for His forgiveness of your sin, and ask to become a part of His intimate well-loved family. Jesus has a soft heart for sinners who want to sincerely make a change in their lives. He sacrificed His life so that all who asks may become children of God, so of course that includes you! He has not given up on you friend! This can be the most exciting Thanksgiving for you and your family! Please consider becoming part of the family of God.

PRAYER: Father, what an awesome privilege to call You ‘Father’! Thank You for accepting me as an integral part of Your family! Thank You for all of the promises wrapped up in these verses! Who is mere man that You should be so loving and kind to us? We’ll never know, but thank You for loving us anyway Jesus! Lord, I believe that there are many that will quickly read over this devotional whose ‘love tank’ is probably sucking air, because they don’t feel at all loved by You, or anyone. I pray that You would use the words of Your servant above to trigger a change in the heart of a reader today, or of a family member because of the prayers of Your children. Thank You for being my Father, my Savior and my Redeemer. To God be all the glory, honor and power in my life today, 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!

Loving Jesus and Willing to Follow Him

November 24, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE – 19 ….Then he said to Peter, “Follow me!” 20 Peter turned and saw the follower Jesus loved very much walking behind them. (This was the follower who had leaned against Jesus at the supper and said, “Lord, who is it that will hand you over?”) 21 When Peter saw him behind them, he asked Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “Maybe I want him to live until I come. That should not matter to you. You follow me!” ~ John 21:19b-22 ~ Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

THOUGHTS: All of our lives we are trained to think about the other person and not be selfish, but I believe you will note in this scripture today that there comes a time in life where Jesus calls for our undivided attention to what He is saying directly to us. In this chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus had just questioned Peter about HIS relation – HIS love for the Master. Jesus got so personal with that question that He asked it of Peter 3 times. When we repeat a question like that, usually we are trying to make sure that we have the person’s undivided attention, and by the second or third time we ask it, the person is really questioning to himself if he truly understood the question, or if the hearer is doubting his answer. You might remember that this is the same Peter who will deny Jesus three times while Jesus hangs on the cross, even though Peter told Jesus ahead of time that he would be with Him right up the very bitter end. As for how we might normally handle this type of question, I believe it all depends on where we are at and in whose presence. At church, where we are surrounded by a crowd of fellow Christians. I bet we would easily respond in the affirmative to Jesus, as we listen for a loud ‘Amen’ from those around us! But how would our response differ if we were asked the same question by Jesus at work; or at the football stadium where folk all around us are drinking and partying? Would we be as quick to respond affirmatively? However, this was not the only sobering thought of this scripture. As indicated already, imagine if the question Jesus asked Peter was asked of us individually in a crowd. Can’t you see us looking around for support, before we respond? “Come on church, let’s respond collectively”, we might say. Imagine Jesus stopping your parade and saying “wait a minute young man/lady, I am looking for a personal response from you only. May I hear your heart’s response, in spite of what you feel the rest of the church/co-workers/theme park crowd might say collectively with you”. Friends, this is exactly what Jesus did to Peter, for He told me that He was more concerned that he (Peter) would follow Him, even if no one else did. What about you friend? If you were singled out like that, how would you respond to Jesus? Are you at that place in your relationship with Jesus that you will respond, based on your heart, and not what you think the crowd would like to hear? Friend, I would encourage you to join me in solidifying our relationship with the Lord. This could be the day that He decides to take one or all of us home, and I don’t know about you, but I really want to know that Jesus was pleased with my life while here on this earth. That I stood firm in my faith and in my witness for Him. I pray that this would also be the desire of each reader.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You stayed true to Your mission right up to Your time on the cross. Like us, I believe that Peter stayed true to you, but he and us, we are so easily swayed in our decision making, that the crowd (Satan) may easily find a ‘soft spot’ and distract our thoughts and commitment to You. Lord, we are so weak. But praise to Your glorious name, You are so strong. So Lord, we come to the solid ‘Rock’ today pleading for Your strength in our commitment; our boldness; and our witness – regardless of the environment or crowd that we might be in. Please help us to remain strong. For those reading this who have not made a personal decision to accept You as their Lord and Savior, I ask for clarity in their minds so that they might recognize the priority of accepting You as Lord, before following the crowd to ask a total stranger for help. Please impact the lives of Your children today, so that we might stand firm in our faith. May our transformed lives be so sincere, that the lives of others will be transformed when they ‘rub shoulders’ with one of Yours today. For I ask these things in the 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 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!

