Guarding The Temple of God

Most of us will do everything possible to protect and respect God’s house, the church – His temple. There are certain things we would not permit inside, such as alcohol, drugs, wild parties, etc. And there are several things that we would always carefully control – selling material items, the wearing of caps/hats by men, etc. I believe we do this because we look at our church sanctuaries as a place where God lives, and He is hallowed there by His people. But since Paul is referring to our personal bodies as a place where God (the Holy Spirit) resides, are we quite as careful to protect and respect His holy temple in that respect?

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-04-30
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 16 Don’t you understand that together you form a temple to the living God and His Spirit lives among you? 17 If someone comes along to corrupt, vandalize, and destroy the temple of God, you can be sure that God will see to it that he meets destruction because the temple of God is sacred. You, together, are His temple.

OBSERVATION: Most of us will do everything possible to protect and respect God’s house, the church – His temple. There are certain things we would not permit inside, such as alcohol, drugs, wild parties, etc. And there are several things that we would always carefully control – selling material items, the wearing of caps/hats by men, etc. I believe we do this because we look at our church sanctuaries as a place where God lives, and He is hallowed there by His people. But since Paul is referring to our personal bodies as a place where God (the Holy Spirit) resides, are we quite as careful to protect and respect His holy temple in that respect?

APPLICATION: Doctors who are really concerned about the lives of their patients, will often get on our case about the condition of our health, that is mostly impacted by what we permit to enter our bodies and/or whether we condition it with regular exercise. Ranking much higher in importance is our spiritual bodies. When Jesus was crucified, God sent His Holy Spirit to reside inside of us as our helper until He returns to take us home to glory. So I wonder, how much have we changed the conditioning of our bodies, and how much different do we strive to be in protecting our bodies from the evil one? Are we as careful about protecting our bodies, the temple of God, as we are about protecting our church sanctuaries, now that part of the Trinity is occupying His temple inside of us? Although this may be elementary, we must remind ourselves that the Trinity means that Father, Son and Holy Spirit is ONE. Which means that God resides inside of us as our Comforter, Guide, Deliverer, Friend and everlasting Father. So are you always proud of where you take the Holy Spirit? Do we protect what goes inside of our bodies and our minds, knowing that the Holy Spirit resides inside – such as drugs, alcohol, filthy movies, bad language, hatred, disrespect, etc.? Is there anything we subject our bodies to, that we would not want present when we kneel at the feet of Jesus in Heaven? The Bible says that we are the temple of God, and it also says that God resides in His temple. Do we love, respect and honor our God enough to protect His place of residence from anything untoward? I believe that our Scripture today is a good reminder that our God reigns, and He lives and reigns inside of us. We needn’t wait until we get to church to behave, to honor, obey and respect God, for He is present right now, right where we’re at. Thank You Father for going to the extent of the cross for my sin. Please be a constant reminder in my life of the One to whom I belong, and the One who lives and reigns inside of me. There are many who acknowledge You as Lord, oh that we all may stand boldly before Your throne knowing that we did everything possible to protect, honor and respect Your place of abode, especially where it was so within our personal control.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for sending Your comforter to live inside of me. Please forgive me for failing to always respect Your presence and Your everlasting love for me. As You have reminded my readers and I today through Your Word, may we all be consciously aware of the One who lives inside of us and may we always treat You with the same respect that we expect to give on the day we see You face-to-face. You are our King, and we praise You Heavenly Father for all that You are to us. 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

A Test of Spiritual Maturity

Paul’s test for spiritually immaturity: Do you argue? Do you compare yourself to others? Are you jealous? Answer “yes” to any of these, then you are spiritually immature. Let’s look closer at this today, for the sake of the Gospel, and for the sake of Christian growth and maturity – so that the world may be saved.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-04-29
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Corinthians 3:1-3
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: My brothers and sisters, I cannot address you as people who walk by the Spirit; I have to speak to you as people who tend to think in merely human terms, as spiritual infants in the Anointed One. I nursed you with milk, as a mother would feed her baby, because you were not, and still are not, developed enough to digest complex spiritual food. And here’s why: you are still living in the flesh, not in the SpiritHow do I know? Are you fighting with one another? Are you comparing yourselves to others and becoming consumed with jealousy? Then it sounds like you are living in the flesh, no different from the rest who live by the standards of this rebellious and broken world.

OBSERVATION: Paul’s test for spiritually immaturity: Do you argue? Do you compare yourself to others? Are you jealous? Answer “yes” to any of these, then you are spiritually immature. Let’s look closer at this today, for the sake of the Gospel, and for the sake of Christian growth and maturity – so that the world may be saved.

