God Will Take Care of You!

Friday, 2019-08-29

Bible Reference: 1 Kings 17:2-4
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  2 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 3 “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. 4 Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.”

OBSERVATION: No matter what may be the worry, or the concern, or the shortfall today, my God will take care of you! Concerns are many, but it is evident from our Scripture that God will take care of us, even when life seems impossible to us. Stop and meditate with me on this thought today dear friends. I believe that you will be blessed, and encouraged to praise the Lord who has it all under His careful control!

APPLICATION:  I Love that old gospel song: “Be not dismayed …. God Will Take Care of You“! On reading these verses this morning I was reminded that for all those times that we feel so worn, or so distraught about life’s circumstances – perhaps the loss of a loved one that leaves us wondering how on earth can we possibly go on without them; or perhaps because of financial woes that make us feel so trapped into thinking that we work to satisfy bills only; or perhaps unemployment that makes us look inward and question our own personal worth; no matter the circumstance, we tend to wonder ‘Why me, Lord’ and then question how can we possibly overcome our particular circumstance. Friends, I wish you would take time to read the whole passage linked in the scripture reference, because you will see the reason why God sent Elijah to the Jordan River bank to hang out in the first place, then you will also see what other miracles God performed to take care of Elijah, even beyond this feeding miracle at the Jordan River. Whether Elijah realized it or not, he was at a crossroads to where he may not have survived the drought if God had not intervened and taken care of him. I rejoiced in seeing how God worked through Elijah later on to bring a young man back to life, because it made me realize the importance of not giving up on God, and instead allowing Him to work on us, in us, and through us for the purpose of His greater accomplishments – for the kingdom, and at a time pleasing to God. Friends, our ways are not God’s ways, so we are called on to be faithful and sure in our faith, knowing that what He works out in and through us will serve to benefit Him and bless us tremendously. So may I encourage you dear friend to stand firm in your faith, depend on God, and open yourself to the wondrous things He will do through You. Please know that your personal circumstances may look totally different to what God has in store for you. Trust Him, wait on Him and allow Him to be God in your life. Know that when You place your faith, trust, and total life in His hands, He WILL Take Care of You!

PRAYER: To the loving, caring, awesome God that I serve; thank You Father for watching over me, taking care of me, and guiding my footsteps each and every day. Because I am still alive, I know that Your work is still in progress and I trust in You for whatever You would have me do. Please have Your will and way. Please continue to take care of me, and especially on those days when life seems impossible to me, or the future seems so questionable. Lord, there are many who will stop by to read this devotional today, please reinforce to them how much You care for them, and remind them of the enormous love that You have for them. Lord, I ask these thinks in faith, and in the precious name of Jesus, Your Son and my Savior, AMEN!

How To Transform Worry Into Praise

Thursday, 2019-08-29

Bible Reference: Philippians 4:6-7
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

OBSERVATION: I believe that God knew full well how His children would worry, when we take our eyes off Him, so He was sure to include these verses today just for us! Let us ponder today over the many times that Jesus touched a life to help restore faith in Him, and to show His awesome love for mankind. Let’s learn to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, then we will have less to worry about. What a glorious thought to meditate on today!

APPLICATION: I believe there is one thing that we do extremely well, and that is ‘worry’. For we worry about what was said to us, or perhaps what wasn’t said to us. We worry about the look someone gave us, and even worse, if they don’t look at us at all! We worry about what we should say, but we worry even more if we say too much. When our minds are so busy worrying about every little thing in life, we tend to start building our own case about why the world hates us and wants nothing to do with us. I hope that as you meditate on this scripture with me today you will catch a glimpse, or be reminded, of the awesome God that we serve. You see, I am convinced that our God loves us enough that He will patiently wait for us to unload all of our concerns (worries) on Him in prayer. But what I am even more convinced of, is that God loves us enough that He sacrificed His one and only Son, so that He could provide the answer for our forgiveness of sin and our means of entering the gates of heaven to spend eternity with Him. Friends, there are so many things that we are so blessed with, that we should learn to fix our minds on those things, rather than the worries of all that this world will burden us down with. So how do we move from where we are, to where we should be? We are taught in these verses that it’s a matter of prayer and praise. Let’s make it our aim to take our concerns to the Lord in prayer, and let’s look for ways to praise Him for all that we see Him doing in our lives. In doing these things, we are told that we will find relief for those times that we would otherwise just worry, worry, worry. God loves us way too much to see us succumb to the sickness caused by worry.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for Your endless blessings on us. Thank You for the provisions You made for us and the future that is ours, who have placed our faith and trust in You. It’s a daily thing for us to overlook the temptations Satan will send our way to pull us down emotionally, and make us worry about things that we have no control over. Thank You for the direction You have given to us today in Your Word. Oh that we may be found faithful and true to You dear Lord. Oh that we may learn to worship You and praise You for who You are, even when our personal circumstances seem bleak. We’re Yours dear Lord. Please continue to teach us the right path to truth, hope, love and encouragement, so that we may savor in Your presence all of our days. I ask these things in and through the name of Jesus, my Savior, AMEN!

