In Training

Paul was a mentor to Timothy, and he tried to help him become a good pastor to the churches he went to serve in – churches that were in trouble. We can relate to this, because churches tend to change their pastor an average of every 18 months. Regardless of what might be going on at your church, I believe that Paul’s advise to this young pastor is spot on. So let us examine Paul’s advice and see how we might apply this in our individual areas of ministry.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-08-31
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Timothy 4:7-10
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. 10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle,[d] for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.

OBSERVATION: Paul was a mentor to Timothy, and he tried to help him become a good pastor to the churches he went to serve in – churches that were in trouble. We can relate to this, because churches tend to change their pastor an average of every 18 months. Regardless of what might be going on at your church, I believe that Paul’s advise to this young pastor is spot on. So let us examine Paul’s advice and see how we might apply this in our individual areas of ministry.

APPLICATION: I believe there is good reason why Paul drew a parallel to physical training, for we all try to condition ourselves to help with many areas of our health. I remember an older lady that was in top shape physically, and following her Unfortunate surgery, she quickly recovered and was back on her feet. She said from the very beginning the doctor knew that she would do well and recover quickly, because her body was well conditioned. But let us just stop and think what constitutes sufficient physical fitness for our bodies to thrive, and for healing to be effective after surgery or an injury. Most doctors will suggest a minimum of a brisk 20-minute walk at least 3 or 4 days per week. So if this will keep our physical bodies in shape, what might it take for us to keep our spiritual bodies in close communion with God, and therefore ready for the battles of Christian life (yes, we still have battles in our new life) and in the spiritual warfare that we will face from Satan and his legion? It is important for you to think about this friends, for Satan comes after laypeople as a way of getting to a pastor and/or destroying a church. Wouldn’t you think that too little spiritual fitness will leave us vulnerable, gullible, and therefore easy targets for the evil one? Paul issued a very real warning to Timothy when he told him to be persistent in avoiding idle chatter, or fables, or just stories. I want you to think about this and reflect on a Sunday School class or a Bible Study where someone derailed the teacher from his/her awesome lesson. After 10 minutes you, or the teacher, realized that your lesson is totally off track and that you will be lucky to get back to the lesson and see it achieve the desired effects that the teacher felt like God led him to teach. You might then leave that class more confused than when you entered, and totally unprepared for the challenges of the week ahead. What if our pastors got into this kind of environment during the week when they would normally study and prepare their sermon? What will happen during the sermon time that Sunday? How might God use him to speak His truth to His hungry children who came searching for spiritual food? Friends, please notice that Paul saw a troubled church, and he saw a young man about to enter the lions den to deal with the issues of their day. Paul said then, what I believe that God would have us discern today: there is no greater training for us than to train ourselves into being good students of the Word of God. All the answers are in The Book for all of life’s challenges. But unless we saturate our lives with the Word, our preaching/teaching/witnessing will be in vain. Is the Word of God oozing out of every aspect of your character, your witness, your teaching, and your preaching, if you happen to be gifted to preach? This is the medicine needed for our hurting world. Let’s be sure that we train, and fill ourselves with the Word of God without it being diluted and/or distracted by Satan and his agents.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, although it is unfortunate that today we still face challenges in our churches like Paul saw in his letter to Timothy, and in spite of all that Paul taught. Please Lord, let the church be the church – Your church that is in place to reach the lost and speak tenderly to needs of the saved. Let us represent You well and let the world see Jesus in every aspect of our lives. Help us to be drawn to Your Word and be entrenched into Your teachings so that our lives may be impacted by the Master of the universe, and may it be obvious through every aspect of our lives. Let us be willing to train regularly and consistently so that You would prepare us fully for all that may come our way. Bless Your church and it’s workers Lord, so that You may be lifted up and rule in our churches. 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 encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Just Do It, Won’t You?

It is difficult for us to just do something we are told, without questioning the if, the why and the how! Then to do it without adding our own opinion is a whole different thing, isn’t it? But what about when God tells us to do something? I know, you are perfect and you therefore always do as you are told! Well, Jeremiah was stumped on an order he was given by God. Let’s see if we would do any better than he did.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-08-28
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Jeremiah 32:24-27
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 24 Jerusalem is under attack, and we suffer from hunger and disease. The Babylonians have already built dirt ramps up to the city walls, and you can see that Jerusalem will be captured just as you said. 25 So why did you tell me to get some witnesses and buy a field with my silver, when Jerusalem is about to be captured by the Babylonians?
26 The Lord explained: 27 Jeremiah, I am the Lord God. I rule the world, and I can do anything!

