The Impact Of Keeping Our Eyes On Jesus

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-02-15
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 14:29–33 (AMP)

Text:

29 He said, “Come!” So Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw [the effects of] the wind, he was frightened, and he began to sink, and he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus extended His hand and caught him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those in the boat worshiped Him [with awe-inspired reverence], saying, “Truly You are the Son of God!”
OBSERVATION:
Peter was known as the bold one, or the one to speak up first. This was evident the night that he saw, for the first time ever, someone defying nature itself and actually walking on water. Having been around Jesus and witnessed His other miracles, I believe that Peter and his fellow disciples knew that it could only be Jesus who could possibly be capable of such a feat. However, unlike the others, Peter knew that if Jesus could do such a miraculous thing, He could also extend that power to him to also walk on water. And as long as Peter believed on Jesus and followed His instruction, he was fine. However, as soon as Satan put doubt in Peter’s mind and he started looking around at all that could cause trouble for him, he started to sink. Faith is the substance of things hoped for but not seen. Jesus immediately knew that Peter’s faith was failing.
APPLICATION:
I believe it would be good for us to consider the impact we have seen in our own lives when we stay focused on Jesus, vs the evil one:

  • For those of us who were headed down a road that led to Hell and eternal destruction, with absolutely no hope for today or tomorrow, thank God we found the Savior of the world and accepted His call on our lives! Because of this:
    • We were transformed from the kingdom of darkness, into the kingdom of light;
    • We were filled with gloom and despair, now to be filled with the same miraculous hope that Peter found in asking Jesus to bid him come and walk on the water towards Him;
    • We had no hope, as life was filled with one devastation after the other that led to even worse, after passing from this world, vs being accepted by the King of all kings and the One capable of walking on the water and calming the rough seas;
    • We were headed for eternal damnation, where our life afterwards would have been led by Satan and his army whose sole intent was to harm and destroy us, vs the assurance of a heavenly home with Jesus; His Father and all of the saints that have gone on before us;
    • We found only hate and selfish gain by the world and its leaders, vs love beyond compare by Jesus and His host of angels awaiting our arrival in heaven;
    • We were fatherless and on our own, vs being adopted by the Creator of this universe, and considered royalty in His courts of praise and honor!

Friends, when Peter took his eyes off Jesus, the only One known to ever walk on water or command another to do the same, he started to sink into the water – the pit from which he came that was filled with failure and despair. I love that old hymn that includes the words “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace”. May that be our prayer-song today.

PRAYER:
Lord, may we keep our eyes fixed on You, the author and finisher of our faith. Thank You for providing the way for us to overcome the vile of Satan; the evil of this world, and the despair of having no hope for a brighter tomorrow. Lord Jesus, as we look full into Your wonderful face, may the things of this world grow strangely dim in the light of Your wonderful face, Your glory, and 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!

God’s Way vs Man’s Ways

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-02-14
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 14:15–17 (NLT)

Text:

15 That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16 But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary—you feed them.”
17 “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered.
OBSERVATION:
Man’s Way: Send the crowds away….
God’s Way: It’s not necessary to send them away, you feed them!
Man’s Way: BUT, we don’t have enough food for all of them…
APPLICATION:
In verse 14, the Scripture says that Jesus saw the needs of the people and He had compassion on them. He was concerned about their needs, just as I believe He is also concerned about our needs today. Friends, you could be the most wealthy person around, but in the presence of Jesus, my King, you will be reminded of how needy you truly are. In our quoted verses, I was reminded of the decisions we make in life today, and how those choices also carry forward into our churches. Seeing us in the world setting vs seeing us make decisions as church leaders, I wonder if our people actually sees a difference. I believe that we are so much like the disciples, for we are quick to judge, and make decisions based on our emotions and how the individual, or crowd is impacting our space, or our personal lives. The disciples saw the crowds and probably knew of their many and varied needs, so they thought to head off one more obvious need, and that was the worry of feeding the crowd. I learnt very early in my marriage that I didn’t just pop up on my wife, with one or more people, around lunch time, without giving her hours of preparation time to clean the house and prepare a nice meal! I wonder how much food the disciples would have taken to the hillside for a hungry crowd the size they were facing! The disciples saw the crowd as an inconvenience, but Jesus saw their needs. Also, even after proving Himself over and over before, yet when He told the disciples that they would feed the crowd, there was a rebuttal because they could not see the miracle that was possible by and through the hand of God. So how might we identify with this story today in our world? Do we have those times that we want the crowds to go away, so that we could…. Are there times that the needy approach us and all we look at is their physical condition and assume what their physical needs must be? Do we stop to consider what Jesus might say to those same individuals, or what He might say about our decision to ignore them or send them away? Would you compare your compassion for the needy to be in line with the compassion of Jesus, or are you at the opposite ends of the spectrum on how you might react, compared to Jesus? Friends, perhaps we should consider this Scripture in view of the personal decisions that we make regarding the physical needs of others, and imagine just for a moment that we might also be rejecting their spiritual needs when we turn the needy away. Oh that Jesus might penetrate our hearts so that we may see needs as He would, so that we may express love in ways that exemplify Him.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, just as You have opened my eyes to being more compassionate of the needs of those around me, or the needs of folk that might walk through our church doors, I pray that You would also tender the hearts of my readers. As Your representatives, I sincerely believe that we must desire the heart and compassion of our Master. Please humble us to look beyond our expectations and our image of the poor and needy, and help us to instead be concerned about their heart and their readiness to meet You, should You call them home today. Lord, teach us to imitate You and to gain the heart of Christ as we approach the needs of individuals today. Oh that they may see Jesus and want to know Him personally! May we not be a stumbling block to hinder such decisions today, is my humble prayer, oh 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!

How To Live in The Hope of Tomorrow

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-02-13
SCRIPTURE

From:

Romans 15:4 (Voice)

Text:

4 … everything written in the days of old was recorded to give us instructions for living. We find encouragement through the Scriptures and a call to perseverance that will produce hopeful living.
OBSERVATION:
God used Paul to not only share with the Romans, but also with us, the importance of looking to the Word of God for instruction on how to live godly and upright in a wicked and sinful world. Yes, Paul encountered life among his people to be very demanding, very stressful and very much designed around selfish desires and personal gain. I know, that sounds so much like today in so many ways. That’s why I believe God wants me to remind you of the hope that He has put in place for us around this very subject.
APPLICATION:
We might often become disheartened about the struggles we face, until we stop and consider the even deeper struggles that a friend or neighbor might face. I feel loved and encouraged to know that God knows all about our challenges of life, so much so, that He sent His messenger, Paul, to deliver a word of hope for us. In the hyperlink for our Scripture today, I included a few extra verses so that you could grasp the whole context, and understand how today’s verse fits in. It is so obvious that God was, and still is concerned about the ‘whole’ man. He is not just concerned about us living a happy life, although I’m sure that He could not be more pleased than to see His children that He created from dust, enjoying the blessings of all that He has provided for us. He knew in advance that there would be days that I might be down and out, but He ordained folk who are bound to have a super exciting day that would ‘rub shoulders’ with me and encourage, and lift me up. He also knew that we would need to be reassured of the hope that lies within us, a hope for the future that God has prepared for us to be in glory with He and the Father. So He had saints record their God-encounters that we might read and be encouraged. He called this accumulation of writings ‘The Bible’, and He has made that available to all who will read it and gain hope from it. In our verse today, we are reminded that His Word contains the following attributes that will especially help us through the tough times of life:

  1. Encouragement – Because God has prepared a place for those of us who have accepted His precious Son, we are encouraged to always have that hope to look forward to, whenever God calls us out of this world. Isn’t it encouraging that although we continually hear about how much worse this world is getting, yet for Christians, we have a big, glorious, happy, welcoming day coming when we shall see the face of Jesus and worship He and His Father, for ever and ever!! I am excited about that friend, and it gives me hope every time I am reminded of that day!
  2. Perseverance – Because of the hope referenced above, I can persevere the trials and temptations that I might face today, for I know they are only temporal, and the joy that awaits me, far exceeds anything that I might endure here on earth today, should I be afforded the liberty to remain here all day! Praise the wonderful name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord!
  3. Hope – The expectation of things yet to come. There are multiple cases of truth already proven in the Word of God, so I have every reason to be excited about the ‘Hope’ that lives within me and promised to me in the Word of God! My desire now is that I might share that ‘Hope’ with others today, so that they may know and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!

So friend, if there is ‘Hope’ produced from reading the Word of God, may I encourage you to get your dose of it today so that as you approach the evil and discouragement this world tends to pour upon us, you will boldly declare ‘but greater is He (God) that is in us, than he (Satan) that is in the world’! With this hope friends, you can confidently face the world with all that it will challenge you with today and tomorrow.

PRAYER:
When we consider all that the world will throw at us every day, we can only praise God for His wonderful assurance of being with us each and every step. Lord how we need to be comforted with that assurance every day, and thank God, You have shown us exactly where and how to gain that ‘Hope’ and assurance. Your Word is a light unto our path; encouragement to our troubled souls; love to our loneliness of heart; strength to our often weak and troubled hearts; and everlasting hope that our future is drenched in everlasting joy as we worship at Your feet throughout eternity. Keep driving us towards the source of our encouragement and hope dear Lord. Help us to make it ours, so that we may spend our days glorifying You instead of worry about where the next piece of trouble will originate from! 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!

You Can Avoid Separation

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-02-11
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 13:49-51 (Voice)

Text:

49….. The heavenly messengers will separate the good from the bad, the righteous from the wicked, the repentant from the prideful, the faithful from the hard-hearted. 50 The bad, the wicked, the prideful, and the hard-hearted will be thrown into the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. 51 Do you understand? …
OBSERVATION:
Jesus shared a story about how fishermen culled the undesired fish from the choice ones, and He likened that act of separation to the day that He will send His angels to collect His choice ones who prepared themselves for His return. It is obvious that some have ignored that readiness plan, so Jesus explained clearly what would happen to them. In His story there was no room for the undecided, for it was either that they would be taken out to join He and His Father in heaven, or be thrown into the fiery furnace with their worldly master, Satan. Let’s look at how we should deal with this today… 
APPLICATION:
I recently took part in what ranch workers call ‘working the cows’, meaning that they gather the whole herd, and they give medication to the cows that need it; spray them with bug repellant; and separate the young nursing cows that are ready to be on their own or sold at the auction house. For those that were separated, there was a lot of loud cries by mama cows and by the young ones who were now on their own. This sounds sad, and I hate to spoil your day with sad news, but friends, Jesus was very clear with the similar story that He shared in our Scripture today. He also made it clear that there will be a separation of humans, for sin is not allowed in heaven, nor are those who chose to ignore the call of Jesus on their lives here on earth. This brings me to a point of clarification about my subject, for I wanted every reader to know that seeing you are alive to read this blog, you also have the opportunity to accept the free gift of salvation that my precious Savior sacrificed His very life to provide for us, and therefore avoid the separation referred to by Jesus. This, my friend, IS THE ONLY MEANS of avoiding separation from loved ones, who have accepted the gift of salvation already. What’s really unique about this gift is that it unites you in a personal relationship with Jesus, the only One that you can trust wholeheartedly, and who will stick to you closer than any friend you have ever associated with. He offers perfect advice to you through teachings from His Holy Word, and He is available to communicate with you 24/7/365 through prayer. Friend, although He is God, Jesus is also the best friend you will ever have. He will never leave you alone, and He will protect you from the evil one. He desires an intimate relationship with you, and I believe He longs for the day when He calls you home to be with Him in glory. There is now no condemnation or separation for those who have accepted our Lord Jesus Christ. Know Him today and know the peace that comes from all that I have explained to you herein.
PRAYER:
What have I done to deserve God’s precious Son? What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus. Father, thank You for the enormous love You showed for our best interest, to sacrifice Your own Son on the cross at Calvary, to provide the means for our salvation from sin. Please tender the hearts of family members, friends  and my precious readers today Lord. May their eyes and hearts be opened to the only means of preventing separation from their loved ones who have gone on to heaven already. May our home-going be a time of celebration because of our uniting with You, and reuniting with all who have surrendered to Your call already. Speak to the hearts of Your children today Lord Jesus, may we never know, or hear the words ‘I never knew you’. 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!