Decide Today Whom You Will Serve

Wednesday, 2019-08-28

Bible Reference: Joshua 24:14-15
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text: 14 “Now then,” Joshua continued, “honor the Lord and serve him sincerely and faithfully. Get rid of the gods which your ancestors used to worship in Mesopotamia and in Egypt, and serve only the Lord. 15 If you are not willing to serve him, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your ancestors worshiped in Mesopotamia or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are now living. As for my family and me, we will serve the Lord.”

OBSERVATION: In Joshua’s last discourse with the Israelite leaders, he brought them together and reminded them of where they came from (including their forefathers) and how they got to their current location in the position they were now in as land owners. He reminded them that it was only the love and power of God that brought them through the overwhelming challenges along their way. However, they still had a choice about whom they will worship/serve. We have the same choice to make, so let us meditate on the challenge given by Joshua and see how God might use it to help direct us today.

APPLICATION: About a year ago, on the anniversary of our church beginnings, we were reminded of how God moved mightily in so many ways as His people prayed, gave and worked together to build a sanctuary for worship to our King. Our hearths were stirred to consider how awesome it would be to see God do it again, now that we have run out of space at our current location. In our Scripture, Joshua reminded the Israelite leaders of all that God had brought them, and their ancestors through, in order to arrive at the current land of milk and honey. He showed them clearly that it was only because of God. Having heard about, and in many cases witnessed the miraculous hand of God, Joshua challenged them to now stop ‘riding the fence’ and make a decision today on whom they will choose to recognize as God of their lives and sincerely worship, for as long as they live. Does this remind you of a recent sermon you may have heard at your church? Or have you not heard of a good reason yet to attend church? Joshua made a few suggestions to the leaders on who they might choose as alternate gods, you know, the same types of options we still have available to us today, at least for a short while longer. Friend, perhaps you grew up in a home where your parents attended church, because it was their go-to place for worshipping corporately, the God that they served everyday, and that they promoted in your home. In your early teen years the cool kids from the neighborhood pulled you in to their group and you found satisfaction in the companionship, the fun and games and the things they were teaching you. Looking for them each day after school soon reminded you of your parents and their go-to place, for your friends became your go-to place. Until suddenly one day your precious mom became deathly sick, and your friends were way too busy to help you care for your mom, or give you any type of assurance about her recovery. Your ‘god’ seemed to be failing you. What on earth was happening to you? Friends, based on what Joshua told his leaders, I believe that we have a similar decision to make in our lives TODAY. Are we prepared to make a firm commitment to the god that we will follow/serve? If we choose the god of the ‘hood’ like our friend, we will find ourselves wanting, because they are incapable of fulfilling our needs like the God who created us and knows us intimately. But please don’t overlook the warning that Joshua gave, don’t say ‘yes’ to my God unless you are ready and serious about serving Him, because He could either bless you, or He could destroy you like the Amorites, for your pretense. Please allow me to guide you in this, by boldly repeating what Joshua said: regardless of what you decide, my family and I will serve the Lord and worship Him until He returns to take us home. Dear friends, my desire is that you would decide to do the same. If you don’t know my Lord intimately, please read my Footnote and be sure to follow the hyperlinks.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You have been so good to us, yet we take Your blessings and Your gifts for granted. Please forgive us as we bow before you humbly today. Lord, we know that there is no one else like You, and that You deserve our faithfulness and total dedication. As encouraged by Your servant Joshua, may we become a people committed to serving and worshipping only You for ever and for ever. AMEN!

