We Are Accountable To God

Monday, 2019-09-30

Bible Reference: Hebrews 4:12-13
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

OBSERVATION: Some may tend to look at the Bible as a book of stories about events from long, long ago. Some may stop to consider how odd it is that prophesies foretold hundreds of years earlier, actually came to fruition during the span of time the Bible was written. While others, like me, may actually live our lives today in honor of what the Word of God says, because we feel like it is the living Word of God, already proven accurate in numerous ways. And so we await the completed work of God, based on the rest of the story. Let’s meditate on what today’s story tells us about accountability!

APPLICATION:  Ever get frustrated by someone telling you something, but not really telling you enough to help you understand the full impact of what they mean? Imagine telling a blind person that the sky is not blue today? Would that really help them understand what color the sky really is today? I got the impression from this scripture that the Word of God is still very much alive today as it always has been, meaning that it’s fresh, current, discerning, applicable, and will not cut any punches, but get straight to the point for us. It is through this same Word that God actually touches our heart, prompts our thoughts and energizes us towards living Godly lives that resemble His example. Think of it as us being an open book before God! So why is this important Christian friend? Surely God is saying to us that as a child we look to, and obeyed our parents in order to live obedient and upright lives, following in their example as much as possible. God is like our parent, helping us continue to determine right from wrong. Additionally, He sent His Son, Jesus, to set an example of the life that He would like for us to live. If we have invited Him to be our Savior; our Father; our deliverer; our leader in life; then we are His children, and He will hold us accountable to all that He teaches and expects of us. How are you doing with that, dear friend? Are you in the Word enough to allow it to teach you the ‘right’ way to live – to walk, talk and act like Him? So then, why would this be important to you who have not accepted my Lord as your Savior? I believe that there is no reason for doubt about the way you should live your life. Without Christ, you will live by every shift of wind, and very much according to those around you and the circumstances that surround you. This will often lead to confusion, frustration, evil and hatred – just as the world lives. A choice to live a committed life to God, is a will to be obedient in ways that will please and honor God, to live according to the example He set for us while here on earth, and the excitement of living in the awesome expectation of one day being face-to-face with Jesus in glory. It’s the comfort of knowing that you are loved, protected and cared about by the God of this universe! How awesome is that friend? May I have the honor of introducing you to my Friend? Please read my ‘Footnote’ for additional direction. To all my readers, please read the last sentence carefully and understand that we are accountable to God for our decisions, our actions and our obedience. Is there anything you would dread if you were called before God today?

PRAYER: Dear God, we are so frivolous to believe that we can live our lives any way we please because of our freedom to choose. You gave us the freedom of choice, but we are accountable to You for the choices we make, and the resulting consequences or rewards for those choices. Please forgive us for our littleness in thinking that it’s nobody’s business but ours what we do with our life, for You sent Your one and only Son to the cross to show us Your love and how much You care about our choices. Please awaken us and keep our eyes focused on You in all of our choices, and may this reflect in the way that we live, so that others might be drawn to You through our surrender, obedience and witness. I realize this is an awesome and powerful request Oh Lord, but because I am asking this in the name of our most awesome and powerful Savior, Jesus Christ, I am comforted that I can ask this in confidence and with thanksgiving. AMEN!

Rejection By God? Really?

Saturday, 2019-09-28

Bible Reference: Jeremiah 14:10
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  My people, you love to wander away; you don’t even try to stay close to me. So now I will reject you and punish you for your sins. I, the Lord, have spoken.

OBSERVATION: I believe that we hear so much about how much God loves us, that it might be challenging for us to imagine that He will tire of our attitude and our rejection of Him. Perhaps this verse is an eye-opener for those who may feel like they could do anything they want, because God will still love them. As we meditate on this one verse today, I pray that our eyes might be opened to God’s true identity and character!