APPLICATION: I believe that the downfall for most pastors is not for neglecting to dedicate themselves fully to the preaching of the Word, nor attending to the needs of their flock, but rather when spiritually immaturity rears its ugly head. This is no different to the secular world, for during my years of supervising and managing staff, it was always the most challenging part of my job – to deal with the ups and downs of my staff. Yes, we could get the work done, but there always came times when an employee saw the need to show their immaturity and they would become fixated on pulling a coworker down. As a supervisor wanting to make sure that all staff are happy workers, one might make the mistake of trying to ‘fix’ these problems. But often, it is just a matter of trying to help mature the employee who has the issue. Like Paul, many pastors become so burdened with these acts of immaturity that it pulls them down, through discouragement, anger and resentment. It can also destroy a church, for as word gets around, good, mature Christians will leave a church to avoid confrontation. This also serves to keep the unsaved from knowing Christ, for they look at the church and have no desire to gain the kind of disharmony that they hear about at their local church. Ministering to immature Christians is a persistent challenge for a teacher or pastor as they are forced to always teach or preach from an elementary level, or from the basics of the Bible, even if others in the class or church long for the depths of truth from the Word. So I believe that the reason God had Paul share this lesson with us in two different areas: 1). For the parishioner: work towards an intimate, learning, experience with your Maker. This means developing a personal relationship with the Master and getting to know Him better each and every day by studying His Word and conversing with God (praying) on a regular basis. If you only met with your spouse once per year, you would have to reignite the love relationship you once shared. In studying the Word of God, you learn more about Him and long to spend more time with Him, and this becomes a key reason for you to meet together with other believers; and 2). For the teacher and/or preacher: Patience is a virtue, and I believe that we will always need the love and grace of God to work with folk who refuse to fully develop their relationship with the Creator of the World. It gives us reason for seeking God’s help and understanding on why He brings certain circumstances into our lives and ministry. Often these folk are needy people who will always want our attention and our love to help them move on to greater heights in their relationship with God. Will it keep others back, perhaps. However, let’s use this as good reason to seek the help of the Master and follow what He tells us to do. It may be a growing experience for us as we deal with this each situation. There may eventually be another leader who will look to us for advice on how to handle these delicate matters. God may be preparing us and placing us in the right situations at the right time, for His ultimate glory. So let us learn to be content in whatever situation we may find ourselves, so that we may learn to praise God in our storms, in our growth opportunities and in our times of celebration – all glory goes to the Lord!

PRAYER: We probably use the word ‘WHY’ way too much Lord, and almost every time we realize that we are sadly questioning You. I believe that You created us to worship You, with absolutely no reason to question You. Please forgive us for placing ourselves in a bad position with You. To question You is just as immature as in the case of those we just pondered over in the above thoughts. As long as we are alive, please remind us that we are the clay and You are the Potter. You will provide situations that will mold us and shape us in the way that is pleasing to You. Please touch the hearts of those that will read this devotional. May they find total peace in knowing You as Lord, and as their personal Savior, regardless of the storm we may face while still here on earth. Please teach us and lead us to grow in You daily. 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

A Vessel Used By God

There are certain books that you might pick up and the story is so interesting that it becomes challenging for you to stop reading and put the book down for a while. The same is true with some teachers and preachers. Is it because one is more educated than the other, or one has been trained to assemble a sermon with certain form? I believe that if you are a preacher or teacher, you will definitely benefit from Paul’s lesson found in our Scripture today, but I also believe that it will train listeners to also look for the influence of the Holy Spirit on what is being said. Think about this with me today dear friend!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-04-28
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: My brothers and sisters, I did not pose as an expert with all the answers. I did not pretend to explain the mystery of God with eloquent speech and human wisdom. I claimed to know nothing with certainty other than the reality that Jesus is the Anointed One, the Liberating King, who was crucified on our behalf. I was moved to utter despair during my time with you. I would find myself trembling in dread and fear. The sermons I preached were not delivered with the kind of persuasive elegance some have come to expect, but they were effective because I relied on God’s Spirit to demonstrate God’s power. If this were not so, your faith would be based on human wisdom and not the power of God.

OBSERVATION: There are certain books that you might pick up and the story is so interesting that it becomes challenging for you to stop reading and put the book down for a while. The same is true with some teachers and preachers. Is it because one is more educated than the other, or one has been trained to assemble a sermon with certain form? I believe that if you are a preacher or teacher, you will definitely benefit from Paul’s lesson found in our Scripture today, but I also believe that it will train listeners to also look for the influence of the Holy Spirit on what is being said. Think about this with me today dear friend!