Trust God and He Will …

Tuesday, 2019-08-27

Bible Reference: Proverbs 3:5-10
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)


Bible Text:  Trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.
7-8 Don’t be conceited, sure of your own wisdom. Instead, trust and reverence the Lord, and turn your back on evil; when you do that, then you will be given renewed health and vitality.
9-10 Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines.

OBSERVATION: If we are not careful, our world can bombard us with so much stress, that we might wonder at times if it is really worth it all. But then we are reminded in Scriptures like this one today, that life seems impossible when we try to do it alone. We serve an awesome, all powerful God who is ready and willing to answer our cry for oneness with Him. I am convinced that He longs to receive us, love on us and take good care of us until the day He calls us to live eternally with He and the Father. Why not meditate with me today as we analyze and satisfy ourselves as to the power of our God!

APPLICATION:  Like me, I would imagine that, throughout your day there are times when you are overwhelmed as to how you will ever accomplish everything on your agenda, and that you wish you knew what might be happening in the coming days, weeks and years, so that you could make good choices today. Friends, I believe that God has placed the answer to this dilemma right at our fingertips – in these verses today. For I believe that you will see clearly that although we may not have all of the answers, there is a God who does – praise His name for ever and ever! As you read the first two verses, let me remind you of Moses, who had millions of people following him, as God’s messenger and leader. Because He trusted completely in God, when he brought all these folk to the edge of the Jordan River, his ulcers didn’t explode from the stress of what to do next, for he was convinced that if God brought him to this crossroad, then obviously God would see him through, or across the river. These verses declare that when we place our faith and trust in Jesus, He will direct us into right paths and make our journey, or actions successful. Notice that this is not something we need to understand how or when success or answers will come, we are to just trust God and He will… Notice in verses 7-10, there are certain expectation from us, such as: 
* Trust and reverence God;
* Turn our backs on evil – of course the positive equivalent to this is to obey God’s commands;
* Honor God by giving Him the first of our income;
Just remember that God is all powerful and He could bless our health and give us vitality without us feeling like we had anything to do with the formula, but by demanding that we participate in the above simple actions, we learn that God’s goodness is for those who have an interest – those who want it. Similarly with our finances – God could very easily bestow great riches on everyone, but don’t you know that we always abuse anything that is given to us without us have some ‘skin’ in the game? When we give the first of our income, we are not only showing obedience to God, but we are acknowledging that there is nothing more important in our life. It also helps us to recognize that because we are blessed by God to be able to work and provide for our family, the least we could do is give back to Him unconditionally from our financial earnings. In true form to the goodness of our God, He foreknew the temptation of money, so He still threw in a blessing for those that obey this commandment to give. I believe that God’s Word is clear that we will be blessed financially in proportion to what we give. Are you ‘blessed’ financially? Check your giving, perhaps it needs adjusting!

PRAYER: Lord God, You have proven Yourself to us in so many ways, yet we often feel like we could handle this thing called ‘life’ all by ourselves. Please forgive us for our littleness Lord. You are Creator; Master; Lord and the Savior of this world. Thank You for giving us clear instruction of what is expected of us to receive optimal results from You. Please touch our stubborn hearts today and convince us of the need for obedience and faithfulness to You. Lord, we want to benefit from all the great things You have promised to us, but more than that, we are anxious to one day be with You in glory, where we could worship You endlessly. Bless us this day with Your grace and your mercy. Please lead us into total obedience to Your Word, for I ask these things in the gracious and loving name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Lord, Have Mercy on Me!