So You May Believe!

November 23, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE – 30 Jesus did many other powerful works in front of His followers. They are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. When you put your trust in Him, you will have life that lasts forever through His name. John 20:30-31 – New Life Version (NLF)

THOUGHTS: I believe that in most cases in this life we quickly learn whose words we can trust, because often friends will either add on for emphasis, or simply tell their story so dramatically in order to gain our attention to what they are saying, that many parts of the story is simply placed in there and may not be in line with the truth of the story. I could only imagine that like me, you quickly discern who you have to listen very selectively to, and who you can trust with the whole truth. I remember my dad telling me that if a person has to swear by someone or something when telling you a story, be very careful as that story is probably riveted with lies! Similarly, many people will exaggerate so much in quoting quantities, until I sometime feel like I need to sift through a conversation to determine the real truth! In the gospel of John, we read so many facts about he and his fellow disciples interacting with Jesus, that one could very easily walk away feeling like they may have been present during the events described. I would strongly encourage my readers to take time to read the 20th chapter of John, and to closely examine the actions and words of those that visited the tomb of Jesus. Bear in mind that these were Jesus’ closest friends and followers. Can’t you imagine the content of their prayers leading up to this time, after seeing their Master taken from them, beaten beyond recognition, crucified on an old wooden cross in a public setting and buried in a borrowed tomb? Remember that these prayers were going up to the same One that they attributed multiple healings, bodily resurrection, and many other miracles to. Yet when they saw the miracle of resurrection, again they were flabbergasted. This story, combined with multiple others, which were only a small portion of all the events they witnessed throughout their time with Jesus, yet these things were written down by John for the specific reason written in our key verses above. John wanted to show us what it was like for he and his Brothers to be around Jesus, and how He made a believer out of them. He wanted us to have faith in the same Jesus, who was key in the stories shared with us, so that we might also become focused on Jesus, that we would also become a believer in Jesus, and surrender our lives to Him. John knew that as we are transformed, that we would go on to share our story of this same Savior that rescued us from damnation and the destination of Hell, and that Jesus would use our story to also impact lives for Himself. How are you doing with that friend? John’s story became a part of the best-selling Book in history. How do you suppose Jesus will view your story, and your effort to broadcast it to those within your realm of influence?

PRAYER: Father, You were faithful, You were miraculous in all Your works while in the presence of John and Your disciples. Your plan included the death and resurrection of Jesus to resolve the issue of redemption of our sin, as we seek Your face. You had a very strong influence in the lives of Your disciples. However, with all honor and praise to our risen Lord, we know that You are still in the miracle working business, the greatest of which was transforming the life of a sinner such as I into the likeness of Your very Son, Jesus Christ! So undeserving, yet You love me as a son of the Most High. Father, please provoke a desire into the lives of my readers, my family, my friends and myself to tell our story of Your wondrous works to which we have been a party to or at least a witness. Lord You are so good! We have every reason to share Your goodness with everyone we come into contact with who may not have accepted Your grace and Your offer of salvation yet. May this be a day that others will be transformed because of Your gracious transformation in our lives. Lord, I believe. Please help me to share that with all who may not have reached that state yet – all being for Your full glory and honor. For I ask this in faith, and through the gracious name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

A Person Of Integrity – Godly Characteristics

November 21, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE – Who can live in your tent, Lord? Who can dwell on your holy mountain? The person who lives free of blame, does what is right, and speaks the truth sincerely; who does no damage with their talk, does no harm to a friend, doesn’t insult a neighbor; 4 someone who despises those who act wickedly, but who honors those who honor the Lord; someone who keeps their promise even when it hurts; 5 someone who doesn’t lend money with interest, who won’t accept a bribe against any innocent person. Whoever does these things will never stumble. – Psalm 15Common English Bible (CEB)

THOUGHTS: I believe that most of us strive to do things right, or pleasing to those that we hang around! However, in the Christian’s walk in life, we have a greater power that we aim to please, for as children of God, knowing that God went to the extreme of giving up His only Son for us, we look to His Word for guidance on how we believe He would like for us to live. With that knowledge, how then should we live, so that our integrity would not be in question? The Psalmist actually rehearsed this for us, or shall I say that God gave us this guidance through His servant David! I am not questioning your ability to read these characteristics for yourself friend, but I am merely rehearsing them to myself, and sharing that process with you! Here’s what I see in this Psalm:

  • We must have a pattern of life that is blameless – This word means genuine, free from moral or ethical spots, corruption, and inconsistencies, though not morally perfect – since this is humanly impossible. In other words, such a person is a man or woman of upright integrity (Job 1:1).
  • Our actions must reflect righteousness – We must live in harmony with God’s will and standards.
  • We must speak the truth sincerely – rather than being double-tongued, saying what is true some of the time and lying at other times. Concocting stories against others so that we might look better. (2c).
  • We must not slander other people – by saying things that are untrue and destructive about them. I think of gossiping, and backbiting. (3a).
  • We must not do evil to our neighbor – (i.e., those that we come into contact with, (3b); Prov. 14:17–24).
  • We must not initiate or circulate information that would discredit others (3c). This shows intent to harm others.
  • We must not approve of those who turn away from the Lord – we must not approve of sin, or disregard for the things of God or His principles. (4a).
  • We must honor those who choose to follow God’s ways (4b) – encourage them, pray for them and help them succeed in the ways of the Lord.
  • We must keep his promises even when it costs us to do so (4c) – of course this is not financial cost, but it may be at the cost of losing certain friends, or perhaps losing a promotion at work, or something similar.
  • We should not charge interest on money that we loan to our Christian brothers – this could very easily lead to us taking advantage of their weakness (5a; Exod. 22:25; Lev. 25:36).
  • We must not accept a bribe that might lead to hurting an innocent person – for although this may be to our own advantage, it may bring hardship on others (5b; Deut. 27:25).

Friends, David concluded that this type person will experience stability in his life as well as enjoy intimate fellowship with God. A believer needs to make sure he is walking in the will of God consistently to enjoy fellowship with God and stability in his life. Are you prepared to do this friend?

PRAYER: Lord, You are so patient with us. In spite of our weaknesses in caving in to life’s demands, You have shown Your precious and everlasting love for us. You have given us a lot to think about in this Psalm today Lord, for it has hit on many of our weaknesses. However, You have also reminded us throughout Your Word how gracious You are to guide us and lead us into Your righteousness, when we have a desire to do so. Please touch Your children today so that we might find a new determination in this Psalm to go on and be even more committed in our walk, our righteousness and Your will for our lives. We need so badly to be more like You in every way, so that those that we come into contact with may be transformed into Your likeness. May this be a day that those who have still not made a choice to follow You will gain strength from You, and see every reason in our walk and talk to follow through in accepting You as their Lord and Savior. I ask these things in the 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 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!

What will you do with Jesus?

November 20, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE John 19:4-6New Living Translation (NLT): 4 Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” 5 Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!” 6 When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” “Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.”

THOUGHTS: Pilate presented Jesus to the crowd and asked them what they wanted him to do with Him. Each weekend most churches/pastors will present the gospel and ask their congregations to respond to a similar question. Most of us leave our churches having said something very similar to that of the crowd before Pilate. Perhaps by our unresponsive action we are saying: hey, you may as well crucify Him, for we have this ‘life’ thing under control. I don’t need this Jesus interfering and telling me what to do or how I should act, or highlighting my wrongs. Perhaps we totally ignore the message, and the idea that Jesus is in control of us and all of life’s happenings. Perhaps we conclude that since Jesus is available, we could easily and quickly call on Him if, and when, we need Him. Friends, in and of our natural selves we have no desire for godly things. If we ARE alerted to the things of Christ, we are actually being personally admonished by GOD Himself. We NEED to listen and obey, not aim to crucify Him. We are about to enter into another weekend of church services. What will you do with Jesus? He loved you so much that He gave himself upon the cross of Calvary as a sacrifice for your sin, so that you might have the means of getting into heaven and the forgiveness of your sin. How will you respond to that?

