Archive for December 2015

Your Source of Strength and Guidance for 2016

December 31, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE – The Good News Translation (GNT)~ Psalm 44:4-8 ~You are my king and my God; you give victory to your people, and by your power we defeat our enemies. I do not trust in my bow or in my sword to save me; but you have saved us from our enemies and defeated those who hate us. We will always praise you and give thanks to you forever.

THOUGHTS: In this Psalm, David is recognizing that his ancestors made it into the Promised Land because of the victory and the power of their God, and because of the trust and faith of his ancestors. What is the difference for us as we face 2016? There will be some among us who will face the year on their own, because they have not chosen to follow our God and therefore cannot place their trust in an unproven being. There are yet others, who have accepted Jesus as Lord, but have never learned to lean on Him, or have never given their life totally under His control, so they still handle ‘life’ on their own and quickly call on God when trouble arises. My prayer today is that, there would be many out there who knows without a shadow of a doubt Who holds tomorrow, and the One who can prepare us for it and see us through it! This involves a totally surrendered life, friends, because we are acknowledging that we may not have all the answers, or have everything under control. Think about the Israelites. Their scouts had brought back news of the thousands of people, and the giants that they were, yet they were being told by Moses and Joshua to forge forward, because God was going to take care of them and protect them. We are facing a brand new year and again God is saying to us to forge forward in His might, His strength, His guidance and His will, because He loves us enough that He will prepare our way, and that we will be under His protecting hand. Friends, may I encourage you, that as you ask for this guidance and protection by God, be ready to look at every move, every success, every protection and every decision to quickly give God the praise and glory that He so deserves? Notice the last sentence of the scripture today, where David promised that “We will always praise You and give thanks to You – FOREVER”. Oh that we may follow in David’s promise, to always praise our God, and to give thanks always for His answered prayer!

PRAYER: Dear God, just as David recognized the source of strength and guidance for He and His ancestors, we are again reminded that You are still God, and that You are the source of strength and guidance for all who will place their faith and trust in You and surrender to Your lordship. Lord, I feel such a heavy burden for Your church today, because I believe that we are the ‘David’ and the ‘Moses’ that You used to lead Your people. For I believe that it is critical for Your church to be the hands and feet of Jesus, the voice of one crying in the city, just as John cried out in the wilderness. Many will make spiritual decisions in 2016 based on what they see of the church. May we be to them what You are to us, and what Your Word declares as truth for mankind. Many of the Israelites went into the Promised Land having encountered the hand of God in numerous ways, yet they quickly turned their backs on You. Please use us, Your servants, to be a strong witness for You, even when times appear to be rough and/or slow moving spiritually. You have always been as solid as a rock in meeting Your promises for us. May we follow that pattern as we commit to serving You faithfully in 2016. I ask these things in the same, powerful, name of the One who brought us through 2015, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could 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, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! 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!

Discouraged? Sad? Here’s Hope!

December 30, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE New Living Translation (NLT) ~ Psalm 42:11 ~ Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again – my Savior and my God!

THOUGHTS: One of the translations I compared as I read this verse, used the word ‘depressed’ in lieu of ‘discouraged’. Friends, I come from the background of a quiet and quaint little town, and while there were challenges with gossip, there was little to get stressed over. It seems like today, we have become such a ‘worldly’ people where we desire everything that our neighbor shows off, and we have become a people who refuses to say ‘no’, so we place way more stress on ourselves than we could possible handle calmly, that all we seem to hear about is friends who are discouraged, depressed, sad and even suicidal. It appears to me that David felt himself leaning towards a low in his life, and he shares with us how he felt his Physiologist advised him to handle this! When discouraged, seek God. Not to ask for a handout of encouragement or special blessings, but to praise God! When you are feeling sad, remember that it is not God who is making you sad, so praise Him for His daily goodness, and the people and things that He places in our lives to bring us joy! Friends, let’s learn to praise God in all of our circumstances. Let’s learn to encourage one another in love and good works, for this will not only lift them up, but it will lift our spirits and give us more reason to worship our God! Think of His rich blessings friend, and I believe you will quickly conclude that the reasons you might feel depressed, is really insignificant in comparison. God has provided the means to our happiness and encouragement, may we be careful to be a thankful people that will break out in constant praise and worship for His goodness! Friends, please know that I am not underrating depression, because I realize that there are some folk receiving serious help for this ugly decease. I am merely pointing you to God and to sing His praises in the midst of your storm, so that He would be glorified for the awesome work that He performs each and every day for His dear children. I am hopeful that when you follow David’s (the Psalmist) prescription, you will fix your eyes on Jesus instead of your circumstances.