Monday, 2019-08-26

Bible Reference: Luke 18:35-41
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 35 As Jesus and his followers arrived at Jericho, there was a blind beggar sitting on the roadside. 36 When he heard the crowd approaching, he asked, “What’s all this commotion about?”
37 “It’s Jesus!” they said. “Jesus the Nazarene is passing by.”
38 The blind beggar shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity and show me mercy!”
39 Those who were in the front of the crowd scolded him and warned him to be quiet. But the blind beggar screamed out even louder, “Jesus, Son of David, show me mercy!”
40 Suddenly Jesus stopped. He told those nearby, “Bring the man over to me.” When they brought him before Jesus, he asked the man, 41 “What is it you want me to do for you?”
“Lord,” he said, “please, I want to see again.”

OBSERVATION: I’m sure that in most churches this past weekend, believers gathered together to praise God for His infinite mercies and grace, but I wonder, how many of you had anyone shouting out to Jesus for healing? Perhaps your weekend services are very organized, and follows a very detailed order of service, and nothing was programmed for such activity. Or was it in your midweek service where the blind come for healing? Do the blind even do this anymore, or have they been talked out of it? It seems appropriate that we should meditate on where the blind, the lame or the sick go to find Jesus these days. Join me as we meditate on this dear friend!

APPLICATION: Because many businesses open to the public on weekends, and because television, radio and podcasts of services are giving churches limited air space, church services are generally programmed to last for a very limited time. But I want us to try and place this story into the context of where we might expect the blind or lame or deaf to have an encounter with Jesus in our current times. As I reflect on this story, I could only imagine a scene where our Worship Pastor might arrive on a Sunday morning to prepare for our worship services, and immediately upon swinging the doors to the sanctuary open, what his reaction might be if he heard 2 or 3 blind persons sitting in the front row seats begging for mercy, or looking to him begging for food. This might seem so unusual to him, that he may quickly retrieve his cell phone and call for law enforcement. Alternately, during the morning service imagine if we had a few people sitting in wheelchairs down one of our isles, and suddenly during our pastoral prayer, they might begin to shout out to God for mercy and healing. What do you imagine the pastor would do? What advice might the elders give him as they stand in shock? Friends, I believe that God got my attention this morning as I meditated on this Scripture, and caused me to look intently at what our churches have turned into. Can you see where it has become a place for those who are well? I know, we should go to church so that we might praise God for all that He has done in our lives, but when last do you remember doing that? If the worship songs hit you the right way, you might praise God, or if the preacher is excitable and super interesting, you might be encouraged to raise your hand in thanksgiving to God. Notice in our story that the blind man paid no attention to the demands of the people to be quiet, he wanted healing and he shouted to get the attention of Jesus, specifically for the purpose of his healing. Are you willing to ignore the expectation of the crowd and communicate your needs boisterously to the Creator of this earth, and of your very own being? I believe that Jesus is waiting for us to work through the structure we have built for our worship to Him, and actually see us humbly bow at His feet to ask for exactly what we need. This might also include a time where you might boldly bow before Him in thanksgiving for miracles wrought in your life, or the lives of your relatives. Oh that God may give us the boldness and strength to approach His throne even today as we recognize Him passing by.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for stopping the march you were on that day to speak to the needs of a blind man in need of a touch from You. Please help us to never be a stumbling block to anyone seeking an audience with You. The blind still exist today, and others with similar maladies. Please help Your church to always be prepared to help those in need of a Savior. Whether it’s helping them get to the front of the crowd – by helping them get to church, or whether it’s helping them stand before Your throne of grace where they may seek Your face and beg for a hand up. You spoke it in Your Word that You came for the sick and needy and not for the well. Oh that we may seek out the needy and help them meet You wherever You are. AMEN!

Looking For Ultimate Satisfaction in Life?

Sunday, 2019-08-25

Bible Reference: Luke 18:18;20-22
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 18 Once a Jewish religious leader asked him this question: “Good sir, what shall I do to get to heaven?”
20 “But as to your question, you know what the Ten Commandments say—don’t commit adultery, don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor your parents, and so on.” 21 The man replied, “I’ve obeyed every one of these laws since I was a small child.”
22 “There is still one thing you lack,” Jesus said. “Sell all you have and give the money to the poor—it will become treasure for you in heaven—and come, follow me.”