OBSERVATION: It is difficult for us to just do something we are told, without questioning the if, the why and the how! Then to do it without adding our own opinion is a whole different thing, isn’t it? But what about when God tells us to do something? I know, you are perfect and you therefore always do as you are told! Well, Jeremiah was stumped on an order he was given by God. Let’s see if we would do any better than he did.

APPLICATION: As you read this story you could see that God went to extra lengths to help Jeremiah know that the instructions came from Him to purchase the property. And it would almost appear like Jeremiah was actually praising the Lord for His awesome direction and power. However, read more closely and you will see that Jeremiah was just like us, for he was blown away about why God would have him use his personal money to purchase property in a city that He was really upset at, and would probably soon destroy. Yes, Jeremiah had followed God’s instructions and purchased the property, but he was obviously reluctant, as a lot of thoughts were still boiling up inside of him. I don’t know that we could conclude that God was upset at Jeremiah for questioning, but it seems obvious that He put His servant in his place. I may have said it something like this: ‘now look here Jeremiah, I am God and you are not. In fact, I created this world and all that is in it, and I rule the whole thing. Would you not think that if I told you to purchase a certain piece of property, that I knew what I was doing and exactly how I intended to use it? You see, my thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are unlike your ways. Just be obedient to my commands and I will allow you to see how this all comes together for my glory. I will not tolerate the attitudes of those who curse me and work against my will, so I will take care of that bunch (the Babylonians and the disobedient Israelites who were exiled there). Praise God that you are a part of a very large picture that includes my directed plan.’ Friends, God don’t need our help in saying exactly what He wanted Jeremiah to know! However, let us all be reminded that our God will not stand for a defiant people who insist on doing their own thing, in their own time, in ways that seem right to them. If you know God, then trust in Him and be ready to obey His commands, whether they make sense to us or not. He is eternal, so His works are divine, holy and right. As His kids, we want to be aligned with His will, even if it takes us in a different direction to what we had planned. It’s God that deserves the praise. We are just servants who do as we are told. He knows what He’s doing, where we need to go, and how we will get there. Unless we follow His will and His commands, we will run astray in trying to reach our ultimate destination. Just do what He says, won’t you?

PRAYER: Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on and let me stand. For I want to do Your will and follow Your perfect commands, so that You might be lifted up in all that is accomplished from my time here on earth. Like Jeremiah, I may be willing to obey – reluctantly, but Lord I want to trust You in every aspect of my life, so that others may witness Jesus at work in my life. My readers and I are weaklings who need a Savior to help us through life, and especially to help guide us to ultimate obedience to the one true God and His precious Word. Help us to be Your hands, feet and mouthpiece here on earth, without questioning the path that You will send us down. Please reach out and touch those that we touch each day in some fashion. May they find Christ before it is too late. 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 encourage you to visit my home church, 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 Is Your God?

When deciding who to vote for, it always helps to know something about the person and their accomplishments. When trying to convince others about the power or love of your God, try telling them about His attributes and the accomplishments you know of first hand. They’re more apt to pay attention when they know that you have experienced Him personally.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-08-27
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Jeremiah 31:35-36
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 35 It is the Lord who provides the sun to light the day and the moon and stars to light the night, and who stirs the sea into roaring waves. His name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and this is what he says: 36 “I am as likely to reject my people Israel as I am to abolish the laws of nature!”

OBSERVATION: When deciding who to vote for, it always helps to know something about the person and their accomplishments. When trying to convince others about the power or love of your God, try telling them about His attributes and the accomplishments you know of first hand. They’re more apt to pay attention when they know that you have experienced Him personally.

APPLICATION: Try convincing a stranger to believe in your dad, and only share his name with them. Do you suppose that you will get their attention? However, try sharing some first hand accomplishments of your dad with them, and suddenly you will see the lights turn on in their eyes, because they will begin to understand why you feel so strongly about his unselfish abilities. So why don’t we do that when we try to assure friends that God will be their powerful defender and/or healer in their earthly struggle? Way too often we quickly respond to Christians or unbelievers in much the same way: ‘may God be your comfort during this time’, or ‘I will pray for your Mom’. Now I want you to imagine what the unbeliever might be thinking at the time of hearing your well wishes. Can’t you see that if you gave them a personal experience about this awesome God that you are referencing, it would help convince them that since you are speaking from a current, personal experience, they too might expect to believe that this same God could also help them in their time of need? Notice what Jeremiah did in our Scripture today: he spoke of the power of God in causing the sun to shine by day and the moon by night; He causes the oceans to tumble and roar; and He is the Lord of Heaven’s armies! Friends, with that type of reference, would you believe that He could keep your country safe, like He did for the Israelites? I believe so! But let me suggest that you not use this as a reference point when trying to assure your family or friends today. Yes, this could possibly help, but what will help more is a personal, current experience. When they know that the God you are referring to was just actively involved in your life last week, then obviously He is still available to help them today. I believe it is also important that you share your relationship with this miraculous God also. You see, while it is urgently important for them to depend on God for a matter that is at hand, you want them to know that they can place their full faith and trust in God for today, tomorrow and through all eternity. Often God will allow these friends to call on you, so that you could help them see that a personal relationship with Him is vitally important. Don’t disappoint them, nor God who sent them to you. So how do you describe God? I pray that it will be in a very intimate and relational way. He sacrificed a lot for you, so don’t be timid about sharing His worth to anyone where the opportunity presents itself.