‘Good Seed’ or ‘Weeds’?

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-02-10
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 13:40-42 (GNT)

Text:

40 Just as the weeds are gathered up and burned in the fire, so the same thing will happen at the end of the age: 41 the Son of Man will send out his angels to gather up out of his Kingdom all those who cause people to sin and all others who do evil things, 42 and they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and gnash their teeth.
OBSERVATION:
This is two days in a row now that I’ve read where Jesus was asked to explain a parable that He shared, and in both cases the explanation was very pointed, but yet very clear. In the story today Jesus had shared the parable of the weeds, that left the disciples scratching their heads, as to the point that Jesus was really aiming for them to grasp and apply to their lives. Not trying to hide anything, Jesus went on to explain the ‘good seed’ and the ‘weeds’ and the application. Let’s look at how this can be applied to our lives even today.
APPLICATION:
It has always been clear that those who sin will never enter the kingdom of God, but some additional words popped off the page at me, when Jesus explained who all His angels will gather together and throw them into the pit of Hell. At least two Bible translations explained very vividly all who would be included in that group. Friends, we often remind ourselves that none are perfect, and that we all sin – children of God and non-believers. You might recall that in another scripture Jesus referred to the children, and He said that He would not tolerate anyone who causes one of these little ones to sin. I believe that statement and the one used in verse 41 above relays the same message. In other words, whether you sin (disobey God’s commands in mind or deed), or if you cause another to sin (in mind or deed), you will be weeded out – much like a gardener would remove weeds from their garden. Jesus said that ALL weeds would be thrown into the fiery furnace for Satan to punish and devour. May I suggest that we may cause others to sin way more often than we would care to accept responsibility for? Friends, let’s remember that although the world may see what would appear to be jest and perhaps even mockery, yet God knows the heart and mind of man, and He knows exactly the intent of the individual doing the act or saying the words. God also knows the impact that our ill-gotten intentions have on the individual to whom we are delivering our evil intentions. Imagine with me for a moment if you knew how badly words might hurt or discourage a person, would you really say them? Imagine how your actions or untimely or hurtful words might distract a person from sharing or possibly hearing the truth of God’s words, and question yourself as to whether you should have created the distraction for that friend. Friends, please join me in committing to always remember that if what we say or do in the presence of others, serves no purpose in drawing them closer to God, then we are probably doing just the opposite. God is our judge, and He knows our deepest intentions. Will He place us with the ‘Weeds‘, or are we truly ‘Good Seed’? I believe you know the answer to that question already. May I encourage you to seek God’s face and His helping hand to help place you on the right track before it is eternally too late?
PRAYER:
Father, we sincerely need Your help today, especially after being reminded of how often we may place an obstacle in the way of others that may separate them from You. Please dear Lord, help us to never be a stumbling block for anyone else truly seeking Your face, or seeking to hear Your tender voice. Forgive us Lord for the times we discourage others, or place a roadblock in their path to a closer relationship with You, or even from accepting You as Lord in the first place. There was a tremendous forgiveness afforded to us when we bowed before You and asked for forgiveness of our sin. Please help us to stay directed towards being examples of Your forgiving spirit, and the kind of love that You expressed at Calvary for us. This will mean loving others right where they’re at, and not how we want them to be. May we be usable vessels in Your service and never a stumbling block for any of Your children, is my humble prayer. 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!

