Savor The Goodness of God

Thursday, 2019-01-31

Bible Reference: Psalm 73:1-5
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  No doubt about it! God is good – good to good people, good to the good-hearted. But I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness. I was looking the other way, looking up to the people at the top, envying the wicked who have it made, Who have nothing to worry about, not a care in the whole wide world.

OBSERVATION: I’m sure it happens all too often, that we fall into the trap of David, where we are so caught up in coveting what the neighbor, or coworker, or friend, or employer has, that we totally miss the simple, but profound blessings that God showers on each of us every day. Shouldn’t God look at us with disappointment over the fact that we easily overlooked our customized blessings, that He specifically designed for, and deliberately delivered to us?

APPLICATION:  I find life so interesting sometimes, for those who have – wish they had more, and they may even say that THEN they would be happier. For those who don’t have, they may look at those who seem to have material things as ones who are ‘blessed of God’. We have to be careful that we don’t get hung up on this friends, because when we do, we may very easily overlook what God has truly blessed us with. The Psalmist was caught in this trap, for he was looking at the blessings of others and feeling sorry for himself, like he was not blessed at all, just because he didn’t have what they had. It is truly amazing how spoiled we have become! If it rains, we have fewer people in church. Can you think about how blessed we are to have an automobile that can take us to church – dry from the outdoor weather! Can you imagine what our ancestors did who either walked or rode a horse to church, if they were blessed enough to have a horse? Think about us cancelling a church service because the air-conditioning may not be working! Would anyone show up if we planned a tent meeting? Friends, we must never place ourselves in the shoes of another man or woman, for we are rich in God’s blessings just as we are. Unless we center our thoughts on God, and recognize Him as the author of all things around us, we could very easily walk around in this world feeling deprived of God’s goodness – His blessings. Consider the air that you breathed in this morning, the ability to stand up and walk, the ability to see what you are doing, the love of family and friends that surround you, the comfort of your home – even if it is not as palatial as the mansion bragged about by a friend at work. Friends, without any worldly belongings, still we are blessed of God. Can we learn to praise Him for His awesome goodness to us, no matter what state we may find ourselves in? Let’s not overlook the goodness of God to us individually – in spite of what we see going on around us. Let’s remember that God’s customized blessings for us, would not fit the neighbor, and vice versa. So let’s learn to praise God even in our challenging times, for He is preparing us for eternity with He and His Father! If you have accepted Jesus as Lord of your life, then because He is King of all kings and Lord of all lords, that makes you an heir to His throne – you are a prince or princess – royalty! It just don’t get any better than that, and it all happens without even qualifying for a bank account!! Trust in the Lord friend, with all your heart, soul and mind, and prepare yourselves for the royal treatment! Read my ‘Footnote’ below if you have yet to surrender your life to Jesus. He is waiting and longing to hear from you!

Prayer: Lord, You are good and Your mercy endureth forever! How can we say thanks in enough ways to show our appreciation and gratitude to You for all that You do everyday for us? Please forgive those that You have created, those that You have blessed, those that You watch over and provide for everyday, for the times that we whine and complain because it may appear to us that a Brother or a Sister may show evidence of being blessed more than us. Wow, what an ungrateful bunch we are oh God. Please be patient with us while we come to our senses and recognize all of Your goodness towards us. May we seek and find reasons to praise You everyday for Your goodness oh Lord. May we truly recognize the Potter and how good You are to those You have molded in Your image. With a grateful heart, I give You thanks dear God. May You be praised today by a multitude of thankful people who recognize your goodness, 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 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 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!


Wisdom – A Gift From a Generous God

Wednesday, 2019-01-30

Bible Reference: Proverbs 2:6
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text:  Wisdom is a gift from a generous God, and every word he speaks is full of revelation and becomes a fountain of understanding within you.

OBSERVATION: While there are some who, at least think that they know everything, most of us wish that we were wise enough to understand what is going on now, and what impact it might have on tomorrow. However, Solomon shares with us how we might learn to fear the Lord and grow in our knowledge of Him.