APPLICATION:  Unless we know the full extent of our God, we may otherwise assume that He is much like a puppet that our kids play with – He is placed in the corner until we call for Him. It’s interesting that God pointed me to this verse today, because in another Scripture reading today, in 1 Samuel 4-6, the Philistines found out that God was quite capable of showing His power all on His own, and without their commands or intervention! It is so easy to see how God became angry with the Philistines for their disrespect of the Ark of the Covenant, and with the Israelites for their disobedience, and the sons of Eli assuming roles that represented God, but yet they operated in total darkness. However, I believe that God wanted to remind us today that He is still God and that He has, or will tire of our sin and total disregard of Him – the One who sacrificed it all, His only Son, on the cross at Calvary, so that we may live in full hope of eternity with Him. He did not want us to use the excuses of those gone on before us and live in fear of the many laws of Moses, or for that to be a roadblock for us to enter heaven’s gates. The awful thing that I believe that God sees today though, is probably worse than what He saw in His people back in the days of Jeremiah, or Moses, or Eli. For in spite of the extra effort, and tremendous outpouring of His love, yet what God sees today must truly break His heart …….. perhaps even to the point of lifting His hand off us and rejecting our plea before Him. So often we should be praising God in thanksgiving for His divine intervention in our decision making, yet so often we permit the selfish ways of man to influence us, and we step out on that merit instead of faith in God, the creator of this universe. Why has God not given up on us a long time ago? Friends, I don’t believe that I need to spell out the evil that is prevalent in our world today, for we have it happening in our own backyards, and we hear about it every time we watch the evening news. We have many churches that are closing down because of poor attendance. I believe that we have more folk who’s only Christian activity, might be attending a church service over the weekend, if they could fit it into their busy schedules. Imagine if you only ate physical food once per week? Imagine if the only communication you had with your spouse or parents was once per week? There wouldn’t be much of an influence in your life from either of these sources, nor would you have reason to brag on either of these, because they would play such a minimal role in the remaining days and hours of the week. Yet I’m afraid that we have ‘Christians’ who do exactly this, and expecting their lives to be changed by God. Friends, be realistic – one hour per week with God and 167 hours in the heat of evil and the works of Satan. Which do you think will influence our lives more? Who then are we pleasing? Who then are we more apt to reflect in our attitudes and actions? It is extremely frightening to think about rejection by God or the possible fatal judgment of God, because He saw how we totally rejected and ignored Him – His love, His direction, and His awesome gift given for us. On the other hand, we have lots of verses that tell us things like: Draw near to God and He will draw near to us; If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, I will hear from heaven and….. Friends, know that God loves you very much today. Please don’t reject Him. Please don’t take your relationship with Him lightly. We want to see His eternal blessing on us, and not His rejection and punishment.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You loved me so much that You gave Your very own Son so that I may have eternal life in Your presence. Please forgive me for the times that I take Your love for granted. Please speak to the hearts of my readers so that they too might examine their lives to ensure that they are in close communion with You, and not letting the vile of this old world take prominence in their lives. Please help us all that we may spend the necessary time with You for a happy and healthy relationship with You. Lord, we want to live more like You every day, and we realize that this only comes from spending more time with You than we do with this old world and its master, Satan. I pray that today it may be evident to those that we come into contact with that we have been with the Lord, and their lives might be impacted in such a way that they would either draw closer to You in relationship, or come to accept You as Lord of their life. Have Your way in our lives today Lord, and lead us towards You, for this is my humble prayer that I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN!

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

As We SEE Jesus, Let Us Worship Him

Friday, 2019-09-27

Bible Reference: Matthew 28:16-17
Translation: New Living Translation (NIV)

Bible Text:  16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!

OBSERVATION: I hope that our eyes will be opened to the risen Christ during this devotional today, for we see Him in various ways each and every day. These encounters are way too important for us to brush off as anything else, for I believe God deliberately gets the attention of those seeking Him. As we meditate, let’s be sure to look inward at the opportunities we have to worship our King – the King of all kings!

