Nothing To Be Afraid Of

There are a few powerful lessons here in this Scripture, beginning with the audacity of the paralyzed man’s friends to get their friend in front of Jesus in spite of any obstacles that might present itself. The second thing is to notice that Jesus’ first priority was to meet the man’s greatest need – forgiveness of his sin. Let’s apply this to our challenges of today….

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Peter 3:13-14 (TPT)

TEXT:  13 Why would anyone harm  you if you’re passionate and devoted to pleasing God? 14 But even if you happen to suffer for doing what is right, you will have the joyful experience of the blessing of God. And don’t be intimidated or terrified by those who would terrify you.

OBSERVATION:   In the preceding verses of chapter 3, Peter had reminded us of our marital relationships, and about how we are to love one another. Based on that, some readers might step back and ponder why then does it seem like everyone is out to ‘get them’. So Peter went on to tell us about the unique experience of doing good, even under very challenging circumstances. We still face these types of scenarios, so I feel like it is very important for us to meditate on these thoughts, and allow them to penetrate our hearts into God-like actions towards one another.

APPLICATION:   Imagine if you were a good, law-abiding, citizen and the cops show up at your door one morning, ready to handcuff you and haul you off to the police station. Many of us would probably come close to suffering a heart attack from just the thought of that, but it would really impact us if something like that was to actually occur! Most who are innocent would probably not even call an attorney, because we know that there is probably just some sort of mistake. Here’s another thought, imagine if someone came to you and started a conversation where they begin accusing your church deacon or elder of a crime. I believe you would quickly get in their face about falsely accusing a good man that you know, would never do such a horrible thing. Please know that I am not naive enough to believe that all religious leaders are innocent of all crimes, but if you know a man of God, and you know his heart and testimony, I believe you would quickly defend him of a crime you feel convinced God would protect Him from. Friends, I believe that God inspired Peter to share this for our good. Think of the following reasons:

  • To encourage us to live the life that we profess to the world. So let us always live life according to God’s plan, His design, His teachings, if we claim the name of Jesus to the world;
  • Live without ever being accused of being double-faced – talking being someone’s back things that you wouldn’t say to their face;
  • Let you yeah be yeah and your nay be nay. If you say that you will do something, never give someone reason to doubt that you will do as you say.

Notice that this Scripture today tells us that even though you may sometime suffer for telling the truth, you will always receive God’s gracious blessings for being obedient to Him and His commands. If you know our Master, live like you belong to Him! Make Him proud of you, won’t you?

PRAYER:   Precious Lord Jesus, when I consider all that You did for me, and all that You gave up just for me, who am I that You would still reach out to me in love and with such purpose? My readers and I look to Your Word for direction on how we should live like You intended. Please give us that boldness, and a totally committed purpose in being totally obedient, regardless of any earthly consequences that might be due to us. Lord, we believe in You, and we are committed to serve You right up to our very last breath. We need Your wisdom and Your strength to remain true in all that we do and say. To God 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 Sebring, 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 Christian Walk

In chapter 1, Peter had challenged us to holy living. In these verses today, we are given direction on how we might achieve this call to holy living. I believe you will find this list of things to be just as applicable today, as they were at the time that Peter wrote them, so these are some things that we must be very mindful of.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Peter 2:1-3 (TPT)

TEXT:  So abandon every form of evil, deceit, hypocrisy, feelings of jealousy and slander. In the same way that nursing infants cry for milk, you must intensely crave the pure spiritual milk of God’s Word. For this “milk” will cause you to grow into maturity, fully nourished and strong for life — especially now that you have had a taste of the goodness of the Lord Jehovah and have experienced his kindness.

OBSERVATION:   In chapter 1, Peter had challenged us to holy living. In these verses today, we are given direction on how we might achieve this call to holy living. I believe you will find this list of things to be just as applicable today, as they were at the time that Peter wrote them, so these are some things that we must be very mindful of.