APPLICATION: I believe that we hear these words frequently: “If only I knew as much as that individual”, or “I wish I knew why God chose not to tell us about …..”. In the first five verses of Proverbs 2 (click on our Scripture reference above to see the whole chapter) there are several things that we are told to concentrate on if we are to grow in the fear and understanding of our God. Let’s look at those:

  1. Accept, or treasure, the Word of God – Don’t just read the Word and apply it to everyone around you, but take the words to heart and bury them deep within. God brought them to your attention for a current, or possibly a future circumstance;
  2. Listen to what God is saying to you – Too often we are so busy conjuring up our response to a teaching, that we totally miss what is truly being taught. Listen like a child, absorb what is being said like a sponge. We become wiser by learning as much as we could about a person, or a situation. God wants us to know all we can about Himself and His ultimate wisdom about all things;
  3. Cry out and beg for understanding – Avoid the frustration of not knowing why or how. Plead with God to help you understand all that you need to know about His teachings;
  4. Seek and you will find – rumble through all resources and sources, like you would if you lost a $100 bill. Ask God to help you find the answers. He knows your heart, and why you find it so important to find answers and understanding of His directions;

Friends, we are told in verse 5 that when we do the above things, we will learn to fear our awesome and all-powerful God, and He will place a fountain of understanding within us! Wouldn’t it be totally satisfying if we felt this way at the end of each day? My wife and I met a young man at a local restaurant at a time that our daughter was looking for a job. We asked how did he get the job, to which he responded “Persistence”. I didn’t settle for just leaving an application, I returned frequently to ask about a response. They saw that I was serious about the job, and they gave it to me. In the above bullet points you will note that these are all things that will indicate to God that we are serious about growing in His wisdom, and daily walking in the fear of His almighty hand. Does this sound like your position with Christ today, my friend? If not, you can make this happen – only you can!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, there are many things that I feel like I need to know more about – in Your Word, and in Your everyday plan for my life. Please tender my heart to diligently seek Your face, Your heart and Your will for all those things that You would have me gain more wisdom about. It is so easy to just read Your Word, try to take every word literally, and try to apply it to my life. However, in a relationship with my very best Friend, my Lord and Savior, I believe that You will be patient with me and help me to understand and fear Your decisions in all things. Please speak to my readers and I in very bold ways today, so that we may know and believe. We want to know You more. We want to understand Your ways and obey Your commands. Please draw us to Yourself and carefully work on our understanding, respect and obedience of the one true God, the God of all wisdom and power. AMEN!

Opportunities and Challenges of Following Jesus

Tuesday, 2019-01-29

Bible Reference: Matthew 10:17-20
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text:  17-20 “Don’t be naive. Some people will impugn (call into question) your motives, others will smear your reputation—just because you believe in me. Don’t be upset when they haul you before the civil authorities. Without knowing it, they’ve done you—and me—a favor, given you a platform for preaching the kingdom news! And don’t worry about what you’ll say or how you’ll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words.

OBSERVATION: As Jesus prepared to send off His disciples, He prepared them for what they would encounter while on assignment. Our focal verses include some of the warnings they were given by the Master. Today men and women are still called to do the work of the Master, and some have and will encounter these same challenges/opportunities. Are you obediently following the call of Christ on your life – without hesitation?