PRAYER: Lord, you are so good to us, and yet we seem to overlook that, and instead groan in self-pity to a state of depression, and/or deep sadness. ‘Low’ times were evident even in the heart of David, yet he found peace and revival in lifting up Your most worthy and awesome name. My deepest prayer is that You might remind Your children how important it is to look into Your eyes and praise You, way more than to seek You with outstretched hands asking for more of Your kindness and mercy. Lord, may we learn to personally worship You more, and may we incorporate the help of our Christian Brothers and Sisters by joining them in corporate worship at every opportunity. I love You Lord, and I look forward to observing Your goodness and Your greatness, so that I might worship You with all my mind, spirit and soul. Please touch the hearts of my readers, so that their spirits might be uplifted because of times of praise and worship. You are worthy, oh Lord, and we are so needy! Bless Your holy name, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could 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, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! 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!

Your Choice – Blessings or Curses

December 29, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE New Living Translation (NLT) ~ Deuteronomy 28:1-2 & 15 ~ 1 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving -you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. 2 You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God: …. 15 “But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey all the commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you: ….

THOUGHTS: I know, you looked at the title today and almost didn’t open this to read it, because you probably figured that this old man just lost his marbles (brains), otherwise why else would he possibly think that you would be interested in reading about ‘curses’? Of course you don’t want that, right? If you are one that is ‘fully obedient to the Lord’ and ‘carefully keeping His commands’, then I agree I am wasting your precious time by explain what you can expect in 2016 because of your disobedience. Oops, nothing is said in the text about 2016, right? But friend, why would God possibly bless us if we are disobedient? Do you suppose it was just the Israelites that He loved enough to discipline when they disobeyed? Perhaps I should remind you that it was us that God sent His only Son, Jesus, to the cross for our forgiveness, our salvation from sin, our peace about eternity with Him in glory. You see, through His servant Moses, God warned the Israelites that as they entered the Promised Land that He brought them to; that He cleared the path for; and that He prepared just for them; they had a choice to make. They could enter and choose: (1) To be obedient to God and keep His commands taught to them over the past 40 years – and this would result in blessings that it took the writer 13 verses to express to them. Otherwise, (2) To be disobedient and not keep the commands of God, and they could expect curses on every aspect of their lives. In fact, it took the writer the next 52 verses to detail all of the curses that would fall upon this chosen people. Friends, why would this be any different for us as we welcome another year in that God has led us to, and that He has prepared as a clean slate for us? In your wildest expectations, do you suppose that God would possibly bless a people that drag into a brand new year, all of the sin, disobedience and disregard that He absolutely deplores? If God tarries, we have at least a few days to think about this; to clean up our act; to spend time in prayer before the Father seeking His forgiveness and asking for His strength and boldness to obey under every circumstance of life. Without some obvious and intentional steps by us, and if God permits time to go on, we will enter 2016 under the same load of sin and punishment we have faced in 2015. I believe God is teaching us in this scripture today that it really doesn’t have to be that way. Our destiny can be changed, with God’s help, if we choose to be obedient children of God. Won’t you do that today friend? For the unbeliever reading this today, please know that God wants your heart first. Please read my ‘Footnote’ for tips on how to personally know my Savior. Only as His child, will He hear your cry for help, direction, and the promised blessings only He can offer you in 2016.

PRAYER: Lord God, thank You for providing the greatest gift ever, in the form of Your Precious Son – Jesus. You loved, protected and led the Israelites through 40 years of life-challenges, then You provided the wonders and the blessings of the Promised Land to them! You still love, protect and lead Your children today and You have promised an even greater Promised Land for those who truly know You personally. You had blessings in store for the Israelites who obeyed You and kept Your commands. I believe that 2016 can be a time period You are calling us into where blessings may abound for those who know and obey You, however You have promised us an even greater Promised Land – Heaven where we will meet with You and the Father eternally in worship, praise and adoration. Please bless us as we tarry on this old earth, so that one day soon we may advance to our ultimate Promised Land with You! Oh I long To See You, Look Upon Your Face, There to Sing forever of Your Saving Grace! Lord, please speak to the hearts of those needing discipline, even while still in 2015. May they receive a word from You today that will convince them of their sin and incent them to clean their act up and prepare to meet You in action in 2016 and be blessed by You in every way imaginable. May our blessings transform the lives of others as they gaze on Your goodness. I ask these things in faith, and in the strong 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 contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could 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, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! 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!

