Archive for September 2016

May Others See Jesus in You

September 30, 2016

Friday, 2016-09-30

Scripture

Bible Reference: Philemon 1:6

Bible Text:   6I pray that as you share your faith with others it will grip their lives too, as they see the wealth of good things in you that come from Christ Jesus.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

The apostle Paul wrote this letter while still in jail, because of his preaching the Word of God. The letter was to his Brother in the Lord, Philemon. Paul’s life had been enriched by Philemon, and he wanted Philemon to know that he was praying that the lives of others would also be enriched as he shares the Word with them. Friends, I believe that God got my attention on this because He wanted me to stop and think about how ridiculous we oftentimes are today. If we had a good relationship with the Governor of our state, or a senator, or the head of any country, don’t you know that it would not be hidden from anyone we come into contact with? You talk about name dropping – I bet we would do our share of that!! Can’t you imagine us casually saying in a conversation with one of our school pals, that we had dinner at the White House last weekend with our good pals, Michelle and Barack? Oh, and by the way, don’t forget that you have a free invitation to take a friend with you for dinner over the next weekend! Do you suppose you would have many takers? Of course you would, in fact I bet you would have a hard time deciding who to take, out of the hundreds of interested parties. Can you imagine the excitement they would hear in your voice as you share? Compare that to the way that most would mumble under their breath that they went to church last weekend, or they are now a child of the King of all kings.  How do you suppose God must feel when He sees us avoiding the issue of sharing excitedly about Christ in our lives? Sadly, in most cases our reason is merely because we are afraid of being rejected, or perhaps put down for being one of those ‘religious fanatics’. Friends, Paul was praying that the lives of others would be touched, and jolted into the reality of Jesus Christ, when they encountered Philemon. Sure the ‘man’ might be standing in front of them, but oh that they might actually see and encounter Jesus. You know, this is my prayer every day – oh that they might see Jesus! May I encourage you to pray the same? Pray that our hearts will be so intertwined with the life and teachings of Jesus, that our words will sound like something He would say, and that our actions would make our friends think of Jesus, and may our words and actions speak to the heart of our friends, that they too might desire to know our Savior. If we were losing weight, they would want to know what kind of diet we were on. If we were looking younger than the last time they saw us, they would want information on the ‘magic potion’ we must be taking! If we are excited about Jesus, and only concerned about His goodness, His mercy and our total relationship with Him, then perhaps they would want to know more, or even be introduced to Jesus. Let’s all try to do a better job at opening up our lives so that Jesus might shine through, dear ones.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your servants, Paul and Philemon. Thank You for Your Word, for it is powerfully filled with challenges such as we have studied today. Our lives, even now in the 21st century should be just as reflective of You and Your saving grace, as it was in the life of Philemon. Please help us to be unashamed of the gospel, unashamed of our Savior, and very open to reflecting the love of God in every aspect of our lives. Lord, may the words of our mouth and the meditation of our heart, always be acceptable to You, representative of You, and usable by You to touch the lives of those that we come into contact with each day. Its all about You Lord Jesus. Help us be be usable instruments through which You can proudly minister. 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!