APPLICATION: In calling and sending out His first disciples, Jesus took the time to warn them that they would not be entering into a world that is filled with love, compassion, caring, considerate individuals just waiting to accept their message and help them succeed in whatever they say, or attempt to do – just because they were going in the name of Jesus. Friends, these words were placed in the Bible, not just to make us feel sorry for what the early disciples went through as teachers and followers of our Lord. I am convinced that God wants us to be warned about what to expect when we follow in His, and their footsteps. I know that many of you may not understand, because all you ever hear about, is the graciousness of the people that your pastor ministers to, or the hospital folk that your Elders encounter when they visit the sick. May I remind my readers that there are foreign missionaries that are held captive in shipping containers, because they insisted on sharing the love, and teaching of the Word of God to people who have been sheltered from hearing the Good News, and experiencing the love of a Savior who actually sacrificed His life for the forgiveness of their sin. There are missionaries who are helping underground churches understand the Word of God sufficiently to then teach others who are hungry for the Word. They do this knowing that if they are caught by the authorities, they would be immediately killed. There are Christians who are picked on, beaten and imprisoned for spreading the goodness of their God to people in need. Notice that God is telling us that we are called to share the Good News with everyone, even the authorities, if we are caught. I have a friend who is in the prison system at this time, and while his family and friends mourn his absence in their lives, he is able to share with us how God is using him behind the bars, to reach the lost for Jesus! I’m sure that none of us would desire an audience with the authorities of some countries, and many of us would strongly refuse to share Christ with them if the opportunity presented itself, because many Christians refuse to even pray in public, or are terrified to say anything about their faith to a non-believer. Many are afraid that they would not know what to say, if presented with the opportunities like described in our verses. But look how God cleared up that fear for us in the very last part of the above verses! Friends, we have the Spirit of God living inside of us to lead us to the right folk, and to coach us on what to say. Are we doubting His ability when we refuse to go, or become frozen on what to say? Jesus commanded that we ‘GO’, the rest will be up to Him! Remember, we can’t save anyone – only God can, and He may even use us as a vital part of His team!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for aligning everything that contributed to me finding and accepting Your Son as my Savior. There will be many who will read this devotional today that will be impacted by Your Word today. Please strengthen Your church today and be a constant reminder to us that if we go in our strength, lead by our own desires, and using our own abilities, we might show our love for those we encounter, but unless we allow You into the equation, that’s all that we will achieve. Lord, we have nothing to gain, other than the joy of seeing our friends accept You as their Lord and Savior, so please help us to always seek You, and surrender our efforts to You so that You may do Your kingdom work in those that we touch. It’s about You oh Lord, and not of ourselves. May Your kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven. AMEN!

Looking To God in Every Circumstance of Life

Monday, 2019-01-28

Bible Reference: Philippians 4:11-13
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:  I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.

OBSERVATION: Our churches are normally full after a large scale disaster. We tend to look to God when we know that life is out of our control, instead of recognizing that He is always in control of our lives each and every day. Paul’s testimony teaches us that we should look to God in every circumstance of life. How do you suppose we are doing with that?

APPLICATION:  I found it interesting to visit another country and see how people made the most out of circumstances that many of us may tend to moan and complain about. This was evident in:

  • The food we ate – simple, yet filling and nourishing. May not have been steaks or ribs, but nonetheless we never went to bed hungry;
  • The kids and their toys – they were just as happy kicking around a plastic bottle, as our kids are with the best football. In fact, they were probably happier than our kids because there was no jealousy about the nice ball brought by the rich kids, as they all were on the same ‘level playing field’;
  • No whining or complaining – we never heard them complain about their circumstances or their plight. They were happy, respectable, hard working and looked out for each other.

AUnfortunately in today’s society, it is not until we have lost everything that we tend to look to accept help from a neighbor or receive help from them. It’s not until our world comes crashing down that we look to God. Our churches are normally full after a large scale disaster. We tend to look to God when we know that life is out of our control, instead of recognizing that He is always in control of our lives each and every day. Paul spoke these words as one who had been there and done that, for he had been beaten, shipwrecked, imprisoned, gone without food and more, yet he was able to add the tag that he could do everything that God asked him to do because of the power and strength that Christ blessed Him with at every turn in his life. Friends, this is the same awesome God that I know. The same outstanding God that is yours, if you have given Him permission to be your God. The same loving God that will be your God if only you will humble yourself and invite Jesus into your heart and your life. With God in control, we can do this thing called ‘life’, without ever looking at our circumstances, because we will realize and accept that all that He does for His loving children is done out of love and done to draw us closer to Him. You can do this friend! What are you waiting for? Read my ‘Footnote’ for a clearer understanding of how you might go about inviting Jesus to be the Lord of your life. He really loves you friend, and He really wants to be your God!