APPLICATION: In our scripture reference today we see one of many instances where folk saw Jesus, and they bowed and worshiped Him. I acknowledge that this particular instance is so miraculous that it would give reason for anyone to ‘worship’ the Master. Note that Jesus was crucified, died, buried, and three days later He arose from the dead, to now stand in the very presence of His disciples. However, we should acknowledge that we often stand in the presence of the Lord Jesus, but do we always acknowledge Him and/or offer up our sacrifices of praise to Him? Matthew Henry in his commentary on this verse says “All that see the Lord Jesus with an eye of faith, will worship him.” I could almost imagine by now you are dumbfounded as to what I might be getting at here, because although the Lord Jesus stood in the presence of the disciples, you probably can’t remember the last time that He did that to you, right? Dear friends, we are presented with reminders of our Lord Jesus every day and we make personal choices as to what we do with that. If you pick up the precious Word of God and read it, you will be flooded with evidence and overwhelmed by the presence of God as you read about Him, but do you stop to worship Him and acknowledge His greatness? If you walk out of your home and stop complaining about the humidity, or the cold, or the heat long enough to see the beauty of all that God has provided for you to enjoy, you might consider raising your hands in praise to Him for His miraculous touch on everything from the heights of the skies to the beautiful green grass and flowers that you see, to the cattle that produces dairy products and/or beef for your plate. If you enter God’s house of worship and hear the stories of how God has miraculously healed and/or touched His children, you will worship Him knowing that there is still hope for Him to also miraculously help you through your challenges that seem insurmountable to you at times. Friends, it is time for us to stop whining and start praising. It is time for us to stop attributing God’s miracles that occur all around us every day, to happen-chance, or good luck, or any other worldly credit, and truly SEE God and then worship Him in deep sincerity like the disciples exampled for us in this Scripture today. Jesus is still alive and He is looking for opportunities to bless you, if only you will let Him into your world. Won’t you do that today friend?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your presence each and every day. Please forgive us for the times that we find every other reason in the world why something special occurred in our life, before we finally realize that it truly was the God of this universe that stepped in and blessed us. You have provided lots of evidence of your miraculous hand at work in our lives and all around us. Please open our spiritual eyes so that we may SEE Your goodness, Your miracles and Your love that You want so badly for us to accept and envelope. Lord, may we truly learn to worship You in every way, because of all that You place before us as evidence of Your presence. Please also open the eyes of the non-believer today so that they will realize that there is no other explanation for the miracles around them other than the awesome power and greatness of the Almighty God. Lord I pray that our worship and our praise will come naturally, as we recognize the originator of our blessings. Thank You for being so good to us! I ask these things in the gracious and blessed name of Jesus, AMEN!

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

Who Are You?

Thursday, 2019-09-26

Bible Reference: John 1:22-25
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 22 “Then who are you? Tell us, so we can give an answer to those who sent us. What do you have to say for yourself?”
23 He replied, “I am a voice from the barren wilderness, shouting as Isaiah prophesied, ‘Get ready for the coming of the Lord!’”
24-25 Then those who were sent by the Pharisees asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?”

OBSERVATION: John the Baptist was in a position where he was recognized by the local authority as one who was different, and one who seemed to be honoring another king – Jesus. Was he a threat to the current leadership? Perhaps, but who exactly is he? Those were the questions needing an answer by the Pharisees. John could have run, out of fear, or he could have chosen to brag on himself. As we meditate, on this Scripture, let’s contemplate how we might have responded! Furthermore, how would we respond to similar questions today!

APPLICATION: I believe we should examine ourselves and decide how we would answer, in a variety of settings, the question posed to John the Baptist. Who are you? for we need to tell those who have sent us. OK, in a church setting where an elder or a deacon approaches you with that type of question, I believe you will first respond with your name, and perhaps your family relations, if you are from the local area. If they continue to gaze at you for more information, perhaps you will continue by giving them your past church affiliation, if any, otherwise you might share where your parents attended church. Next, you might share about your employment. Unless further provoked, I believe that’s about as much as you might voluntarily share. If specifically asked about your relationship with Christ, some might freely share, while some might squirm a bit, as they are uncomfortable talking about their religious beliefs – mostly afraid of follow-up questions, I believe. So that might be your response in a safe, Christian-type environment. What if questioned at your job, or in a public place where others are being asked the same questions? Will you respond as you did at church? Think carefully, because while in a ‘safe’ environment, it is easy to give honest answers to almost any question. One thing I would like to remind us about today is that in every scenario on earth, God is there, and listening to every response. While we hope that He will always be proud of us as we respond boldly like John the Baptist, I feel like we must always pray that we would not respond like Peter ‘I never knew the man’. Peer pressure will lead you to respond like you believe they want to hear from you. But remember, God said ‘look, I will send my Son to the cross to provide you forgiveness of your sin, and I will send Him now, even while you are still very much a sinner’. I believe God might be expecting us to be as bold as He was – willing to claim Him privately, and in public, regardless of any implications that might follow. Friends, be aware that there are times where people in the audience might chuckle about you claiming Christ as your Savior, for they may never have attended church, or been challenged with the gospel. May I encourage you to still be honest about the best relationship you will ever encounter? For there might also be one in the audience who heard of Jesus, but never experienced Him, nor anyone who has experienced Him. For you to wiggle your way out of an honest response tells that individual that there is no value in one’s relationship with Jesus Christ, and that He may not even exist. Who are you, dear one? I pray that your relationship with Jesus is at the very top of explaining who you are!

PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, I humbly ask that You fill Your children with an extra dose of boldness today. I am thankful that in my country I can freely attend church, freely accept You as Lord, and declare you in public – free from the law of the land. Unfortunately, my friends and I are often challenged internally to talk about You in public places because of ridicule and our personal pride. So if asked publicly who we are, I’m not sure what automatic responses might come forth. In heaven, I believe that only one response will truly matter, so please help us to live in the light of eternity and therefore respond to earthly questions in much the same way that we will do when we stand before You. Speaking the truth, in love, may very well speak volumes to the one asking, and we want them to know Jesus more than anything else. We need Your strength Lord, because we want our boldness and honesty to speak Truth at all times. Please help us oh God! AMEN!

Our Desire For God

Wednesday, 2019-09-25

Bible Reference: Psalm 63:1
Translation: English Standard Version (ESV)

Bible Text:
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

OBSERVATION: Is it just in times of despair or urgency that we seek God, because we really need Him to take care of the impossible for us? Do we satisfy our God-fix by sacrificing an hour on Sunday to attend a church service? Do we work on relationships with our spouse or best friend, but feel satisfied that God is always there, if we need Him? I could see a lot more urgency and personal desire in this Psalm by David, so meditate with me as we search for relationship builders between us and God.

APPLICATION: I would love to hear from you if your church has more people out to a midweek prayer and Bible Study, or to Sunday School, or at your Sunday evening services, than you do at a Sunday morning service. If you worship on a different day of the week, I would love to see you apply this same principle also. Of course, what I am really after here is – I want you to explore whether your weekend worship service is one that you attend to culminate a week of worship that you already had with God. So often we hear people complain about the worship songs, or the loudness of the praise & worship time, or the poor orator who shared the sermon. I know that none of mt readers would be guilty of this, but I needed to throw that in!!! But seriously… With the heart that you might see in David based on his words in this Psalm, do you suppose that he may have complained about corporate worship times? There is a song with the words “I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about You, God“. Would the words of this song, and a reminder of the words of David in Psalm 63 tend to remind us of the reason we worship, and the One whom we should adore and worship? Think for a moment how your heart flutters when you walk into the presence of your spouse, verses any other of the same sex. Do you feel that same special, awe when you walk into God’s presence? At your church services, are you looking forward to seeing your friends, or for the time you can spend in God’s presence? As we develop a true heart of worship on a daily basis, when prompted by God’s Word, or when encouraged by a fellow Christian, or when we recognize God’s handiwork in nature, do you take time to thank God for being so good, so faithful, so true to you – even when life seems so dry and void of anything worthwhile. Friends, always remember that our God created us, and loved us enough to sacrifice His only Son for us so that we could look forward to life eternally with Him. There is nothing to compare with that here on this earth! So as you recognize God today, stop and praise Him; as you receive answers to prayer, both yes and no answers, let your lips be filled with praise from a thankful heart. I believe that these types of habits, will soon motivate us to look forward to the benefits of our God and to appreciate His blessings like any good child would. I praise you Lord for being such an awesome God to me in every way, every day! May my lips always be filled with praise!

PRAYER: May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable to You oh God, my Rock and my Redeemer. May all who read this devotional today receive Your blessings, Your direction and You peace, so that they may be drawn to You in ways that will show others the living Christ! AMEN!

Avoiding Denial

Tuesday, 2019-09-24

Bible Reference: Matthew 26:33-35
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  33 Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” 34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” 35 “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same.

