We Can’t Fool God

Wednesday, 2016-08-31

Scripture

Bible Reference: 1 Kings 14:4-6

Bible Text: 4 So Jeroboam’s wife went to Ahijah’s home at Shiloh. He was an old man now and could no longer see. 5 But the Lord had told Ahijah, “Jeroboam’s wife will come here, pretending to be someone else. She will ask you about her son, for he is very sick. Give her the answer I give you.” 6 So when Ahijah heard her footsteps at the door, he called out, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam! Why are you pretending to be someone else?”

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

If you click on the scripture link you will have the opportunity to read the whole story that surrounds the verses I included above. I found this story so interesting that I laughed as I enjoyed the glory of God and his all-knowing power! For a brief understanding of what transpired before these verses: the son of king Jeroboam took seriously ill. The king was well aware of how much he had digressed in sin from the time that the prophet had told him he would be king, so although he knew that Ahijah would have some answers for him about his son, he was embarrassed for the prophet to know that he still would approach him for answers from God. Therefore he told his wife to disguise herself and go to the prophet on their behalf. Friends, just like God knows everything that goes on in our lives today, He was also well aware of what the king was up to, so He prepared His servant for the visit of the king’s wife. To her surprise when she arrived at the home of this very old, blind, man, he called her by name; knew she was disguised; and invited her in before she could knock on his door! Imagine the shock to this lady who thought she had her act together! Friends, I believe that our take away on this today is to be reminded that we can’t hide anything from God. If we are His child, then we should be living as His child. We can be sneaky about our lifestyle to our spouse, family, pastor, or our boss, but because God knows our heart, He knows how we are thinking about things and people. He knows our ulterior motives. There was a saying back in the day “come clean, man”, which meant drop the sham and be totally transparent with me. I believe that God expects us to always be transparent with Him, and to prove our ‘heart’ by being transparent with all those that we touch. How are you doing friend?

Prayer

Having been molded by You oh Lord, we must also endeavor to live like You. Thank You for setting the pace and the example for us. Lord, teach us to be transparent in every way with You and with our fellow man. May we glorify You today in every aspect of our life, 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 http://www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to 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!

Who Is Jesus?

Tuesday, 2016-08-30

Scripture

Bible Reference: Mark 8:27–29

Bible Text: 27 Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” 28 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.” 29 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.*”

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

Around those with whom you may work, you may hear them speak of achievements by their children, and it may probe you to ask about their kids, knowing that they are so loved by your co-worker. In another co-worker you may see some special characteristic that stands out from the rest, and you may ask them about, what appears to be, a family trait. For some of us who mention the name of Jesus from time to time, we may be asked “but who is this Jesus?” – you know, similar to the question that the disciples were hit with in the above verses. I have a strong feeling that you will not reach for your Bible to answer the question with an appropriate verse, nor do I think your co-worker would want that response, and may I add – nor will Jesus want to hear that response. Let’s get it straight friend, who exactly is Jesus to you? No coined phrases or responses that you heard from the pulpit, please! I sincerely believe that your response to this question will tell Jesus who He is to you and what impact, if any, He has been on your life (not that He wouldn’t already know). Your response will also tell your co-worker whether you’ve been faking it all this time. Faking it??? Yep, try asking that same co-worker about who they are married to. You may need extra pages of paper to write down all of the attributes that they will shower you with, and I believe that this is because that spouse has impacted your co-worker’s life in more ways than one. They will probably tell you about how beautiful or handsome they are, and all about their special qualities. In fact, I believe you will probably feel like you know them personally, just from the descriptions. So friend, may I ask again, who is Jesus to you? If a relationship exists, you will know all about Him and you will be anxious to share about the qualities that bless your heart on a daily basis! Please note that a relationship is one where there is ongoing conversation (prayer); ongoing meals together (spiritual food from God’s holy Word); trust; obedience (obeying the commands in God’s Word); giving praise (praise and worship individually and corporately); and doing everything possible to please the other partner (all of the above). When we love someone, we want to be with them as often as possible – one hour per week will just not do. So friends, do you have an active, fruitful, loving relationship with this Jesus you mention from time to time, or do you just know of Him? Jesus is waiting for your answer, for He wants an intimate relationship with you!