APPLICATION:   I believe if we were to stop and think about folk that we don’t like being around, we would find that it may be due to them having attitudes flawed by one or more of the characteristics mentioned in verse 1. I also believe that God had Peter include these things to remind us that when we see these impacting us, it is high time for us to reexamine our relationship with the Lord, because we have obviously slipped in our walk with Him. Let us always remember friends, that when we invite Jesus to rule and reign in our lives, and when we study His Word to learn more of His character, then we will desire to follow our Master in deed and word. Speaking of studying the Word, Peter reminds us of the dire need, or necessity of us yearning for the Word of God. He used the analogy of a baby desiring milk. I love looking in on babies and trying to get them to smile. I tried that with a beautiful child last Sunday, and she started to cry. I know, the face was enough to frighten her, right?!!!! But her mom was actually about to feed her. So this baby had one thing in mind at the time – milk! What if we had such a desire for the Word of God? That’s where our spiritual food comes from, and if we expect to flourish because we are adequately nourished by the Word, then we must ask God to give us a strong desire to immerse ourselves in His Word and diligently follow the commands of our Lord that’s contained therein.  If we want to look, act, speak and diligently obey the Word of God, then there may be little time for the newspaper; the evening news; your favorite TV shows; romance novels; etc, for your mind will be set on getting into the Bible.

PRAYER:   Dear God, You’re the One that I love, adore and long to be with throughout eternity! Thank You for giving my friends and I the opportunity to serve You while here on earth. Lord, we want to do it right, so please help us to crave Your Word, so that we could understand Your character and obey Your commands. People need You, Oh Lord, so please help us to understudy every little detail about You, and also live our lives as a living testament of Your love and Your teachings, so that You may be glorified here on earth, as You are in heaven. Please forgive us when we fail, but quickly lift us up, turn us around and help us to get back on track for You every day! 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 Sebring, 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!

Tested and Proven

Peter tells us in the preceding verses that for those of us who love the Lord and have surrendered our lives to Him, we have an awesome time awaiting, where God the Father will release His blessings on us that have been stored in heaven pending our arrival. That helps me to feel like no matter what we face here on earth, there is great hope that lies ahead! And because our Father is involved, we also know that His awesome love will be unleashed as we enter His presence forever. Looking at what happens in the interim, is the theme of our devotional today….

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Peter 1:6-7 (GNT)

TEXT:  Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed.

OBSERVATION:   Peter tells us in the preceding verses that for those of us who love the Lord and have surrendered our lives to Him, we have an awesome time awaiting, where God the Father will release His blessings on us that have been stored in heaven pending our arrival. That helps me to feel like no matter what we face here on earth, there is great hope that lies ahead! And because our Father is involved, we also know that His awesome love will be unleashed as we enter His presence forever. Looking at what happens in the interim, is the theme of our devotional today….

APPLICATION:   In considering a real life comparison to this Scripture today, I thought of a husband who went to prison for battery, or abuse of his wife. Misery, pain and hardship ensued while the husband was in prison, but deep inside of each spouse was a love that was first kindled when they were in high school. While the wife wanted desperately to show that love before the husband was sent away, there was a world of influence that prevented that, and it caused the husband to release anger in ways neither of them thought possible. However, during the time in prison there were folk who worked hard at rehabilitating that husband and helping him to better deal with his anger issues. To do this, they tested him with various scenarios that might cause him to doubt any improvement. It was totally challenging to turn the other cheek to the love he had for his wife, and flourish in those circumstances. However, upon his release from prison, his wife was waiting with open arms to welcome him back home, and promised to do all she could to help him never to return to his former life of anger and violence. The life of both spouses while the husband was in prison, could be compared to what Christians face on earth. For although we surrendered our life to Jesus, yet we are left here on this earth to weather the storms of doubt; pain; financial burdens; being picked on; victims of crime; etc. In fact, at times we may even wonder if our commitment to Christ really means anything at all. But friends, I want us to be reminded that our gift of salvation was not our immediate ticket out of this world, for Peter reminds us that God not only wants to use us for His glory while here on earth, but that when we are serious about our faith, the enemy will be looking to see how we will handle the storms of life. Those storms don’t go away, we are just given a new hope in what lies beyond the storms. That husband in prison was able to endure the hardships of prison, because he knew that he had a loving, caring wife waiting for him, and ready to finish up their lives together. We have the same promise in Jesus Christ dear friends! There is a loving, caring, awesome Savior awaiting us on the other side of this treacherous world. Our time here is one of testing and proving whose we are. Wouldn’t it be neat to converse with God each evening and ask: “how did we do today?” Please don’t forget that prayer provides that exact medium for you to converse with God. Keep the lines of communication opened, so that He may guide and direct you into total holiness – just as He is holy! Why is something tested? To prove its durability under pressure. Something that is tempered under heat or pressure, convinces the purchaser that it will last. I can only imagine that God looks under His kids who survive the pressures of this life, with His help, as being fit for eternity! How are you doing friend?

