An Object Of Cursing

Wednesday, 2016-10-19

Scripture

Bible Reference: Jeremiah 44:22–23

Bible Text:  22 It was because the LORD could no longer bear all the disgusting things you were doing that he made your land an object of cursing—a desolate ruin without inhabitants—as it is today. 23 All these terrible things happened to you because you have ….. and sinned against the LORD. You have refused to obey him and have not followed his instructions, his decrees, and his laws.”

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

Just from the title you probably had no incentive or desire to open this devotional and read more. That’s pretty normal, because we are creatures of so much stress each day that the last thing we want to hear is another challenge or critical point of view. Sorry friends, but as followers of Christ we must be obedient to the Holy Spirit and stop to meditate on a passage of scripture such as this, when presented with it, because God could very well be getting our attention to warn us of what our own outcome may look like, if we continue in sin and disobedience to His commands. Based on scripture, I believe that God wants us to turn away from our sin (stop doing it and look at God’s plan for us), humble ourselves before the almighty God, seek His face and His heart’s desire for us, and pray for a revived spirit within us individually and as a family, as a church, as a city and indeed as a nation. Friends, at this time of the year we become so caught up in politics that I’m afraid that we lose our passion for what is really critical in God’s eyes – that we know Him; honor Him; obey Him and seek sincerely to follow Him. In doing this friends, we will earn a deep, sincere, desire to see our family and friends also ‘make the cut’, or generate a desire to know the Savior that we love, adore and live in great expectation of uniting with Him in glory one day! Friends, as we grow closer to God and live more like Him here on this earth, perhaps He may save our land from desolation and destruction. Most of us would desire that God bless our respective native country, so I sincerely believe that we would also truly regret it if God removed His hand of blessing from us because of our neglect of God and His commands. God says in His Word that He puts our leaders in place for His purposes. Let us therefore be sure that we seek His face as we vote on our leaders, and more importantly, let us seek to know God better, understand His directions for us, and seek to follow His will and His way. I believe that this will please God and perhaps earn His blessing rather than His curse, as He did with the disobedient and rebellious Israelites.

Prayer

Lord, please forgive us for getting so caught up in our own agendas at the expense of our obedience to You and Your commands to us. I am convinced that You are far more interested in our heart, and the desires of our heart, than any earthly concern that we may have influence over. We love our respective home-country and would ask that You bless us immensely in every way. That’s a selfish request because we happen to live here, and whatever happens to our country, affects us. Lord, I also want to ask that You touch the hearts of Your children today so that we may be a vital Christian influence in our country that is representative of the Savior who loves and controls us. I realize that we don’t deserve this Lord, but I ask this so that Your work might be accomplished in our midst and in our country. I pray that Your children will lift Your banner high so that the world might know! 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 Will They Know, If You Don’t Tell Them?

Tuesday, 2016-10-18

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 10:9–10; 13-14

Bible Text:  9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved…. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” 14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

Each of us have responsibilities in this world. A dad is obligated to take care of his family, and lead his family towards a life in Christ. Mothers share in that responsibility with dads to help ensure that kids are raised healthy in body through nutrition, and in soul through their manners and beliefs and practices. Work managers have a responsibility to the owners of their company to ensure that they develop the best employees that will lead the company to great success. There are lots of other examples I could give, but as I read this scripture today, I was reminded that in life, if we fail in our responsibilities, we see failure – sometimes devastating failures. For the believer in Jesus Christ who fails to share with others the path to success in achieving eternal life, or the expected results from disobedience to the Word of God, then we are probably most disappointing to God, and  I can only imagine that it will be very disappointing for us, and our friends, as we face God and acknowledge our shortcomings that resulted in the eyes of good friends never having been opened to the truth of God’s Word. Friends, I believe that it is challenging for Christians to share their faith, for various personal reasons. But may I remind each of us today that this scripture reminds us that unless we tell others about the joy of our salvation and how it is available to them also; unless we warn them of the consequences of their non-acceptance of this free gift, they may very well never hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. As you meditate on this devotional today you are in one of two positions: 1) You have accepted Jesus and are on your way to heaven, praise the Lord! or 2) You may or may not have heard the Good News of Jesus Christ, and you have yet to believe on Him and declare His glory to the world around you. Those in group (1) have a responsibility to God and to those in group (2) to share the Good News of Jesus Christ that leads one to acceptance, and ultimately to Eternal Life. Our friends in group (2) may never hear or understand, if we are disobedient in sharing. You may be taking all of your other responsibilities very seriously friend, but this is by the far the most important task for each of us in this life. Remember, we can’t save anyone, but we have a responsibility to share our story and the Word of God, so that He may speak to their heart and save them.