OBSERVATION: Consider the things the young man in our story had going for him. He was young; he was a Jewish leader; he was rich and he was a ‘good’ young man, as he told Jesus that he had obeyed godly commands every since he could remember. Yet something was missing in his life, and it wasn’t pretty women, more money or a better position in government. I wonder what things we tend to think is lacking in our lives? What else may bring greater satisfaction to us? What else might be lacking according to God’s standards? Let’s look for direction in this as we meditate on God’s Word today.

APPLICATION: We are often willing to sacrifice time with our family, and the time we spend in God’s work around His local church, so that we could work ungodly hours around work hoping to please our boss and possibly achieve a greater position at work, since that might lead to making more money. But at the end of our work-day, do we ever reflect on the satisfaction that extra commitment at work has brought to our family? Or do we use those awake hours at home to catch up on email and other tasks that we couldn’t get to during the day? At the end of the year, do we celebrate the extra money we made and saved from a year of hard work and dedication, or do we spend time celebrating our family, our church, and the growth in our relationship with our Creator and our Sustainer of life? Looking forward into the new year, do we reflect on how we might grow at work, grow our bank account, and excel in our job during the coming year, or do we look to God on how we might help our family grow closer to Him, and how we might sure up our relationship with Him as we prepare for our future home in Heaven with Him. I believe that the rich young ruler probably came to a crossroad in his life where he may have pondered scenarios similar to the above, because I could see some of the same traits in us today. As you meditate on this devotional, and hopefully click on the scripture link above, you will see in verse 17 of this same chapter, that Jesus taught that we are to assume an attitude and spirit like a child: humble; willing to accept what Jesus teaches us to do; and then follow in obedience to do what pleases the Father. He also taught us in verse 22 that there is nothing in this life that will bring us lasting happiness, or that adds to our assurance of a future in Heaven with our Lord and Savior. So should we not learn from this story of the rich young ruler, that the effort we place into our earthly plans and into pleasing mankind, only serves to lift up our boss, or our friends, or those that we tend to lift up on a pedestal, and does very little to please our Heavenly Father? Friends, I pray that we will be busy about our Father’s work, for I am convinced that He will return soon to take His bride home (His blood-bought church). What might be your response today, if asked why He should let you into His kingdom?

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for loving me enough to sacrifice Your very Son on a cross so that I might enjoy eternity with You. I believe that many who will read this devotional today could join with me in sharing our appreciation of Your awesome love for us. You created us to show our love for others through our commitment to them and through the gifts that we give to them. Oh may that become our priority today and everyday towards the One who loves us more than life itself, and has prepared a home for us, where we will live for evermore with You and the Father! Please tender the hearts of Your children who have yet to accept You as Lord and Savior. May today be a time of celebration by the angels and many friends here on earth as they surrender their all to You! AMEN!

Persistent In Prayer

Friday, 2019-08-23

Bible Reference: Luke 18:6-8
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: The Lord continued, “Did you hear what the ungodly judge said—that he would answer her persistent request? Don’t you know that God, the true judge, will grant justice to all of his chosen ones who cry out to him night and day? He will pour out his Spirit upon them. He will not delay to answer you and give you what you ask for. God will give swift justice to those who don’t give up. So be ever praying, ever expecting, just like the widow was with the judge. Yet when the Son of Man comes back, will he find this kind of persistent faithfulness in his people?”

OBSERVATION: Jesus used an earthly example to explain a question that many of us might have. Do we keep on praying for God’s help? The answer is included in today’s study. However, Jesus also challenges us to think about a very deep question regarding our persistent relationship with Him. Meditate with me as we reflect on the words of Jesus and seek to apply them to our own lives.