APPLICATION: I’m sure that like me, you have attended a Sunday School class and been bored out of your mind, only to arrive home and hear your spouse brag about all that they got out of the lesson that day. The same holds true with a church service. You may have been blessed beyond expectation, only to hear a friend complain about how ‘dry’ and ‘dull’ the preacher was, or how the music was too loud to enjoy and how they couldn’t stay awake during the sermon. Friends, when the Holy Spirit is at work, and has a message for one or more individuals, He could speak through an inexperienced, spoiled young man, or through a seasoned, old, dull man, and the Spirit’s word will fall on fertile ground. In our Scripture today, Paul deliberately held back on his fancy words and trying to overly impress those he was ministering to, for he knew that it was more important to plead with God to accomplish His work, even if He did it through him. Paul sounded very much like any of us, for he said that he was often fearful to stand before this crowd, and find the right words to convince them of their faithful Father. I have attempted to share the Word in a public/church setting before, and I could easily appreciate what Paul was saying. Much like this blog, some of you might read what I share some days and you may sit back and wonder where is this brother coming from? Friends, without bragging at all, I can tell you that on many occasions I have struggled to complete a day’s devotional, but because I asked God for His direction, I went ahead and posted it. Only to hear from one or more readers that they were drawn closer to God, or blessed immensely by the blog that day. Only God! There are days that God will fill me with so many thoughts that I could hardly type it fast enough. However, there are some days that God seems to give it to me in pieces. Often I share a lot of personal examples/experiences to help you understand what’s on my mind when I write the blog. Please don’t take this as bragging in any way, but seek God and ask Him to help you see what’s in store for you as you read His Word, and my thoughts. Perhaps He will use something to truly speak to your heart also and grow you in your faith. Please pray for me that I will stay on target and allow the Holy Spirit to speak boldly through me, so that you might hear from Him each day. Although I pray that God will always use me in this way, I want you to hear from Him, even though I may be shown as the author of the blog. It’s not until that happens that you will truly be blessed!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, just as Paul was used as a vessel for You to speak to the church at Corinth, I pray that it will be evident every day from the words read in my blog, that You are using me as a vessel to speak with myself and my readers. I also pray that You will use those who teach and those who preach, so that Your Word might go forth in season and out of season to those in need of hearing Your Word. Many are searching for a word from the Master during these trying times. I pray that their time will be well spent in reading what You have to share through Nuggets From God’s Word. May they see Jesus, and hear all about Your love, Your forgiveness. and Your direction for their lives. May I, in humility, avoid selfish feelings and relaying selfish thoughts, but instead wait on You and always allow You to speak through the words that I pen. Please touch our church leaders, teachers and preachers in the same way Lord, for people need the Lord, and not to learn more about any of us. 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

The Simplicity of the Cross

The great philosopher could explain what the cross was made of and every detail behind the reason that Jesus went to the cross, but isn’t it interesting how a simple person, like you or me, could talk to a friend about the old rugged cross and how it made a difference in our lives, and their mouths will drop open in wonder, hoping that this joy of which we speak, could also impact their lives? Join me in meditating on the simple story of the cross that we could share with, or preach to, our friends today and everyday.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-04-27
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Corinthians 1:21
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 21 For in his wisdom, God designed that all the world’s wisdom would be insufficient to lead people to the discovery of himself. He took great delight in baffling the wisdom of the world by using the simplicity of preaching the story of the cross[w] in order to save those who believe it.

OBSERVATION: The great philosopher could explain what the cross was made of and every detail behind the reason that Jesus went to the cross, but isn’t it interesting how a simple person, like you or me, could talk to a friend about the old rugged cross and how it made a difference in our lives, and their mouths will drop open in wonder, hoping that this joy of which we speak, could also impact their lives? Join me in meditating on the simple story of the cross that we could share with, or preach to, our friends today and everyday.

APPLICATION: Many songs have been written and sold to thousands about the old rugged cross. Many sermons have been written and shared on almost any day, with church attendees, some of which might sit and wonder ‘how on earth does this apply to me today’? Many have braved the criminals, the poor and also the rich with various tips on how to win them to the Lord. Seminary after seminary charge thousands of dollars to students wanting to pursue a degree in religious studies. In churches located in countries around the world and represented by my readers, you will find that some are led by pastors and staff who are well educated, while some may simply have a pastor, filled by the Holy Spirit who has a heart touched by God, and who desires to share his simple faith with anyone that will listen. I believe that God will speak through all men described above, but based on our Scripture today, we are also reminded that no matter how smart our church leaders might be, without a very personal and current relationship with the Master, they will simply preach what they learned from professors in seminary. For I am convinced that Jesus wants us to share what He has done in our lives, because of what God did at Calvary when He sacrificed His only Son. Share this, so that those who are lost and seeking desperately for the Light, might understand that the whole reason Jesus died and rose again, was to provide life eternally with Him in heaven. You see, one might share the account of the cross based on the Biblical story, while another might explain with deep emotion how the events of the crucifixion happened so that they might see the hope of salvation, and it is that same reality that they want to share with those listening. God has blessed many with a lot of talent. God has also blessed a lot with extreme knowledge. However, God has placed in each of us a unique experience with His Son, that only we could share. I have an awesome friend who has been blind since birth, yet he shares the love of God on Social Media and with everyone who comes into contact with Him. I know of friends who have never gone to college, yet they do an outstanding job of sharing the news of Jesus Christ with others. I have friends who are as smart as anyone on earth, and they do a great job of sharing the love of the Lord Jesus that lives inside of them. If we have something to share, we can do so successfully, and in line with this Scripture. However, if we have all the knowledge in the world and can only share text with someone, they are lightly not going to get it. God uses the foolishness of preaching to reach unbelievers. A seminary or college degree might help you explain the story well, but unless that story comes from your innermost being, I’m not sure that just words will impact those you might share those words with. Let me share with you friends that we must know Him in order to share about Him with others. Know His Word and share how it impacts your life, so that others could base their decision based on something that is proven, and truly works.