Christians in The Workplace

September 29, 2016

Thursday, 2016-09-29

Scripture

Bible Reference: Colossians 3:23–25

Bible Text:  23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. 25 But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I wonder if our bosses can tell any difference in the work habits of their employees, and if they ever attribute it to the work of the Holy Spirit in those that ‘stand out’ as exemplary employees! What about you, can you tell the difference? If Jesus was our supervisor/boss, what would we do differently? I believe in these verses, God is warning us that we are to work as if we are working for Him, and that if we don’t, He will treat us just like any other sinner, for He has no favorites. What if we took this one step higher and have the bosses/business owners look at their business strategies and practices to ensure that each one pleases the Lord? We sure would have better workplaces, won’t we? At one of my career stops, I heard of a gentleman who owned a marina, and because he was a godly man trying to please God in everything he did, he would not work on Sundays – his Sabbath day, as he wanted nothing to interfere with his day of worship. He would advise his patrons the day before that if they departed the following day (Sunday), to just mail him a check, as the office would not be opened. It is told in that town, that this godly gentleman never lost a dime from a patron taking advantage of his practice, that he felt led of God to put in place. Where do you set your parameters with your business, or with your employees, or with your work ethics? I believe that if Christians worked in accordance with today’s scripture, employers would be ready to place a requirement on their job postings, that they are only hiring Christians. Friends, we needn’t flaunt our Christianity, we just need to be obedient servants of Jesus Christ and live and work as if we were reporting directly to the Master. There’s another verse of scripture that says that ‘by our fruit, we will be known’. Are your words, deeds and work ethics revealing that you are sincerely in love with Jesus Christ, and seeking every day, in every way to please Him? If not, why not? Isn’t He your Master?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, Master and King, thank You for being our guide to what is right. There is so much that hit us every day that, unless we stay continually in Your Word, we may very easily use worldly standards instead of Yours. I believe that this scripture is one more reminder that if we claim You as Lord in our quiet places, or in our church, we must also claim and represent You to the world through our speech, our work actions and in every walk of life. I don’t believe there is such a thing as a temporary Christian, for the love and principles of Jesus must be embedded inside of us so that Jesus spills our of our mouths; in all decisions that we make; and in every thing that we do. Lord, may it be so evident to the world who actually controls our very lives, that we will often be mistaken for Jesus. Folk that knew my dad, often identify me as his son. May this also be the case for those that know what to expect from a child of the King of all kings. I ask these things in all humbleness of heart and in deepest sincerity. I also wish nothing less for my readers today, for if there was ever a time that we need the world to see the ‘army’ of Jesus, it is today. Thank You Lord 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!

Be A Representative of The Lord

September 27, 2016

Tuesday, 2016-09-27

Scripture

Bible Reference: Colossians 3:15–17

Bible Text: 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. 16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I believe that if there is ever a time that we need to live as children of God; as representatives of the Lord Jesus; as children of the Light – that stamps out the darkness of sin; as examples of the Lord Jesus Christ; it is now. In my old testament reading (Jeremiah 7:21-29) God shared His displeasure with the Israelites that He brought out of Egypt, for in spite of all that He did for them, yet they never truly followed Him with all their heart, mind and soul. Because of this, they continually fought to follow their former way of living. Does this compare to the church at large today? No, I’m not referring to the way members act inside the four walls of our church at weekend meetings, but rather when they are on the battle lines of everyday life. Is it evident to those who cross our paths that we are children of the Most High King? Verse 17 encourages us to speak and act like a representative of the Lord Jesus, continually giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Will it be obvious to others who we are representing today? There’s a beautiful old hymn that has the words “In Christ alone, I take my stand, all other ground is (like) sinking sand”, In other words, no matter what other direction you follow, or whatever other source you may seek for strength or power today, nothing can compare to the awesome power of our Mighty God. Friends, we’ve tried long and hard, through various trials and hardships, to see our families overcome the challenges and circumstance of this old world; we’ve seen churches split and some even closed, because of Satan’s interference and distractions; and we have seen countries go to war over selfish gains and worldly desires, I believe it is time for us to humbly seek the face of God and ask Him to help us return to the Book – His Holy Word, His instructions for life that helps us to be His representatives here on earth. I believe that as we do that, nothing else will really matter or be of any worthwhile significance. Can we give that a try today friends? Let’s endeavor to put God first in everything and then celebrate at the end of the day how everything else approved and designed by Him fell into its proper place. It’s all about Him friend! We’re just the earthly instrument that He may choose to use so that others might recognize and subsequently accept and obey Him.

Prayer

Lord God, You created us, provided enormous beauty here on this earth for us to enjoy and even sacrificed Your very own Son for us so that our sin could be forgiven – leaving us at peace with, and pleasing to You. A perfect scenario, yet we have allowed Satan to intrude and tempt us with so much that we are hardly recognized as Your child at times. Please speak to Your children once again today, and help us to recommit ourselves to You. Please help us to seek Your face and Your power to keep our lives pure before You and before our fellow man. Use us as Your instruments oh Lord, to reach the hardened hearts of the lost. May You be glorified today because of our actions, from a clean heart and godly thoughts and words. I ask these things in and through the wonderful 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!

