Archive for October 2016

The God Who Knows Us Intimately

October 31, 2016

Monday, 2016-10-31

Scripture

Bible Reference: Psalm 139:23–24

Bible Text:  23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. 24 Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

My Old Testament reading today took me into Genesis where God asked Adam why he had eaten from the forbidden tree. To think that through carefully, you will quickly conclude that God already knew that they had eaten from the tree, He just needed them to admit they had sinned. In this particular Psalm, David went before God acknowledging that He already knew his heart, and even his thoughts. Friends, we usually feel pretty good about ourselves when we feel like no one knows  about our inmost thoughts, but if we have surrendered our lives to the lordship of Jesus, we should be reminded that purity before Him is at a much higher level, for He knows our thoughts and our intentions. I love the way that this particular translation puts David’s prayer, when he basically said: You know my heart and my thoughts oh God, so search me and test me, so that You can quickly tell me if there’s anything that makes You sad. I believe that God is looking for children who are not only sincere in their actions, but because of the purity of their hearts, their actions are genuine and follows the example of the Lord Jesus Christ. Friends, I believe that way too often, our actions, or our outward actions in the sight of others, may imitate what others may expect of a child of God, but I’m not so sure that our inward thoughts regarding everything we do, are always God-like and pleasing to Him. I believe it is for this reason that the Psalmist asked God to point out if there is anything, whether outwardly or inwardly  that makes God sad with him. David even showed us why it is important for us to seek God in this way, because just like David, we want to win the ultimate prize, we want to rejoice at Jesus’ feet in glory eternally. Because we never know when that day will come that Jesus calls us home to glory, I believe that we need to live each day seeking the face of God and asking for a free evaluation of our outward actions and our inward thoughts and intentions.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, may the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts, be acceptable in Your sight. Lord, please give us strength and boldness to fight off the likes of Satan that would cause our actions and/or thoughts and sadden You. Lord, we want to be just like You, inside and out, but we can only do that with Your strength, as we have no power over Satan. Please know our hearts and protect us in our thoughts that may often be fed by the evil one, so that You may have freedom to not only bless us, but also bless others through us. I ask these things in greatest humility, 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 Pray For One Another

October 29, 2016

Saturday, 2016-10-29

Scripture

Bible Reference: Colossians 1:9-14

Bible Text:  9 …. we have kept on praying and asking God to help you understand what he wants you to do; asking him to make you wise about spiritual things; 10 and asking that the way you live will always please the Lord and honor him, so that you will always be doing good, kind things for others, while all the time you are learning to know God better and better. 11 We are praying, too, that you will be filled with his mighty, glorious strength so that you can keep going no matter what happens—always full of the joy of the Lord, 12 and always thankful to the Father who has made us fit to share all the wonderful things that belong to those who live in the Kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us out of the darkness and gloom of Satan’s kingdom and brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who bought our freedom with his blood and forgave us all our sins.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

Wouldn’t it be glorious to see Christians pray for more than just the sick, or not just when a serious need is known throughout the community. Paul has taught us here to pray for the spiritual welfare of one another. Here are a few things that I believe we can gleam from this passage of scripture today. Imagine praying this for our Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, that God would help them:

  • Seek and understand God’s will for their lives;
  • Have God’s wisdom about spiritual things;
  • Live to please and honor God;
  • Do those things for others that God might lead them to do;
  • Learn to know God better and better;
  • To be so filled with God’s might and strength, that they would keep going, no matter what;
  • Always be full of the joy of the Lord;
  • Always be thankful to God for making them fit to live in the Kingdom of Light, because of His grace alone;
  • Remember where they came from (the kingdom of darkness) into the Kingdom of God’s Son;

Notice a few things about those prayer items:

  • None are geared towards yourself;
  • All of them seek to draw your Christian Brother or Sister closer to the Lord, and not get richer here on earth by winning a lottery, or the likes of that;
  • That each items tends to better align the person you are praying for, with his Master and Lord, Jesus Christ;
  • That the Brother or sister you pray for will be so filled with Jesus, that their life would be a living testimony to their lost family and friends. In other words, by their testimony, others will be drawn to the Lord.