APPLICATION: Some believe that we should ask God only once about an issue we may be having. Others believe that we must keep on praying until we hear from God. I believe that God knew that we would have these types of questions, so He included the answer in His Book of Instructions for life (the Bible). An earthly king who had no regard for God or His people, gave in to the persistent request of a needy widow. Jesus reminds us that our God is much more tolerable than that mean king, so we should be assured that He will surely answer our persistent prayers. But Jesus dropped a very honest challenge on us, by reminding us to be faithful and persistent in prayer and in our relationship with Him. Friends, I believe that this is where the persistence of His children comes in, for it is way too easy for us to drift away after we receive what we want. Notice how filled our churches are after an impactful disaster? Churches were filled after 911, and in Florida, churches impacted by hurricanes are filled following the disaster, even if there is no electricity. A family impacted by the sudden loss of a loved one will attend church faithfully, at least for a while. But in every case, these dependencies on God decreases as the pain lessens. In other words, it seems like we have a decreased need for God. Unfortunately the vast majority of people will soon feel like life has returned to normal and they could resume handling their day-to-day needs and concerns without having to ‘bother’ God. But let’s stop and think for a moment about how we feel when someone has stuck around and been extraordinarily friendly with us, as long as we had the money to treat them to dinner, or buy them things, or take them places. Then suddenly one day we awake to find that our money is becoming limited. Unfortunately, it’s not long before we notice that those ‘friends’ have wandered off, and they seldom call of visit anymore. Now I know that God is much bigger than the pettiness of mankind, but according to the ending of verse 8, He is very aware that we tend to do the same thing with Him. Shouldn’t we stop to remind ourselves that the reason we are not running to God pleading for healing, is because He has blessed us with a time of well being and good health? Shouldn’t we stop to thank God that our money hasn’t run out, so we are able to purchase food and necessities? I could go on dear one, but I believe that like me, you probably get the point that God is our Father all of the time, so let us never forget Him. Our method of communicating with Him is through prayer and thanksgiving. Prayer includes seeking His direction & His wisdom; Thanking Him, as well as making our petitions know. So is there ever a time that we will not want to communicate with our Heavenly Father? God never forgets us! I pray that we will never forget Him!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for loving us unconditionally! Thank You for creating us uniquely so that we may serve You, honor You, worship You and depend on You for every aspect of life. We can’t imagine, nor would we want to experience life without You. In much the same way that we expect You to always be there for us, please help us to always communicate with You and seek communion with You every day and frequently throughout the day. Thank You for being an amazing, life-giving, healing and all-loving God to each of Your children. May we in turn bless You with all of our heart, soul and mind at all times! AMEN!

Actions and Words That Glorify God

Wednesday, 2019-08-21

Bible Reference: 1 Corinthians 10:29-33
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:  29 ….you may ask, must I be guided and limited by what someone else thinks? 30 If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why let someone spoil everything just because he thinks I am wrong? 31 Well, I’ll tell you why. It is because you must do everything for the glory of God, even your eating and drinking. 32 So don’t be a stumbling block to anyone, whether they are Jews or Gentiles or Christians. 33 That is the plan I follow, too. I try to please everyone in everything I do, not doing what I like or what is best for me but what is best for them, so that they may be saved.

OBSERVATION: So often we tend to get caught up in our own stand on something, that we fight for, act up, and run over people in order to achieve what we believe to be the ‘perfect way’ or even at times, the ‘only way’! God is teaching us, through His servant Paul, that in all things we are to aim for others to glorify Christ because of our impact on their lives. I believe that our mean, selfish attitudes will disappear when we interact with others using this principal! Meditate with me as we consider the impact this could have on our lives, and in our life.