Prayer

Oh Lord, may we who know You, make it our primary focus today to share the Good News of the gospel with an unsaved loved one today. There is no reason that we could ever come up with, that would hinder us from being considerate of our friends and sharing the simple plan of salvation with them. No theological degree necessary, just simply share the gift that we were blessed to find, and that changed our lives for eternity. Embolden us heavenly Father, and help us to quit finding excuses and just share our story with a friend today, so that they too might have the information necessary to make a decision to accept You. You alone are God, and I praise You for Your all-gracious love, power and wisdom. I pray that You may use even me today in Your plan to reach my friends. Please touch the hearts of each one that will read this devotional today. May Your kingdom grow because of our concerted obedience to 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!

How To Stay Encouraged In A Challenging World

Monday, 2016-10-17

Scripture

Bible Reference: Philippians 4:8-9

Bible Text:  Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise. You know the teachings I gave you, and you know what you heard me say and saw me do. So follow my example. And God, who gives peace, will be with you.

Bible Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

Perhaps before you walk out of the door to your home this morning you already realized that there will be many challenges that you will deal with today. Perhaps there is overflow from the challenges you dealt with yesterday. There may even be unresolved contention that you know you must deal with today. You may be deliberating: why is it that you must awake from your ‘perfect’, ‘protected’, ‘uncomplicated’ dream of contentment and peace at home, and face the reality and cruelty of this wicked world. Friends, I want you to be encouraged with the words from God, through His messenger Paul, for I believe this can apply to all who are reading this devotional today:

  • First of all, to the believer in Jesus Christ, here are some tips on how to handle life under God’s leadership, strength, wisdom and guidance today:

    • Don’t allow your minds to be swayed by this world and it’s leader – Satan. Instead, aim towards being like Jesus, for He is true (so important in this world filled with lies, hatred and deception); pure (there is no ‘make-believe’ with Jesus Christ, for He is the real deal. He loved us when we were still steeped in sin, and He gave up His own life to provide the means of us living eternally with the Father in heaven); right; holy (remember Jesus is one with God, so He is holy just as God almighty is holy); friendly; and proper;
    • Think about everything that is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise – in other words, we are to seek God’s help to not be pulled into the gutter of gossip; hatred; and the evil deeds associated with Satan himself. In other words, if we find ourselves thinking about something that we cannot truly praise God for, then we are probably ‘off-track’ with what God is teaching us here. For we are to think on those things that are ‘worthy of praise‘ to our heavenly Father!
  • Secondly, I believe that there is help here for the non-Christian. Think about it friend: how can you possibly deal with life without the power of the Holy Spirit who is busy in the life of the believer? Without the power of Christ, Satan is free to beat up on you all he wants. Christians are not super beings with the capability of handling every aspect of life that is thrown at them. However, we are super excited about the promise that we can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens us and guides us to all truth, through the awesome power and guidance of His Holy Spirit who controls us. I believe that your encouragement today is knowing that as long as you have life, there is hope in the option to also accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Know Jesus and know peace! That’s my recommendation to you today so that you may gain His everlasting joy and contentment in everyday living here on this earth.

