Archive for January 2017

The Responsibility of Obedience

January 30, 2017

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-01-30
SCRIPTURE

From:

Acts 26:18 (Voice)

Text:

18 It will be your mission to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of God. This is so that they may receive forgiveness of all their sins and have a place among those who are set apart for a holy purpose through having faith in Me.”
OBSERVATION:
Paul is known as one of the prominent writers of the gospel in what we know today as the New Testament. However, it is good to reflect on all that Paul shared with King Agrippa in the testimony included in this scripture passage from which our verse is taken today. For you see, Paul was not born in a preacher’s home and spoon-fed the gospel all of his life. In fact, quite the opposite, for he was a persecutor of the Christian church and was feared by them for his cruelty to Christians. However, once God god a hold of Paul, and he was converted, it was ‘all in’ for him, and he stayed consistent to His call by God, even if facing personal persecution, or even death.
APPLICATION:
In today’s society, we are so determined to have things done our way, or to make sure that self is well taken care of, that way too often we cave in when faced with opposition to our witness, or hardships for our stance on the things of Christ. Paul stood before the most powerful leader of his time, knowing that one wrong word could result in death or extreme times of imprisonment or persecution, yet he testified to his life changing event that took place on the road to Damascus. He further told the king of the extreme change made on His life by his Savior, and how everywhere that he went, he chose to preach the saving news of Jesus Christ. I wonder how far into the interrogation by the King would each of us have lasted? Let’s fast-forward to today. Hopefully each of us find a ‘safe’ place to gain our confidence each week, by meeting with fellow believers in a church setting. As we leave the doors of our sanctuary, I pray that we may have the tenacity of Paul to share the glorious gospel that saved us on our road of self destruction that was leading us to Hell. I further pray that we may we be so burdened by the hearts of those still headed in the worong direction, that we may become as bold and determined as Paul to allow the power of God to minister through us to minister in His name so that the world may know that there is a Savior who loves them so much that He bled and died for their sin, so that they might have hope. Friends, for all who have sought Jesus, and surrendered their lives to His sovereign reign and Lordship, to those He has promised eternal life with He and His Father in heaven one day. Can we commit to sharing this with the same boldness that Paul did? They may accept the invitation that we give to them, however if they don’t, we would have at least been obedient to the call of Christ. Remember, we can’t save anyone. However, as we respond in obedience, God can do His mighty work through us. Are you willing to facilitate the call on a friends life today?
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, please forgive us for our littleness and selfishness in keeping the awesome news of Jesus all to ourselves. Please help us to empty ourselves of pride and fear, and to be bold in our openness and willingness to allow You to have Your way even through humble men and women. Please help us to mirror the boldness of Paul today, and may You use our obedience to accomplish awesome work in the lives of those that we rub shoulders with today. For thine is the kingdom, the glory and the honor, for ever and ever, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please 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 Nuggets From God’s Word 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 Spirit of Our Father Speaks Through Us

January 28, 2017

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-01-28
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 10:18–20 (NLT)

Text:

18 You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me. 19 When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. 20 For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
OBSERVATION:
It seems like Jesus faced His chosen men – His disciples, who realized that they were called to go out and share the love of Jesus with those that they came into contact with, even to kings and rulers. Now imagine for a moment that the only times you may have seen some of these men would have been along the seashore as they sold their fish, or chatted with their fellow fishermen. These guys were some who would now go out and preach the gospel! But I believe it is also important to note that the same Jesus who gained their confidence to drop their nets, leave their boats, and follow Him, is the same Jesus now comforting them that everything will be OK, and that they WILL have the words to speak when it becomes necessary. Wow, what a thought to imagine!
APPLICATION:
Some of you reading this devotional today may have been challenged by a pastor or evangelist to surrender your heart to the Lord. This may have followed with an invitation to meet with a small group of believers to study the Word of God and pray, and this may have been a chore that you almost got sick over, because you had been used to staying in your little corner and could never imagine trying to find words to say in front of saints of God, as these type words are just not in your vocabulary. However, you were also approached by members of the group and made to feel at ease joining them. Before too long, you are invited to join with your small group to meet in a public square where there would be government officials present. The rest of the group is excited that the newcomer may have an opportunity to share Jesus with the Mayor, or possible even a Senator or two, or even the Governor. Are you feeling a little nervous yet about the possible encounters you may face? Can you think of all the things you might share with them about your newest, very best friend, Jesus? However, the leader of the small group has encouraging words for you: “Just as Jesus gave confidence to His disciples to go, in His name, and His Holy Spirit will fill them with the words to speak to the rulers and other unbelievers, He will also do the same for you”. I believe you will acknowledge that this requires a bit of faith to grasp hold of, and depend on this, when personally faced with the dilemma yourself, right? Friends, as children of God, we are called on each and every day to do the same thing, for we never know when we will be faced with an opportunity to share a witness for our Lord. It may very well be in the presence of a public figure, or it may be with that family member or coworker who is always outspoken about their dislike of Christians or the nonexistence of a holy God. Furthermore, over in the New Testament we are also encouraged to always be prepared to share the hope that lives inside of us. Friends, may I encourage you to remember that the same Lord who heals a broken heart, or mends a broken limb, or encourages a couple looking at divorce, is the same Lord whose Holy Spirit came to dwell inside of us at our conversion. Therefore have faith that He could also guide us through every situation of life, including words to say so that God might be best represented. Let’s learn to trust Him for who He is, and for all that He has promised. He can, and will accomplish a great work through even us, as we willingly open up our lives to Him for His glory.
PRAYER:
Father, please give us daily strength to never doubt Your Holy Spirit, whom You sent to live inside of us. We have no words to share with unbelievers that would make a difference in their lives, but You have the words of eternal life. So I ask that You might use us to speak to unbelievers of every walk of life and at every level of society, regardless of where we might place them in our minds. Please help us to never be intimated by the status placed upon those we will meet, for we all need the love of Jesus in our hearts. Please help us to never attempt to do this life alone, for You have promised to always be with us and to guide our every step. Into Your hands I commit myself again today. Lord, I pray that my readers will do the same so that Your work may not be hindered in any way today. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please 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 Nuggets From God’s Word 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!

Self-Prepared and Confident In Prayer

January 28, 2017

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-02-22
SCRIPTURE

From:

Psalm 17:3-6 (NLT)

Text:

3. …. I am determined not to sin in what I say.
4. I have followed your commands, which keep me from following cruel and evil people.
5. My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you.
6. I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray.
OBSERVATION:
David went before the Lord in prayer, not as a stranger, but one who had already aligned himself with the laws and will of God. Because of this, he went confidently before God, KNOWING that God would answer his prayers.
APPLICATION:
Oh to have the heart, determination and will of David! Too often we barge into conversations with God, demanding our own way and expecting God to respond like a puppet would, to all of our wishes and demands. But what if God truly responded to us exactly in the same way that we think things should go? What an awful mess that would be friends! I believe our attitude for prayer must be one of honor and gratitude for who God truly is. Then there is Scripture that guides us into the remaining attributes of prayer, for in 2 Chronicles 7:14 we are told that if we are truly known as His children, in fact, if we are called by His name, and if we get off our ‘high horses’ and humble ourselves and pray with every intention and determination to turn from our wicked and sinful ways, then He would hear from the Father and heal us and all there is around us (our land). Friends, this is not rocket science, nor is it unreasonable, for which of you will walk up to a total stranger and ask for anything substantial with full confidence that they would reach into their treasury of physical assets and just start handing them over to you? May I suggest to you that although my Savior knows each of us intimately and, while I am convinced that He will hear your cry, I believe that He is wanting most of all to know that your greatest need is first and foremost and that need is attended to first. Friends, if you are not seeking God’s face as your own personal Savior and Lord, then no matter what your other needs are today, there is one that stands out in priority – you must be born again – new birth in Jesus Christ. This requires a conversation (prayer) with the Master, where you would surrender self to Him, and invite Him to rule and reign in Your life. There is no greater need of mankind today friend, and there is none more important, for what if you gained the whole world through your own efforts and finances, but yet have no hope of tomorrow, or a Savior that you would know is your very own Lord and Father over all the earth? Jesus is the key to heaven friend, know Him and know total peace for today and always. I would be tickled to death to introduce my Lord to you! Drop me a note using the contact information below. I might also suggest that you click on the link below ‘To Know Jesus’ and there you will find scriptural references on what you might do to have eternal life. I look forward to meeting you in the most exciting worship service ever – at the feet of Jesus when we graduate to heaven!! Oh, what a day that will be!!
PRAYER:
Lord You are good, and Your mercies are everlasting. You have opened the means of us communicating with You and seeking Your face. You have shown us the way to Your throne and ultimately to the glories of heaven with You and Your Father! What a blessed people we are! Lord, I am concerned about my friends that might read this devotional and brush off the truths of Your Word. There may be some that will seek Your hand for all they may need or want, but who may ignore the fact of first knowing You intimately. Please soften the hearts of the hardened, and please touch the hearts that simply read and choose to ignore a relationship with You. Thank You Lord for being available to us, and for loving us enough to demonstrate it through the sacrifice You made on Calvary. I am eternally thankful, and I desperately want to see all my readers, friends and family accept You as Lord, so that we may one day rejoice together around Your eternal throne. I commend them to You Lord. Thank You dear Lord Jesus! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please 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 Nuggets From God’s Word 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!