Clear the Contaminants, God Wants to…..

December 28, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE – New International Version (NIV) ~ 2 Corinthians 7:1Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

THOUGHTS: I believe that every believer in Jesus Christ would probably have as a primary objective in 2016 to surrender ourselves so fully to Christ that He might perfect in us His holiness. And there poses an awesome challenge for you and I friends, for we already know from the Word of God that He will not allow His Holy Spirit to reside in any earthen vessel where sin abides. Now before you piously think that you are clearing the mark, I want to open your eyes to one fact that might put you on a level playing field with myself, and others like me, who are also striving to be holy. In this subject verse, Paul declares that this refers to contamination of the body and the spirit. In the verses leading up to the one highlighted, we are told that God’s Holy Spirit resides inside of us. This is exciting, because we never have to worry about Him always being present to meet our needs. However, I want us to also remember that if you have sinned in your mind, you have contaminated the temple of God also. Friends, this is a major problem for us, because Satan does his very best to bother with our minds in order to distract us away from God. Remember those times that you’ve thought to yourself that it was good the other person couldn’t read your mind, otherwise they would know how corrupt you really are? As we consider what we might do to be more like Jesus in the upcoming year, may I suggest that you flood your mind with the Word of God? May I implore you to stay in touch with the Master on a very frequent basis so that as He floods your soul, only those things that He approves of, will spew out of your mouth and call you to action for the benefit of others? I believe that ‘purify’ means that we cleanse our minds of anything that would distract our minds (our spirit) away from truly Christ-like actions and/or words. Are you there yet? If not, please consider joining me in rededicating our lives, and especially our minds, to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Ships stay in the port when contaminants are found on board, and hospital rooms are closed until all contaminants are properly cleaned up. Let’s get some quality time alone with God so we can clear the contaminants of our lives before we enter a brand new year. Let’s strive to be the kind of Christian that will reflect Jesus in everything we say or do, because of His mighty presence inside of our purified bodies. Let’s allow Him to fill our spirit with Himself.

PRAYER: Dear God, You are more wonderful than anyone or anything we can describe, and we will say all day long that it’s You that we desire to imitate here on this earth. However, we are very easily distracted by all that appears to be better, or more joyful, or pleasing on ‘the other side’. Lord, we know that this is Satan’s desire for all of Your chosen people, yet we cave in and allow him control. Being reminded today that our weakness leads to us actually contaminating the temple of our precious Lord, makes us sad, and we are reminded of how important it is for us to purify ourselves and protect at all costs the temple in which you reside. Lord, I pray for Your forgiveness. I pray for your strength that can easily overpower our will, if we are willing to surrender ourselves to you. Only You can impact our minds and our soul so that we might rededicate ourselves fully to you. Please have Your will and Your way in our lives today, beginning with me. May we end this year with a re-enforced determination to protect Your temple and seek Your boldness daily so that we might stand firm in our faith and in sharing our faith with other. I ask these things in and through the name of Jesus, the 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 contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could 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, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! 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 to Defend Against Every Kind of Attack

December 26, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE – Easy-To-Read Version (ERV) 2 Corinthians 6:6-7 We show that we are God’s servants by our pure lives, by our understanding, by our patience, and by our kindness. We show it by the Holy Spirit, by genuine love, by speaking the truth, and by depending on God’s power. This right way of living has prepared us to defend ourselves against every kind of attack.