PRAYER:   Lord God, thank You for reminding us that we have a purpose here on this earth, especially after we accept You as Lord, for then Your mighty works can be accomplished through us, if You choose to do so. When trials come, please continue to drive us towards You, and what You might want to accomplish through even the slightest ‘thorn in our side’. You never promised us smooth sailing and calm waters after accepting You as Lord, instead You have given us the hope that through the ups and downs of life, our Master still loves us, still waits for us, and is still our guide through every circumstance. Thank You for that love, that comfort and the peace that it gives to our soul. Oh that others may see Jesus in us, no matter the circumstances we face while on planet earth. 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 Sebring, 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!

Prayer and Healing

Through first hand experiences and through the faith that he had developed in his Master, James shares with us about the awesome power of God. This starts with us humbling ourselves, before praying earnestly for the needs at hand. So I believe that we need to rehearse in our minds and hearts the need for healing that exists in our individual lives, as well as those we love and hold dear to us. The ones we really want to ask God for. Then as we endeavor to follow the words of James in these verses, let’s look for the power of God, and be prepared to celebrate the results. 

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   James 5:16-18 (TLB)

TEXT:  16 Admit your faults to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and wonderful results. 17 Elijah was as completely human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for the next three and a half years! 18 Then he prayed again, this time that it would rain, and down it poured, and the grass turned green and the gardens began to grow again.

OBSERVATION:   Through first hand experiences and through the faith that he had developed in his Master, James shares with us about the awesome power of God. This starts with us humbling ourselves, before praying earnestly for the needs at hand. So I believe that we need to rehearse in our minds and hearts the need for healing that exists in our individual lives, as well as those we love and hold dear to us. The ones we really want to ask God for. Then as we endeavor to follow the words of James in these verses, let’s look for the power of God, and be prepared to celebrate the results.  

APPLICATION:   Numerous inventors have become famous, because they discovered a remedy, or solution, for one of earth’s nagging problems, and they found a great way to market that solution to many folk who were impacted by the nagging problem. My purpose in sharing through this blog today, is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, and to remind you of what He could do for you, and for me. At our midweek service last night, we heard about an accountability partner that one of our pastors have with a good friend in the Lord. I believe the purpose for something like that might be exactly like James is suggesting to us in verse 15. Think about it friends, when we admit our faults to one another, we are humbling ourselves and acknowledging that we are not the ‘Perfect One’, and that we still mess up on a regular basis. Not only does this empty us of pride, but it also leaves us bare before the Lord, so that He may fill us with His love, His grace, His mercy and His awesome power, so that our faith in Him may be renewed and supercharged. In fact, as we present ourselves bare before God, guess who is the only one who could then receive praise for the healing that might occur in our bodies, or the answered prayers that we may witness? The other encouraging thing about this Scripture, is that James shows us how important it is for us to reflect on God’s power that we had already experienced through our earlier prayers, or perhaps by other saints, or even by prophets of old. I believe we are reminded that if we are faithful to God, He would be faithful to us, just as He has already done for countless others already. So it’s like facing a friend who you are trying to convince about God’s power, you might say to them “show God your humbleness, empty yourself of all pride, ask Him in faith, and stand by for the answer to prayer that you will receive – yes, even to healing that can only come from God”. Friends, this is not the way we do things in school, at work, or perhaps even at church, but according to God’s Word, this is the way we do it when asking our God for His touch in our circumstances. We are looking for a miracle from God, so we must do things His way to receive His results!