Walk the Talk

January 27, 2017

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-01-27
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 10:5-8 (NLT)

Text:

Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep. Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!
OBSERVATION:
I found it interesting that for the first task Jesus would give to His disciples, His helpers, His ministers, He would tell them to go and minister to the church – His chosen people – the Jews.
APPLICATION:
There is a powerful message for pastors and evangelists in these verses today, as well as to the churches, I feel, for I’m afraid that many are attending church meetings with a false sense of security, feeling like they must be ‘OK’ to stand before God if they, at least attend church. Friends, we could spend as many nights sleeping in our garage as we want, but we will never become a car! Therefore, no matter how many church services we attend, if we have not been obedient to the gospel, we may have merely warmed a seat at the church for an hour or so each week. The Word of God is very clear that heaven is a place for those who have surrendered their lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Like the Jews to whom Jesus sent His disciples, although they are God’s chosen people, they too will not see heaven unless they also have accepted Jesus as Lord of their individual lives. You see, this is not something the king, or president could bestow upon their people, it’s not something every pastor could pray down for you, or that grandma’s excellent reputation as a very godly person could pass on to you. It’s all about a personal decision you made, and a personal relationship with Jesus that you live out each and every day. I believe that another reason Jesus wanted to see His chosen people saved, and our church-goers today saved, is that it would never work to evangelize the lost outside of the fold, and have them join a fellowship of church-goers only to be poisoned by their lack of faith and evil living. Friends, to truly believe that the church has an awesome responsibility to not only see the lost saved, but to be conditioned to disciple, encourage and bless them as they come to the church for fellowship and growth in the new Christian walk. Pretense not only sends a person to Hell, but it also harms the one who is trying to live a true and sincere Christian life. Perhaps Jesus is asking you to examine yourself, in the light of His presence, and confirm that your heart is sold out to the Lord Jesus and that you are wholly and solely living the walk that you sometimes talk about. Please be sure that you not harm your chance of heaven and be a stumbling block to others trying to do the same. If there is guilt, may I suggest that you use the advice and Bible references given in my Footnote to clear up your position with Jesus Christ? If you are confident in your claim as a believer in Jesus Christ, may I encourage you to walk daily in the light of His Word, so that He will not be ashamed of You when you see Him face to face, nor will you be a stumbling block to anyone following your example.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, we live each day in a way to honor our parents; honor our spouse; or honor our boss; and I believe that many times we succeed at that. Please help us that we will live in Your way, so that when we stand before You we will hear ‘well done good and faithful servant’, because we have represented You well each day and that You were honored to send lost ones our way so that You could use us to ‘rub off’ on them. Lord there have been so many disappointments in Your churches over the years that unbelievers probably look at us as a bunch of hypocrites. Oh how I pray today that Your church will represent You fairly and squarely in every aspect of our walk and talk so that we may be effectively used by You to reach the lost. I am convinced that the work must start within the church. Beginning with me, please give us a renewed mission to be Your witness in our communities. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please 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 Nuggets From God’s Word 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!