OBSERVATION: Peter did exactly what he swore he would not do – he denied his Lord. I’m sure that Christians reading this blog today will join with me in swearing up and down that we would never do that, but I hope that as we meditate on the Word today, perhaps we will be challenged to realign some priorities in our life to help avoid following in Peter’s footsteps. Take a few moments to meditate with me on this.

APPLICATION:  Imagine for a moment the feeling of walking into a room with your subordinate staff and hearing them put you down to an indescribable degree – imagine how you will feel. Then imagine that there is a dangerous situation at hand, and all of your closest friends come and look on, but choose not to get involved, so they just move on and leave you to suffer through it. That’s how Jesus must have felt when Peter and his peers did exactly as I described, even after talking about the subject in advance. Now take a moment and think about how Peter must have felt. He swore up and down that he would never forsake his Lord, yet he did. By now you are probably anxious to see how this might apply to you and I, right? May I suggest to you that in the heat of our conversion, we all probably swore up and down that our decision and commitment was an eternal one and that we would live the rest of our days standing up and promoting Jesus – yep, right until the day He calls us together in heaven. So let’s look at what might have been important to us right after we made such an awesome commitment: Probably things like Bible study, so we could learn as much about the Lord and His commands for our lives? Perhaps attending every church service possible, so we could learn from, and be encouraged by those who are also striving for the same goals as we are. Praising God together, and being uplifted as we share about the ways that God is alive and working in their lives? Probably to be a model Christian to any and all of our coworkers, friends or family, so they could look at us and see Jesus, or hear from, and be encouraged that we are speaking with the wisdom and faith of one who is walking the talk? So what happened dear friend? Have you been, and are you still faithful to these things? Please don’t try to convince yourself that these things are no longer relevant, for God’s Word will prove you wrong in that. Desertion immediately hurts the one you are deserting, so please don’t hurt my Lord today. Desertion also hurts the one doing the deserting, so please don’t put yourself in that position today. All of the actions I suggested were probably important to you as a new Christian, but they are still just as relevant to you today. Seek God’s help, then concentrate on these things to help cement a solid, ongoing relationship with your Lord. He has promised never to leave or forsake you, please don’t even think about doing just that to Him. He loves you way too much to deserve that kind of treatment. To the unbeliever reading this devotional, may I remind you that your continued disowning and separation from God will lead you through much ‘hell’ here on earth, but to an even worst place when you leave this world. Jesus loved us just as we were when He went to the cross for us. He still loves you enough to forgive you of your sin and direct you through the Christian life that I have described, but He wants you to ask for it. May I encourage you to read the tips I have included in my ‘Footnote’ and make this very important, life-changing decision today? Followers of Christ, don’t forget your First Love. Draw close to Him everyday. Love Him, worship Him, talk with Him and be His best friend. He has prepared a place for His sons and daughters, and I believe He is standing at the door waiting for us! Let us live in anticipation of that every day friends!

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for often falling into the same path of Peter and his peers. We understand that the flesh is weak, even when the intent of our hearts are in the right place. This is evidence that we can’t do this alone. We need You, Heavenly Father, to fill our hearts with Your love and Your priorities, but most of all with obedience and faithfulness to Your powerful Word. Please use this devotional to stir the hearts of the saved, and provoke a renewed desire within the hearts of the unbelievers, so that today might be the day of salvation for them. We never want to be guilty of desertion. So help us to be faithful and true to You and strengthen the bond that must exist between us in order to fight off the evil one and fully serve You for the rest of our lives. Only You can intervene and help us achieve this kind of perfection Father, so I ask this in and through the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!

What Would It Take to Convince You?

Monday, 2019-09-23

Bible Reference: Luke 24:36-41
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them, and greeted them. 37 But the whole group was terribly frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!
38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why do you doubt that it is really I? 39 Look at my hands! Look at my feet! You can see that it is I, myself! Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost! For ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do!” 40 As he spoke, he held out his hands for them to see the marks of the nails, and showed them the wounds in his feet.
41 Still they stood there undecided, filled with joy and doubt.

OBSERVATION: The prophets foretold the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus told his disciples about His death, burial and Resurrection. The ladies to first visit the tomb found out that Christ had risen. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus saw that Jesus had risen. Yet when he stood before the disciples, they thought it was a ghost. I wonder how we might react to seeing Jesus in person at our work sites, or our homes, or our church services this week?