PRAYER:   Lord, thank You for the reminder of how awesome our God is. Thank You for reminding us of the need to get self out of the way, so that God might perform His mighty deeds in our lives. Please touch our lives today. Please teach us humbless of heart, so that we can faithfully look up to You without anything to brag on, but fully dependent on You. You are our Rock, our Creator, our Redeemer, our Healer and our soon coming King! We are eternally thankful and look up to You in faith and love for Your perfect touch on our lives. Thank You 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 Sebring, 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 Identify Godly Wisdom

In the preceding verses, James points out what worldly wisdom looks like, and it helps us to recognize why we have so many challenges in our families, community, and even in our churches. Yes, we have ‘dirty sheep’ in our churches also, and depending on their influence in the community, they may even make their way into church leadership. However, in the above two verses we could see Jesus, for He performed His work here on earth in a very peaceful, calm and righteous manner. His wisdom was, and still is, beyond all wisdom, and He is the One that we should imitate.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   James 3:17-18 (ERV)

TEXT:  17 But the wisdom that comes from God is like this: First, it is pure. It is also peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help people who have trouble and to do good for others. This wisdom is always fair and honest. 18 People who work for peace in a peaceful way get the blessings that come from right living.

OBSERVATION:   In the preceding verses, James points out what worldly wisdom looks like, and it helps us to recognize why we have so many challenges in our families, community, and even in our churches. Yes, we have ‘dirty sheep’ in our churches also, and depending on their influence in the community, they may even make their way into church leadership. However, in the above two verses we could see Jesus, for He performed His work here on earth in a very peaceful, calm and righteous manner. His wisdom was, and still is, beyond all wisdom, and He is the One that we should imitate.

APPLICATION:   When we seek God for wisdom, He gives us the kind of wisdom that He portrayed while here on earth, and He will teach us the kind of wisdom spoken of in these verses. Now let’s compare that to the wisdom sought by unbelievers. I believe they look to the wisdom taught at our colleges; they place themselves in the middle of very smart people; they may try to imitate the practices of very successful leaders who have proven themselves; and I believe they probably watch a lot of world events to help them understand what may be successful, or not. You may have heard of other things that you might add to that list, but friends let me encourage you to consider the source of each of the mentioned items. It is mankind, filled with all of his fallacies, yet we are content to try and imitate, or repeat those things that may appear successful to us. Oh my, is there any wonder that we see a repeat of disastrous efforts by some leaders? I trust that you will not misunderstand me and think that I am proposing that our Christian leaders never seek any of the above ways to increase their effectiveness, because I really believe that our men of God will still follow some of the above methods, but hopefully they will allow God to guide their minds, their thought process, and fill them with His wisdom as to the wise things they should implement that will also bring Him glory. Friends, let’s always remember that in all things that we do, let’s acknowledge God and be obedient to His perfect will, and that we follow through with things that will bring Him glory and bless His people. That will fulfil the purpose for which He has placed us here, and in the positions that He has entrusted to us. Let’s always remember that it’s not about us, but all about Him, that causes us to accomplish any good thing!

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, we need You every hour of every day. We especially need Your guidance and Your wisdom so that our actions might serve to glorify Yourself. May our words be pure and filled with the wisdom that we learn from Your Word. Fill us with so much of Yourself Lord, that others will see Jesus as they look on us and rub shoulders with us. Please touch the hearts of each one reading this devotional today, oh Lord. May they be reminded of the One who created them, the One who sacrificed His only Son for the good of mankind, and the One who patiently waits at our Father’s side and intercedes for us. Please use Your humble servants today oh Lord, so that those that we come into contact with will draw close to You and seek Your forgiveness, grace and mercy. 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 Sebring, 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 Tongue, Capable of Praises and Curses.

Isn’t it amazing when you visit a zoo, or a marine park, to see how man has been successful in taming and training almost any animal? From the smallest to the largest, they aim to please man, and do what he has trained them to do! However, as our Scripture reminds us today, let’s direct our attention to mankind and find someone who could train one of the smallest parts of the human body, the tongue. It is impossible to find that trainer who could accomplish such a feat. Let’s have a closer look at this today and try to understand why God found it so important to include this teaching in His Word for us!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   James 3:7-10 (TPT)

TEXT:  For every wild animal on earth including birds, creeping reptiles, and creatures of the sea and land have all been overpowered and tamed by humans, but the tongue is not able to be tamed. It’s a fickle, unrestrained evil that spews out words full of toxic poison! We use our tongue to praise God our Father and then turn around and curse a person who was made in his very image! 10 Out of the same mouth we pour out words of praise one minute and curses the next. My brothers and sister, this should never be!