I can only imagine that we would then have more Christians, and more church attendees who know more about their Lord, than they do about their sports idol, or about the misfortunes of their friends. I also believe that we will see folk who are blessed beyond measure, because even though they did not spend most of their time praying for themselves, they are blessed beyond measure for lifting up the spiritual needs of a friend. I truly believe that God will bless us for praying this way, as He would to those for whom we are praying.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for putting us first! For You sacrificed life itself for the eternal benefit of those who believe on You. Please help us to get outside of our own little box and concentrate more on the needs of others – particularly the spiritual needs of others. Lord, if Your people, who are known by Your name, would humble themselves and pray, you promised that You would heal our land. There is such a need right now in this world, in our country, in our towns, our churches and our homes. You have shown us through Paul’s example how we should pray for others – even those who know You as Lord already. Please help us to be faithful in our prayers for others. May Your children know more about You and Your wonderful works, than any other subject or pastime we may get involved in. May it be evident to others that You are ruler in our lives, for I ask these things wanting to see You alone receive the glory, 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 Woman Who is Worth More Than Precious Gems!

October 28, 2016

Friday, 2016-10-28

Scripture

Bible Reference: Proverbs 31:10–12

Bible Text:  10 If you can find a truly good wife, she is worth more than precious gems! 11 Her husband can trust her, and she will richly satisfy his needs. 12 She will not hinder him but help him all her life.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

Throughout the Bible we see where crowds are usually counted based on the number of men in the crowd, even if women and children are present. We basically see where women are kept in the background of many Bible stories and especially in ancient church leadership. In fact, one may sometimes wonder if they were considered ‘second-class’ citizens. In my study today I came across two instances where we are reminded that women are super important to the kingdom of heaven, to their husbands, to their children, and to the church. In my new testament reading in Romans 16, Paul commended a female deacon, Phoebe, and He encouraged his friends to honor Phoebe as one who is worthy among the people of God. In Proverbs 31 we see where a good portion of that chapter is devoted to expressing the value of women to God, to their husbands, to their children and to their communities. In Proverbs 31:23, we are reminded that men worthy of being community leaders, can successfully fulfill his responsibilities when he is blessed with a good wife who knows the Lord, and is honorable in her home, for she not only supports her husband in clothing and feeding him, but in her prayers for his success also. Friends, I pray that not one man will stand and boast about how good or successful he is, because invariably you will find that he has the support of a praying mom and/or a supportive, loving, encouraging and praying wife. I have found that as I express love and worth to my wife, she in turn offers prayer, support and encouragement for my success. I am reminded from the Word of God, that Jesus expects for me to love and care for my wife, like He loves and cares for His church. He expressed that love through the biggest sacrifice recorded in history, for he gave of his own life, so that we may have access to the only One capable of forgiveness for our sins. With the purity that comes with a heart cleansed by Jesus Christ, we are acceptable for entry into heaven, and an audience with the Father. Our short lives here on this earth are filled with steps that lead us to our ultimate destination where we will spend eternity. In a major portion of this life, we (men) are surrounded by women who are ordained by God to care for us, push us towards success, support us in leadership, care for and love our children and pray for our walk with the Lord. We, in turn, must be willing to do whatever it takes, including total sacrifice as Jesus did for us, to bring fulfillment, happiness, and godly leadership into their lives so that they might also be honorable before God. This is a two-way thing Brothers! While Christ is very worthy of fulfilling the requests brought to Him by our wives, He expects us to do our part as worthwhile, God-filled husbands, to make them the virtuous women that He desires. Men, are you prepared to rededicate Your life to Jesus and ask Him to help you to rededicate the commitment, love and protection your wife needs from you?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, we have been reminded of the love You showed for us on Calvary, the love expected of husbands towards their wives, and how all of this could lead to helping our wives be the virtuous women that You desire in Your kingdom, in our lives and in this world. There’s great responsibility from all involved, but this leads to a beautiful relationship between husband and wife, and fully dedicated lives by both before a lost world, all for Your glory. Based on my study, I truly believe that this is Your desire for us. Please help us to be obedient and willing servants so that others may see, hear and believe on You. I ask these things all for your glory, 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!

Great Is His Faithfulness

October 27, 2016

Thursday, 2016-10-27

Scripture

Bible Reference: Lamentations 3:21-25

Bible Text:  21 But then I think about this, and I have hope: 22 We are still alive because the Lord’s faithful love never ends. 23 Every morning he shows it in new ways! You are so very true and loyal! 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my God, and I trust him.” 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him. He is good to those who look for him.