PRAYER: Lord God, thank You for loving us so much that You showed evidence of that love when You allowed Your precious Son to suffer the disgrace of the people that insisted on His death. Lord, we are not a whole lot better, for we stand by and watch our family and friends ‘spit in Your Son’s face’ still today, when they are convicted by You, yet they turn away in rejection as if to say that they would rather reject Your unbelievable love and accept the horror and disgrace of the Evil One. They would never be so evil to an earthly friend who blesses them today, by turning their face and rejecting them in spite of their sacrificial giving to them. Dear God, please don’t give up on my family members, friends and coworkers who have chosen to follow the pattern of the cruel, unappreciative, jealous, unloving crowd mentioned in the scripture today. Please, Heavenly Father, bear with them a little longer. Please tender their hearts yet again to the fact that You showed Your love in very obvious and sacrificial ways. Their acceptance of that gracious gift is so valuable that it contains the keys to Heaven and an audience for eternity with the creator of this entire universe. We are truly a blessed people, to have such a loving God. Thank You dear Lord, and hear my plea yet again for those I love. For I ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus – the crucified, sacrificial lamb of God, 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!

How Dare You Criticize The Man of God

November 19, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE Numbers 12:5-10 – The New Living Translation (NLT): 5the Lord descended in the pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle. “Aaron and Miriam!” he called, and they stepped forward. 6 And the Lord said to them, “Now listen to what I say: If there were prophets among you, I, the Lord, would reveal myself in visions. I would speak to them in dreams. 7 But not with my servant Moses. Of all my house, he is the one I trust. 8 I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the Lord as he is. So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses?The Lord was very angry with them, and he departed. 10 As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin as white as snow from leprosy.

THOUGHTS: I would strongly encourage you to read the short chapter from which this scripture reference was taken, for it had a profound impact on me. Click on the scripture reference above and you will be taken to a place where you could read all 16 verses. You will get a better understanding in verse 3 why God took such a fierce stand against the sister and brother of Moses, for the Word declares that Moses was the most humble man on earth at the time. I believe this was included to help us understand that Moses would probably have loved his siblings regardless of what they may have said about him. What a humbling honor to be considered as the humblest man on earth, wow! Does that not automatically cause us to question ourselves and what we might do to be more humble in God’s eyes? However, this criticizing of God’s servant, truly angered God, and He dealt with it head on, and severely. He had Moses and his siblings go to the tabernacle, and there He called Miriam and Aaron to step forward as He was about to speak directly to them, and He wanted Moses to witness this. Friends, I want you to read verses 6 through 8 and imagine yourself in place of Miriam and Aaron for anything derogatory you may have spoken or thought about your Pastor or other called church leader. Don’t you know that these men have sacrificed their entire lives to any possible worldly success, when they surrendered to the call of Christ to serve Him in the positions He has blessed them with? Are we then not like Miriam and Aaron, where we are criticizing God for the man He has placed as His leader in our local assemblies? I would strongly caution you that we had better be very careful to pray for our leaders and their humbleness to closely obey God’s commands for His local church. Notice that there is no indication that Moses complained to God about the bad things his siblings were saying. God knew their hearts, He heard their words, and He subsequently reacted very harshly – not just with a tongue lashing, but actually imposed the ringleader (Miriam) with leprosy, which caused her to be placed outside of the camp (city) for 7 days, even in spite of Moses’ plea with God to heal her. Friends, we must learn from this that we must respect God and His called representatives – our church leaders. We must also learn that God loves His humble servants so much that He will stand in the gap for them. So if you are a called person of God and reading this devotional, please know that God has your back. Be committed to Him and serve Him faithfully, knowing that He will take care of the back-biting, gossip and ridicule. If God has truly placed you as His leader to His people, it is He who is more hurt by the backlash from His people, as they are really questioning His authority. May we all be found faithful and true to our Master, until the day He calls us home to glory!

PRAYER: Lord God, Almighty Father, thank You for the picture of love for Your humble servant, and the reassurance that there is no reason why You would still not protect Your servants even today. It is so easy to get caught up in complaining or whining about our leaders, especially when they don’t pat our backs just right, or say the things that we like to hear. Please help us to stay focused on Your Word, for I believe that as we do, then we will appreciate the words from the leaders You have placed in charge of ministering to us. Please teach us to be humble like Your servant Moses, and also teach us to follow Your pattern of obedience when it comes to our spiritual leaders. As church leaders, we badly need encouragement for boldness before Your people, yet humbleness to always seek Your face so that we can seek Your favor for Your people. As followers of Christ, please help us to always pray for, and encourage our church leaders as they seek to obey You and follow Your commands for our respective churches. You are holy and deserving of our praise, worship and honor, and when we do this, perhaps we won’t have time to ridicule and/or gossip about our Brothers and Sisters! I love You lord for who You are, and I ask these things in faith and in the name of Jesus my Savior, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to 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!