Prayer

There are a few sayings that cross my mind dear Lord, “you are now entering your mission field” and “you are now entering the ‘real’ world”. I believe that most of us feel fairly secure and at peace in our own homes, and we fear the challenge of what this bitter world holds in store for us as we step into it today. Thank You for the encouragement given to us in this passage of scripture today. Lord, we believe in You, and we lift high the banner of truth contained in Your Word. We are more dependent on You today than ever before Savior, for we can only handle today’s challenges with You powerfully working inside of us, and helping us to be more like You. Lord, how will the world know about You if we don’t tell them? Oh that they may see everlasting hope and the love of Christ in all that we do or say today. For this is my humble prayer that I ask in and through the name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. 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 Chosen One May Not Be Logical To Us

Sunday, 2016-10-16

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 9:10–12

Bible Text:  10:12 Don’t forget what happened to the twin sons of Isaac and Rebekah. Even before they were born or had done anything good or bad, the Lord told Rebekah that her older son would serve the younger one. The Lord said this to show that he makes his own choices and that it wasn’t because of anything either of them had done.

Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

I believe that a lot of us try to put so many conditions on what a person should be qualified to do, in our eyes, or based on our previous experience with the decisions that were made before us. Case in point: we may have seen our church decline in membership and possibly in Christian growth under an aging pastor that is just about ready for retirement, so our logical next step would be to bring in a young whipper-snapper to take the reigns, excite the congregation and bring in younger families. In fact, I believe we become so practical and logical in our process, that we harden our hearts to the voice of God for who He will have assume the key leadership role in our churches. The same could very easily happen with other positions in our church. I believe that this scripture today references an Old Testament example to not only show the Roman church to whom Paul was teaching, but also to show our churches today, that if we are blessed to participate in the ministry that God is doing through our church, then we had best seek His face, humble ourselves before Him, and wait for His direction on who it is that He would like to have on leadership, so that His work could be properly administered and become most effective before the lost world that enters our doors looking for answers from God. Our chosen ones may very easily become the stumbling block for someone entering our church to hear about Jesus. In our Bible story today, it was automatic for the oldest son to assume the leadership role in his family’s godly and community responsibilities. However we see where God had a different plan for the sons of Isaac and Rebekah. Friends, God’s plans far outwit our knowledge, foresight and judgment, for He knows the plans He has for us – plans that will bless us, and not harm us. Do we really want to interfere with that? Let’s be reminded by this, that for those of us that know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we have an Advocate, who cares and loves us enough to see His very best worked out in and through us. However, I believe that this will only occur when we invite Jesus to lead the way right from the beginning. Let’s not think for a moment that we could make our uneducated, unqualified decisions and then ask God to bless that. Instead, as we follow His lead and obey His commands, He will bless us in spite of how unqualified we feel the individuals are that we want to lead us. Can you do that friend? Can you put aside your personal agenda and let God have His way?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, have Thine own way in our lives, PLEASE? This means that we need to put our personal agendas aside and our pride and our false ideals of thinking that we have a clue about what needs to be done. There are decisions after decisions that we must make daily, but Lord we make those decisions based on our limited knowledge and foresight. You alone know what the future holds and how we may fit into the plan that You have for us and Your kingdom. Please touch us once again Heavelny Father. Draw us unto Yourself and align us within the boundaries of what You have in store for us and this unsaved world. May Your kingdom come oh Lord and may My readers and I be allowed the opportunity to serve in Your army to accomplish Your will. 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!

Exposed By The Holy Spirit

Saturday, 2016-10-15

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 8:26–29

Bible Text:  26 And in the same way — by our faith — the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and in our praying. For we don’t even know what we should pray for nor how to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows, of course, what the Spirit is saying as he pleads for us in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

I’m sure that each one reading my blog today will admit that there were times when you wanted to pray, but just could not get your mind together, or get the right words to express in your communication with God. Having been married for 41 years, I sometime feel like I know what my wife is thinking, or about to say. However, after reading these verses today I am reminded that our relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is a lot more intimate than anything I could imagine. Friends, often when we think about praying out loud, we become so self aware of our inadequacies in the face of those who may be around us, so we remain silent. Ever thought about how this is not an issue with God? Scripture says that He knows our heart, our mind and our thoughts, so what does it matter about what blabbers out of our mouth? I believe that our part in this whole relationship with God, is that we are to concentrate on having the mind of Christ and be willing to surrender our will to the perfect will of God. There’s a saying ‘from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks’. In the context of this scripture, I would challenge us all to make sure that our heart, mind and soul is filled with the qualities of the one whom we claim to serve. If you are a child of the King, then the Holy Spirit will not only prod you to draw closer to God and be filled with the mind of Christ, but He will also share the content of your heart, soul and mind with the Master. What will that look like friend? Are you proud of all that God is hearing about you today? Deep inside are you really  anything like what you believe God expects of You? Remember now, you can probably pull off exactly what your pastor, or your spouse or your friends expect to see from you, but through the Holy Spirit, God knows the very innermost depths of your heart, soul and mind. To quote a phrase from my earlier life in the islands, “come clean man” – which means – Brother, be honest and totally open with yourself and with your God. There is no time for ‘blowing smoke’, for God knows your very heart, regardless of what the world hears from your mouth..