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for loving us so much that You gave, so that we might live eternally with You. Thank You for drawing me to Your throne of grace and mercy, and for accepting me as Your very own Son. I realize that when I complain about life’s circumstances I am really questioning Your handiwork. Please forgive me, and help me to always look at the love You offer to me every day and in so many ways. Please draw my unsaved family and friends to Yourself today. Please especially touch the lives of those who will read this devotional today, with Your love and Your power. Please cause them to make decisions today that will draw them to yourself. Please be a constant reminder to us that we can do all things You ask of us through Christ who is our strength, guide, protection and provider. I ask these things in the loving name of Jesus, and for His sake alone, 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 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 and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!


The Joy of Knowing Jesus

Thursday, 2019-01-25

Bible Reference: Philippians 3:8-9
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text:  Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him.

APPLICATION:  I love the illustration Paul used to show how much he valued the relationship he had with the God of this universe. A few years ago my family and I had the daunting task of moving out of our home of 27 years into a much smaller accommodation. We had to evaluate all of our earthly possessions and conclude that each item must either: 1). Go with us – meaning we had to find space for it in our smaller accommodation, or 2). We would hold on to the item in storage until we decide if we would ever need it, or are willing to dispose of it, or 3). We could no longer see a need to hang on to the item, and were willing to sell it or give it away. Think about that, together with the mindset of Paul, who was once a valuable resource to earthly kings and nobles, because of his readiness to destroy anything or anyone attributing its value to Jesus Christ. What Paul did could be likened to the example given above about my personal experience, dumping everything we once had, and starting from scratch. Paul did this in giving his total allegiance to Jesus Christ, without the possibility of any interference from anything he may have owned in his past. Paul said that he ‘dumped it all in the trash, so that he could fully embrace the unencumbered grace of Christ’. Friends, it was not until my family and I came to the place that we realized that our earthly belongings was merely ‘stuff’, and added no value to our eternal destination, that we were able to commit to our move. Paul is teaching us in this passage that it is not until we are willing to make Jesus the primary focus in our lives, and release our grip on earthly things, that we would truly embrace Him and be embraced by Him. Jesus went to the cross with only the wrappings around His body, but He did it because of His supernatural love for us, and to provide the means for the forgiveness of our sin. How much are you willing to sacrifice today to truly enhance your relationship with such a Savior as this?

Prayer: Jesus, You are my King – my soon coming King! Thank You for humbly following the Master’s will, to prove Your love for myself and all mankind who would choose You as the focus of our lives. You gave it all for us oh Lord. Please use this reminder by Paul to help us examine our motives and our intentions. Whether we choose to publicize our decision like Paul did, or whether we commit one-on-one with You, I pray that at the end of the day we will reflect back on the decisions we made. Each day we make decisions, some are very deliberate and very firm, while others are simply made by doing nothing at all and being satisfied with status-quo. Touch Your children today oh God and cause them to deliberately make decisions that will draw them to Yourself and to a glorious promise of one day being with You in heaven. I love You Lord and I thank You for first loving me beyond my wildest imagination. These things I ask in the name of Jesus, the Christ, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at 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 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!


Meeting the People Where They Are

Saturday, 2019-01-26

Bible Reference: Matthew 9:35-38
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 35 Jesus traveled around through all the cities and villages of that area, teaching in the Jewish synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And wherever he went he healed people of every sort of illness. 36 And what pity he felt for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn’t know what to do or where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd. 37 “The harvest is so great, and the workers are so few,” he told his disciples. 38 “So pray to the one in charge of the harvesting, and ask him to recruit more workers for his harvest fields.”

OBSERVATION: Having just returned from a visit to the Bahamas, I can check off my list for having attended church there, and having spoken to many individuals with various needs – both obvious needs and some that were buried deep behind their serious faces. But Jesus’ visit into the cities and villages seemed to have been with a lot more purpose, and He obviously observed a lot more than I did on my casual visit to the Bahamas. Let’s meditate on the things that concerned Jesus, so our eyes might be opened to more as we visit people and places.