Bible Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

My Take

Perhaps yesterday was a very tough day for you, and your greatest fear for today is that things will only get worse. I believe that this snippet from God’s Word is intended to bring us HOPE friend, for in spite of the evil minds of those who tend to persecute us and hold us down, yet we are reminded that our God is forever faithful to His children – that’s us! In fact, how awesome is it to be reminded that the faithfulness of our God is refreshed, or anew every morning! Doesn’t this renew new strength and hope in us to: worship our God; sing praises to our awesome God; seek His forgiveness for us forgetting His love and power yesterday; and to face today with reassurance that we serve the very God who designed us and this universe where we live! It is that powerful God that cares for and loves us beyond all measure, and will care for us today, friend! There was a bus-line that had a slogan “leave the driving up to us”. I believe our reminder, and reassurance today, is that God wants us to cast our cares and concerns upon Him, leave them at His feet, and depend on Him to hold our hand and guide us lovingly through today with His total protection and extreme love that He wants to extend to those who will trust Him today. This brings me hope today friend, I trust that it will do the same for you!

Prayer

Oh what a Savior! Lord, I thank You for Your faithfulness, for it is not dependent on our perfection, or our efforts, or our capabilities. In fact, I would dare say that it appears like Your love is unconditional and so very evident especially when we are weak and tend to fail in our walk and talk as Your children. Oh that we may learn to love and care for others like that! Thank You Lord for the hope we have each day in knowing that You are our Rock, our Salvation, our Hope, our Protector, our Guide and our everlasting Savior! We need You today Lord, for we are facing a day with many unknowns. Please hold our hand – guide, protect and encourage us to face the day with confidence knowing that the almighty God is our Deliverer, and that You love us enough that all things will work together for our good. We are desperate children, in need of an awesome God! Please help us to trust You and place our total faith and trust in You, for I ask these things in the matchless name of Jesus, God’s 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 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!

Attributes of Your Faith

October 26, 2016

Wednesday, 2016-10-26

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 15:13

Bible Text:  I pray that God, who gives hope, will bless you with complete happiness and peace because of your faith. And may the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.

Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

I believe that Paul has outlined some attributes of our faith that should be evident, if we are truly committed to the Lord Jesus Christ and depending on the Holy Spirit every day, even while living on this earth among the multitude of sins evident everywhere we turn, and the impact/havoc that sin can have on us. Here is advice, that I feel, we can search our hearts for and to seek God’s favor for:

  • The origin of ‘HOPE’ – Friends, I believe that God wanted Paul’s hearers and us to know that our hope is not dependent on our family, our church or our country, but comes from God alone. Whenever we begin to feel despondent over life’s circumstances, or the crime rate, or the multitude of lost ones all around us, and we worry about the constant bombardment of evil, there is only One that we can turn to for hope. We may be worried sick over the leader our people may elect to lead us, but we are reminded that God holds the future in His hands, so who are we to try and correct world events. He has a plan designed for the duration of our time friends, and gives us peace of mind about all that is in store for us. Because of the hope that we have in Jesus Christ, we can rest assured that we will be taken care of and that our destiny, after this wicked sinful world, is far greater than anything we could possibly experience here on earth.
  • Faith – We can read about it, and we have probably witnessed the hope in our forefathers and church leaders, but we will never experience complete happiness and peace personally, until we have the faith, based on our trust in Jesus Christ, to totally depend on God for all aspects of life. This kind of faith is the kind spoken of in Proverbs 30:7-9 where Solomon pleaded with God to give him enough provisions to see him through each day, and detailed his concerns about too little or too much. I believe that God is teaching us to sincerely seek that kind of deep faith, knowing that without it, we would never see true happiness nor peace. Christian friend, at what level do you suppose your happiness meter would register today if God helped you evaluate your faith and dependence on Him? 
  • The reassurance of the Holy Spirit – Friends, I believe that God is teaching us here that as we draw closer to Him, His Holy Spirit will fill us with much hope and happiness by reassuring us of the One who holds our future, who watches out for us day after day, and who still loves us so much that He will see us safely on through eternity to one day be with He and His Father – God himself!