Prayer

I am amazed by the power, the love and the wisdom of You, my Almighty God. For You knew how weak we would be in saying what our heart really cries out with, and how we would be so ready to show off our own strengths and abilities, instead of truly giving You access to our hearts. Lord, I am convinced that without a changed heart, You will never see a changed man. Thank You for sending Your awesome Holy Spirit to reside inside of us and help us in our walk with You, for we want others to see Jesus and not the weakness of mere human efforts, thoughts or actions. Please touch us once again today Father, and help us to surrender fully to Your will and Your way. May Your Holy Spirit have free and full access to our heart, with every right to convince us of wrong doings and evil thoughts. Lord, may others be encouraged today because they have felt Your presence working through us. Thank You for loving us so much, and being so considerate of our needs, and to ensure that our representation of You is totally genuine. I submit myself wholly and solely to Your will oh Lord. Please impact the hearts and lives of my readers in ways that You know will allow them to best represent 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!

A Life Dominated By The Spirit of God

Friday, 2016-10-14

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 8:5–8

Bible Text:  5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

Paul shared with his Roman friends/church, and I believe that God is challenging us today as we meditate on this scripture, to consider: who, or what is dominating our lives. First of all, our minds can only be controlled by the Spirit of God when we have surrendered our own sinful nature, and accepted the free gift of eternal life, made possible through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus assumes control of our minds and our lives when He is invited, and accepted, to become our Lord and Savior. When this occurs, the Holy Spirit assumes control and sets us on a path towards a life of peace and anticipation of our heavenly home. I believe that the scripture is clear in pointing out to us that if we are not enjoying that peace, and if we still feel hostile towards God, and if we find it impossible to obey God’s laws (His instructions from the Word of God), then we must pay close attention to those red flags, as we are still under the control of our old sinful nature that will never please God. Unfortunately, this life without God will never see the face of God, nor His heavenly home – heaven. So friends, may I encourage you to take a moment and talk with God about what is dominating your life right now? If you are confident that your thoughts and your actions imitate Jesus and His teachings, and that you are always seeking to serve Him more fully, then I believe that you can use this time to praise God for His saving grace and for placing His Holy Spirit prominently in your life to guide and direct you. However, in the very next verse (9), we are warned that if we cannot identify the Spirit of God evident in our lives – our thoughts, our words, our actions and our desires, then we do not belong to Jesus Christ. Fortunately, your pastor, your spouse, your friend nor myself can judge that and question you about your eternal destination. This is a matter strictly between you and our heavenly Father – God almighty. Because this impacts your daily walk in life, and your ultimate destination even after death here on this earth, I would strongly suggest that you go before God and evaluate your position with Him urgently. Why urgently? Because you have no assurance that you will have another opportunity to do so. There is a very old hymn that addresses the subject “Is your heart right with God?”. That’s my plea that I trust you will ponder today friend. Read my Footnote and click on the menu item above to read more scripture on the matter of “To know Jesus”. There’s no greater assignment for you today friend.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I am reminded that if I am a child of an earthly monarch, then I will feel like, live like, and present myself to everyone that I meet, as a ‘prince’. My default lifestyle will imitate the sinful nature of this world in which I live. However, having accepted You as my Lord, and asked You to rule and reign in my life, then my words should sound like Yours, my actions should remind folk about Your actions while here on earth, and my thoughts should always reflect the hope, joy and love of Your sweet Holy Spirit that resides inside of me, and leads me throughout my day. My prayer is that You will not only touch my life miraculously with Your Holy Spirit every moment of every day, but Lord, may that be multiplied times over in the lives of those that may be touched by Your Word today. May the world see Jesus very much alive in Your children today, is my sincere prayer that I ask in the matchless 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!