APPLICATION:  I feel like God got my attention through this Scripture today, because I was reminded how calloused I am about the needs around me. I love visiting new places, and often I will drive away from those places with things embedded into my memory, but in reflection, the things that I remember are so insignificant in the light of eternity, or in light of the needs of the people that I met in my travels. You see, restaurant or hotel staff will often respond to you with the usual courtesies that we would expect, but how insensitive we are to the hurt behind those sad eyes, or the aching body that they try very hard to hide from us. Let’s look closely at how caring, purposeful and deliberate Jesus was in this short story: 1). Notice that He was deliberate in sharing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. Imagine having missed an opportunity to tell folk about the love of Jesus, and the Kingdom that awaits each of us when we graduate to Heaven, when many are often burdened beyond their ability to bear it here on this earth; 2). Jesus saw the need for healing, and He not only said that He would remember them in prayer, or told them that He loved them, or wished them well, but He healed them of their afflictions. How are you doing with that friends? Do you pray for those who are sick when you visit them? Do you follow-up over the next few days to see if they are doing better? 3). He had pity on the folk that were hurting. Do you feel the pain of the people you come across, or do you casually brush it off by telling them that time will heal all wounds, or telling them about a situation you had that was much worse than theirs? 4). It seems like Jesus was really saddened that folk were just wandering around without any direction, or hope in their life. Friends, there are many like this in our world today, and we have the answer, tucked under our arms, in our glove compartment of the car, or on a table at home gathering dust. Jesus is the answer to all of this world dilemmas, complications and issues, but unless we share that with them, they too may wander around aimlessly, like sheep needing a shepherd. The most important thing about this Scripture is wrapped in the idea that Jesus went out… He went through… He saw the needs of….. and He ministered to… ALL that He came into contact with. We may never see the sick, the downtrodden, or the needy in our plush sanctuaries, but we know they are out there. Shall we imitate our Master and actually get up, get out, and meet their needs where they are? I believe that Jesus expects us to: GIVE, since we have been given; BLESS, since we have been blessed; LOVE, since we have been, and are always loved; SHARE, since we have been blessed with so much more than many we would meet. Let us aim to be the hands, feet and heart of Jesus today dear friends!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You rescued me from my sin and distress, and You placed me on a mission that will land me safe on the other side – heaven with You and the Father. Thank You Lord for Your wondrous grace and Your tender mercy. I pray that all who will read this devotional today may stand in worship and adoration, with arms raised, and hearts that are warmed, because they too know without a doubt that Heaven is their final destination. If there is the slightest doubt in the minds of any, please Lord, tender their hearts and call them to Yourself. Many who know You are not as compassionate as You are about the lost condition, and the hurt that exists in the hearts and lives of those in our own communities, and especially in the lives that we touch while out of town. We need You precious Lord. Your tenderness, Your forgiveness. Your humbleness. Your unconditional love for ALL Your children. Oh that the ‘church’ will be so sold out to You, that the lost in our areas of influence will see You in us, and believe in You. May You be glorified today oh Lord! AMEN!

The Reason Jesus Came

Thursday, 2019-01-24

Bible Reference: Matthew 9:11-13
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text:  11 When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. “What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?” 12-13 Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.”

OBSERVATION: Imagine God sacrificing His precious Son so that saved folk might receive Jesus and be saved. Would that really make any sense? Without even digging into the scriptures, would it not make more sense that Jesus came to save those who are unsaved? So what about Christians, and churches today, do we exist to promote, pat on the back and lead the Christians in our community? Food for thought, isn’t it?