How To Mature In Your Salvation

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-02-09
SCRIPTURE

From:

1 Peter 2:1–3 (NCV)

Text:

1 So then, rid yourselves of all evil, all lying, hypocrisy, jealousy, and evil speech. 2 As newborn babies want milk, you should want the pure and simple teaching. By it you can mature in your salvation, 3 because you have already examined and seen how good the Lord is.
OBSERVATION:
To become mature in our salvation, there are things that we must rid ourselves of and things that we must yearn for. We will look at these things and how they are practical in our everyday living.
APPLICATION:
After doctors recently determined that I had heart decease, they counseled me on the things that I should stay away from, and the things that I must adopt into my lifestyle and diet in order to prevent additional issues with my heart. Similarly in this scripture today we are told that in order for us to mature in, or grow into, the full experience of our salvation, we must:

  • Get rid of: all evil from our lives;  all lying; all hypocrisy; all jealousy; and evil speech. Some translations include malice; pretense; envy; hurtful talk; hatefulness; and trying to fool people; and instead
  • Desire, and strive towards: wanting nourishment of the pure and simple teachings of the Lord, as much as a newborn baby cries for, and insist on, milk for their nourishment.

We are told that we should especially desire these things since we have already had a taste of the goodness of God. Friends, I believe it is super important that we keep both of the above lists right in front of us for a constant reminder. For those of us that have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and have tasted of His goodness, we should be striving for the desire of more and more of God’s Word. Anytime we see ourselves leaning towards, or practicing any of the habits from that first list, it should be a reminder that we are probably spending less time in the Word, or under the teaching of the Word, because we are becoming less impacted by it. May I suggest that you not look for anyone to blame like an ineffective Bible teacher, or a boring preacher, or a church that shows no love. Friends, this whole concept speaks to YOUR personal relationship with God. If you know Him, and love Him, you will be more like an infant who craves after milk from their mother’s breast. Needless to say, if you are not craving the latter, or getting anything from the Word, then I would recommend that you check your connection – your connection with God and His precious Son.

PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for all that You have done for the security, peace and salvation of Your children. Thank You for giving us Your precious Word to teach us Your ways and Your commands, so that our lives might be pleasing to You. Please forgive us for the times that we have messed up and allowed our lives to represent our previous leader, Satan, more than You. Lord, please continue to impress upon us the need to be nourished from Your Word every day, and may we constantly be reminded that You will return to earth one day soon to gather up Your children. May we be expectant of that day and ready to meet You face-to-face without regrets. I ask these things humbly and because of Your commands, 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!

Would You Like To Get Well?

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-02-07
SCRIPTURE

From:

John 5:5–9 (TLB)

Text:

One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew how long he had been ill, he asked him, Would you like to get well?”
“I can’t,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to help me into the pool at the movement of the water. While I am trying to get there, someone else always gets in ahead of me.”
Jesus told him, “Stand up, roll up your sleeping mat and go on home!”
Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up the mat and began walking!