THOUGHTS: There are many who accept the Lord thinking that all of their troubles will now be gone, as they will now associate themselves with ‘holy’ and ‘righteous’ people. Friends may I remind you that as long as we remain on this sinful earth, we will encounter sinful, hurtful people, as there are many who will cross our paths that have decided to stay clear of our best friend, our Savior and our soon coming King. Prior to the verses listed above, Paul had just shared with the Corinthians how much he and his team had endured in their ministry. Fortunately for us, Paul went on to tell them what he attributed his success to in dealing with sinful people and their deliberate attack on children of God. This is helpful information for us, as we are bound to find some awful, unfortunate, opposition as we seek to spread the Good News, and light, among a world filled with darkness, deceit and bad intentions. Here are some things that Paul teaches that might help us stay stronger in our faith and true to our Master, especially as we deal with the vices of Satan here on earth:

  • Purity – keep ourselves pure in God’s sight and our earthly opposition will see the evidence of a man/woman controlled by God. I consider purity to be a true and consistent witness for God. True to His teachings and always consistent in obedience to His Word no matter who our audience might be;
  • Understanding – Don’t be so quick to jump to conclusions that a person is wrong or unfaithful, but instead try to look at them through the lens of God. I believe He sees them as His very own creation that just needs a little encouragement, teaching and mentoring by one of His stronger servants at the time;
  • Patience – Isn’t it strange how we get so impatient with someone who is doing precisely what we struggled with just a very short time ago? Wouldn’t it be better to share with them a spirit of understanding because you can relate to their dilemma? Wouldn’t it encourage them to know that you are living proof of what our awesome God can do in the life of a messed up, weak individual?
  • Kindness – Part of the reason that the unsaved is having a second look at a Christian, is because they see where we have a sense of calm over us; a strength inside of us that they just can’t comprehend. While I believe that God can miraculously open their eyes to this, I also believe that unbelievers will see this through the characteristics of the believer. Kindness is especially important in this fast-paced, selfish, unkind world we live in. After all, why would we be ‘kind’ to a total stranger, or to one who is out to get us? This is a character of God that must be displayed in Christians, if we ever expect for the lost to see Jesus in our actions.

Fortunately, Paul went on to say how he gained the strength to do the above, so that we might also know how to gain and stay attuned to the blessings of God in and through the characteristics listed. Paul shared that he depended on the Holy Spirit; through genuine love; by speaking the truth, and by depending on God’s power. So friends, when you read the above and allow your minds to wonder into the question as to who can possible achieve such things, allow God to use the qualities Paul told us that helped him. Remember, God is all powerful, and that you and He can accomplish great things – greater than anything you could ever imagine!

PRAYER: Lord God, Your holiness and Your character is what we desire, so that the world might recognize to whom we belong. We have so many temptations and trials thrown at us every day, and we can only do this thing called ‘life’ – Christian Life, through the power of Your Holy Spirit, through our genuine love for everyone, by always speaking the truth in love, and through Your awesome power. It is only then that I believe we will stand a chance at defending ourselves against every attack of Satan. We know that greater is He that is in us than he that is in this old wicked world. Please have Your will and way in me today, and please touch the lives of those that will read this devotional today, for I ask this in the precious and holy name of Jesus, AMEN!

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

The Gift That Started All Christmas Celebrations

December 25, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE ~ NLT and CEV ~ 2 Corinthians 5  ~ 11 Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. (NLT)

17 Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. 18 God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between himself and us, and he has given us the work of making peace between himself and others. (CEV)

20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (NLT)