APPLICATION: In light of the challenge that the disciples faced, the Holy Spirit prompted me to look inward and see what I would do if Jesus appeared at my church, or in our Elders’ meeting, or Bible Study, etc. Whoa, that brought a whole new perspective on this. You see, I believe that often we will read these Scriptures and. if we’re not careful, we start to examine the hearts and lives of the individuals, like the disciples, to see what on earth might have distorted or blocked their faith at such a sensitive time. But what about us? I often attend a Easter Sunrise service each year, where we highlight, celebrate and try to envision with the rising sun, what it must have been like to see the rising Son. What if Jesus became our guest speaker at one of those services one year? Wouldn’t that truly break the routine what we might expect from those services each year? I can’t imagine the impact that would have on the believers present, or at least those who don’t die from shock! I make our midweek prayer service a vital part of my public, corporate, worship time each week. Often we will pray that Jesus might come down and heal our bodies, our church and our land. What if He came in person one night and just chatted with us about His Kingdom and perhaps His intentions for our ministry? Would our feeble hearts be capable of handling that? Friends, our Savior is no longer in the grave, for He arose! So as we reflect on the wonderful experience of the disciples, let’s be sure to prepare our hearts for seeing Jesus again some day. Whether it’s here on earth, or when we get to heaven, I am convinced that it will be a glorious time for us to kneel at His feet and worship Him endlessly! Fortunately I have never needed an organ donated, but I could only appreciate the thankful hearts of those who have benefited from such a miracle. But what about someone who agreed with His Father to lay His life on the line for our benefit? Can you even imagine how our hearts will sing, and how we will try to cling to our Savior who sacrificed it all for us, when we see Him face to face? Oh Lord Jesus, come!

PRAYER: The disciples experienced it first! Meeting you in person after Your Resurrection, had them in awe! And I can’t even imagine how such a miracle would impact us today. Lord, You gave it all for my friends and I, and we’ve read and understood from Scriptures that You are very much alive and awaiting our arrival in Heaven! Thank You Lord Jesus for making the way possible for us to overcome the evil of this wicked world and to make the transition to heaven one day where we might worship You throughout the rest of eternity. Please help us to live as children of the King, and may every selfish desire disappear as we work on convincing our unsaved loved ones and friends about the need for our Savior. Please soften hearts even today as we go about our way and make contact with various ones who have not yet accepted You. Please give us boldness and wisdom to share the joy of our salvation with everyone we come into contact with today. AMEN!

What The Prophets Foretold

Saturday, 2019-09-21

Bible Reference: Luke 24:25-27
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 25 Then Jesus said to the two men, “You are foolish and slow to realize what is true. You should believe everything the prophets said26 The prophets said the Messiah must suffer these things before he begins his time of glory.” 27 Then he began to explain everything that had been written about himself in the Scriptures. He started with the books of Moses and then he talked about what the prophets had said about him.

OBSERVATION: As I read these verses this morning, I believe that the Holy Spirit prompted me to prepare a response to Jesus, should He question why I am so downhearted over the destruction in Florida a year ago, and the more recent disaster in the Bahamas, because of hurricanes. I believe the natural response would be to question ‘Why, Lord?’. But I believe God is teaching us here that we should run to the Word of God and see what else is on the way for us. Meditate with me as we contemplate what the Word of God teaches us about everyday occurrences.