I don’t know about you friend, but these things from this very short verse has reminded me of the awesome God that I serve and that I can depend on today and every day to hold my hand, and lead me through every circumstance that may come my way. How is it with you today? Is your Hope and Faith seated firmly in the Lord Jesus Christ? Is the Holy Spirit active in your life, filling you with everlasting happiness and peace, until the Lord Jesus comes again to take you home to heaven? If not, why not? Seek God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you child of God!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, we are so caught up in every aspect of life and endure so much stress over what we think we could do to fix the wrongs that affect us in various ways. Yet we come across passages like this from Your Word that redirects us to consider our relationship with You. We are assured once again that You are in control, and You have the keys to our happiness here on earth, and the hope of our eternity in heaven with You. Thank You for reminding us that our responsibility is to trust in You, and not mess things up worse than they are already by trying to fix them ourselves. Our very happiness depends on You Lord! Please renew our faith, our hope and our total dependence on Your sweet Holy Spirit that You have given to us as our comforter and everlasting source of joy and hope. ‘I’m Yours Lord, everything I am, everything I’ve got, everything I’m not‘ please fill me and my readers with so much of You that others will see Jesus and believe on Him. 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!

Qualities That Please God and People

October 25, 2016

Tuesday, 2016-10-25

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 14:15-19

Bible Text:   15 If the food you eat harms your brother, then you have failed to love him. Do not let what you eat tear down your brother; after all, the Anointed laid down His life for him. 16 Do not allow people to slander something you find to be good 17 because the kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking. When God reigns, the order of the day is redeeming justice, true peace, and joy made possible by the Holy Spirit. 18 You see, those who serve the Anointed in this way will be welcomed into the whole acceptance of God and valued by all men. 19 Join us, and pursue a life that creates peace and builds up our brothers and sisters.

Bible Translation: The Voice Translation (Voice)

My Take

I believe that some of us may look at the issues Paul were addressing with the Christians at Rome, and wonder to ourselves, “what on earth was wrong with those people?” I’m really just kidding, because I sincerely hope that none of us would think that way about the church Paul was addressing, for God knew that it was important for this to be a part of His Word to us also, because He knew that we would probably be worse than the folk that Paul was addressing. Fortunately, this was not just a time of ‘beating up’ on us for what we do wrong, but I want to emphasize on the positive aspects of what is being taught to help us please God and all those that we stand a chance of ministering to. In verse 17, we are reminded that the kingdom of God is not about what we eat or drink – in other words, don’t get hung up on putting down a brother because of what he eats, or won’t eat, for that has no impact on the soul of that loved one, or about the kingdom of heaven. So let’s seek God’s help and guidance, so that we could concentrate on these three qualities:

  1. Redeeming justice – in another translation this is called ‘goodness‘, or pleasing God in all that you do;
  2. True peace – Living in peace with one another. Be known as a person who instigates peace, and not trouble at every turn;
  3. Joy – let others see such happiness in you from the joy of the Lord, that they would automatically conclude that it must be a God-given attribute!

Friends, I believe that God is telling us that it is important that our words, our actions and our lives be filled with the presence of God, so that He would be overwhelmingly pleased with us, and that we might have opportunities to witness to people around us, because they will be pleased with seeing the love and power of God working through us. It is very evident to friends when we approach them in love and filled with the Holy Spirit, for they see signs of goodness, peace and joy that could only come from Jesus Christ. At our church we have a monthly prayer meeting called ‘The Source’. I believe it is important for Christians to daily return to, and depend on, ‘The Source’ of all life, who is also the hope of eternity.

Prayer

Father God, when we become detached, or disconnected, or distanced from You, our lives and our habits soon become displeasing and unwanted by You and our fellow-man. Thank You for Your Word that pulls us back to You, that helps us realize our sin and our worldly attitudes. Lord, please help us to overcome the worldly desires of our heart, and instead fill us with so much of You, that our lives will overflow in goodness, peace and joy, so that we might become useful servants of Yours oh Lord. Please awaken us, and draw us close to You. Our world needs Jesus, more than anything else at this time. May we be helpers in this respect and never a stumbling block in the path of one who desperately needs Jesus. I ask these things in faith, through the matchless name of Jesus, and in my deepest desire to win the lost, oh 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!