Wrong Doing Infuriates God

Thursday, 2016-10-13

Scripture

Bible Reference: Jeremiah 32:26–31

Bible Text:  26 Then this message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 27 “I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me? 28 Therefore, this is what the LORD says: I will hand this city over to the Babylonians and to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and he will capture it. 29 The Babylonians outside the walls will come in and set fire to the city. They will burn down all these houses where the people provoked my anger by burning incense to Baal on the rooftops and by pouring out liquid offerings to other gods. 30 Israel and Judah have done nothing but wrong since their earliest days. They have infuriated me with all their evil deeds,” says the LORD. 31 “From the time this city was built until now, it has done nothing but anger me, so I am determined to get rid of it.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I know that many would prefer to see the positive spin to scripture than the negative, so perhaps I could have titled this blog “Pleasing God invokes His blessings”! However, part of my study this morning took me into Romans 7 where Paul was pleading with God to help him overcome a very big problem that he had. Paul realized that he often did those things that he was determined not to do, and he always seem to do those things that he knew he shouldn’t do. So because of this same dilemma, which I am convinced that we still battle today, I felt like I should just present the challenge by Jeremiah in the light that it is presented in the Bible! Friends, I believe it is time that we stop and ‘call a spade a spade’. Let’s be honest with ourselves, how hard are we trying to please God in our personal lives, or in our families, among our friends, in our workplaces, our churches, cities, states, or countries? I know, our pet answer would probably be that we are doing better than our neighbor next door, or that our church doors are still opened and occasionally we see some numerical growth, so we assume that we must be on track. Friends, I would like for us to take a moment and look at our specific country from God’s perspective, and see if you can come up with a few things that you could brag on before God. Consider this: in His Word, God detailed the reason He made us and the reasons He would allow us to continue on as His children. He provided beautiful landscapes for us to enjoy and He provided food for our nourishment. Would you consider that most of the other things that we have brought into the equation, serve to enhance our worship of the Master, or to promote the ministry of the gospel to the lost and dying in our communities and the rest of the world? If God was to send in His forces to destroy our towns, which parts of the town might you be able to defend before Him as being holy and totally in place for the benefit of the gospel? Please don’t automatically go to the churches, for I am not convinced that they all serve the purpose for which they were intended. Furthermore, can we really present our churches as effective messengers of the gospel message? If they were, don’t you suppose that they would be more effective in attracting the lost and/or the un-churched? Friends, I believe that we are probably worse off than the Israelites were at the time that God declared (in verse 31) that He was so angry He would totally get rid of everything they built – everything that distracted them from the purity of their hearts and their worship of Him. In the case of the Israelites, this included total demolition of the city. Would our situation be any better off? We have so many personal idols and/or ideals and/or beliefs that it is often very challenging to remove the ‘cobwebs’ so that we could clearly see the face of God and know what He desires of us. Some who will read this devotional will be faced with country-wide general elections soon. May I remind us that while this is an important part of our earthly obligations to vote, it is secondary to all that I have shared with you this morning. God will not ask us if we voted, or who we may have voted for. He is more concerned with the purity of our heart and our everyday decisions, and how they align with His will for our lives. Let’s keep that part in order, then I am assured that God will direct us to the right candidate to vote for, so that He may be honored, praised and worshiped by His people.

Prayer

Father, thank You for being patient with us. Thank You for providing Your Word as direction for our daily path. Lord, please forgive us for allowing so many things to interfere and distract us from the actual path that You have set before us, especially our selfish and personal ideals. It’s not about us, so Lord may our lives be so in tuned with You that our decisions will be based on Your desires and Your heart. I admit that this may not always be the popular thing to do, but our desire is to please You oh Lord, and not the general public looking to feed their fancy. We need You every minute of every day Lord. Please touch Your children today in ways that we may recognize Your voice and be reminded of Your power. For I ask these things in and through the precious name of Jesus, my Rock, my redeemer and my soon coming King, AMEN!