APPLICATION: As hurricane Dorian plundered around out in the Caribbean, I believe that most of us thought of it as having a motor and/or steering mechanism that would move it in a certain direction, and at chosen speeds. But I believe that God opened the eyes of this 65 year old, and finally showed me that this ‘bundle of wind’ is something moved around by the steering wind currents at the time. For just a quick moment, my mind wondered to question: then who controls the wind currents? Silly me, of course it is God who controls our wind currents, therefore God who steers the hurricanes. So the question remains: then why would God choose to steer the disastrous winds of a hurricane into the path of His people? Friends, the mystery of God is unknown to mankind, otherwise we might consider ourselves ‘God’. Think about this: In spite of what you may feel about why on earth was your challenging neighbor ever created, yet God, in His wisdom, not only created him/her, but also arranged that you two would wind up as neighbors! In spite of me being born in Long Island, Bahamas, brought up on the island of Eleuthera, and worked across several islands in the Bahamas, yet in 1987 God opened the doors for my wife and I to move to the United States of America. This, opened the doors to: 1) The adoption of our prized daughter; 2) My dad and sister-in-law being given another chance at life because of the medical professionals here; 3) My awesome job, that I am about to retire from, after 32 years; 4) Three wonderful churches that loved on us and allowed us to serve our Lord with them over our 32 years here; etc, etc. So would you remind me again why we should ever question God? Although my dad dreaded the idea of his oldest son leaving him in his old age, and move across the waters to another country, yet within 6 months of being in the US, and after he had received a stint in one of the vessels to his heart, he said to me ‘Now I can see what God was doing’. My dear friends, we need not question God, for He alone is God and His ways are far greater than our ways and above anything we could ever comprehend or imagine. Let me encourage you to saturate yourself with the Word of God. Meditate on it and allow it to fill your mind with the mind of Christ. Let it steer your thoughts, your decisions and your path, so that you will wind up in a place where God wants you, and not where you’ve always want to go. Depend on God to lead you and help you to understand His ways enough to be a blessing to someone else. People need the Lord, and it’s only when they look at you and see ‘Jesus’, that they might truly believe that He lives, because they could see Him living in you. It’s not about us friends, or about our material belongings. It’s about God, His Kingdom, and us being used by God to help win the lost from eternal death. Oh that we may praise God each and every day as we draw closer and closer to seeing Him face to face!

PRAYER: Lord, I feel like I may have gone off track from the referenced Scripture, but I pray that I could one day say like my dad did: ‘Now I could see what God was up to’! Lord, these devotionals are a testimony of Your wonderful grace and how You express Your unconditional love towards me in so many awesome ways. May others experience Jesus as they read these, and may they make decisions to draw close to You in their temporary walk here on earth, so that You may be glorified in all aspects of their life. AMEN!

Your Interest in The Living Christ

Friday, 2019-09-20

Bible Reference: Luke 24:1-3
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: Very early that Sunday morning, the women made their way to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared.  Among them were Mary Magdalene; Joanna; and Mary, Jesus’ mother. Arriving at the tomb they discovered that the huge stone covering the entrance had been rolled aside, so they went in to look. But the tomb was empty. The body of Jesus was gone!

OBSERVATION: Perhaps it’s part of the difference between how men and women think, or perhaps what each find important, but regardless of the differences, the three ladies mentioned in our text were determined to take good care of our Lord after His death, while the men gathered together for prayer. As we meditate on these verses, I pray that God will draw us into a time that we place ourselves into the picture and think about what we may have done!

APPLICATION: While reading God’s Word, I was led to reflect on how any of this applies to us today. I was reminded of the major crisis going on today in our communities, where crime is at such critical levels, while at the same time the family structure is probably at it’s worse. I wonder if there is a parallel? Throughout the Bible we can see clearly how God expects our men to take an important role in life. Leadership of their families, and leadership at our churches. So let us therefore look inward to see how we might have handled this situation today. First of all, let us reflect on our family structure. Where are our men? Gentlemen, is it enough to date our women and have children with them, but have no leadership role in their home? Could it be that too many of you are without the key leadership role of Jesus Christ in your lives, so there is therefore no prompting of the Holy Ghost to be good husbands and/or dads? Could it be that because you have no true relationship with Jesus Christ, that it is not important for you to teach His principles in your homes, or lead the way in taking your family out to church? I believe it is evident that because of our dysfunctional families and homes, our kids have resorted to lives of crime in order to find attention from someone. I want to encourage our men to stand tall Brothers. Jesus Christ sacrificed His life, so that we might have an eternity to look forward to with He and His Father! He invited us to know Him personally, and to lead our families into a relationship with Him. He led a perfect life – without sin! So if we commit to Him, and we lead our families to do the same, and we are obedient to His Word, then our families will be led to lives free of crime! So why did God take me in this direction today? I don’t believe it was to indicate that the disciples were living sinful lives, unworthy of Christ, but in wondering why the disciples chose not to take care of the body of Jesus after his death, I was led to also wonder why our men today are satisfied in resting while: their wives take on the role of getting her family out to church; while their children follow the crowd in committing crime (sin); while churches struggle to find qualified men for leadership. Wake up men! Please take on your assigned role and be good leaders. Become a ‘Paul’, who told his followers to follow him as he follows Christ. Please, let’s take our roles seriously. Only what’s done for Jesus will last, so let’s make our lives count!