OBSERVATION:   Isn’t it amazing when you visit a zoo, or a marine park, to see how man has been successful in taming and training almost any animal? From the smallest to the largest, they aim to please man, and do what he has trained them to do! However, as our Scripture reminds us today, let’s direct our attention to mankind and find someone who could train one of the smallest parts of the human body, the tongue. It is impossible to find that trainer who could accomplish such a feat. Let’s have a closer look at this today and try to understand why God found it so important to include this teaching in His Word for us!

APPLICATION:   There was once a trial where the defendant was found guilty of multiple murders. When asked why he did these atrocious crimes, the defendant told the judge that it was because ‘the devil made me do it’. Why then do we say some of the hateful, or hurtful, or dishonoring things that we do? Then with the same tongue, sing such beautiful, awesome praises to our King with such meaningful intent, melodious tones and harmonious sounds? The innocent, and those void of Scriptural understanding, may question: how could this possibly be? Matthew 12:34 and Luke 6:45 tells us that the mouth will speak what the heart is full of. So instead of examining the value, or the threat/danger of the tongue, it seems to me that we should concentrate on, and examine the heart of a person. An example of this was portrayed in a real-life scenario from my past. A new pastor came to our church, and to everyone’s shock, he wound up getting along best with an individual who often ran people off because of his words that were often blurted out before he took time to think about it. When asked for the secret to his success in this situation, the new pastor responded that he simply looked at the heart of the person. For in spite of the words that spewed from the mouth of the individual, they had a heart of gold for God and His church. Wow! Wouldn’t that practice help us solve a lot of issues around our churches, and even our lives in general, if we practiced that philosophy? Friends, I would dare say that many of the issues that cause church division, family divisions and falsely judging another person, comes from the crazy things that are uttered from the mouths of ‘saints’ at times. Please allow me to suggest that we look inwardly and correct the inner man first. In other words, allow God’s Word to invade us, and attack our judgmental attitudes, and fill our hearts with a desire to read His Word often, and very carefully compare our personal thoughts and actions with those expected of us by our King. If we work on ‘self’, and encourage others to do the same, it is easy to see that there won’t be a need for us to interfere and try to correct someone else! As we allow God sincere control of our lives, He will do the correcting of bad habits and a gossiping tongue!

PRAYER:   Precious Lord, I believe that Your Word hit on the most challenging thing that impacts the witness of Your church, and that causes the unbeliever to block us out when we try to share Your love with them. Please Lord, again today, reach into our hearts and make us concentrate on what is worthy, loving, true, pure and filled with Your grace. You loved us enough to actually die for our sin. We have a full time responsibility to praise You, thank You, and love You, so much that our lives would exemplify You in everything we do or say. Please let us concentrate on building You up, and not tearing others down. 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 Sebring, 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!

Sin – An Object Of Cursing From God

Based on scripture, I believe that God wants us to turn away from our sin (stop doing it and look at God’s plan for us), humble ourselves before the almighty God, seek His face and His heart’s desire for us, and pray for a revived spirit within us individually and, as a family, as a church, as a city and indeed as a nation.

Wednesday, 2016-10-19

Scripture

Bible Reference: Jeremiah 44:22–23

Bible Text:  22 Today, your land is an object of cursing, a horror, a lifeless ruin because the Eternal could no longer stand your wickedness and the detestable things you did. 23 Take a good look at the disaster that has come upon you. It happened because you burned incense to other gods and sinned against the Eternal. It happened because you refused to obey His voice or follow His law and His decrees, because you ignored His warnings.