Footnote

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

Slaves to Whomever We Obey

Wednesday, 2016-10-12

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 6:15–18

Bible Text:  15 What does all this mean? Does it mean we are free to sin, because we are ruled by God’s wonderful kindness and not by the Law? Certainly not! 16 Don’t you know that you are slaves of anyone you obey? You can be slaves of sin and die, or you can be obedient slaves of God and be acceptable to him. 17 You used to be slaves of sin. But I thank God that with all your heart you obeyed the teaching you received from me. 18 Now you are set free from sin and are slaves who please God.

Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

I believe it is safe to say that if asked the meaning of the word ‘Slave’, we would probably respond with one of the typical dictionary meanings “a person who is the property of, and wholly subject to another“, and I believe that we would immediately cringe at the connotations represented by that word. However, what do you call it when you go to work every day and do a serious of tasks that you’ve been ordered to do, that are quite contrary to your description of a happy and successful day for you personally? It sounds like you didn’t personally choose to do those tasks because they were the top 10 on your list of favorite things to do. Similarly in marriage, you are expected to change from the things most kids your age find to do together in the name of ‘fun’, to a life of dedication, support and love of another individual. In our verses today, Paul is helping us to understand that although we may have subjected ourselves to the things and leadership of our friends, to do the things that the world calls ‘fun’, our life-direction does not change and we are still destined for Hell. In fact, we become so caught up in the things of the world  (things recommended or promoted by our friends), that we find ourselves doing them without any personal desire or satisfaction. Does that sound just a little like your initial description of ‘slave’? Could it be that you may have become a ‘slave’ to the things of the world? Paul therefore saw where his audience, and many of our friends today, need to be apprised of the only alternative to this dilemma. Jesus came so that we might be free from the hold of this old world, or slavery of this old world. Jesus said that for all who accept Him as Lord and Savior of their lives, He would set them free from the slavery of this world and its ruler, Satan. In fact, Paul likens this to us being determined to become slaves of Jesus Christ, in that we surrender our will to His leadership, so that we might experience the joys of heaven and the promise of everlasting life with He and the Father. This is like comparing night to day; death to life; hell to heaven; everlasting death to everlasting life; children of Satan to a child of the King of all kings; the darkness of hell to the bright and shinning promises of Heaven. Is this really something that you need to stop and consider, or is the choice as straight forward as it appears to me? Think about it friend and make a good choice today. To whom will you commit your allegiance? Unless you decide to follow Jesus, you are a slave to this world and its leader, Satan. Is that really what you want?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for sacrificing Your life, so that I might live forever with You and the Father in Heaven. You have offered compelling reasons for us to leave the slavery of this old world and its leader of death and destruction, to follow the Savior of this World that leads us to life everlasting in heaven with You and the Father. Thank You Lord Jesus! May this renewed faith, and renewed hope, and brand new life, be so evident in the lives of Your children today that those who are still slaves to sin, will develop a new desire to know You today. May we be obedient to Your will and Your way, so that You may be glorified through us today. I ask these things in faith and because 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!

God’s Plan For You

Tuesday, 2016-10-11

Scripture

Bible Reference: Jeremiah 29:11–14

Bible Text:  11 I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. 12  “When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. 13–14  “When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. “Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”

Bible Translation: The Message (MSG)