OBSERVATION:
This is part of the story that speaks about the crippled man who laid along the colonnades of the Pool at Bethesda, together with others who were blind, lame, or paralyzed. This particular man had been lame for 38 years and part of his reason for being at the pool was to beg arms of those who would come to bathe in the pool, for he had to hope for getting better, since he was unable to get off his bed and be the first to rush into the pool for healing when the waters started moving. Most other miracles performed in the New Testament resulted from folk begging, or touching or calling out to Jesus for healing, but this one was quite different. For in response to Jesus’ question, the man gave the long answer, and shared the hopelessness of his situation that not only prevented him from moving to gain his independence, but also hindered him from taking the necessary step that would bring about his wellness – his healing. Little did he know that he was in the presence of the greatest Healer, the very one who created Him and provided for him each and every day! The man didn’t know Jesus, nor did he know of His healing power, so he merely gave Jesus his sob story, instead of anxiously reaching out to Jesus for healing.
APPLICATION:
I wonder how many of us could stop, think, and come up with a parallel between the lame man at the pool-side, compared to our own story and/or actions? How many of us get so caught up in our own sad stories that we overlook the hand that is extended to help us navigate this rough life and overcome the obstacles that seem to block us at every turn? Are we one to take that lemon and enjoy some lemonade, instead of whining and complaining about its tangy, sour, bitter, acid-filled taste that is good for nothing? What must others be saying about us when they see us coming? Complainer; whiner; discourager; faithless; imitator of Satan; or a curse? Or might we be seen as one with all of the opposite attributes and filled with the Spirit of God? Can we answer a direct question if the Master walked into our presence and asked about our needs? Do we truly have the faith to honor the commands of the God that we serve, and actually attempt to stand up; roll up our mat; and walk away, when told to do so? Or are we too content in our whining and complaining? I have a friend who is blind from birth, and I have never seen a more positive person. He is able to make blind jokes to help folk like me who feel sorry for him. He has gone on with his life, even with his handicap, and is succeeding and excelling in many, many ways. An evangelist who is badly handicapped by MS once asked in his sermon after telling his story: “so what’s your problem healthy friend, why are you sitting back saying you can’t?” Friends, I believe that Jesus is very aware of our limitations, but He also said in His Word ‘that’s OK, for in your weakness and inabilities, I will be more easily recognized for the awesome work that I will do through you’. Jesus made us just as we are, for His glory. Would you say that He is glorified by the way that we have accepted His masterpiece?
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, please be merciful to me, a sinner saved by the grace of my awesome Savior. For I often feel sorry for myself, or feel incapable of speaking to others, or feel unworthy of the calling that You have placed on my life. I don’t believe I’m alone in feeling this way Lord, for our churches are not filled and I still see many in our neighborhoods who are still lost in their sin. Please help us to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and please help us to be obedient to You in everything we do or say, for only what’s done for Jesus will last, and will be worth it all, when we see You face-to-face. The man in our story today was lame and he couldn’t… We also have many excuses as to why we can’t be Your followers, Your disciple, and Your witness to our lost friends and family. Please forgive us Lord, and fill us once again with Your power, Your encouragement and Your boldness. 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!

Our Heart’s Content Exudes from our Mouth

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-02-06
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 12:34-35 (NLT)

Text:

34 … How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. 35 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.
OBSERVATION:
In the context of these verses, some folk were referred to as a ‘brood of snakes’ or ‘vipers’ because there was so much evil in them. And because there was evil in them, they often spoke evil words, especially about the things of God. Knowing that folk would often reflect on this and wonder how would God know about what they speak, Jesus assured His hearers, and those of us that would follow, that we had best be careful what our hearts are filled with, as it will infest the words that we speak and therefore make us accountable before God for every evil word spoken. That’s a scary thought, isn’t it? So what then shall we do?
APPLICATION:
It is often said that our eyes are the mirrors into our souls, because folk can determine the honesty of what we say and the sincerity from which we say it. Now, Jesus said that there’s another way that He determines the content of our heart, and it also becomes very apparent to those we make contact with. We could never find something uplifting, or encouraging, or Godly to say when our minds are filled with the filth of this world and the evil of its ruler. It just doesn’t work that way. The evil one is out to kill, steal and destroy those who find joy in the Lord. When we make contact with someone who has nothing encouraging, loving, uplifting or Godly to say, then we had best protect ourselves with the full armor of God, because we are facing the evil one, or one of his cohorts. The Bible tells us that we are to flee from the presence of evil, and that’s because God wants to protect His children from the contamination of Satan himself. Why is that? It’s really pretty simple, for if you fill yourself with the evil attitude and character of an agent of Satan, your mouth will begin transmitting words that hurt, destroy, breakdown, discourage and humiliate – and the love of God will no longer prevail through the words you speak or the actions that you portray. Friends, these things have a very serious impact on the good that God is endeavoring to accomplish in and through us, and that’s why I believe He told us to therefore be prepared to account for every evil thing that comes from our mouth. I want to build up, and never tear down, so I must protect myself from all that might hinder me in my goal, or that would aid the very thing that I want to steer away from. Will you join me in asking God to renew within us a fresh desire to be filled with His love, His goodness and His words, so that the unsaved might hear, know and believe? Oh that we might return to our mission and fight off every inkling of evil.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, our hearts and our minds are filled with whatever we bring into them. May we who are called by Your name, be so indulged in Your Word that we will have a strong desire to fill our hearts and minds with even more words from our Master each and every day. Lord teach us to meditate on Your Word and to communicate with You often, so that we might be filled with Your goodness and be obedient to Your commands. We want others to know You personally, and we have a strong desire that You use us in Your work here on earth. As we are filled, so may we share with those looking to fill their cup. May the lost come into contact with believers who are filled with the Spirit of God and not a mixed bag of goods that confuse them. Lord, may we be usable vessels for Your great work here on earth, is my humble plea, all for Your glory and praise, 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!