Life Overflowing With Joy and Thanksgiving

September 26, 2016

Monday, 2016-09-26

Scripture

Bible Reference: Colossians 2:6-7

Bible Text:   And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him, too, for each day’s problems; live in vital union with him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

Paul was ministering to people very similar in nature to what we still see today – yes, even Christian people. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some folk look at Christians and become deeply concerned about the hope that supposedly lies within them, as they whine and complain as much as the rest of the world, and they are just as timid and concerned about the future as just about anyone else in the world. Friends, God has placed these verses strategically in place for us/Christians today, because He wants to remind us that when we live in vital union with Him, we can trust Him for every day’s problems. Now that little word ‘vital’ has a very BIG meaning for us, for it tells us that we should have the type relationship, or union, with Christ as if our lives depend on it. That’s why Paul goes on to say that yes, we must have accepted Jesus as our Savior, trust daily in Him and live in vital union with Him, but we must also seek daily to let our very beings become deeply rooted in Him. Let’s consider a plant as we think of this act of growth. If you purchase a beautiful plant from the nursery and plant it in mere sand, it will soon wither and die, because there is nothing nourishing or substantial for the roots to gain and support the plant. But if you take that same plant and place it in the same hole with a base of about 12-20 inches of enriched potting soil and some type of fertilizer, you will see a much better result with that plant. Similarly, when we plant our roots in the Lord Jesus Christ and depend on His strength, His wisdom and His guidance, our lives will flourish with His great love! This will further result in lives that overflow in joy and thanksgiving! Lives that look to the Creator of this world, and the Master of our lives for all things, so that we may live according to His awesome plan and for His ultimate glory. Living like this helps us to look on challenges with a new perspective – another opportunity to see God’s hand at work for His dear children, for we know who wins, so we prepare for the joy and thanksgiving that awaits us. Please remember dear friends, that these ‘opportunities’ by God are not directed by us, nor might they come with the same results that we request. Thank God for that, because we are limited in our foresight, but He knows all things, and that all things work together for good when we trust in His power and His answers!

Prayer

Dear God, please forgive us for always looking at our circumstances though the darkened eyes of failure and on life’s challenges through the sad and weak eyes of this world filled with impossibilities. Our hope is in You Lord, and should therefore be filled with the powerful and awesome expectations of a Savior who was victorious over death and the grave! Please continue to work on us Lord, for our doubt and fear comes from the evil one, in his effort to distract us and divide us in our relationship with You. In You, we have nothing to fear, but we need Your strength to keep us focused on our true source of hope – on You, in every turn of life. May we grow deep into all that You have to offer us as Lord, so that You may be evident to all those we come into contact with. May You be glorified though our actions and our character every day, 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!

Standing In The Presence of The Almighty God

September 24, 2016

Saturday, 2016-09-24

Scripture

Bible Reference: Colossians 1:21-23

Bible Text:   21 You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. 22 But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. 23 But you must stay deeply rooted and firm in your faith. You must not give up the hope you received when you heard the good news.

Bible Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

I believe that any person that you walk up to and ask how they would feel about standing before the throne of God today, may respond in varying ways about where they think they are with God. However, in this scripture today you will see that God clarifies this for those who may be uncertain, or who refuse to face the reality of the gospel. Here’s what I see from the Word of God in these verses in Colossians:

Before Christ: This pertains to those who have not accepted Jesus as their personal Savior. The Word says that you are ‘far from God’, or enemies of God – and because of your evil thoughts and actions, you do evil things, or ungodly things, or things that displease God;

In Christ: This includes those who have accepted the sacrificed lamb (Jesus), who was sacrificed at Calvary for the sins of the world. Those who accept Jesus in appreciation for His sacrifice, are welcomed by the Father (God) and looked upon as ‘holy’, ‘faultless’ and ‘innocent’. Friends, I don’t know about you, but because we are incapable of that kind of sacrificial and unconditional love, that is challenging for us to wrap our minds around. But the Word speaks Truth and I truly believe that God loves us enough that He would do exactly what He says in His Word! So because of our obedience, I believe that we are found righteous before God. However, there is one more piece of advise to us –

After being united with Christ: As normal human beings, we often tend to wander back into our old habits. Often we will make decisions because of our current circumstances, then soften our stand as life returns to normal for us. We are warned by the Word, that we are to stay grounded, or deeply rooted in our faith. We can do this through habitually reading the Word of God so that we may be reminded of God’s goodness, love and concern for us. It is also important for us to attend a local Bible believing church where we might encourage others, and allow them to encourage us, plus receive further learning from God’s Word, or a better understanding of what it means. But in all that we do, let us remember the hope that is ours in knowing the Lord Jesus Christ! May others see and believe in Jesus because of the hope they see in us!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for the awesome sacrifice You made for our benefit. Some who read this devotional today will be in various steps of the above decision making, please speak to the hearts of those who read this. Especially speak strongly to those who artificially place themselves in the wrong category of relationship with You, for I know that only the plain open truth and honesty of our life’s decisions will matter. May our hearts be touched to draw closer to You and intentional in knowing You personally and wholeheartedly. I ask these things because of the truth of Your Word, 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!