APPLICATION: Jesus knew that He would get the attention of the Pharisees, who were out to ‘get Him’ through every word that He spoke or every action that they saw, so He chose to include a reference to one of His prophets from their past, Hosea. In verse 13 Jesus referenced the words of Hosea 6:6, to give His critical hearers some reference to something familiar. It is sad to reflect on, but I believe that Jesus might be just as critical of Christians today. Not that we are necessarily looking for ways to find fault with Jesus and His miracles, but if our pastors and church leaders were to truly place a strong emphasis on the unsaved of our communities, what might our ‘prim and proper’ saints have to say when our attention turns away from them? Assume for a moment that every time you saw your pastor, he was either having lunch with, or sitting down with a rebel, or a known sinner. What might satan start putting in your head? What if you came to church this weekend and your seat was taken by someone you’ve never seen before, dressed in ragged clothes and looking very out of place? A good friend visiting my church with me was once asked by a lady to move, as that was her seat. Don’t you know that if something similar happened to a visitor without Christ, they may just walk straight on out the back door? You see, I believe that when we invite a member of the community to come and worship with us, they might very well assume that everyone is equal at the Master’s feet, and therefore gives them the privilege of sitting on the front roe or the back. Although feeling unworthy, or out of class with the other attendees, they may actually feel like Christians might be happy to see them finally come to church, rather than making them feel like rejects or out of place, or perhaps in their way by sitting in their favorite seat. Friends, I believe that Christians have become so accustomed to attending church with their same family members and friends, that it may even bother them to have some ‘strangers’ pop in and actually sit near by them. Don’t you see that this might also prevent us from inviting folk who really need the Lord, from attending, and hopefully find our Master, and accept him as Lord? Can’t you see from our Scripture today, that Jesus came so that we might be saved from the pit of hell? Don’t you know that means more than just you and your closely knit friends and family? May I encourage each reader, together with myself, to first of all examine our own heart, make sure that personally we are a follower of the King, patiently waiting for His return. And while we wait, let us place every effort into sharing with all those that we come into contact with each day. I truly believe that Jesus has ordained His kids to be His ambassadors here on earth with a mission to tell of His love, His mercy and His saving grace for all who would place their trust in Him. Whenever you see someone who needs the Lord, let that remind you how that’s the whole reason Jesus came, and it may very well be the whole reason God left you here on earth – to share His love with them and their need for the Lord.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole, thank You Lord for giving to me, Thy great salvation, so rich and free. Lord, may I not be a holding tank of that precious gift, but merely a channel that enables You to share that gift to all those that I come into contact with. There are many who need You in our communities Lord, may my readers and I be usable instruments through which Your love and Your message could reach the unsaved today, and every day until You return. AMEN!

Jesus – Most Important

Wednesday, 2019-01-23

Bible Reference: John 3:27-30
Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  John replied: No one can do anything unless God in heaven allows it. You surely remember how I told you that I am not the Messiah. I am only the one sent ahead of him. At a wedding the groom is the one  who gets married. The best man is glad just to be there and to hear the groom’s voice. That’s why I am so glad. Jesus must become more important, while I become less important.

APPLICATION:  John’s disciples were rather indignant that the crowds who once followed John, were now hot on the trail of Jesus. However, John quickly reminded his followers that he was only sent as the precursor, the one who would prepare the hearts of the people for the Messiah. And that whenever He came, that his ministry (John’s) would decrease as Jesus became known to the people. This made me think of ministry today, for we often attribute the success of the church to the pastor, or the music minister, or something other than God. I heard of a great preacher from our past who, while preaching, had a team of prayer warriors in the church basement praying for God to soften hardened hearts and impact lives while the gospel was being proclaimed. That church was especially successful in ministry, but I believe that we will hear Jesus say that it was more because of the people praying, than the preacher who tried hard to proclaim the Word of God in a form that would touch lives for the Creator. I believe that churches that succeed in ministry today, are those who lift up the name of Jesus, and who give Jesus full charge of their church. Logically speaking, I believe we can safely say that church attendees will only see Jesus when they hear the Sunday School teacher talk more about Jesus than anything else. When the Music Minister clearly gives control of the praise and worship time to Jesus and that the lyrics declare Jesus more than anything else. When the preacher concentrates on the Word of God and does his very best to apply Biblical principles to everything that members face, and struggle with today. When invitations are given to accept Jesus, more than to join the church. When giving is tied to Biblical principles more than the wants of the church leaders for bigger buildings or more comfortable pews. Friends, I believe by now you are probably getting the picture. This Christian life, and the ministry of the Christian church, is more about God than anything else. We must decrease – the church, its leaders, its members, its followers. Jesus must be promoted and/or increased. Then, perhaps there may be a breakthrough for unbelievers who are searching, and then perhaps, the eyes of church attendees looking for answers to life’s challenges might be opened. It’s not about us friend. It’s all about our Savior who sacrificed His life just for us, and for those we think that we can minister to. Let’s give the reins back to God friends.