The Commandment That Sums It All Up

October 24, 2016

Monday, 2016-10-24

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 13:8-10

Bible Text:  8 Don’t owe anyone anything, with the exception of love to one another—that is a debt which never ends—because the person who loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commands given to you in the Scriptures—do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not take what is not yours, do not covet — and any other command you have heard are summarized in God’s instruction: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Does love hurt anyone? Absolutely not. In fact, love achieves everything the law requires.

Bible Translation: The Voice Translation (Voice)

My Take

Often we hear people complaining about there being so much negative in the ten commandments, and the mere number of commands that God makes on, or expects from, His children. Of course, we hear this from folk who are looking for an excuse to do ‘their own thing’, and perhaps hoping to still receive God’s blessing! However, in our scripture today God highlights one commandment that basically totals the sum of all of the other commandments!  Powerful, but yet challenging even for the child of God, because ‘Loving our neighbor as we love ourselves means that:

  • We won’t put obstacles in the path of that one who never shows loves to us;
  • Others will never know that there are folk that we really don’t care a whole lot for, because with God’s help, we will love everyone equally;
  • We are able to overlook what earthly things folk believe, and still love them because, with God’s help, we will see them as God’s creation and one who is loved by Him;
  • We will pray for those who despitefully use usu;
  • We will pray for those in authority over us, even if it seems like they show favor to certain other folk instead of us;
  • We will love even those who are different from who we are physically. Perhaps of a different nationality or race, or even different in other ways.

Friends, I could probably go on with other reasons that normally stand in the way of us loving others the way that Jesus loves us, but I believe you are probably getting the point by now. The bottom line is that Jesus loved you enough while you were still steeped in sin, that He publicly showed that love on the cross at Calvary as a sacrifice for your good. If we have truly surrendered ourselves to Him, and depending on Him to help us love just like Jesus, then none of the above will be impossible. If you struggle with one or more of the above, then I would recommend that you go back to the cross and revisit the Christ who is known as ‘LOVE’, for the Word of God say ‘God is LOVE’. Ask Him to examine you and see if you are complete His. If you are, and His Holy Spirit lives within you, then you have the power to overcome your weaknesses of self-control and the artificial superiority you may feel over others. We are all equal at the foot of the cross friends, for we all have approached, or will approach, the God of ‘LOVE’, who is the only One capable of forgiving us of our sin.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, You first loved us, and You showed Your awesome love sacrificially on the cross at Calvary. In this scripture today, You are simply asking us to love all those that we come into contact with – our neighbors, so that we can prove the love of Christ that lives inside of us. Please forgive us Lord for the many excuses we use, and for the pious look down our noses at others, as being less than us, or folk that we could never learn to love. You are ‘LOVE’, and if we truly have accepted You as Lord, then You live inside of us and gives us the capability of loving exactly as You did. Please examine our hearts oh Lord, and help us prove whose we are by allowing You to love everyone through us. In this way others will come to know the very Christ that we represent! God is LOVE, and as His children, we also can LOVE! 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!

Obey God, By Obeying The Government

October 22, 2016

Saturday, 2016-10-22

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 13:1–2

Bible Text: 1 Obey the government, for God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