Faith to Receive Healing

January 26, 2017

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-01-26
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 9:27-29 (NCV)

Text:

27 When Jesus was leaving there, two blind men followed him. They cried out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”
28 After Jesus went inside, the blind men went with him. He asked the men, “Do you believe that I can make you see again?”
They answered, “Yes, Lord.”
29 Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, “Because you believe I can make you see again, it will happen.”
OBSERVATION:
Interesting story of how two individual sought after God for what appears to be very obvious reasons. However, Jesus took nothing for granted, He wanted to make sure that they believed in His power to heal, and that they were actually interested in being healed. I believe that Jesus also knew that the response from the two blind men were 100% honest and that they had the faith to believe in His healing power. While I believe it is clear that it was the miraculous power of Jesus Christ that healed the men, Jesus was adamant that it was their faith that healed them. I believe that Jesus was saying to the men that had they not had confidence, or faith in his healing power, that they were wasting their time following Him and seeking His help.
APPLICATION:
How often do we seek the face of Jesus for a need in our life, but consider it as one of our options, instead of seeking Him wholeheartedly with all of our heart, soul and mind, in total faith that Jesus has the power to do it, if we have the faith to believe in Him and His awesome power? Friends, God’s Word is filled with stories of how Jesus healed every type of malady or handicap; how He forgave; how He brought the dead back to life; and He loved unconditionally. Is there anything too difficult or impossible for Him? So I wonder why we choose to make our petitions to our Master as the very last option? Is it because of our lack of faith? Is it because we want to try all earthly options first? Is it because we don’t want to bother Jesus with our issues? Friends, we gain our faith through experience with our Lord. Think of a child. The first time a dad suggest that the child jump from a wall into his arms. There is much hesitation, but after gaining the confidence that dad could very easily handle the jump, you can barely stop the child from wanting to do it again! When God heals that little toe ache you placed at His feet in prayer, confidently praying in faith, don’t you know that He will also be just as willing to attend to your needs when the heart disease begins to worry you? Our God is able, friend! Let’s show that we believe that by placing our faith and trust in Him to meet our needs miraculously, just as He is able to do. Will you join me in that?
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, in faith we come to You today, praying for the miracle of ___________. As we each fill that blank with the very deepest need in our lives today, I pray that we will do so in faith believing in the awesome power of a Savior who can….. Please renew such a strength in us Lord Jesus that our faith will be renewed and our relationship with You will be rekindled to such a degree, that those around us will see, hear and believe on the same Son of God that is working miracles in our life. Lord, may Yours be the glory, the honor and all praise, for I ask these things in the name of Jesus, and for His glory only, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please 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 Nuggets From God’s Word 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 Awe of Our Wonderful Lord

January 25, 2017

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-01-25
SCRIPTURE

From:

Psalm 8:3, 4, 9 (CEV)

Text:

     3 I often think of the heavens
your hands have made,
and of the moon and stars
you put in place.
4 Then I ask, “Why do you care
about us humans?
Why are you concerned
for us weaklings?”