PRAYER: Lord, I pray that none of Your children will allow knowledge, or the lack thereof, to prevent them from sharing with others what they see at work in their lives. Please give us the boldness to share with others all that You have blessed us with. Help us to avoid telling the good news about what You did for famous people, although that might be a super good story, but to always share about how You impacted our lives and blessed us so wonderfully. Dear God, thank You for saving my soul. Please use me to share that story with many who have yet to accept You as Lord, so that they may see the hope that is possible for even them. Many whom we know, need the Lord. Please use us to be instruments of Your truth, Your grace and Your love, so that those in our circle of influence may know and accept You as Lord. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

We Serve A Good, Good Father

I wonder, what could we have possibly done last night to dissolve the sin we committed yesterday. I wonder, if space engineers ever thought to calculate sending a rocket past Mars and into the heavens above. I wonder, how fed up our family must get with us as our efforts to be ‘good’ is always met with more of the same old, same old sins. These are probably things we could ponder day in and day out, because in and of our own efforts, each of these things are unresolvable. Yet we are reminded by the Psalmist that we have a God who cares for us and cares about each of these items for His dear children who are called by His name!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-04-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 103:10-12
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 10 Thankfully, God does not punish us for our sins and depravity as we deserve. In His mercy, He tempers justice with peace.
11 Measure how high heaven is above the earth; God’s wide, loving, kind heart is greater for those who revere Him.
12 You see, God takes all our crimes—our seemingly inexhaustible sins—and removes them. As far as east is from the west, He removes them from us

OBSERVATION: I wonder, what could we have possibly done last night to dissolve the sin we committed yesterday. I wonder, if space engineers ever thought to calculate sending a rocket past Mars and into the heavens above. I wonder, how fed up our family must get with us as our efforts to be ‘good’ is always met with more of the same old, same old sins. These are probably things we could ponder day in and day out, because in and of our own efforts, each of these things are unresolvable. Yet we are reminded by the Psalmist that we have a God who cares for us and cares about each of these items for His dear children who are called by His name!

APPLICATION: What happens to us as a father or a mother who teaches our children certain lessons that we have learned, yet they follow their own desires and make their own rules, often followed by horrible mistakes? Often we get unbelievably mad, and often our kids could detect that we are very upset over something, correct? What a contrast that is, compared to what the Psalmist shares with us about our Heavenly Father. I believe that we should also pay close attention to who the Psalmist said that these kind acts of God applies to. Some may think that this applies only to royalty, or to the rich, or perhaps those who are recognized at school as being ‘good’. But notice that this is not the case. Friends, God sent His only Son, so that all who believe on Him will be saved and live eternally with Him in glory. There is no distinction to race, color, rich, poor, healthy, crime-free, or otherwise, but ALL who believe. This is something that we ALL can rejoice over, for this means that each of us are included in that bunch that Jesus loves so unconditionally. Just imagine how ashamed we feel after we have messed up and disobeyed man’s laws. Imagine how much worse we feel when we have been found guilty of disobeying God’s laws. Yet, because of the unmeasurable love that God has for His children, we are reminded that God accepts our call for forgiveness and He separates our sin from us as far as the east is from the west. The next time you find yourself in an airplane, ask the pilot to just fly east. When he asks how far, tell him: until you reach the point where you meet the juncture or East and West. Perhaps that pilot will still let you on his airplane, even though he might think that you’ve lost your mind!! Yet that’s how far God said that He would separate the sin of those who seek His face and ask for forgiveness of their sin. Do you suppose that God loves you my friend? I would dare say that there is no one that loves you quite like the way that God loves you, and no one who cares enough for you that they would forgive you of your sin and remember it no more, like God does! For those reading this blog who already knows our Lord, let me suggest that you glory in His name today because of your position in His kingdom. For those who have not yet decided to follow Christ, I pray that after being reminded of His wondrous love, that you might surrender yourself to Him today and seek a right relationship with Him. Jesus could return at any given moment to take His children home to glory, so ready yourself today before its too late.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for being my Savior and Lord. Thank you for accepting me just the way I was, and cleansing me as white as snow for the sake of my Master. In spite of my personal happiness, Lord I am desperately asking that You speak to the heart and soul of my family and friends who have not recognized the urgency of the hour in which we live. You made it clear that only the Father knows when You will return to take Your church home. I pray that not one soul reading this devotional, nor any of my family or friends, will gamble with their ultimate decision in life. May it be today that they get things right with You. My greatest desire is that I kneel at Your throne in heaven, with each of these loved ones by my side. But this takes Your nudge and Your power to help them overcome the restraints placed on them by Satan. Please show forth Your power today and help them decide to make this most important decision. I love You Lord, and I long to see Your face and worship at Your feet. 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Have Confidence in Your Faith In Challenging Times