PRAYER: Oh Lord Jesus, please help our men to be men of God. Our communities are going to ‘pot’, and our young people are resorting to everything Satan has to offer, because of the lack of leadership and role models in their lives. Oh that we might commit ourselves so faithfully to You Lord, that our kids will see the living Christ working through us. May our words remind others of Jesus, may our actions and our lives be living examples of all that we know of Jesus – the One who never sinned. For the one who stumbled on this devotional and might be trying to understand its message, please Lord, touch their hearts and call them to Yourself today. AMEN!

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

THE Most Important Commandment

Wednesday, 2019-09-18

Bible Reference: Matthew 22:36-40
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  36 “Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40 All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.

OBSERVATION: Often when we are bombarded with a multitude of orders, we will either ask, or sometimes evaluate, what we need to concentrate on most, or at least first. I believe that God knew we needed direction in every aspect of life, so He gave us His Book of Instruction (the Bible) to do just that. However, seeing that God created us, I’m sure that He was the first to know that we need the priority items right up front, so that we don’t get overwhelmed and give up. These verses seem to do just that, so let’s pay very close attention to these two commandments today.

APPLICATION:  Jesus knew that He and His Father had given us many commands over time, but here He chose to show us what constituted a priority for us. In fact, He teaches that these two particular commands will help us ensure that we are following all of the other commands given to us over time. Let us therefore examine these two very carefully:
1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind – Love comes from the heart, so to love the Lord with all of our heart means that we must love Him with all that we are. To consider this being a priority, means that all other things, or people, that attract our love is below the level of love that we have for the Father. In fact, Jesus goes on to say that we must love Him from the very depths of our soul – our very innermost being. And from our mind – in other words, be thinking of ways to love Him more and more, or ways to love Him better and better, than anything else.
2. Love others as much as we love ourselves – It is very natural for us to love ourselves. Often this love is prideful, and could easily lead to our greatest sins (envy, boasting, jealousy, etc). However, there is also a sincere self-love that is expected, because of the mere fact that God made us in His own image, and He loved us enough that He sacrificed His only Son to make us right with Himself. So if He loves us that much, ought we not to also love our own selves? Of course we do, but Jesus is teaching here that with that same love, we are to also always love others. In other words, love them because you recognize that God loves them in the same way that He loves you.
Isn’t it interesting that God added at the end of this revelation, that if we concentrate on these two important things, that we will master all other commands? I thought ‘yes’, I can see that, because I wouldn’t dare consider lying, or stealing, or murdering, or being envious, or any other wrongful act against God or against anyone else that I love as much as I love myself. So friends, I believe it all boils down to these two things, just as Jesus taught us. Can we put these at the top of our daily prayer list, and at the top of our to-do list, and at the very top of our personal priorities? If you are one to place stickers around the house filled with very important reminders, then these two priorities should probably be at the header and footer of each of those notes, so that you will be reminded of the most important things, before looking at the item you want to accomplish that day! Can we do this? Can we do it on our own? Why would we try, when we have been promised that God is always there to help us achieve the desires of our heart? Lean on Him friend, and let Him be your guide and your help, especially with these things that He told us are key commands that He wants us to do.

PRAYER: Father please forgive us for being so anxious to set our daily priorities, with so little attention to Your priorities You taught to us. I know that You are Master, Creator, Almighty God, and that You display ‘Love’ in its truest form, so there is every reason for me to be obedient to Your teaching, knowing that You have my best interest at heart. Please help Your children who might meditate on this devotional today, and myself, to put our selfish desires aside and dedicate ourselves to following Your commands, especially Your two primary commands taught in this lesson. May we love You, and those that we come into contact with today, with the love that You have shown towards us. For I ask these things in the precious and holy name of Jesus, my Savior, with thanksgiving, AMEN!