     9 Our LORD and Ruler,
your name is wonderful
everywhere on earth!
OBSERVATION:
I believe that David had one of those moments where, in his mind, he stopped everything around him and, as he gazed into the heavens and marveled at the beauty of what God had provided, his heart was overwhelmed and he burst into a time of worship to the Master. David was reminded that yes, God placed mankind on earth to rule over, or lord over everything that He created, but he was also reminded that many of the other things made by the Master is nowhere as rebellious and unthankful as mankind is. I wonder how many ranchers will tell you about the cattle that protest against certain grasses fed to them, or the bitter cold or heat they endure from time to time. They just don’t protest and show their lack of gratitude to the Creator who placed them here on this earth. So David took time to give glory to the One responsible for not only creating the cattle and the skies and stars, but also for caring for comparable insignificant and ungrateful mankind.
APPLICATION:
I realize that we don’t all recognize God’s wonderment in the same way as David did, but if we were to stop and reflect on our typical day, I wonder which moment in our day lends itself to opening our eyes to God’s handiwork. If your mornings are as rushed as many that I hear about, then you probably don’t have time to eat, nor reflect on the goodness of God. My drive to work may be different to many, for I could see God’s handiwork in the skies and pastures, plus the birds and wild animals that sometimes cross my path. But for you city folk, that’s something you could only imagine! If your jobs are like mine, then we hardly have time to remember our spouse during the day, so reflecting on the awesome God that created us may be a stretch for many. Evenings are either filled with meetings for the involved and dedicated, or good TV shows for those who choose to just relax. So when do we find time to truly reflect on the goodness of our faithful Creator? As you can tell from the daily schedule that I painted for you, we can easily say that we just don’t have time, but let me offer to pay you $20 to drive 5 miles to the nearest coffee shop and bring me a cup of their best coffee and a sweet Danish each morning, and I bet that most of you will find time to do that, right? After all, that will pay your gas bill for a few days! So is it really a matter of time, or is it more a matter of priority? Time alone with God fits in that same predicament. You have to decide if your relationship with God is worth prioritizing time with Him every day, and we must always be mindful of the wonderful works of the Master – whether in nature, or each other, or in His provisions for our daily living. Let me assure you friend, our Savior loves us just as we are, and unconditionally. He showed that love in a way that has not been repeated by anyone – He willingly surrendered His life on a cruel cross so that we may have access to the Father because of His sacrifice. To stop and think on that alone, especially at times when we are mad at the world for the least little thing, is worth moments of praise to the Father!
PRAYER:
Wonderful Savior, glorious Lord, to You we sing our song of praise for all that You are and all that You have done for us. Because of You, we have the hope of eternity with You our Heavenly Father in heaven. As David reminded us in scripture today, who are we that a Kind should live and die for? Father, please forgive us for our ungrateful spirit, for we prioritize every other aspect of our lives, except time with You. I ask for personal forgiveness, and I ask that You touch the hearts of my readers that we might be drawn back to the cross where You presented Yourself in obedience to Your Father, just for our salvation. May we be constantly reminded of this precious gift and never fail to worship and thank You for loving us so much. Thine be the glory, the honor and the praises, dear Jesus, AMEN! 
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please 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 Nuggets From God’s Word 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!

Characteristics That Please God

January 24, 2017

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-01-24
SCRIPTURE

From:

Ephesians 4:30-32 (TLB)

Text:

30 Don’t cause the Holy Spirit sorrow by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who marks you to be present on that day when salvation from sin will be complete.

31 Stop being mean, bad-tempered, and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in your lives. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ.

OBSERVATION:
This is an awesome passage today, in that it tells us what pleases our Father; Some major things that we should strive to avoid in our character; but most importantly, some things that we should be doing that really exemplifies and pleases Christ.
APPLICATION:
Many people look at the Bible as a Book of ‘don’ts’ for there is so much that we are told not to do. This could be the case for those who have a guilty conscience for all that they are doing that probably do not please our Maker. For I have found in several cases where, although we are told about our wrong doings, we can also find even stronger teachings on what we should be doing that would please God. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, told the Ephesians, and I truly believe that his Words are still echoing to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ today, that there are some things that we do that are so contrary to the will of Christ, that it downright sorrows, or grieves the Holy Spirit. No doubt there are tons of guilty consciences hitting each reader by now, for that same sweet Holy Spirit also speaks to us personally about what displeases Him. But let’s have a look at what Paul taught, and let’s particularly draw a parallel between what the Holy Spirit dislikes, vs what pleases God:

  • Instead of being mean; bad-tempered; angry; quarreling, using harsh words; and displaying obvious dislike for others….
  • Try instead to be kind to each other; tenderhearted; and forgiving one another;

Now, although Paul didn’t say that the first list of characteristics were not of Christ, it did say that the second list – especially forgiveness, was the image, or practice that imitates how God has forgiven us because we belong to Christ. Friends, we must always keep in mind that our natural, sinful selves will lead us towards the characteristics mentioned in the first bullet. A surrendered life, seeking to please the Master – Jesus Christ, will always seek to do the things mentioned in the second bullet. It may be a good idea to keep the two lists posted in a prominent place to remind us when we are acting ungodly and displeasing the Holy Spirit, so that we may quickly seek God’s help to overcome and change our evil ways. Being a child in the Algreen home, caused me to always strive to please my Algreen parents. Being a child of the King of all kings, should always cause you and I to strive towards pleasing Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives. There’s a song that includes the words ‘they will know us by our love’, meaning that the world will recognize Christians by their love – the love and character of Jesus Christ. How are you perceived by others Brother and Sister? Is it obvious to whom you belong, based on your actions and characteristics?

PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, You set an awesome example for us to follow. So in reading this passage today and hearing Paul teach on the characteristics that please Your Holy Spirit, we can reflect back on Your Word and see example after example where You demonstrated these same characteristics. Whereas, the qualities on the ‘don’t’ list are all ones that You warned about in many of Your teachings. So Lord, we have been reminded of what pleases the Holy Spirit, and what grieves Him. Please touch Your children today so that we may make wise decisions in every aspect of our lives, especially in our character. May we please You by obeying Your teachings and Your example. In humbleness of heart and seeking to serve You obediently today, I ask these things in the worthy name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please 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 Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Who Has Top Priority In Your Life?

January 23, 2017

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-01-23
SCRIPTURE

From:

Genesis 22:9-12 (TLB)

Text:

When they arrived at the place where God had told Abraham to go, he built an altar and placed the wood in order, ready for the fire, and then tied Isaac and laid him on the altar over the wood. 10 And Abraham took the knife and lifted it up to plunge it into his son, to slay him.

11 At that moment the Angel of God shouted to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Yes, Lord!” he answered.

12 “Lay down the knife; don’t hurt the lad in any way,” the Angel said, “for I know that God is first in your life—you have not withheld even your beloved son from me.”