PRAYER: A song comes to mind as I meditate in this today: ’I don’t know about tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand’. (The words are underlined allowing you to click and listen to this old hymn.) Lord, I truly believe that our friends will need that kind of assurance when we try to convince them of Your power and Your love for them. Praise You God for speaking through Your servant Jeremiah to assure the Israelites. More than ever, we need You to kindly do the same for Your servants today. We will be eternally thankful! 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 encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

So That….

Things often happen in life so that…. As we meditate on this Scripture today and really become reacquainted with the conversion of the greatest of sinners, the apostle Paul, I believe this will cause you to reflect on scenarios in your own life where strange things happened for unknown reasons. Perhaps you might be enlightened to the reasons God really had in mind at the time that major change came your way!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-08-26
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Timothy 1:15-16
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.

OBSERVATION: Things often happen in life so that…. As we meditate on this Scripture today and really become reacquainted with the conversion of the greatest of sinners, the apostle Paul, I believe this will cause you to reflect on scenarios in your own life where strange things happened for unknown reasons. Perhaps you might be enlightened to the reasons God really had in mind at the time that major change came your way!

APPLICATION: People often question ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’, while others may question ‘How Could something so wonderful happen to such an evil person’. These are questions you may often ponder as you look around you each day, but the story of Paul is a very interesting turn of events that we learn from the Bible. For Paul was known as the chiefest of sinners in his day. His mission was to destroy the Christians and stop the work of the Lord in his region. Wait a minute, you might say, isn’t this the same Paul that wrote most of the New Testament? And the answer to that question is a resounding ‘Yes’. Can’t you see that we are reminded once again why there is a God, rather than us doing the judging and sentencing, based on our personal opinion? I’m sure that Paul wouldn’t have stood a chance with us, but God – so rich in mercy, and full of grace, He saw great purpose in saving Paul and using Him in the very ministry that he was determined to destroy. But notice Paul’s take on this in our Scripture today. God didn’t save him so that he could increase his bank account, nor to save him from harm throughout the communities where he would continue to work, nor to keep him safe from the authorities, but in Paul’s words, Jesus saved even him, even in his sinful state – a persecutor of God’s children, so that others might see this and know that if God did such for Paul, there was still a chance that they too might be forgiven and accepted by the Master. In applying this Scripture, I want to share a story about a cousin who fell to his death from an electric pole, and he died. I’m not sure of his age, but I would guess that he was in his early 30’s. A definite tragedy for the whole family. However, the day following this tragedy, my dad went to his farm, as usual, but on that day God met him in a very real and personal way. Upon returning to our hometown, my dad didn’t stop by our home, but went straight to the church and met with a lay leader, who shared Christ with Dad, and he walked out of that church that day as a born again Christian. Some 50 years later and I still remember the family meeting that dad called that night, as he wanted to share his story with all of us. Dad was a Christian leader in his home, and a leader in his church. Most of his children accepted the Lord, and one has been heavily involved in leadership in his church. Only God can say if He took my cousin’s life so that my dad could accept Jesus as Lord, but praise God that through that tragedy my dad’s life was saved, and consequently most of his children. So should we question God when bad things happen to ‘good’ people? I’m sure that God will understand our sorrow, disappointment and our distraught, but we must always look for the good that will come from circumstances in our lives. We must not dare question the God of this universe, for what He does is well done. We will probably never praise Him for our loss, but hopefully we could praise Him day and night for touching the lives of our loved ones, through our loss. It is also imperative that we recognize that the miraculous transformation in Paul’s life, showed many others that it was not too late for them. They too could seek the Master and ask for His forgiveness of their sin. Our unsaved loved ones may have heard about Jesus, but often it is not until they see Jesus in action, that they are convinced that He could just as easily save them as He did for Paul and other family members. So please don’t keep your salvation buried inside. Let the whole world know, as you ask God to work on the unsaved who are looking for proof.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for looking down in total grace and saving our Brother Paul. We could see clearly that his salvation experience helped to save many others who felt hopeless from the sin that held them back. Praise God, You also saved many of us as well, and people all around us still need the Lord. Oh that they may see proof that Jesus exists, because they see ongoing evidence in our lives. Please strengthen the witness of my readers and I as we seek to represent You well, and share Your love for us with all those that we come into contact with – until the whole world knows! 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 encourage you to visit my home church, 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 Plans I Have For You