Important Tips on Prayer For Others

September 23, 2016

Friday, 2016-09-23

Scripture

Bible Reference: Colossians 1:9-11

Bible Text:   9 We have not stopped praying for you since the first day we heard about you. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything he wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives. 10 Then you will live a life that honors the Lord, and you will always please him by doing good deeds. You will come to know God even better. 11 His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything, and you will be truly happy.

Bible Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

Like any good, loving, caring, pastor/shepherd would desire for their flock, the apostle Paul wanted most of all to see the saints at Colossae :

  1. Honor God with their life;
  2. Be constantly vigilant for ways to help each other in good deeds; and
  3. Come to know God even better. 

Of course, these results are virtually impossible on our own when we live in Satan’s playground, filled with sin and sinful temptations to please self and pull the other person down. However, Paul knew that the secret for success in these objectives could only come from the Master himself, therefore prayer for the saints was foremost in Paul’s agenda. So in verse 9 above, Paul declares that he and Timothy have not stopped praying for the people, and that they always pray for God to show His people everything He wants them to do, and that they would be filled with wisdom and understanding that only the Holy Spirit could give them to discern the will of God. Friends, my heart melted with these words, and the desire of these two godly saints. What if our church leaders devoted themselves more to this type of prayer for their people, than about building the next largest church building, or to introducing the next ‘program’ that would attract more folk from the church around the corner? I believe that Paul recognized that for the church to truly come to know God better, and to grow in patience and a deeper love for God – that results in pure happiness, then they needed to draw closer to the Source of all wisdom, all peace, and all joy. No doubt Paul recognized that as this became very evident in their daily lives that it would ignite a fire in those that they would come into contact with. You see, I believe that Paul recognized that his mission was to promote God, and not himself. To draw the people to God and not to himself. I also believe that if we are to truly honor God in drawing the lost to Himself, then we must get off our personal soap boxes and promote the growth of the people in their relationship to God ONLY. Nothing else will do. When that fire is ignited, the lost will be drawn to that and our churches will grow!

Prayer

Lord, thank You for loving us in spite of ourselves – in spite of our selfish motives and our greed. Thank You for also providing Your Word to speak to our hearts and challenging us on our shortcomings. Please give us the wisdom, boldness and determination to always seek Your face and to desire the very best spiritual wisdom for those that we serve. Lord, may we never lose sight of the fact that our efforts and our mission is to praise and promote You. May we always learn to step aside so that our people will see You and You alone, so that You may increase and that their eyes may be opened to Your truth – their guiding force. With thanksgiving and my sincere love and admiration, I ask these things in the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote

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

How To Protect From Satan’s Strategies

September 22, 2016

Thursday, 2016-09-22

Scripture

Bible Reference: Ephesians 6:10-12

Bible Text:   10  A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I don’t believe that this will be news to any of you, but Satan is out to get you, especially if you carry the banner of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. I believe you have already witnessed that, way too often things happen in your life, or your day, that force you to believe that there are mighty forces fighting against you and working in opposition to you. Friends, I believe that as you talk with our valued law enforcement Brothers and Sisters, you will find that they ‘armor up’ every day so that some protection is in place, for they KNOW that they will face the evil, the disrespect, the hate, and the law-breaking of our society who, in most cases, will not think twice about ‘taking them out’ as they try to protect the innocent, like you and I. Let me encourage you to STOP and think for a moment about how that scenario differs from our day as we walk out of our peaceful homes into the world controlled by the prince of the air – Satan himself. I want to remind each of us that it is just as critical that we ‘armor up’ as we approach each day, for the battle against us is about to begin. Now for those who may not be very literate in the Word of God yet, I will refer you to the rest of Ephesians 6 so you can get more information on the armor and artillery you will take with you, for this devotional has nothing at all to do with the type, or size of the ‘piece’ that you will take with you to protect yourself. Remember, the warfare that you will face is “evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly place – a quote directly from God’s Word – verse 12 above. When your spirituality is being attacked, you need spiritual forces to defend you. Jesus used the Word of God – so should we. Jesus called on the Father for every battle and or decision he faced – so should we. So friends, now that I have given you the prescription to help you protect against Satan’s strategies, may I encourage you daily visit the pharmacy (the Word of God for direction from God; and the face of God in deep and sincere communication – prayer) for help in your daily battles? God is the only power known to man who has power over Satan. Don’t try to do this thing called ‘life’ without God. Please have a look at the tips in my ‘Footnote’ and ensure that your relationship with God is securely in place.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, our Protector against the evil one, we place our faith and trust in You alone today, knowing that You alone can protect us against the many forms of evil that we encounter each day that challenge our faith and our stand for You. Please save us from our frustrations by constantly reminding us who’s in charge of the Christian’s life, and that You can and will protect Your precious children like no one else. We need You Heavenly Father as we are not qualified in any way to protect against Satan and his demons. I ask these things believing in the Word of God, and the Son of God – Jesus Christ – whose name is above all names, AMEN

Footnote

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

Love Like This…

September 21, 2016

Wednesday, 2016-09-21

Scripture

Bible Reference: Ephesians 5:1-2

Bible Text:  Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.

Bible Translation: The Message (MSG)

My Take

No doubt some of my readers have said it before, and if you didn’t say it then you probably thought it, ‘I will resume friendship with that individual, but I will be fully guarded at all times (cautious)’, but isn’t it interesting how God chose to show us in these verses exactly how we are to handle such situations? Friends, when God sent His Son as a child in Bethlehem, it was for the benefit of the whole world – as the that little Sunday School song reads – “red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world” – all children! When Jesus was led to the cross of Calvary, it was for all who believe on Him – no conditions other than that noted. In these verses today, Paul is reminding his readers that God was not cautious about His love for us, but instead showed every sign of extravagance in loving even the unlovable. He went to the cross knowing that it was for those who refused to accept Him, or were unlovable to His kids. Paul encouraged us to not look at our neighbor who also struggles to show genuine love, but to imitate God for the unconditional, extravagant, wholehearted love that He displayed, and continues to display for us every day. So when we find ourselves struggling to love someone, let’s ask God to help us love like He did – that perfect, unadulterated, uncompromising, unselfish, love for all mankind. He did it, and as His children – fully dependent on Him and aiming to follow His example, we can do it also. Commit yourselves to Him in wanting to love like He did, and ask for His help and guidance to do so, won’t you?

Prayer

Father it is humbling to be reminded that You created us to love and worship You, yet we fail so miserably at that. You created us to love one another, yet we fail so miserably at that, and try to place ourselves above our neighbor, our friends, and those we come into contact with. Please forgive us Lord, and help us to stay so intimately in Your Word that it will have a lasting impact on our actions and our sometimes misguided thoughts and deeds. We really want to be like You Jesus – our example and our guide. For You not only instructed us, but You showed us through Your actions how we are to love one another. Please keep us accountable for all that You have taught us to do and say. May the words of our mouth, and the meditation of our heart be acceptable to You oh Lord, and for Your glory alone, 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’s Mighty Power Within Us

September 19, 2016

Monday, 2016-09-19

Scripture

Bible Reference: Ephesians 3:20-21

Bible Text:   20 Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes. 21 May he be given glory forever and ever through endless ages because of his master plan of salvation for the Church through Jesus Christ.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