During this heated/sensitive time in America, with our general elections at hand, this subject may almost seem like provocation towards how we are to look at our government leaders. However, friends I believe I would be wrong to overlook my responsibility if I skip over regularly scheduled portions of the Bible where God has a word for me, and hopefully for all reading this devotional. In fact, I believe that our most worthy God is pointing out to us through His Word, that our elections are all about Him, and not about our ideals, or our wishes, or the platform of the candidates. It appears to me that God has a plan for us and our respective countries. Yes, our assumptions may be correct in saying that if a particular person is elected, we project that there are great times ahead for us, or perhaps to the contrary, that there are very challenging times ahead for us. The point is, when Christians look to God for His perfect plan for us, and submit ourselves to the leader that He would have us choose to fulfill His mission, God’s mission, then we will be at peace with God and with the results of our elections. God is the only one who could steer us towards choosing the right leaders so that He (God) might accomplish His will for His people over the next number of years. In looking for excuses, we may doubt this process because we don’t see godliness in any of our candidates. To reread the scripture is to remind ourselves that this is not one of the conditions. In fact, if the recent statistic is true that only 9% are followers of Christ, wouldn’t it be easy to conclude that our people will not vote in a proclaimed Christian? I believe that God is teaching us that in this life, there will be steering currents that will point us towards the cross, and some that will lead us to the depths of Hell. In this scripture today, God is teaching us about who’s in charge, even in our government, and how we are to be obedient to the fact that He will direct our paths, even through a corrupt government. Friends, the bottom line is that God said it, and our responsibility is to believe and obey His Word without analyzing it to pieces and trying to find a way to make it irrelevant to us, in this day and time. So I repeat the Word of God, our government leaders are put in place by God, and if we choose to dishonor or disobey our leaders, we are disobeying God Himself. I believe He will judge us for that friend!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for pointing out to us through Your Word how we are to be obedient to You in all aspects of our lives, even through the election, and leadership of, our government leaders. We easily see, and praise You for the good things done by our respective governments, but then we fail by assuming Satan has taken control when things are done that impact us negatively. Throughout Your Word You have shown us where various methods have been used by You when it became necessary to get the attention of Your people. We are probably more stubborn today than ever before, about wanting things our way, and wanting our lives coated with nothing but good, so I dare not question how You will get our attention, but learn to trust in You for all things. Traditionally bad things have brought out the best in Your children, but Lord we hope that You could teach us to honor all those that You have placed in authority over us, without asking why You’ve put them there. May our hearts and minds be fixed on You, and not the leaders or government that may prod us towards the path You have set out for us to travel. We are Your children Lord, bless us and make us usable by You to a lost world. For I humble 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 Be Changed From The Inside Out

October 21, 2016

Friday, 2016-10-21

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 12:1-2

Bible Text:  ….Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Bible Translation: The Message (MSG)

My Take

We sometimes refer to kids as being ‘rude to the core’, meaning that we struggle to see any good thing in that particular child that we are dealing with at the time! Unfortunately I believe that adults probably say similar things about other adults also, and when we consider how devious we are in our minds, especially for those without the love and impact of Christ, then we should not be amazed by that statement! Friends, it is unfortunate, but we easily ‘melt away’ or blend into the culture around us. In other words, I believe that if a typical Christian settles into a community away from all churches, and filled with constant parties and celebrations, it may not be long before that ‘Christian’ is persuaded that if they expect to ever make friends with the neighbors then they had best ‘fit in with the crowd’. Paul encourages us in these verses to take every aspect of our lives and place it before God as an offering. I believe this means that we give what we have to God, ask Him to bless it, multiply its usefulness, and use us for His glory – so that His kingdom may benefit from every aspect of our lives. As indicated in the verses, when we fix our eyes and our attention on God, and not on what our friends, or the church, or the world can do for us, then God will be convinced that we are ready for His service and He will begin the change process – from the inside out. I believe this means that He will do away with the old thoughts and habits, and fill us with the glories of the heavenly, so that we may be usable instruments by the King of glory! In another part of scripture, Jesus warns that it makes no sense placing new wine into old wine-skins. Likewise, it would be highly unlikely for Jesus to leave the filth of the ‘old man’ in place and then ‘top him off’ with the joys and glories of heaven. I am convinced that God will empty us of the old sinful man and fill us with His grace, His love and His Holy Spirit, for our lost world will only be impacted when they see the purity of Jesus when they look at us. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit will not reside where sin abounds. So to my unsaved readers, may I plead with you to not be tricked into making a superficial decision to accept Jesus as Lord in order to satisfy mom, or the pastor, or that friend that keeps bugging you. Instead, be ready to allow God to wash you clean – from the inside out, and then fill you with the beauty of Himself. Ask a beggar to act like a rich man, and he wouldn’t know what to do. The totally opposite is also true. Asking a sinner to continue in sin and wear the look of Jesus is also a total misfit. However, to ALL who calls on the Lord Jesus Christ, to them will He accept (save) and totally change from the inside out. I pray that will be your decision today friend!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, please forgive us for the decisions we make that are so superficial that we change our minds at the whim of every wind or circumstance of life. Please help us to think deeply about offering ourselves as a total sacrifice, or offering, to You, for Lord we desire a heart like Yours, and the humility to please You in every way possible. We already dedicate ourselves in similar fashion to our workplace so that our business owners could succeed. Please teach us to be even more committed to surrender totally to You so that Your eternal kingdom may flourish through our witness. Lord, we have family and friends who are destined for eternal damnation and unless they see, understand and believe on You, they will never see the glories of Heaven. Please grant us the deep desire to allow You to rule and reign in every way through us, so that they may recognize the King of glory and desire to know You personally. Change my heart oh God, make it ever true, change my heart oh God, may I be like You! 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!