Prayer

Lord, it is unfortunate that we know the lingo and can talk the talk while with our Christian friends, but yet for many, that ‘talk’ is not representative of their lifestyle or their intimate relationship with You. But then we worry why so many are lost and going to Hell, or want nothing to do with church,or Christians, or even with You dear Lord. I believe it is clear that many folk are tired of the hypocrites that prevent them from seeing the real ‘Jesus’. As we meditate on these verses and perhaps on the devotional today Jesus, please tender our hearts to examine the ‘real’ relationship that we have with You. It is only meaningful if Your heart; Your love and Your character exudes from every fiber of our life every day. Lord, may we always have a Word to share with someone, when asked about You, for You mean the world to me and many others reading this devotional. Thank You for being 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. 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 to 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!

God Can … and Will …

Monday, 2016-08-29

Scripture

Bible Reference: Proverbs 3:5-10

Bible Text: Trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.

7-8 Don’t be conceited, sure of your own wisdom. Instead, trust and reverence the Lord, and turn your back on evil; when you do that, then you will be given renewed health and vitality.

9-10 Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

I would imagine that you might be similar to me, in that, throughout your day there are times when you are overwhelmed as to how you will ever accomplish everything on your agenda, and that you wish you knew what would happen in coming days, weeks and years so that you could make good choices today. Friends, I believe that God has placed the answer to this dilemma right at our fingertips, in these verses today. For I believe that you will see clearly that although we may not have all of the answers, there is a God who does – praise His name for ever and ever! As you read the first two verses, let me remind you of Moses, who had millions of people following him, as God’s messenger and leader. Because He trusted completely in God, when he brought all these folk to the edge of the Jordan River, his ulcers didn’t explode from the stress of what to do next, for he was convinced that if God brought him to this crossroad, then obviously God would see him through, or across the river. These verses declare that when we place our faith and trust in Jesus, He will direct us into right paths and make our journey, or actions successful. Notice that this is not something we need to understand how or when success or answers will come, we are to just trust God and He will… Notice in verses 7-10, there are certain expectation from us, such as: 

  • Trust and reverence God;
  • Turn our backs on evil – of course the positive equivalent to this is to obey God’s commands;
  • Honor God by giving Him the first of our income;

Friends, know that God is all powerful and He could bless our health and give us vitality without us feeling like we had anything to do with the formula, but by demanding that we participate through the above simple actions, we learn that God’s goodness is for those who have an interest – those who want it. Similarly with our finances – God could very easily bestow great riches on everyone, but don’t you know that we always abuse anything that is given to us without us have some ‘skin’ in the game? When we give the first of our income, we are not only showing obedience to God, but we are acknowledging that there is nothing more important in our life. It also helps us to recognize that because we are blessed by God to be able to work and provide for our family, the least we could do is give back to Him unconditionally from our financial earnings. In true form to the goodness of our God, He foreknew the temptation of money, so He still threw in a blessing for those that obey this commandment to give. I believe that God’s Word is clear that we will be blessed financially in proportion to what we give. Are you ‘blessed’ financially? Check your giving, perhaps it needs adjusting!

Prayer

Lord God, You have proven Yourself to us in so many ways, yet we often feel like we could handle this thing called ‘life’ all by ourselves. Please forgive us for our littleness Lord. You are Creator; Master; Lord and the Savior of this world. Thank You for giving us clear instruction of what is expected of us to receive optimal results from You. Please touch our stubborn hearts today and convince us of the need for obedience and faithfulness to You. Lord, we want to benefit from all the great things You have promised to us, but more than that, we are anxious to one day be with You in glory, where we could worship You endlessly. Bless us this day with Your grace and your mercy. Please lead us into total obedience to Your Word, for I ask these things in the gracious and loving 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. 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 to 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!

Satisfying Results from Obedience

Saturday, 2016-08-27

Scripture

Bible Reference: Proverbs 3:1–4

Bible Text: 1 My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. 2 If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. 3 Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. 4 Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

In our scripture today we are given some pointers on how we might be blessed by God. Let me share these things in a very simple format so that we might easily get the point and begin to align our lives for blessings from our awesome God:

  • ACTION: Never forget the things taught to you by your parents; your Bible School teachers; your Pastors; the Bible. In fact, store those things deep in your heart so that your words, and your actions will reflect what you have stored, and not what the world teaches or expects from you.
    • REWARD: You will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. So many people live in misery, because they have no hope, or because they have caved in to every whim of this world. Let me encourage you to be obedient to the above ‘Action’, and live in expectation of your rewards from God. 
  • ACTION: Be loyal and kind. Some translations also use the characteristic ‘love’. These are so important, that God instructed us through the writer to tie these around our neck and write them deep into our heart. I find that the easiest way for me to do this with a Bible verse, is to type it out and place it on my computer screen, the refrigerator door, or somewhere that will catch my attention throughout my day. To embed these things into our heart is best done through memorization or reading the words repeatedly throughout your day. 
    • REWARD: You will find favor with God and those that you hang around. Your character will then earn you a good reputation by those who know you. I don’t believe there is anything that a Christian would desire more, than to know that our lives are pleasing to God. Re-read the above ‘Action’ and practice it every day friends!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us Your Word so that we might catch a glimpse of Your heart for us. It is evident that you want so bad for us to succeed in our Christian walk that You have given us everything we need to know about what pleases You. Lord, we long to live in total obedience to You. Please touch our hearts and help us to be strong and determined to shun Satan and to live our lives in total obedience to You. May these commands today impact us so that we might willingly live totally obedient lives to Your will and way. Forgive us Lord for our inadequacies and unwillingness of the past. 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 to 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!

Little Is Much When God Is In It

Friday, 2016-08-26

Scripture

Bible Reference: Mark 6:41–44

Bible Text: He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples, and the disciples in turn gave it to the people. He did the same with the fish. They all ate their fill. The disciples gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. More than five thousand were at the supper.

Bible Translation: The Message (MSG)

My Take

There’s a song that echoed in my mind as I read this scripture ‘Little is Much, When God is In It‘. Friends, in today’s society we would be embarrassed to invite a family over after church for a meal, if all we had to place on the table was 5 loaves of bread and two small fish. Yet as you read the rest of the chapter on this story, you will note that the disciples could only see the impossibility of this small amount of food ever being enough to feed such a vast crowd. However, much like our talent, or our gifts, or our service, Jesus wants to take what little we have to offer and multiply, or magnify it for His glory. In fact, no matter how awesome we feel that our talents or our gifts are, they are useless in touching the heart of a man. So all we could possibly do is to offer up what we have to say, or teach, or preach, or give, and ask God to use it for His glory. We too will be amazed by what He could accomplish in the hearts of folk that need a touch from Jesus. I believe that we should never lose sight of the fact that when we boast of our talent before mankind, he merely sees a human very similar to himself that has something to share of equal or perhaps enhanced worth to what the receiver is capable of doing themselves. However, when Jesus is involved, we not only see the extravagant, the impossible, the awesome and the unexpected, but we recognize the face and/or the hand of God. We see a promise of an eternity in the presence of Jesus and the Father. We see the miraculous happening right before our very eyes – way beyond anything we are capable of. Friends, God will not bless what we are unwilling to surrender, or give to Him. It may only be two cents like in the story of the widow in the New Testament, or it may be everything we have like in the story being looked at today. Whatever it is, please know that it is insignificant compared to all that God can do with it when we are willing to surrender it to Him. Because of God, we have everything we claim to own today, let’s willingly give it back to Him in total surrender to Him, and may His kingdom become more effective to all those we know and love, as a result of our humility to God.

Prayer

Way too often we beat up on ourselves for not being smart enough, or not knowing enough scripture, or having no talent or finances. Essentially we are putting you down for not blessing us, and for that I beg Your forgiveness dear Lord. I am convinced from this scripture today that when we give in total obedience, without any strings attached or conditions placed upon our giving, and when we give so that You may be glorified instead of us, it is only then that we will see Your hand at work in and through us, and Your kingdom being fulfilled among us. Lord please help us to stay humble and to freely give of ourselves and all that we claim to have, all for Your glory. I ask these things in the awesome name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. 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 to 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!