I read from the book of 2nd Kings this morning where King Hezekiah was faced with a battle against the very strong, powerful king of Assyria, who overwhelmed him with numbers and strength. In one night God slaughtered 185,000 of Assyria’s men, so that king Hezekiah might be reminded of the awesome power of his God. Peter walked on water when commanded by Jesus to do so. The dead was brought back to life again by Jesus, and sight restored to the blind. Yet we face each and every day filled with challenge after challenge, and we wring our hands in despair, wondering how we will ever see life beyond our current circumstances. It is no wonder that Paul had to remind the Galatians, and us, that our God who is at work within us, is able to do far more than we could ever dare to ask or imagine. Friends, I want us to remember that our needs and concerns are not new to God, for He knows all things. Just imagine, we are His chosen children, and He knows right down to the number of hairs on our head. He loved us enough that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die the death of a criminal, just to provide the means of us overcoming sin and one day joining Him in heaven. So think about it, with a love that deep and sincere, can’t you appreciate what Paul is teaching here, that God cares for His dear ones; is very capable of doing anything we could ask – within the boundaries of His perfect will for our lives; and will indeed do what may seem so very impossible in our eyes? So for the child of God, we have a Savior who loves us, cares for us, and is capable of doing the impossibilities of mankind. What have we to fear or worry about? If we ask in faith, and within the boundaries of His will, He will hear His children and meet their needs. For those reading this devotional who have not accepted Jesus as Lord, and permitted Him to rule and reign in your life, may I ask you to consider making a change from your personal effort to understand and run your own life? Seek the face of Jesus, and accept His offer to love and reign in your life. I believe that He would love to show you how He could change your life and meet your needs. However ‘the ball is in your court’, and you need to make the decision to invite Him in. This decision depends on your willingness; you being alive; and Christ not having returned to take you home to glory yet. The latter two things you have no control over, and either of those could occur before you have finished reading this devotional.

Prayer

Thank You Jesus for speaking to me many years again and urging me to make a decision to accept You as Lord. I also thank You for loving me and working in my life daily, as I still face a variety of challenges by just being in this old world. Please control my decisions today, and please control my tongue and my actions so that I may always represent You well. Lord, for all those reading this devotional today, and for all my family and friends, I pray that You would soften the hearts of those unsaved, and that You will be allowed to be an active part of the lives of the others that have already accepted You as Lord. Of our own strength, we are very weak and limited as to what we can accomplish for the kingdom today, but with You, I am reminded that we can do all things. Please bless us with Your presence and Your power, so that we may be a blessing to others. In all that we do, may the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts and minds be acceptable in Your sight oh Lord, all for Your glory alone, 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 Spiritual Self-Evaluation

September 17, 2016

Saturday, 2016-09-17

Scripture

Bible Reference: 2 Kings 18:5-7

Bible Text: 5 Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time. 6 He remained faithful to the Lord in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the Lord had given Moses. 7 So the Lord was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

In most businesses, employees are evaluated at least annually, to promote a good time of two-way conversation about their performance and their future with the company. As part of this process I love the idea of asking the employee to prepare a self-evaluation, so that they don’t come to the review discussion with expectations that have not been personally analyzed. From a quick response, most people think very highly of themselves and therefore would rate themselves at the very top, unless they have been given the opportunity to rate themselves based on the same criteria as the supervisor is using. Now my reason for giving such a lengthy introduction, is that I would suggest that we perform a self evaluation on ourselves spiritually. The guidelines you must use are all based on scripture though, and not on the actions or performance of a pastor, or elder, or deacon, or even your neighbor who seems to attend every church service. I would challenge us to compare our actions and words to those of Jesus, and whether they are in line with what the Bible teaches. Here’s why …. In our scripture today we can read what was said of Hezekiah. I was blown away, for  it was very evident that he trusted in God; he remained faithful to the Lord in everything and he carefully obeyed all the commands of the Lord. And for this, it was very evident that the Lord was with him, and that Hezekiah was successful in everything he did. Friends, if we are to receive the end results from God, then we must do what He demands while we are here on earth. Often I am disappointed that we try everything possible to live as close to the edge as possible in making it look to the public like we are holy. Unfortunately God knows the real ‘us’ and we can hide nothing from Him, not even our thoughts. So my challenge to us is to perform a regular self-appraisal and chat with Jesus about where we stand in His eyes. Would He consider, or compare us to His servant Hezekiah? If not, what is it that you must work on today?

Prayer

Lord, we look at great earthly examples like Kezekiah and we wish that we could gain his attributes, because we want to look as much like You as possible in the eyes of our neighbors, family and friends – especially the unsaved. However I am even more convinced that this is only achievable through a solid relationship with You, and full dependence on You. Please keep our minds fixed on You, and not try to compare ourselves to our neighbor or the guy next door. I truly believe that when we live like You taught us, the lost will recognize Your attributes and want to know and obey You. Please soften our hearts to Your perfect will and commands Lord, for I ask these things in the lovely name of Jesus, Your Son, 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!