Just as Eliphaz gave great advice to Job in his time of trouble, we too must look at our faith, and at our God when we face challenging times. Yes, our God took real good care of us when we were looking for a job, when our mother was sick, and when we were downhearted over life situations at church, but we must always be encouraged in knowing that our God is also big enough, and all powerful, to help us through Covid 19, or whatever else is challenging us today! Praise God, He never fails and He will be with us to the very end of time. Meditate with me as we look into this short Scripture!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-04-24
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Job 4:2-7
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: You yourself have done this plenty of times, spoken words
    that clarify, encouraged those who were about to quit.
Your words have put stumbling people on their feet,
    put fresh hope in people about to collapse.
But now you’re the one in trouble—you’re hurting!
    You’ve been hit hard and you’re reeling from the blow.
But shouldn’t your devout life give you confidence now?
    Shouldn’t your exemplary life give you hope?
“Think! Has a truly innocent person ever ended up on the scrap heap?
    Do genuinely upright people ever lose out in the end?

OBSERVATION: Just as Eliphaz gave great advice to Job in his time of trouble, we too must look at our faith, and at our God when we face challenging times. Yes, our God took real good care of us when we were looking for a job, when our mother was sick, and when we were downhearted over life situations at church, but we must always be encouraged in knowing that our God is also big enough, and all powerful, to help us through Covid 19, or whatever else is challenging us today! Praise God, He never fails and He will be with us to the very end of time. Meditate with me as we look into this short Scripture!

APPLICATION: Right at the very beginning of the book of Job, we could read about how special Job was in the eyes of our God. His friends also knew how special Job was, and they were well aware of the faith that he exhibited on various occasions leading up to this testing that he was experiencing. In the chapter we are looking at today, Job’s friend, Eliphaz reminded Job about his faith, about his God, about all that God had done in his life, and about the exemplary life that Job had lived as a result of the close relationship he had with God. Doesn’t Job sound like us when tough times come our way? Covid reared its ugly head and surely we felt sorry for all those affected by it, and especially those who lost loved ones. But then, we heard from our employer that he would have to lay us off until after this awful virus passes by us. However the bills kept coming, it became harder to find groceries, and the kids became restless at home after a while. We may have even begun to wonder if God had left the scene, so we could suffer a little while. Did God forget us? Why would He see us suffer? I’m sure there were multiple other questions that arose, but did you stay true to your private time with God? Remember, being a follower of Christ means that you are in a relationship with the ‘Great I Am’, and not just knowing a puppet whose string you could pull, as necessary. Being in a relationship means that you might talk to God about what is going on and about what is troubling you. As you reflect on your experience to date with God, you may gain confidence today in remembering that the awesome God who saw you through struggles earlier in your relationship with Him, is the same God that also made a way for the Israelites to cross the Jordan River, who gave sight to the blind and brought Lazarus back to life again. He’s still God and He’s still on the throne handling our situation today. Why not ease your stress by having a little talk with Jesus, tell Him all about your struggles and concerns and about how your life is impacted in this time of pandemic. I can confidently tell you dear friend, that He is still our miracle working God – One who is concerned about His children and all that they are encountering right now. I believe that He will stretch out His hands and gently reassure you that every little thing is going to be OK, because He’s got this. He promised us very early in His Word that He would not place more on us than we are able to handle. And I know that without our hand in His, there is nothing that we can’t walk through together. Be reassured of whose you are, my friend, and remind yourself of all that He is, so that you can be comforted in how you will make it through your struggles today, and tomorrow.

PRAYER: I love that old hymn ‘Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine’, because it reminds me to whom I belong! Thank You Heavenly Father for watching over me in the good times, and yes, especially in the times that I feel are tough times. With the reminder, and assurance that heaven is my ultimate home, where I will rest eternally in the arms of Jesus, I gain the strength that I need to make it through times like we are facing currently, where there seems to be no cure for our diseases and therefore little hope of doctors saving loved ones. Lord, I pray that all those reading this devotional will be encouraged to know that nothing that we tend to worry about affects the Creator of this universe! God is still on the throne and one day He will return to take His children home to glory where we will be with You for eternity! Praise God for His wondrous love. Lord, please melt the hearts of those unable to call You ‘Father’, because they have never invited You to be their Lord and Savior. Oh that today may be the day of salvation for them, I pray in deepest sincerity and utmost urgency, from the bottom of my heart. 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