OBSERVATION:
Abraham had proven God in many ways already in his life, for we remember that he and Sarah were unable to have children, then God ‘opened his wife’s womb’ and blessed them with a son, to begin with. But in the scripture we see where God is now testing Abraham beyond anything we could ever imagine, for He asked Abraham to take his favorite son and sacrifice him at a mountain where He would lead he and Isaac to. I can’t help but think of the parallel between this testing of Abraham and the sacrifice made by God himself when He sacrificed His beloved Son, Jesus, on a cruel cross at Calvary. Isaac carried the wood for his own sacrifice, and so did Jesus in the case of carrying the wood for the cross He would be crucified on. Abraham was determined to be obedient, right down to sacrificing his dearly loved son, Isaac, if that’s what God instructed him to do, and to show his commitment and allegiance to Almighty God. Jesus was also willingly sacrificed by His Father to show God’s love for the world,  and His desire to save mankind from their sin. This was God’s top priority.
APPLICATION:
When we consider what, or who, is the top priority in someone’s life, we tend to look at the area where they spend most of their time or money. I’ve always heard that looking at a man’s bank statement will tell you where his priorities are! Wouldn’t it be interesting to also ask a man to sacrifice one of these top priorities, even for a period of time? I am participating in a period of prayer and fasting that 8 local churches have committed to for 21 days. Individuals have sought God’s help to fast from the very item that tends to consume much of their time, energy or consumption, and during this 21 days, replace that with prayer and directly seeking God’s face. Friends, this is leading our county into a supernatural revival of our people, for we are finding out that there is only one thing that deserves our attention and priority in life, the very thing that has everlasting hope and eternal benefits. It is unfortunate, but when the things of this world become so prominent in our lives, the Lord Jesus becomes so dimly unimportant. We blame a lot of our non-commitment on the lack of time that we have to do the will, or work, of the Lord. You know, we have taken on so much of this world’s things and habits, that it takes most of our day to keep those things flourishing. Please allow me to share one tip that will help you deal with God on the lack of time that you spend with Him. For every prayer, worship or witness opportunity that you miss, or shorten, because you are challenged with time constraints, please consider kneeling before God at the end of the day, and as you review your day with Him, ask Him to forgive you for not making Him the priority in your life in those areas. You make time for those things that are a priority to you. Time and priority go hand-in-hand, just try using the word priority in place of time when you speak with God. Of top priority to Abraham was his obedience to God, even if it meant sacrificing His beloved son Isaac. What is your top priority, and what would you be willing to sacrifice, or fast, in order to consistently meet the priority of serving God? Is your commitment to God worth the sacrifice?
PRAYER:
Thank You Heavenly Father for finding time to love us, and for making it a priority to provide for our salvation, even at the expense of sacrificing Your very own Son. You found no excuses, and You made the necessary provisions for us in spite of every thing else. Please forgive us for the priorities we have allowed to step in the way of our commitment to You. Wow, what a way for us to return thanks to You. Oh how we need a Savior more today than ever before in the history of this earth. I’m sure that the world must listen to us, and look at us with wonder, and question why we think that we owe our lives to You. Because they notice how we tend to place so little emphasis on the reason that we sing, or worship, or serve, or love our Savior. Thank You Lord Jesus for giving and giving and giving to us. May we set top priorities to worship and praise You for the gift of life, and for eternal life that we will spend with You. From the depths of my heart I praise You Heavenly Father for loving me and providing this earth, and all that’s in it, plus an eternal home for me to be with You and the Father on day. Please speak to the hearts of those who will read this devotional today. Please minister to their needs and draw them closer to You in every way. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please 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 Nuggets From God’s Word 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 Suffiency of God’s Grace!

January 21, 2017

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-01-21
SCRIPTURE

From:

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (Voice)

Text:

7 To keep me grounded and stop me from becoming too high and mighty due to the extraordinary character of these revelations, I was given a thorn in the flesh—a nagging nuisance of Satan, a messenger to plague me! 8 I begged the Lord three times to liberate me from its anguish; 9 and finally He said to me, “My grace is enough to cover and sustain you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” So ask me about my thorn, inquire about my weaknesses, and I will gladly go on and on—I would rather stake my claim in these and have the power of the Anointed One at home within me.
OBSERVATION:
Paul shared that he could easily have become puffed up, because of all that God had blessed him with, however, we acknowledged the ‘speed bumps’ that God placed in his way so that pride didn’t develop in his life. No doubt many of us might often beat up on God because of ‘roadblocks’ that we feel are hindering our success, so let’s look at the application of this text.
APPLICATION:
How easy is it for us to feel despondent and forgotten when it seems like we constantly face ‘roadblocks’, or ‘speed bumps’ in our lives. Friends, I believe it is times like that when we must stop and acknowledge that we are working God’s agenda, not Him working our scheduling. About a month ago I had great plans for a party I would lead for a Married Couples group that I teach. Guess what, my plans never materialized, because while I was in a hospital bed, the party was at one of the couple’s home! I believe that God made me realize that no matter how well we might plan, it is left entirely up to Him as to what will transpire, so that He might be glorified and allowed to work in the midst of it all. Now in no way am I advocating that it’s not important to plan ahead, but what I am saying is that it is God who will be victorious, and receive the glory for all that is done and all that is accomplished. The other application I can share with you is that I have had the honor of substitute teaching in a Sunday School class for a retired pastor of our church. I don’t know anything more humbling than to stand in front of a class who has been blessed with powerful teaching and the unimaginable knowledge of a great man of God. But folk, I quickly learned that it’s not about me, or about that retired pastor, for as this passage advocates, God’s strength and power becomes evident through the weakness of those who place their faith, trust and dependence in Him. I trust that we will daily surrender our all to Jesus every day, so that HE might rule and reign in all the circumstances that we may find ourselves in that day. Lord, may they see the face of Jesus as others look at us, for only His grace can fulfil their need!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, Paul shared with us how You were able to work, especially through his weaknesses. I am certain that today we will be tempted to allow our selfish pride and self-proclaimed strengths to stand in the way of our awesome God working out His will through us, so Father, I pray that You will work on us internally to worry not about our weaknesses or inadequacies, but to simply surrender our all to You, so that it might be obvious to everyone that we come into contact with who truly rules and reigns in our hearts and lives. Yes, Your grace is sufficient to meet our every need. Thank You Jesus for blessing us with Your grace. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please 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 Nuggets From God’s Word 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!