Bible Translation: The VOICE 

My Take

Just from the title you probably had no incentive or desire to open this devotional and read more. That’s pretty normal, because we are creatures of so much stress each day that the last thing we want to hear is another challenge or critical point of view. Sorry friends, but as followers of Christ we must be obedient to the Holy Spirit and stop to meditate on a passage of scripture such as this, when presented with it, because God could very well be getting our attention to warn us of what our own outcome may look like, if we continue in sin and disobedient to His commands. Based on scripture, I believe that God wants us to turn away from our sin (stop doing it and look at God’s plan for us), humble ourselves before the almighty God, seek His face and His heart’s desire for us, and pray for a revived spirit within us individually and, as a family, as a church, as a city and indeed as a nation. Friends, at this time of the year we become so caught up in politics, in Thanksgiving celebrations, and begin thinking about Christmas. If we’re not careful, I’m afraid that we could easily lose our passion for what is really critical in God’s eyes – that we know Him; honor Him; obey Him and seek sincerely to follow Him. In doing this friends, we will earn a deep, sincere, desire to see our family and friends also ‘make the cut’, or generate a desire to know the Savior that we love, adore and live in great expectation of uniting with one day! Friends, as we grow closer to God and live more like Him here on this earth, perhaps He may save our land from desolation and destruction. Most of us would desire that God bless our respective native country, so I sincerely believe that we would also truly regret it if God removed His hand of blessing from us and allowed our land to become an object of His cursing – just because of our neglect of God and His commands. God says in His Word that He puts our leaders in place for His purposes. Let us therefore be sure that we seek His face as we vote on our leaders, and more importantly, let us seek to know God better, understand His directions for us, and seek to follow His will and His way. I believe that this will please God and perhaps earn His blessing rather than His curse, as He did with the disobedient and rebellious Israelites.

Prayer

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

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

How To Find True Happiness

There are probably more books sold and more seminars attended on this subject than anything else imaginable. I believe that the primary reason for this might be due to the fact that Satan, the ruler of all evil on this earth, is constantly battling for our attention and our affection. But the recipe for happiness taught by James here is not new, for you will find this revelation throughout the Bible in many of the teachings and illustrations placed there for our good. As we meditate on the importance of this today, may we truly find real and lasting happiness.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   James 1:25 (NCV)

TEXT:  25 … the truly happy people are those who carefully study God’s perfect law that makes people free, and they continue to study it. They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God’s teaching says. Those who do this will be made happy.

OBSERVATION:   There are probably more books sold and more seminars attended on this subject than anything else imaginable. I believe that the primary reason for this might be due to the fact that Satan, the ruler of all evil on this earth, is constantly battling for our attention and our affection. But the recipe for happiness taught by James here is not new, for you will find this revelation throughout the Bible in many of the teachings and illustrations placed there for our good. As we meditate on the importance of this today, may we truly find real and lasting happiness.

APPLICATION:   I often compare illustrations on marriage to help illustrate the relationship we should strive towards with our Lord. In marriage, many couples attend marriage enrichment classes, or take cruises geared towards married couples, or read books on ways to refresh our marriages. We are looking for ways to refresh our love for each other. Without this, we tend to start taking each other for granted, we relax our initial commitment to love and uphold each other through good times and through the challenging times as well. In fact, many who make no effort to keep their marriages fresh, causes us to hear more about divorce than ever before. James is teaching us here in this Scripture today that true happiness for mankind is found in carefully studying the perfect laws of God, as outlined in His book of instruction – the Bible. Throughout the Bible, we are taught and reminded that God loves us more than we could even imagine. He showed His love for us in many ways, but the ultimate love was shown when He willingly went to the cross as a sacrifice for us. Think carefully about why Jesus went to the cross, for all who existed before that time were not saints that could be equal with God, but ‘dirty’, ‘filthy’ sinners. But, in love, Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross knowing that it would be the means of forgiveness when we ask. So knowing that someone loves us so much, and without conditions placed on why He would love us, why do you suppose we would not want to obey His commands? James reminds us that through obeying God, we not only receive His wondrous love, but we become sons and daughter of the greatest person that ever lived, our Lord and Savior. The contentment this brings to us is pure, unadulterated happiness. Now if we are serious about this kind of commitment to Jesus Christ, and the happiness that results, James said that we would want to continue to study and learn from the teachings of Jesus. Further, we must always be mindful of what we have studied, for it is intended to guide our lives into the total Truth of all that we learn, while making a concerted effort to obey it and live it out in our lives. You see, I am convinced that God created us to illustrate to the world, what a loving, caring God looks like. How do you suppose you are doing with that? It’s very easy for us to see the good, the bad and the ugly in others, but I would suggest that we look inward today and, based on what James is teaching us, evaluate whether you think that we stand a chance of being truly ‘Happy’. 