PRAYER: Lord, I thank You for allowing Your humble servant to mix with others and proclaim Your praises in many different ways. Please touch my life that I will never promote self for any achievements of my own, but to give You full charge over all that I say and do. Lord may You be lifted up in everything that my readers and I attempt today. May it be obvious that our lives are all about You, and that it’s only because of Your grace that we can even claim You as Lord. Father, there are many in our circles that need to know You as Lord, may they be inspired by our actions and/or our words to reach out to the Savior that we know, and have surrendered to. We want You to rule and reign in our lives, our families, our churches and our workplaces so that You may touch lives of individuals that we touch. We love You Lord, we lift up our voices to You, we claim You as Lord, and we ask our deepest desires in 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 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 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!


What Might Be The Limits of your Testing?

Tuesday, 2019-01-22

Bible Reference: Genesis 22:1-3; 12
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 1 Later on, God tested Abraham’s faith and obedience.[a]“Abraham!” God called. “Yes, Lord?” he replied. “Take with you your only son—yes, Isaac whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah and sacrifice him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I’ll point out to you!” The next morning Abraham got up early, chopped wood for a fire upon the altar, saddled his donkey, and took with him his son Isaac and two young men who were his servants, and started off to the place where God had told him to go……. 12 “Lay down the knife; don’t hurt the lad in any way,” the Angel said, “for I know that God is first in your life—you have not withheld even your beloved son from me.”

OBSERVATION: ‘I believe that I’ve been tested to my ultimate limit’. Was that something you’ve said, or at least felt before? Don’t we tend to feel like we have achieved our limit in trials and challenges at times? How often have you credited those challenges to God getting your attention? Let’s meditate on this idea of ‘testing’ today and consider how prepared we are to deal with the testing God may send our way when He is trying to get our attention.

APPLICATION: I believe that I can easily look to God and say, “Lord, did You show me this Scripture today to help me ponder how far I could be pushed before I cave in on being obedient to You?”. In sharing my thoughts with those that may faithfully meditate on this devotional, I believe that God is also asking you to consider whether you are prepared to be another Abraham, especially in obedience to the voice of God. When you consider what might be the ultimate test of all time, put yourself in the place of Abraham for just a few moments today. Let’s assume that God vividly spoke to you and challenged you to consider surrendering to Him the very thing, or person, nearest to you. Do you feel like you could do like Abraham? God said it, and he did it. But look at what God asked of him – to take his son to the mountain and sacrifice him. I wonder what our response would be to such a command? Abraham took no time to look for excuses or to tell God why that would be an impossible task to follow, but instead made preparation for the journey and obediently followed every detail. Friends, for Abraham it was something very near and dear to him that God tested him with. I wonder what He might find to be testing ground for us? Is there anything you hold near and dear that might result in the ultimate test from God, if you were asked to sacrifice it? As you evaluate self, is there anything, or anyone, that is more important than God? The quick, expected response is ‘of course not’, but let me encourage you, as I stop to consider this myself, to look deep inside and answer this question knowing that God already knows the answer, and I believe He would love for us to honestly and openly answer that question for ourselves. We were so important to God that He sacrificed His only Son so that we might have life eternally with He and His Father. How important is God to you, my friend?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, what a blessed people we are! Born into a world, where the Savior of the world is available to us as our saving grace from sin and the pitfalls of Satan, yet we are given the choice to have it our way, or surrender to the call and love of our Savior. There is no hope in anything this world has to offer, so please touch the hearts of those that are willing to stop and listen oh Lord. Please draw them to Yourself, and tender their hearts to the love and sacrifice made for them on Calvary. Lord, may we be prepared for the tests that You may send our way from time to time. May our hearts be so filled with You, and our commitment so sure in whom we believe, so that our choice will be untouched by things of this world. To God be all the glory for all things we are blessed with each day! AMEN!