THOUGHTS: I want to share a gift with you on this day that is noted for gift-giving – Christmas! The gift is the wonderful Word of God! Notice in vs 11 above, where Paul said that he and his team were working hard to persuade the Corinthians about the ‘gift’ of Jesus – the One who reconciles us with God, and Paul and his team were doing this because of their fearful responsibility to God. Oops, we have a ‘responsibility’ as Christians? I believe most of us consider the ‘gift’ of Jesus as a blessing, perhaps as a privilege, or perhaps a calling from God, but I bet we rarely think about the ‘gift’ of Jesus as a responsibility. Let me explain where I believe God took me on this, to help me understand. Let’s assume for a moment that a crowd of your friends were in a large hotel room for a meeting or celebration of some sort, and you saw where a fire had started at the other end of the hotel. Would it be your privilege to know that information, or would you feel an urgent responsibility to run and tell your friends that they must leave their celebration and get far away from that hotel which may soon burn to the ground? May I suggest that our responsibility to God is very similar, for we see friends walking in the danger of eternal death every day, while we keep bottled up inside the ‘GIFT’ of Jesus Christ, that God sent to this world on that very first day – whose anniversary we celebrate as ‘Christmas’. However, this highlights how way too often we miss our God-given responsibility of sharing that reconciliation, that joy, that hope and that peace with our family and friends, who could very easily be walking into the fires of Hell, because of their lack of knowledge, lack of convincing by us, or just plain lack of concern for themselves, because they are too busy enjoying the ‘fun’ things of life. Not a fun thing for you to consider on the biggest day of gift-giving, but may I remind you that this is the greatest ‘gift’ that we have ever been given, and it is so important that we share this with others around the tree with us today! For this will give family and friends the kind of ‘gift’ mentioned in vs 17 & 18 – a new take on life; forgetting the ugliness of the past, and discovering the gift of newness in Christ so that our conscience will be clear between us and God – a brand new lease on life! For those of us who have the ‘gift’ already, remember that this is quite different to any other ‘gift’ we will receive under the tree – it is one given to us so that we might share it with others and convince them to accept the ‘Gift’ personally. We become ‘Gift’ demonstrators and imitators, not ‘Gift’ users or destroyers, because we become ambassadors for Jesus Christ – the ‘GIFT’ send to us by His Father. The ‘Gift’ that started this whole Christmas celebration. So if you are feeling down and out about the financial burdens of gift-giving this Christmas, please consider accepting the greatest ‘Gift’ ever given. What will it cost you? The total surrender of all your sins, your regrets, your past for which you may not be very proud. The ‘Gift’ of which I am referring, was totally paid for in blood, by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He paid in full, so that through His ultimate ‘Gift’ we might live with the assurance of eternal life with Him one day! Wow, what a ‘Gift’, and this can be ours today! And can by yours today also dear friend!

PRAYER: Thank you precious Father for the ‘Gift’ of Your Son that You sent as a baby in Bethlehem. An occasion that we celebrate as ‘Christmas’. As we celebrate that significant occasion today, may we reflect on the reason for the gift, the joy of the gift, the everlasting value of the gift, and the ultimate cost of that ‘Gift’ in order that His purpose would be fulfilled. Thank You for the ‘Gift’ in the manger at Bethlehem, and thank You for the ultimate cost of that ‘Gift’ so that we might one day see You in glory! Make Yourself very present today as we open our presents, and may we receive You as quickly as we receive our presents from under the tree today. Thank You Lord Jesus for touching us in such a way that we enjoy a worldwide celebration of Your birth each year – today! May we truly understand the significance of that gift, is my humble prayer that I offer up to You in total thanksgiving and praise, 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!

Who’s Holding Your Hand?

December 24, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE ~ The Good News Translation (GNT) ~ Psalm 37:23-24 The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.

THOUGHTS: I heard an interview at one time that asked adult females why they were so attached to their fathers. The answers somewhat surprised me, because they were not geared towards the financial welfare or wisdom of their father, but rather around the comfort brought by just holding their hand in circumstances where they would have otherwise felt insecure. Notice that this scenario revolved around a relationship between father and daughter, but have you ever thought of God in that type of relationship with you? Have you ever thought about the comfort you receive when you are reminded that our great, big, wonderful God is in charge of this universe and yet He is intimately concerned about our well-being and our security? Friends, there is just one catch to this. God will not push Himself on anyone who has chosen to do this thing we call ‘life’ alone. For this verse, and many others, make it clear that God will take extra good care of those who have chosen to open their hearts to Him. But may I quickly caution you that this does not mean that you can just conveniently open your heart to Him when you are in trouble, for He desires to know you, and subsequently care for, and about you in all walks of life. Although it is clear in the Word that He will protect His own, I believe this also means that He will not barge in, or interfere with you, if you have personally chosen to reject Him or live your life without Him. BUT, for those of us who have chosen Jesus as our Master and Lord, the Psalmist is assuring us that ‘greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world’, for He delights in us and assures us that even if we stumble, we will never fail or fall, for the great God of this universe holds our hand! Friends, it is very obvious throughout the Word of God, that His children are the ‘apple of His eye’ and that He loves us, cares for us and will protect His own very carefully until the day we see Him face to face! That’s exciting and comforting for the Christian! This could be exciting and comforting for the non-Christian who humbles yourself and follow the suggestions in my ‘Footnote’ – but please make that decision TODAY, for there is no promise of life for tomorrow.