My Take

I believe that verse 11 above is probably one of the more popular verses used from the Bible, especially when we tend to look at how upside down our lives seem to be at times, so we grasp at every possibility of how God could rescue us and turn our lives around. We want to believe that He has good plans for us! But friends, I encourage you to look very carefully at the whole context of these verses, for they were directed at the obedient Israelites who trusted God, in spite of their strong disbelief and personal desires. God had them surrender to the Babylonians, whom they despised, but He knew that is was for reasons that would be for their long-term safety. Aren’t we the same friends?  Don’t we often go to God in a panic because it seems like we would have to surrender to the Babylonians? You know, to those things, those people, those places, those leaders that we want absolutely nothing to do with? In fact, we foresee nothing but heartaches in the way our lives, or our family, or our churches, or our city, state or country is headed, and we just know that God would rather take us out of this situation than to make these drastic changes in our lives that might include things we dislike, or that we feel are ungodly? Of course we do. In fact, some of us even get mad at God when He refuses to honor our demands of Him. Friends, let’s be reminded today that we are a chosen people, a loved people, a forgiven child because of the sacrificed blood of Jesus Christ. If He tells us to do something, don’t you know that it is for our own good, and not to harm us or to make us miserable or to disown us? I love words included in the last two sentences – First – “when you get serious about finding Me” – that tells me that God is talking about something a little more serious than us realizing there is a God when an urgent need arises. If we are serious about finding God, I believe we will want to know everything possible about Him through daily time in His Word (the Bible) each day; through talking with Him on a regular bases – that praying to Him at least daily, but often more frequently; and for spending time with other like believers to be encouraged by them or to encourage them because of God’s mighty work in your life – that’s church. Secondly – “I’ll make sure you are not disappointed” – wow, praise the name of Jesus! He will make sure that His kids receive every good and perfect gift that He has in store for us. I believe that this will be far more than we could ever think or imagine! Test Him friend, and prove His Word. I don’t believe you will be disappointed!

Prayer

Heavenly Father; Master; Savior and Friend; thank You for the assurances You give in Your Word about Your love for us and Your ultimate, long-term plan for our happiness and our future. Lord You are good and Your mercies endures forever. I love You Lord and I life my voice in awesome praise and thanksgiving for Your goodness towards me. Please be especially loving and kind to my readers today as they meditate on this devotional. May they encounter the love of our Savior in such awesome ways, that their lives will be full and running over. May this be apparent to all those they come into contact with today so that the lost might be curious and ask questions about the immeasurable love and hope that they see in them. Draw us all closer to the cross today, and as You fill us, may that overflow to the unsaved observers we will encounter – all for Your glory and Your honor. I ask this in the 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!

How To Be Made Right

Thursday, 2016-10-06

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 3:22-25

Bible Text:   22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

As one reads through the Bible you will see where people sacrificed animals and various other things in order to make themselves right. But while all of this gave some the feeling of satisfaction that they were pleasing their gods, it never did give them any assurance of ever being in heaven one day and worshiping at the feet of Jesus and His Father. It never gave any hope to a new and different life filled with the love and leadership of Jesus and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Paul saw that this was still causing issues in his day, with the added pressure of his Jewish audience feeling superior to the Gentiles when it came to being right with God. Paul had to clear this up for his audience, and I believe this was placed in God’s Word to help us clear up any misconceptions. There is no magic formula, nor does it apply only to a certain group or nationality. The Word of God says in John 3:16 that ‘whosoever believes on the name of Jesus’. Verse 22 above says that ‘for everyone who believes’. We all have one thing in common – we all have sinned. The solution to that problem also applies to all of us, for in verse 24 and 25 we are reminded that Jesus came so that we might be freed from our sin, and the way that this happens is when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ – especially the sacrifice He made at Calvary, including the shedding of His precious blood. Sounds easy, right? It definitely was not easy of Jesus, but God wanted this to be straightforward for us. So as you examine your life today friend, know that unless you have submitted your life totally to the King of kings, and believe wholeheartedly on the Lord Jesus Christ, then you are still wallowing in the stench of your sin and destined for hell with Satan as your tormenter and destroyer. This creates a great divide between you and those relatives and friends who have accepted Jesus. This is an individual choice, but friends I hope that each of you would have made the right choice today, and allowed God to make things right for your eternity, for I want to see you in glory!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I pray that not one who reads this devotional today will gloss over the decision that they need to make in order to know without a shadow of doubt that they are destined for Heaven for a glorious meeting with our Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Some are facing grave danger today, and for some this may be the last day they will have an opportunity to accept Jesus as Lord. I pray that there will be no wasted opportunities by my friends who read this. Please remind them that today is the day of salvation, as they have no assurance of tomorrow. Lord, I believe, please help me overcome any unbelief. 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!