Grounded Decisions

January 20, 2017

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-01-20
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 7:24-27 (TLB)

Text:

24 “All who listen to my instructions and follow them are wise, like a man who builds his house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents, and the floods rise and the storm winds beat against his house, it won’t collapse, for it is built on rock.

26 “But those who hear my instructions and ignore them are foolish, like a man who builds his house on sand. 27 For when the rains and floods come, and storm winds beat against his house, it will fall with a mighty crash.”

OBSERVATION:
I believe that Jesus saw men flagging in bad decisions in His day also, so He taught them about what causes those unwarranted decisions, and what they could do about turning that weakness around. This is a lesson for people of all ages to follow, so let’s look at how we might apply this to our lives.
APPLICATION:
Jesus is very deliberate in what He instructed, and He used an example to clarify what He taught about making sound, or grounded decisions, and gave examples of what the results might look like. In the example of building a house on solid ground, this rings real close to home with me, because I come from a country where houses are generally built super strong and deeply grounded, because of the hurricanes that often pass over those islands, The Bahamas. However, Jesus was extremely clear in what he taught, so let’s not get too caught up in the examples that Jesus used, but rather concentrate on the simple truth of His Word. Based on this, I feel like I can safely teach you that your premise for making grounded, or safe decisions that are backed by God, are based on the condition used by Jesus when He said that we are to:

  • Listen to His instructions – this means that: (1) We are to carefully read the Word of God and try to understand what God is saying; (2) We are to speak to Him (pray) for clarity, when in doubt; and
  • Follow His Instructions – this means that as we understand His instructions, we are to obediently follow, or obey those instructions!

Now I believe that many times we will listen and obey God’s instructions and they may not apply to the circumstances at hand. Notice that Jesus didn’t say that we become wise by handling daily situations well. He said that we become wise as we listen and obey His instructions. Remember how important it is for us to teach a child about everyday situations? Even though they don’t need that education for situations they will handle that day, they become wise and able to handle those situations as they arise later in life. And so it is with God, friends! Let’s do what He says, knowing that one day we will act on what we learned. That’s how we make sound, grounded decisions, based on the teachings of our Lord!

PRAYER:
Every day we make decisions, some of which have long-lasting effects on the lives of people that we know, love, and want to see accept You as Lord. Unless we display the love and wisdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, often we will lose their confidence and even sometimes cause them to create a lack of faith in us. Lord, it’s not about us. We want these individuals to clearly see the faith that we have in our all-wise, all-loving God and therefore create a desire in them to know You and accept You as Lord. To do this, please teach us to not only go in Your name, but to stay mindful of, and obedient to, Your teachings, so that our ways, and our thoughts, and our words or instructions, might better align with Yours. This requires that we empty ourselves of self and fill ourselves with You and Your teachings. Please give us the desire to do just that and embolden us to freely share Your love with others. I ask these things in the strong name of Jesus, my Rock and my Redeemer, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please 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 Nuggets From God’s Word 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!