Establish A Memorial Pillar

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-02-04
SCRIPTURE

From:

Genesis 31:44-45 (AMP)

Text:

44 So come now, let us make a covenant, you and I, and let it serve as a witness between you and me.” 45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a [memorial] pillar.
OBSERVATION:
There’s a few keywords that we should pay attention to in this scripture today. ‘Covenant‘ – meaning that a firm agreement has been established between two or more people that is firmly rooted and cannot be undone. Secondly, ‘Memorial Pillar‘ or monument, as some translations calls it. These are generally put in place as a reminder of the covenant made, and will generally help the parties return to recognition of, and obedience to, the original covenant.
APPLICATION:
I find it interesting that today we still practice some of the same principles taught to us by our ancestors in scripture, such as we are looking at today. It just appears like we have relaxed the idea behind these principles. Let’s consider: (1) Covenant – on our wedding day, we make a covenant with our spouse in God’s presence, inviting Him to be a part of our partnership. However we hear of divorces in as early as three months after making that serious covenant. (2) Memorial/Pillar/Monument – sticking with the marriage idea, let’s recognize the wedding ring as a memorial, or pillar, or monument, that we put in place to remind us of the covenant we agreed to on our wedding day. Don’t couples choose to pitch the ring if another Mr. Right or Ms. Perfect comes along? How about our relationship with the Lord? Don’t we sometimes tend to do the same thing with God as we do with our other commitments (covenants)? Isn’t the easiest thing to do when someone ignores us at church, is to abandon our covenant with God? Friends, Laban and Jacob had some very precious jewels that would be impacted if there was a division between the two of them, so it was incumbent upon them to find a resolution, and set some parameters and markers to remind them, should they ever be tempted to make snap decisions in the future. This is a good reminder for us, for when we break covenants, or when we ignore parameters and/or monuments that were erected to protect us, we are also impacting other innocent Brothers and Sisters. After all, what impact might there be for a pastor or a Bible teacher to break the confidence of a congregation or a class by openly displaying a breach of covenant they once made with a spouse, or a church or a body of believers? It is often devastating. May I remind you that the same thing happens in the lives of any believer, for we never know who is following in our footsteps or are encouraged by our ministry or our walk with the Lord. Our challenge here today is to continue making covenants, continue including God in the mix, as our helper, protector and guide, and to stay true to our covenant. Establish markers or monuments or pillars to remind us, and help keep us accountable to the covenant we once made, God being our helper.
PRAYER:
Lord, You are our example. You loved us enough that You came to this world to live among us and see the struggles that we face every day. You died for us, so that we would have no excuse or hindrance in surrendering our lives to You. In everything You kept Your word and showed us the importance of doing the same. Please forgive us for the many times that we mess up on our commitments. Lord, we realize more every day how much we need You to hold our hand and help us along in our weakness. May You find us faithful Lord, and may we always live up to our covenant to be Your follower and to be a witness here on earth, right up to the time that You are ready to call us home with You. Thank You Lord Jesus for setting the example for us. May we strive daily to live in Your footsteps. 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!