APPLICATION:  To a very large extent we tend to build our lives around people who please us; who does life ‘our way’; and who has everything that makes us happy. Paul had to address this in the Corinthian church, and I believe that his teaching is included in the Word of God, because we need to be reminded of this today also. We still live in an imperfect world, and we still have a need to get over our selfishness. In this particular chapter Paul was addressing the subject of some being convinced that they could not eat certain foods, while others were quite OK with that and saw nothing wrong with it, nor how it might affect their relationship with God. Paul’s conviction was that we should be careful to do what pleases God, not just ourselves. In fact Paul directed us to do only those things that will glorify God, and that opens a much wider spectrum of principles that we should follow, including why and how should do things. This is supported by the wide variety of principles and characteristics that Jesus taught and modeled throughout His earthly ministry, for He ate with sinners, boldly taught opposing Pharisees and loved those whom He came into contact with. But let’s take the example of food that Paul taught about in this chapter. This still exists today, because there are some who feel like there are certain foods that would defile their bodies, and some even feel that this is based on Biblical references – and therefore may displease God. I believe that we are being taught to make every effort to please God in our lives, which may mean that our own convictions may need adjusting at times. We should never create animosity with a Brother or Sister who is trying to please God through what they eat. Unfortunately, we sometimes become so wrapped up in the unimportant aspects of a Christian’s personal beliefs and practices, that we lose sight of glorifying God in the moment in which we find ourselves. Friends, rather than trying to force others to eat what we eat or not, we’ve totally missed the point if we haven’t challenged them, or helped them grow in their personal relationship with God. The time we spend with individuals, should help them in their relationship with God, or at least challenge them to consider their own lives in the light of eternity. We must be careful to help someone draw close to God, rather than becoming a stumbling block to the very people we feel led to help. As a child of God, our aim should always be to please Him through the way that we live, not by trying to be ‘God’. Our path to living like a child of the King is very clear in His Word, let’s learn to live like that and rub off on as many as we can. Maybe at that point we might have more impact on the unbeliever also, for we will truly imitate our loving Lord, and act more like He intended. It’s all about God friend, not our personal ideals.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for loving us in spite of our silly personal ideals. Thank You for speaking through Paul to redirect our attention towards You instead of trying to impose our imperfections onto others. May our daily goal always be to please You in all that we do and say. To be more like You and to draw closer to You in every way. You have taught us to love everyone and to encourage them instead of tearing down and destroying. May we be more like You every day, and may it be evident to all that we come into contact with, is my humble plea that I ask for myself and as I encourage my readers to do the same also. For I ask this in the loving and awesome name of Jesus, AMEN!

Listen to God So that He may listen to you

Tuesday, 2019-08-20

Bible Reference: Zechariah 7:9-14
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text:  9-10 Well, the message hasn’t changed. God-of-the-Angel-Armies said then and says now: “‘treat one another justly. Love your neighbors. Be compassionate with each other. Don’t take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor. Don’t plot and scheme against one another—that’s evil.’ 11–13 “But did your ancestors listen? No, they set their jaws in defiance. They shut their ears. They steeled themselves against God’s revelation and the Spirit-filled sermons preached by the earlier prophets by order of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. And God became angry, really angry, because he told them everything plainly and they wouldn’t listen to a word he said. 13–14 “So [this is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies said] if they won’t listen to me, I won’t listen to them. I scattered them to the four winds. They ended up strangers wherever they were.

OBSERVATION: God’s commands are condensed in the first part of our Scripture today. In the middle part Zechariah reflects on all the effort made to obey God’s commands, and in the latter part God finally issues His reaction to the lack of desire and commitment by mankind to honor Him – the giver and sustainer of life. Unfortunately, not a whole lot has changed over the years, so let us meditate on the heart of God and how He reacts to our hardened hearts and actions. Perhaps today God might be allowed to have His way in our lives.

APPLICATION:  I am fascinated how history repeats itself in spite of the lessons we should learn from our past. Much like Zechariah did when sharing the visions he was blessed with from God, our pastors today dig into God’s Word seeking what God might reveal to them that would bless and/or convict their parishioners. They share with us the consequences of disobedience by our ancestors, hoping that we would see the error of our ways, turn from our sin and obey God without the need for further consequences. A few sins were mentioned in verses 9 and 10, and not only do we still see these unfortunate sins recurring today, but they were also concerns that reoccurred in the New Testament. Several translations used the same verbiage in verse 11 that indicates to me that it is of grave concern to our Master. I believe that it truly concerns Him when He sees us plot and scheme against one another. When we look for ways to hurt one another. He announces this as pure evil and I believe this is something that we must not only be on guard for personally, but also look for ways to help each other fight against this awful sin. Let’s learn to pray for each other, that we would see the good in fellow humans and learn to celebrate it. Let us learn to pray for those who find it challenging to do life just like Jesus would have done it, or perhaps like He expects of us. I believe the biggest thing that got my attention in these verses today, is the consequences of disobedience. The Word says “if we don’t listen to (obey) God, He won’t listen to us” Oh my, oh my! Do you suppose that this is the reason we feel like we sometimes hit brick walls with our prayers, or feeling ignored by God? There’s an old spiritual that I learned later in life that I am reminded of as I meditated on these words today: “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, Standing in the need of prayer“, it’s not my brother or my sister that I need to be most concerned about, but I need to get my act together first and take care of my personal cleansing before God first, before ever attempting to help a brother or sister where I easily, and glaringly, see obvious sin. I don’t know about you friend, but I need God to listen to me, so it is imperative that I listen to Him and obey Him. Will you commit to doing the same? It is so critical that we have believers who are actually getting through to God with our prayers – our needs and concerns. Let’s do our part in being obedient.