Just Say The Word, Lord

Monday, 2019-01-21

Bible Reference: Matthew 8:7-10
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text:Jesus responded, “I will go with you and heal him.” 8–9 But the Roman officer interjected, “Lord, who am I to have you come into my house? I understand your authority, for I too am a man who walks under authority and have authority over soldiers who serve under me. I can tell one to go and he’ll go, and another to come and he’ll come. I order my servants and they’ll do whatever I ask. So I know that all you need to do is to stand here and command healing over my son and he will be instantly healed.” 10 Jesus was astonished when he heard this and said to those who were following him, “He has greater faith than anyone I’ve encountered in Israel! 

OBSERVATION: The Roman officer had heard of the awesome power of Jesus, how He healed the sick and raised the dead, therefore as he asked Jesus to come and heal his son (or servant), he had faith to believe that Jesus could do this in person, or by merely speaking the word. Jesus had never witnessed such faith during His time on earth. I wonder if He has seen such faith in my life. How about yours, my friend? Let’s meditate on this Scripture today, and allow God to open our eyes of faith.

APPLICATION: just in case you may be thinking right from the start that you could never have the kind of faith that the disciples had, or like Bible characters had, let me remind you that we are not alone in this. You might recall that Peter needed some help with believing that Jesus was alive, yet I’m sure that he and his fellow disciples prayed very hard for themselves and their Savior who had been crucified. While Peter had begun his miraculous walk on the water, yet his inept faith soon kicked in, causing Peter to begin sinking into the water. I find myself guilty of asking God to rest His hand of healing upon someone that I may be praying for, but I am reminded in the Scripture today that God could just as easy speak the word, and this body that He meticulously put together in the first place, could once again be healed and put back together by its Creator. So what about you my friend? How’s your faith? We practice it every day in worldly actions – driving over a bridge; driving through a tunnel; trusting that a shot of liquid medicine by our doctor would heal our serious ailments; trusting that our fuel gauge is accurately measuring the amount of fuel in our vehicle tanks; etc. So why do we find it so challenging to believe in a God who created the universe, you and me, and have taken exceptional care of us ever since? I believe that we must start with knowing God very intimately. Start by reading His Word that was provided for our edification and benefit. As we know Him, believe in Him, understand His limitless and unconditional love for His children, then perhaps we would easily believe in all that we read. Add to this a degree of trust in His answer to our prayers concerning needs that some may fell are fairly insignificant. A good friend of mind told me about the times that he was in a rush to leave his home, but couldn’t find his car, and house keys, and how he would stop and ask God for His help. Sounds insignificant, right? However, my friend felt very comfortable in placing much larger needs at the feet of Jesus, as they arose, because He knew already that he could trust God to answer his urgent prayer needs. I live hundreds of miles away from most of my family, yet I know that my simple prayer of faith could invoke the attention of my God to touch a family member, because He heard my prayer. Now, before our naysayers chime in with the times their prayers were not answered, let me remind you that as Christians, we are to seek the best answer that God sees fit for us. I may ask in my prayer that God take me to another country, but I arrive at the airport and find that the plane has mechanical problems, so I can’t travel until the following day. Did God answer my prayer? Of course He did my friend, for He kept me safe from whatever accident or disaster that would have happened with our plane in the air. Remember, we ask God, we don’t tell Him what He should or would do. The Bible says that if we ask, we will receive. Ask in faith my friend, and believe that the God who loves you immeasurably, is waiting to hear from you, and will answer your prayer.

PRAYER: Lord God, thank You for loving me unconditionally, and for listening to my, often, petty requests. Please forgive me for the lack of faith that usually holds me back from basking in your goodness. Lord, I believe that many of my readers are very similar to myself in wanting to trust you more. I would plead for the faith of Moses when He stood at the shores of the Red Sea with thousands of followers behind him, and in faith and obedience to Your commands, he follwed through with Your orders and watched in amazement as You parted the waters, for their safe travel through to the other side. Oh how small our challenges are compared to that. May we be true to Your Word and obedient to Your commands, for in faith we could believe and receive Your awesome miracles, even in the lives of our family, friends and ourselves. Thank You for Your amazing grace and Your awesome power oh God. AMEN!