A Facilitator of Jesus’ Work

Thursday, 2016-08-25

Scripture

Bible Reference: Mark 6:4–6

Bible Text: 4 Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” 5 And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I know that I have read this scripture many times over my years, but this morning my eyes were opened to the fact that because of the doubt and unbelief of many in Jesus’ hometown, He was not at liberty to perform many miracles there. Friends, I don’t know about you, but I probably have more of a heart for my hometown than almost anywhere else on earth. I could only imagine that Jesus had the same ‘soft spot’ in His heart for his hometown folk also.  It must have been extremely disappointing to Him at the reception He received there. It must have been heartbreaking to know of the many needs of His people, and to know that He had answers for those needs, yet He was rejected or looked down on by His very own people. Unfortunately I believe that a lot of this could be attributed to the selfish motives of the people and their jealousy in imagining that a ‘son of the soil’ could possibly be holier or more powerful, or closer to God, than them. After all, they knew Jesus’ earthly parents and the poverty from whence they came. They knew of no royalty that would place Jesus at any advantage to them in performing unusual miracles for them, so of course they doubted that He could do anything special, or more impactful than any of them could do. Friends, my mind went immediately on the church – a gathering of people in need of a touch from the Lord. As we gather at our respective times to worship, do you suppose that we may be made up of folk just like Jesus encountered at Nazareth? Will Jesus find enough who sincerely believe in Him, and who truly have faith in His awesome power, that He would feel at liberty to perform miracles in your midst? Or will His work be hindered by the high degree of unbelief that He will find among those gathered? Let’s remember friends, that this Jesus of whom I speak, is the same Jesus born miraculously by the power of God; the one who is on record in the Bible for performing miracle after miracle – including bringing the dead back to life; the same Jesus that was crucified, died and was buried, yet He arose from the dead and lives on at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for His children (us). What is there to doubt about friends? Have faith in God, won’t you? He loves you and wants to see His very best lived out in you – even if that requires a miracle. Trust Him today, won’t you?

Prayer

Lord, may I not be a stumbling block to the blessing/miracle You have in store for my friends and/or fellow worshippers today. Lord, I believe in You, please help my unbelief. May I also ask that You touch each heart that may read this devotional today. May we be acceptable in Your sight and may our faith be so strong that others may be encouraged in their faith and trust in You. Lord, please touch Your people once again. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit so that we may gain strength and full allegiance to You Heavenly Father. 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 to 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!

Introducing The One Who Can

Wednesday, 2016-08-24

Scripture

Bible Reference: Mark 4:39–40

Bible Text: 39 Jesus got up and ordered the wind and the waves to be quiet. The wind stopped, and everything was calm. 40 Jesus asked his disciples, “Why were you afraid? Don’t you have any faith?”

Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

I am amazed at the various challenges that my friends and I face each day. Some very bizarre situations and some that seem downright impossible to overcome. I believe for most of us, when we are in the middle of a disaster or extreme scenario, we often feel like there’s a good possibility that we won’t come out real good on the other side of the circumstance. Imagine for a moment the growing challenge that the boat passengers envisioned before they finally went and woke Jesus up. Not only was there no calmer waters within sight up ahead, but the boat was now taking on water from the huge waves. Based on what the disciples said to Jesus, I believe they were thinking much like we do today when we face, what appears to be, impossible situations. HELLO, does anyone care out there? I’m losing my life partner; The doctor has just given me my death sentence; My young child appears to be weakening in this health crisis instead of getting better; I’m about to be homeless because of my worsening financial situation; I NEED HELP! I would imagine that similar thoughts must have crossed the minds of the disciples, only they were also deeply disturbed or disappointed about how Jesus just layed content without being concerned about the grave situation they were in. Don’t we also tend to feel self-pity and feel like no one cares? But friends, I was reminded that when we know the God of this universe – the One who created this massive world and put all of the intricate parts into place to begin with, then of course He is the only One who can change the course of events that impacts us and/or His creation (this world). So friends, I believe that our comfort in this devotional today is in being reminded that  we need Jesus. He created us and everything we touch, so we will daily need to depend on Him for understanding and help in coping with all of life’s circumstances. We had nothing to do with the creation, nor do we have any control over changing any of its natural course of events, so let’s learn to surrender to the only One who can. I accepted this awesome Jesus many years ago, and it would thrill my heart to know that you also acknowledge the same Father. If you have not already accepted Him as Lord of your life, please read my Footnote and see from the scriptures noted how you could also accept my Savior. 

Prayer

Being reminded of Your awesome power has renewed a sense of calm over my deep concerns about all that I face today and every day. What an awesome privilege to know that I can place my hand into the hand of the One who designed and created this whole creation. Thank You Jesus for caring about me and loving me unconditionally. Please also touch the lives of my readers and give them comfort in accepting you and/or knowing You personally. Being in this world is a challenge, but knowing the Creator of it all and the joy You bring to us, is worth it all! Thank You Heavenly Father! 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 to 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!