Tough Love

October 20, 2016

Thursday, 2016-10-20

Scripture

Bible Reference: Jeremiah 48:35–36

Bible Text:  35 “I will put an end to Moab,” says the LORD, “for the people offer sacrifices at the pagan shrines and burn incense to their false gods. 36 My heart moans like a flute for Moab and Kir-hareseth, for all their wealth has disappeared.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

As parents we are often pressed to express tough love with our children, as they are so clever in trying to manipulate us into spoiling them and providing everything possible for them. Because we have invested so much of our lives into our kids, and because of the deep love that we have for them, it is extremely challenging for us to say ‘no’ or handle them with ‘tough love’. Imagine then how challenging it is for the God of this universe to destroy parts of His creation that He made with such pride. Imagine the love expressed when He provided the ultimate sacrifice (His Son, Jesus) for us to overcome/throw off the filth of sin, and become eligible for His kingdom. In our scripture today we see an example of God’s tough love with the people of Moab. God loved them with such heart-felt love, that His very heart moaned in agony for their well-being. However the people were so immersed in sin that they chose to worship the gods that they could see – the ones that other leaders placed before them to worship and supposedly provide for them. As we read this account, we may be challenged to see the issue here, because we may quickly conclude that the Moabites deserved destruction because of their stubbornness, disobedience, worldly affection and for having taken their eyes off God. However, let me be quick to warn you friend, that in our world today, we are probably as bad, or worse than the Moabites. Please, no throwing of rotten eggs! Let me explain: a well-known verse of scripture that many have heard, and many may even be able to recite, tells us: (John 3:16) – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Please carefully note what that verse says, and hopefully you can rejoice in the promise that lies ahead for you, because you have surrendered your will and your life, to believe in the one true God, through His Son, Jesus. In comparison to the scripture on the Moabites, I want you to read John 3:16 again, and particularly notice what it does not say. Notice that the Word says that if you believe, or for those who believe, they will have eternal life. BUT, what do you suppose that verse is saying about those who don’t believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? Friends, recent statistics revealed that only 9% of Americans believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you suppose that the Moabite statistics were worse than that? May I remind you friend, that there are only two options for us, just as it was for the Moabites. We know from John 3:16 that the eternal destination for those who Believe on Jesus, is heaven (Praise the wonderful name of Jesus!!). However, scripture also tells us that all others are living for Satan and will join him in Hell for an eternity of damnation and destruction. I believe that God is very sad to know that so many of His kids have decided to live like the devil and settle for such damnation. Unfortunately, that’s 91% of Americans, and probably a similar percentage for other countries. For Christians who have sincerely yearned for the ‘heart of Christ’, I believe that our hearts are likewise saddened by this reality today. So much so, that I am hoping that you will join me in prayer for the unsaved today. 91 out of every 100 people that we come into contact with today could potentially be in danger of eternal destruction. Friends, let us pray……..

Prayer

Lord Jesus, Redeemer, Savior of this world, God’s very Son: thank You for the sacrifice You made so that we might have eternal life. I can only imagine how Your heart is saddened by the number of Your children who have chosen to reject that sacrificial gift of love that You have made available to them. Like the Moabites, many have chosen to ignore, refuse and reject the gift You have offered, and to worship the gods of entertainment, sports, pornography, self-fulfillment and lust that saturates their minds through constant advertising and frequent pop-ups on computer screens. It is so unfortunate that often it takes a disaster of some sort to really get the attention of many folk, but Lord in a proactive approach today, may I ask that You please burden the hearts of Christians to frequently bow their knees before You in prayer for their unsaved family and friends. Because the necessary decisions can only happen through changed hearts, we acknowledge that our part can only be in loving these ones, and lifting them up to You on a regular basis, so that You may impact the heart. We are concerned dear Lord. Please ease our concern as we pray. For I ask these things in the name of the only One who can change hearts, 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 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!