A Stronger Faith

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-04-23
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 2 Peter 1:4-8
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: … by that same mighty power he has given us all the other rich and wonderful blessings he promised; for instance, the promise to save us from the lust and rottenness all around us, and to give us his own character.   But to obtain these gifts, you need more than faith; you must also work hard to be good, and even that is not enough. For then you must learn to know God better and discover what he wants you to do. Next, learn to put aside your own desires so that you will become patient and godly, gladly letting God have his way with you. This will make possible the next step, which is for you to enjoy other people and to like them, and finally you will grow to love them deeply. The more you go on in this way, the more you will grow strong spiritually and become fruitful and useful to our Lord Jesus Christ.

OBSERVATION: It is obvious from this Scripture that mankind can live at peace with our God, if we turn our selfish, sinful selves away from the worldly desires and commit to serving the God who created us, and loves us beyond anything we could imagine. He even has a home prepared already for those who have accepted Him as Lord, so we really have so much to be thankful for here on earth now, and something to look forward to In Heaven! Peace on earth, and even more peace in Heaven, as we graduate from this world to the next. Let’s examine our faith today as we meditate together.

APPLICATION: We are reminded that God has showered His rich and wonderful blessings on us and He is doing everything possible to form us more and more into His character. However, there is work for us to do, so that He might have freedom to work in our lives, and mold us into His likeness. I believe these additional qualities help us to be devoted to our calling and gives God opportunity to respond in marvelous ways to help us attain His ultimate plan for us. Can you imagine us accomplishing anything by just sitting back and allowing someone to do it for us? Don’t you know that the more we are involved in something, the more that we ‘buy-in’ on the idea and the more committed we are to the end result? So let’s look closely at some of the things we are told to work on:

  1. We need more faith – Remember, Jesus told Peter about his lack of faith when he took his eyes off the Master.  Remember that James said that our good deeds and our actions will prove our faith. Friends, if we say we have it, then our lives should reflect it!
  2. We must work hard to be good – moral excellence
  3. We must be studious in knowing more about God – get in the Word for yourself. Get to know as much as possible about the Savior who gave up His very life so that you might live eternally with the Father!
  4. We must ‘dig deep’ and discover what God wants us to do – The only way to be obedient to the will of God is to go before Him in daily prayer and study His Word for all that He will guide us to do.
  5. We must put aside our own desires and be more subjective to God’s will for our lives – Often you will find that the worldly things that you want to do is opposed to what you might discern that the Word of God wants you to do. Be willing to put aside your personal agenda so that you might be totally obedient to God.
  6. Enjoy other people and grow to love them deeply – When the love of God is deeply entrenched in you, then you will begin to love His people. When you grow to desire all that God desires, your love for others will grow as deep as God’s love for them. Remember how much He loves them? He sacrificed everything for their eternal welfare! Glory to God for loving us that much!!

Our reward: We will grow stronger spiritually AND become fruitful and useful for our Lord!
Is it worth it all? I desire to commit fully to all that God teaches and directs me to do, including all of the above. I hope that you will do the same!!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for showing me the way to the Father, and thank You for sacrificing Your very life so that I might have the only avenue opened for me to one day see You in heaven. I pray that my readers, my family and my friends might find this same peace today! Please continue to direct our path so that we might grow in our faith; in the knowledge of Your Word; and with unhindered obedience of Your will for our lives. Thank You Lord 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Your Assignment From God

While not pointing fingers at anyone, I always find it interesting to listen to a ‘Christian’ audience sharing their personal testimony. While reading this Scripture today, I was forced to reflect on how I might respond to the question of the assignment in life that God has given to me. What’s yours dear friend? Consider being asked to share your response to this question in a group of Christ-followers!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-04-22
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 15:15-16
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: So, my dear friends, don’t take my rather bold and blunt language as criticism. It’s not criticism. I’m simply underlining how very much I need your help in carrying out this highly focused assignment God gave me, this priestly and gospel work of serving the spiritual needs of the non-Jewish outsiders so they can be presented as an acceptable offering to God, made whole and holy by God’s Holy Spirit.

OBSERVATION: While not pointing fingers at anyone, I always find it interesting to listen to a ‘Christian’ audience sharing their personal testimony. While reading this Scripture today, I was forced to reflect on how I might respond to the question of the assignment in life that God has given to me. What’s yours dear friend? Consider being asked to share your response to this question in a group of Christ-followers!