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for so easily attempting to do Your job by zoning in on the wrongs of others, while overlooking the sin in our own lives. “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer – not my brother or my sister, but me….I need thee every hour of every day, for in my own strength I cannot overcome the evil pull of this life. Please touch the lives of each one that will read this devotional. Please impact our lives with a desire to surrender full control of our lives to You so that we all may be usable instruments for Your kingdom work here on this earth. I humbly ask these things in the wonderful, and strong name of Jesus, AMEN!

Reasons To Praise Our God?

Monday, 2019-08-19

Bible Reference: Psalm 138:1-3
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:  Lord, with all my heart I thank you. I will sing your praises before the armies of angels. 2 I face your Temple as I worship, giving thanks to you for all your loving-kindness and your faithfulness, for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name. 3 When I pray, you answer me and encourage me by giving me the strength I need.

OBSERVATION: To worship the God of this universe, the One who created you and I, the One who listens to and responds to our every cry for help, should be a natural response for His created ones, but do we? Do you find yourself praising God in response to answered prayer? When You see God open doors and provide a means for you to move forward in life, do you praise Him for looking out for you? Today, let us take a moment to redirect our hearts and minds towards the God who makes all things possible for us!

APPLICATION:  In this Psalm we can see where David was touched by, or reminded of, the love of God and His undying faithfulness, and it triggered his worship of God. Notice that David said he faced the temple as he worshiped, but he didn’t wait until the next scheduled worship service where he could watch the praise team worship or the pastor rejoice over a passage of scripture that God spoke to him about. Friends please don’t get me wrong, each of these things I mentioned are important, but I truly believe that when we recognize the love of our God, when we feel His precious love for us individually and we realize that He is faithful to us in every aspect of our lives, then we will be moved to worship God on a very personal level. When we do that, I believe that our corporate worship services will take on a whole new dimension, for our churches will be filled with worshipers, not just Christians looking for a place to be electrified, or energized by a good worship leader or an awesome praise team. David goes on in these verses to say that he is reminded that all of the promises of God are backed by the honor of His holy name – the name above all names! He is also encouraged that the God of this universe answers his prayers and encourages him by giving him the strength that he needs to go on each day and live a strong and noble life for the Lord. These are all wonderful reminders for us to also worship our God, but this list is exhaustive, for I think of the wonders of nature that He places before me as I drive to work, the beauty of another sunrise, the blessing of rain, of cows and wildlife playing in the fields and pastures. Most of all, like David, I am amazed that the God of this universe takes time to listen to my prayers and answers/comforts my concerns. Who am I that a Kind should bleed and die for? Yet, I am convinced that He would have sacrificed himself on that old cruel cross – even if I was the only one in need of a Savior. He loved me that much, and it is no different in the love that my Savior has for each of you today friend. Worship Him! Thank Him! Recognize His goodness and never attribute His careful and deliberate love for you as mere chance or good luck. Make every effort to be a personal, worshiping believer, not just one looking for a place for corporate worship of the Savior who loves you personally so very much.

PRAYER: Father in heaven, You have given us so much reason to worship You from the depth of our heart. Please awaken Your saints from the sleep of laziness, or dependence on others and/or other influences to invoke a heart of worship within us. Please help us to rest from the busyness of this life long enough to reflect on Your goodness, Your love and Your undying faithfulness. The Psalmist has triggered our minds and reminded us of the awesome joy in lifting up praise and worship to You, may this be a day that our eyes will be opened to reflect on Your beauty and Your goodness and may we recommit to a personal relationship with the God of this universe who loves us personally and cares for us intimately. Thank You Father for loving and caring for even me. These things I ask of You in the precious name of Your Son, my Savior and King, Jesus. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!