PRAYER:   Precious Lord, thank You for Your sacrifice at Calvary. Thank You for loving us enough to offer Your life as a sacrifice for our sin. Thank You for providing Your Word so that we may be reminded of Your love, and also how we may maintain our happiness in You. Please give all those who will meditate on this devotional today, the boldness to demonstrate Your love for us, to all those that we come into contact with. May we be committed to reading Your Word, understanding it’s truth, and practicing it’s values every day in the way that we live and interact with others. May You be glorified through our humble lives today 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 Sebring, 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!

Staying Encouraged In A Challenging World

Perhaps before you walk out of the door to your home this morning you already realized that there will be many challenges that you will deal with today. Perhaps there is overflow from the challenges you dealt with yesterday. There may even be unresolved contention that you know you must deal with today.

Monday, 2016-10-17

Scripture

Bible Reference: Philippians 4:8-9

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

Bible Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

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

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

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

Prayer

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

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

A Prayer for Each Other

The Bible teaches us everything we need for right living, and in line with God’s commands for us. In this last chapter of Hebrews, we are taught what’s really important in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ, and we are therefore given great direction on how best to pray for our Brother and/or our Sister. Let’s examine this guidance so that we might pray scripturally for others.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Hebrews 13:20-21 (ERV)

TEXT:  20-21 I pray that the God of peace will give you every good thing you need so that you can do what he wants. God is the one who raised from death our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of his sheep. He raised him because Jesus sacrificed his blood to begin the new agreement that never ends. I pray that God will work through Jesus Christ to do the things in us that please him. To him be glory forever. Amen.

OBSERVATION:   The Bible teaches us everything we need for right living, and in line with God’s commands for us. In this last chapter of Hebrews, we are taught what’s really important in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ, and we are therefore given great direction on how best to pray for our Brother and/or our Sister. Let’s examine this guidance so that we might pray scripturally for others.

APPLICATION:   What I found extremely interesting in these verses is that we are taught to really pray great blessings on each other, but as we look closely at the ‘so that’ we will see that these prayers are not just to make us look righteous to the church, or in our community, but rather to glorify Christ. I had a pastor who wore a handsome looking suit for the first time, on a Sunday morning. After his sermon, he received so many compliments on his new suit that he promised never to do that again, because it was obvious that his congregants paid more attention to his new suit than they did to the message God gave him to deliver! Sounds funny, but anytime we do, or say, something that glorifies or promotes our own self worth, we have totally missed the point of promoting Christ. I love the beginning of these verses, for it demands that we pray that our Brother or Sister would have every good thing they need. Isn’t that about the best thing you could pray for someone? But notice that there is not a period after that phrase, but instead goes on to give the ‘so that’, and that the purpose of such a prayer is not for the benefit of making your object of prayer the best person in the congregation, community or workplace, but rather for the benefit of doing what God wants. So an example of this might be that you may very well pray that someone be enriched with wisdom, or perfect discernment, but for the one who loves God and seeks to please Him in everything, that may not be for the sake of choosing the right numbers and winning the lotto, but rather, it may bless them with the aptitude to serve on an important team at church in which God is looking to draw people unto Himself in an unusual and miraculous way. You have no idea how God will use that person for His glory, but as you pray in accordance with what God has laid on your heart, be content in knowing that God will bless so that His perfect will might be achieved. The other part of that wonderful prayer is that you will find reason to glorify your heavenly Father for listening to the prayer of His humble servant to achieve His greatness! The last part of verse 21 is also achieved in my example, for God used His blessing to you, to accomplish His work, for His glory. I believe that the awe in these verses for us, is that when we pray for the benefit of God’s glory, we will see our prayers answered, but we will also see gratified hearts through the blessings of God on us and those we pray for. So pray to the Father, through His Son, for His ultimate glory, and for the uplifting and blessings of the one we are praying for.

PRAYER:   Dear God, thank You for the many friends You have blessed me with, and for those You have placed in a position to guide me, manage me, and encourage me. Please bless each of these richly today, so that Your glory might shine through them and bring even more praise to You by multiple others. Please help us to live holy and upright lives, so that Your presence in our lives will shine through every word and every action. People need the Lord more today than ever before. Use us Lord to be You light and Your encouragement to them. 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 Sebring, 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!