APPLICATION: Some churches take time to strategize the work that they feel God has given them to do. Sometimes this is good, because it helps church leaders to evaluate where they are currently at in achieving God’s plan for their community. At times it helps individual church leaders to analyze how effective they feel like they have been in achieving all that God has called them individually to do while leading His church forward, and while reaching into a lost community. Paul was convinced of the primary goal he felt God had called him to do, and in these verses today, he is reaching out for help from anyone who would dare step forward in faith, and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Paul knew the work was God-sized, and that it would take dependence on God to achieve the awesome task assigned to him. I wonder how much differently our individual ministry would look like, if we were to focus on our assignment, like Paul did. Might this mean that folk would regret seeking us out in a crowd, because they know that we would share with them only what we are focused on? Might this mean that our spare time would be spent on seeking God for our next action that we should take in order to achieve our goal? Might this mean that our teaching and our preaching would always be brighter, because our passion for the work assigned to us will be evident in the words that we speak? I have always heard that one could look at your checkbook and see where your heart is, based on where your income is spent. I wonder if it works the same way in being able to see your passion in the words that you speak and through your actions? What if your passion was strictly driven by the assignment God has given to you while here on earth? Don’t you see where we will have a reason for everything we do, and how determined we will be in seeking God’s help to achieve our utmost for His kingdom? Consider joining me in our quest to accomplish all that God could ask of us, and that our passion would drive us to always reach for pleasing our Master. God gave His very best for us, how much more could we possibly give in trying to honor Him through completing our assignment here on earth, to His heavenly standards?

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for giving to us, Thy great salvation so rich and free! Lord, I believe that You have placed us here on earth as Your servants, with assignments to stay focused on. Paul’s assignment was to love and preach to the Gentiles, who often felt left out and unloved. I believe that there are many just like that today in our world – they feel out of place and unloved, especially by the church. Deep inside I believe that each of us have a passion for that one thing that You have assigned for us to do. Please work on us Lord. Please redirect us to seek Your will and follow Your commands, as we seek to accomplish Your assignment. Based on our Word, I can only believe thatYou would have us to win the lost, and mature the saved, until the day You call us home to glory. Please fill us with wisdom and a newfound passion as we strive to accomplish the work You set out for us to do. 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

With One Voice, Praise & Glorify God

I believe that Paul could very easily preach this same sermon to each of us in our respective churches the next time we meet. Think about it as you meditate with me today. I’ve seen churches refuse to participate in a community evangelism event because a certain church was also participating and they believe so differently. I’ve seen a preacher stopped in his tracks while preaching, for saying something slightly different to what a certain church practiced. In our Scripture today, we are reminded that Jesus accepted us, just as we were. If Christians (little Christs) were to accept other believers just the way they are, vs 6 tells us that then perhaps we will be able to praise and glorify God.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-04-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Romans 15:5-7
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.

OBSERVATION: I believe that Paul could very easily preach this same sermon to each of us in our respective churches the next time we meet. Think about it as you meditate with me today. I’ve seen churches refuse to participate in a community evangelism event because a certain church was also participating and they believe so differently. I’ve seen a preacher stopped in his tracks while preaching, for saying something slightly different to what a certain church practiced. In our Scripture today, we are reminded that Jesus accepted us, just as we were. If Christians (little Christs) were to accept other believers just the way they are, vs 6 tells us that then perhaps we will be able to praise and glorify God.

APPLICATION: I won’t dare point a figure at you dear Brother or Sister, because I’ll have 3 or 4 pointing right back at myself. So let’s look at the only thing that we have control over – our own hearts, as we study this passage today. I remember while studying ‘Experiencing God’ in a group of about 10 people, that we were given certain scriptures to study and listen to the voice of God on. Weekly we would come together and discuss how God spoke to us. I was always amazed by the various ways that God spoke to us individually, but in such varied ways. It helped me to realize that our God does not support us or love us in a rule-based and defined fashion, but rather from a very personal standpoint. He cares for us individually, and therefore ministers to us personally. But this creates a lot of challenges for the church as a whole, for they are therefore challenged to establish bylaws and rules for the entire community to follow. Friends, our God created us individually, and He cares for us individually. It is obvious from vs 6 that with Him as our central theme, that our corporate worship should be centered around Him and not on our differences. I found vs 7 to be a mind blowing challenge, for it reminds me that I was far from perfect; far from holy; far from righteous; and far from obeying the commands of God that are detailed in His Word, yet He was willing to bring His Son into this wicked world, and die a cruel death on a cross, to save me – a nobody in the kingdom of God; a sinner that could only be saved by God’s wondrous grace. And if God could do that for me, and since I am striving to be just like Him, who am I to not like what that Brother said from the church down the street, or to cause division over which way that church in the country decides to baptize? Friends, we are reminded in verse 5 that we are to be ‘fitting to be called children of God’, and to ’live in harmony as HIS children’. In verse 6, we are promised that if we fulfill the previous verse, we will stand in awe of our King and sing praises and glory to OUR God, with ONE voice – period! Vs 7 reminds us that Christ accepted us just as we were, and so should we do the same for others who are also called by the same name. Notice that nothing was said about us believing some of the practices brought in by ‘religion’ or ‘denominationalism’. Instead, if they know Jesus, and we know the same Jesus, then we are family and we could easily join hearts and hands with each other and lift up our praises to OUR Jesus. Hum that chorus ‘He is Lord’ for just a moment while you meditate on these words. Be reminded that every knee shall bow to the one Jesus, for He alone is Lord!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for the assurance of salvation in Jesus Christ! Oh the grace of our Heavenly Father, to send His Son so that those who believe on Him shall not perish, but instead have everlasting life! (John 3:16). Loving Father, I believe You would have done this if I was the only sinner who needed Your grace. However, there are millions who have accepted that call to salvation. Yet the world probably looks on at the separation created by churches and want no part of it, or the God who they claim to serve. Thank You for the reminder in today’s Scripture that Your children must be able to get along, so that they could join hearts and hands together in worship and praise to the one and only Jesus – their Lord. Please Lord, awaken Your church even today. I pray that You would begin with me, and I also pray that as You remind us of whose we are, that we will learn to worship You in one voice and in one spirit. Oh Lord, may Your will be done, and may Your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven. 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Here is What’s important