Evidence of Your Gifts

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-02-03
SCRIPTURE

From:

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (Voice)

Text:

Each believer has received a gift that manifests the Spirit’s power and presence. That gift is given for the good of the whole community. The Spirit gives one person a word of wisdom, but to the next person the same Spirit gives a word of knowledge. Another will receive the gift of faith by the same Spirit, and still another gifts of healing—all from the one Spirit. 10 One person is enabled by the Spirit to perform miracles, another to prophesy, while another is enabled to distinguish those prophetic spirits. The next one speaks in various kinds of unknown languages, while another is able to interpret those languages. 11 One Spirit works all these things in each of them individually as He sees fit.
OBSERVATION:
Notice what the Word of God does not say: It doesn’t say that some will receive a gift from God; or that some who are really blessed will receive more, or better gifts; or that our gift is given to help us look better or get richer; nor dies it say that because some will have better upbringing, they will develop better gifts. In fact, the Scripture says just the opposite to all these things, for it declares in verse 11 that the Spirit works which gift each will receive, as He sees fit, and not if He will decide to give them one.
APPLICATION:
OK, so having concluded that each believer in Jesus Christ has been blessed by God with a gift that should be used for His glory, you can appreciate why today’s blog title never questions whether you have a gift or not, but rather, what are you doing with that gift. Throughout the Bible we’ve seen where believers have questioned God about their gift, for Moses was adamant that he could not speak well, although He was ordained by God to lead the Israelites (a huge crowd of them) out of Egypt; Saul (Paul) was struck down on the road to Damascus and spoken to by God, only for Saul to question “who, me?”, yet from the biggest persecutor of the church, Paul became the biggest evangelist and even wrote much of the New Testament for our benefit. So what’s your excuse friend? Hopefully you are not guilty of doing the same with your gift as Jesus taught about ‘Light’ when He cautioned us to not hide our ‘Light’ under a bushel where it is ineffective. I believe that our first excuse is to talk ourselves out of a task that would showcase our gift. Fortunately, I believe that is also Biblical, for Scripture tells us that we are not to think more highly of ourselves than we should. However Scripture also says that ‘greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world’. Scripture also teaches that through our weakness and inabilities, He becomes strong – in other words, His worthiness is recognized in and through our weaknesses and inabilities. Ever noticed how God will many times use the most uneducated pastor to reach the lost, than some who have been to seminary and knows all the right words to say? Friends, I believe that there is perfection in what God declared through the words written by Paul. There are family and friends that you will rub shoulders with, or eat with, or play sports with, that I will never know here on this earth. So of course He wants His holiness, and His sanctification to be evident through you, so that those lost ones might know about Jesus and believe on Him. Please don’t underestimate your gift. No matter what God has blessed you with, just allow Him to use that gift through you, for His glory. Giving excuses is like saying that God is unworthy, or incapable of blessing you with your gift. Seek God’s face and recognize His voice, so that when the opportunity arises to use your gift, you will know without a shadow of doubt that God is merely using you as His instrument through whom He could accomplish His work.
PRAYER:
While our talents and our gifts are a blessing from You dear Lord, please humble us to allow You to accomplish Your will and Your work through everything that we attempt to do in Your name. Thank You for entrusting us with gifts that could help us accomplish Your work here on earth. We are so unworthy, and so inadequate in and of ourselves, no matter how much education we might have, or how smart we are in other earthly ways. Unless You build the house – unless You accomplish Your work, it will fail. Likewise, please help us to never underestimate the power of our God. It is so easy for us to conclude that we can’t, or we are incapable, or we have not been educated for that, or we can’t speak comfortably in front of others much more educated than us. Lord, we are questioning, or doubting Your abilities when we do that. Shame on us, for You are more than able to accomplish every good work and to reach every mortal man. Thank You for making us a part of Your plan, so that we may realize that our time here on earth is well worth it! Thine be the glory, for ever and for 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!