PRAYER: Father, we are such a blessed people. When we consider this huge universe, the sun, the moon, the planets, the whole concept of land, sea, skies and the air, who are we that a King would send His very own Son as a child to a mere human female, to be born in a stable, to perform endless miracles as proof of His power and relationship to God, then to die a cruel death on a cross – who are we that You would do all this in the name of love for Your children. Wow! Wow! Wow! This song of praise by David (in this Psalm) reminds us of how special we are in Your eyes, of Your love, of your protection and of Your concern for even us. Thank You Lord Jesus for still leaving the option open for those who are still uncommitted to You. Tomorrow we will celebrate Your birthday, I pray that our gift in return to You will be a total surrender of our lives to You, even if this may be a first time surrender for some. In deepest appreciation for all that You do for me and for who You are to me, Lord Jesus, I ask these things in honest humility and deepest gratitude, 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!

Hope For Tomorrow!

December 23, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE – The Living Bible (TLB) ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ~ That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day. These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won’t last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessing upon us forever and ever! So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.

THOUGHTS: No one had as much opposition as Paul did, yet he found hope in knowing that there was great hope in all that he was doing. A greater purpose; a God to please – one who sacrificed His very own Son to bring hope, salvation and ultimate love for mankind. In fact, as much as we despise rules/commands/guidelines, yet it is obvious that God’s commands are to help us; mold us into His image; and prepare us for the day when we graduate from this earth into our new, eternal home, with Jesus in Heaven! Friends, when we realize that kind of hope, when we are reminded of the joy that is ours to see our blessed Savior face-to-face and receive His blessing for things we have done, or people we have touched because of His love inside of us, then we have a new determination to serve Him all the more while here on earth. I am in no way minimizing your struggles here on earth Brother, nor the backbiting, envy and strife that you may face Sister, but what I am telling you is that no matter what we face today, it is nothing compared to the joy that will be ours when we are welcomed into the presence of Jesus! There’s an old hymn entitled ‘Oh That Will Be Glory For Me“! Friends, there may be trouble for a time, but if You are a committed child of God, there is joy that comes in the morning. So let’s endure the day, knowing that there is hope ahead for the Christian. This is known as one of the most stressful times of the year. A time that more folk become terribly depressed. May I remind you, as I have in my thoughts so far, these struggles are only for a moment. We have brighter days ahead! Much brighter, if you have invited Jesus into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord! If you haven’t made this step friend, please read my ‘Footnote’ carefully and know that I am available to pray with you or help you in any way that I can.

PRAYER: Lord, I rejoice in the fact that there is hope for the Christian! I thank You that You gave Your all for me. Please help me to not complain about the challenges of life that I face in this world, because they are nothing compare to the persecution that Paul faced, or the torture that You went through for me. The great news is that, like Paul, I too can survive the stresses of today knowing that my hope lies in what is yet to come – graduation to heaven where I will live eternally with You! ‘Oh I want To See You, Look Upon Your Face‘! Lord, please remind Your children of the hope that is ours, so that we might easily deal with the issue while here on this earth. Please especially humble the hearts of those yet to acknowledge You as Lord. May they find peace in knowing that they can surrender their lives to You even today. Tomorrow may be too late, as You have not assured us of tomorrow. I rejoice in know Jesus as my Savior and Lord. I pray that all of my readers can do the same, or make a decision today that will give them that assurance. I ask these things in the wonderful name of Jesus, the new-born King, AMEN!

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

Christmas Love

December 22, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE – New International Version (NIV) ~ Psalm 36:5-7 Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

THOUGHTS: I have a nephew who told my wife that he loved her “to the moon”! The Psalmist also resorted to sharing his love for God in similar measures. This is really amazing when you consider that most people will describe their love in terms of an arm’s length, or similar. I believe there are many times that we are so overwhelmed with God’s love that it may be challenging to describe the extent of our love. Challenging because we live in a world where children become fed up with the arguing and lack of love at home, so they leave with every intent never to return. Think about the broken marriages where one or both of the parties may have felt like the measurement of love for each other had dwindled past zero and gone into a negative measurement. A desperate feeling of hopelessness in consideration of love for each other. Now to the contrary, ponder with me about the love of God. The One who made everything, including you and I, yet when He saw that we were drifting away from Him (in sin), He decided to create the scene that we try to duplicate every year at Christmastime. Through the purity of a virgin girl, God caused His Son Jesus to be born for the purpose of being the ultimate sacrifice that would clear the veil that separates sin from purity; righteousness; faithfulness; justice and unfailing love – God Himself. In fact, this is what our Christmas celebration should be all about! Celebrating the greatest gift ever given for the greatest sacrifice ever imagined. Love beyond any possible measurement or description. Love for the undeserving – you and me. Wouldn’t it be great for us to say in our Christmas card this year that: following in the example of Jesus Christ, we are sending our sacrificial love so that the recipient might enjoy life to the fullest at Christmas time and throughout the New year? I trust that this year we might be able to step back and ponder, like David, how immeasurable the love, faithfulness, righteousness and justice of Jesus has really been to us, and in doing so, look for new ways to appreciate the love of our awesome God that created the Christ of Christmas!