Ever feel like you wish that you knew a lot more about certain subjects? Ever started your day wishing for wisdom to help you do a lot better today than you feel like you did yesterday? Much like today, Paul saw where his people were bickering over very trivial things that only brought division, rather than purposeful things that unite and draws the whole group closer to God. Paul had to address the sore subject of arguments over what foods each group ate, or didn’t eat, and the challenges that created for those who felt they were right. Yes, we do the same thing today, and yes, we need reminding again about what’s important to God.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-04-18
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Romans 14:17-19
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 17 …. Here is what is important: a right way of life, peace, and joy—all from the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever serves Christ by living this way is pleasing God, and they will be accepted by others. 19 So let’s try as hard as we can to do what will bring peace. Let’s do whatever will help each other grow stronger in faith. 

OBSERVATION: Ever feel like you wish that you knew a lot more about certain subjects? Ever started your day wishing for wisdom to help you do a lot better today than you feel like you did yesterday? Much like today, Paul saw where his people were bickering over very trivial things that only brought division, rather than purposeful things that unite and draws the whole group closer to God. Paul had to address the sore subject of arguments over what foods each group ate, or didn’t eat, and the challenges that created for those who felt they were right. Yes, we do the same thing today, and yes, we need reminding again about what’s important to God.

APPLICATION: Churches have split over very silly things – oftentimes it happened when one or more members felt it was more important to have their own way, rather than win the lost, or see the body of Christ draw closer to God through their sweet communion together; or through Bible studies; or through prayer for each other. Arguments still exists today among churches as to the right day to worship, the right way to baptize, or the foods that should be eaten. Paul told the church that they were missing the point, as God intended for us to be much bigger than that. In fact, if we ever want to win the lost and dying world, we must pay attention to the things that Paul taught as being of great importance: Seek first the Holy Spirit and follow His lead in living a life that is right, and in accordance with the God of this universe; Live in peace with God and with each other; And, seek joy for those you come into contact with, before seeking after your own selfish joys. Friends, this is just a short list, but it takes a child of God to do these things, and when you have spent time before God seeking His will and making every effort to obediently follow His commands, you will start to act like Him and imitate the example that He set for us while He was here on earth. Remember, God has established His way for mankind to live in love, and at peace with each other. Trouble starts when we stray away from His ideals and mix in some of our own selfish ways. When this happens, it becomes increasingly challenging for unbelievers to see enough difference between the church and the world that they are used to, and therefore little reason or necessity for any change in their belief, or in the God that we claim to honor, adore and worship. Friends, when I got married, I put aside things that I did as a boy, including some of the friends that had a bad influence on me. I promised God that I would love and care for the woman of my dreams for the rest of my days. That was a challenging promise to fulfill if I kept on pleasing my friends and ignoring my beautiful wife. This was very similar to the decision I made to serve Christ. It is virtually impossible to please my old friends and the God who sent His precious Son so that I could have eternal life with Him in heaven. I believe it is time for all of God’s children to rededicate themselves to the One in whom they believed and be faithful to Him until the day He calls us home. Will you join me in this rededication dear friend? People/friends/family need the Lord, and the sooner they see Him alive and well in our lives, the sooner they may be willing to dedicate themselves to Him. Please contact me if I could help, support or encourage you in anyway regarding the change you would like to make.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole, thank You Lord for giving to me, thy great salvation so rich and free. Please help me Lord to show in every aspect of my life, evidence of the One who lives inside of me. I want to show You daily that I love You and I want everyone that makes contact with me to know that it’s only Jesus that could make a change, like You’ve made in my life. Please touch the lives of my readers and all those that are in my circle of influence. May we all strive to know You more and through the work of Your precious Holy Spirit, may others be influenced to also want a relationship with you. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!