PRAYER: To the God of immeasurable love, we say thank You, for Your love reaches way into the heavens. Lord, may we catch a glimpse of the baby in the manger this Christmas way more than the gifts around the Christmas tree. Gifts come and go, but the baby born to Mary was sent out of love for each of us. I pray that we may not only concentrate on the core reason for our celebration, but that we may express our thanksgiving from the depths of our heart. Lord, I pray that each home celebrating this Christmas will also find ways to return their love to God in appreciations for all that His Son went through for our benefit. Thank You for Your incredible love for us Lord Jesus. May we love and appreciate You in return, is my humble prayer this Christmas, 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 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!

If…, Then…, Else…

December 21, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE – New Living Translation (NLT) ~ Deuteronomy 11:13-17 If you carefully obey the commands I am giving you today, and if you love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and soul, then he will send the rains in their proper seasons—the early and late rains—so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil. He will give you lush pastureland for your livestock, and you yourselves will have all you want to eat. “But be careful. Don’t let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the Lord and serve and worship other gods. If you do, the Lord’s anger will burn against you. He will shut up the sky and hold back the rain, and the ground will fail to produce its harvests. Then you will quickly die in that good land the Lord is giving you.

THOUGHTS: In programming and even in the simplest spreadsheet programs there is something called a ‘conditional’ formula, when you can have a cell where the content will be the result is based on the condition and content of one or more other cells or constants. Please don’t give up and wander away from this devotional based on my chatter about my work, but this formula popped off the pages to me in this passage of scripture relaying what Moses told the Israelites centuries ago. Notice I changed the color of the font on ‘If‘, ‘Then‘ and ‘If you do/Else‘, so that you can see where my ‘techie’ mind went when I read this. Friends, I believe that it is very important that we keep similar thoughts in mind as we read the scripture, because we read a lot about how good God is and how good He will be, if we do certain things. I would encourage you to always look for the ‘Else’ in every instance, or the ‘what if’ I don’t do what God is insisting throughout the scripture. Often the impact will be greater for us when we understand the ‘what if I don’t’ repercussions, than anything else. Moses warned his people that as they entered their Promised Land given to them by God, that:

  • If they carefully obeyed and served God alone with all their heart, soul and mind,
  • Then God’s blessings would be showered on them through bumper crops, lush pastureland and great food to eat,
  • Else God’s anger will burn against them, the rain will stop, the harvest will stop and they would quickly die.

Friends, I saw this as a warning to us, for I believe that God is getting our attention to understand that yes, He is a loving and all powerful God who will do everything for us, but:

  • If we fail to be the children He designed us to be and continue in disobedience, and follow the ways of man instead of the commands of God,
  • Then we should realize that we have chosen our own path in life that can only lead to eternal damnation,
  • Else we must continue to seek God’s face, stay closely in tuned with His Word, obey His commands and enjoy His immense blessings that He has in store for us, and prepare for the eternal home that He has prepared for us in Heaven!

Find yourself in this If, Then, Else formula friend, and be prepared to talk with God about helping you attain a close and intimate walk with Him so that He might fulfil all that He has in store for you, His beloved child.

PRAYER: Lord God, thank You for showing us in Your Word where You came through time and time again for Your children. Thank You for the assurance that You will come through for us, if only we would be obedient to Your instructions given for our benefit. I believe that You have so much in store for us that our minds could never comprehend the awesome love that You are waiting to pour out on us. The formula for us to receive Your blessing is all outlined in Your Word. Lord may we be found obedient and pleasing in Your sight, is my simple prayer today, and I ask this in the precious name of Jesus my loving 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!