Included in our verses today are some phrases that are quoted often in the Christian arena, but I believe it would be enlightening to read these words in their context and really understand how special this must have been to the Israelites. I have no doubt that God wants us to gather some real truth from His words to the Israelites, and He wants us to be encouraged by what He assured the Israelites with, as we could just as easily be imprisoned in our spiritual battles today, and desperately in need of our awesome God.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-08-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Jeremiah 29:10-14
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 10 This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

OBSERVATION: Included in our verses today are some phrases that are quoted often in the Christian arena, but I believe it would be enlightening to read these words in their context and really understand how special this must have been to the Israelites. I have no doubt that God wants us to gather some real truth from His words to the Israelites, and He wants us to be encouraged by what He assured the Israelites with, as we could just as easily be imprisoned in our spiritual battles today, and desperately in need of our awesome God.

APPLICATION: In our former years, when parents obeyed the laws of God without fear of earthly arrest by the authorities, we might remember being spanked and at the same time being assured by our parent that it was for our own good, and because they loved us so much! Somehow those two things never seemed like they should have occurred at the same time!! But, with the help of the Holy Spirit, take a close look at what happened to the Israelites. They were given over to the Babylonians almost as a punishment for the evil they had done. God shows up, and I’m sure this brought great hope to the Israelites as they were so sure that He had come to their rescue. But in verse 10 above, we see where God told them that they had 70 years left of their sentence under the Babylonians. I realize that people lived much longer than us in those days, but 70 years is a long time by any time clock! However, God went on to assure them that He would be back around to get them at that point, because He had some awesome things in store for them upon their release. As I already said, 70 years is an eternity when you are stuck under the arrest of wicked leaders, but don’t you think that given these promises by God, perhaps they felt awesome in knowing that God still loved them, and therefore a great hope in knowing that there was light at the end of their long, dark tunnel? I have a good friend who went to prison for 20+ years. Without the hope of his family and in knowing that God was by his side whether in prison or out, don’t you see how hopeless he would have felt as he entered the doors of that prison? Perhaps you have recently lost a loved one, or you have a loved one in hospital with this dreaded COVID 19, or perhaps your son or daughter has been caught up in riots and/or civil unrest, and you just don’t know how you will make it through life Without your loved ones. Can’t you imagine God whispering to you like He did to the Israelites – that He has plans for you, and it’s not plans for disaster, but to give you a future filled with great hope? My friends, we serve this same God who made these words known to us through the Scriptures. He was there for the Israelites, and He has promised that He will be there for us also. Others won’t understand how you’re able to keep your chin up, but deep inside you’re in love with the One whose hand is extended to you telling you to come unto Him all that are weary and heavy burdened. You are looking forward to the plans He has for you, and the assurance that you will be able to call on Him and He will answer. That’s our awesome God folks! Do you know Him? Please take time to read carefully through my Footnote, and especially through the Scriptures noted in the link ‘To Know Jesus’. I believe that He is anxious to have you surrender your life to Him, so please don’t delay that decision.

PRAYER: Thank You for the assurances given in Your Word today Lord! There’s so much going on that we have absolutely no experience in. There are hurts that loved ones never thought possible. Yet today, You have given us assurance that although our time of trouble may not be over yet, joy comes in the morning. Father, You are waiting on the other side, and I believe You just want to bless us beyond anything we could imagine. So Lord, please take us as we are, and shower Your blessings on us at just the right moment. Please hold our hand and help us through to the Promised Land, for we want to see You and we want to worship You around the throne for all eternity. Bless us Lord, so that we could bless others, all for Your praise and glory. 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 encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Tips To Help You Avoid Trouble in Your Lives

It is often said that when we find instructions repeated in the Bible, that we should pay close attention to the instructions. In Galatians 6:9 Paul warned that fellow Christians should not tire of doing good. As you can see in verse 13 above, he repeated these instructions for the Thessalonian church. Let’s carefully examine what prompted Paul to give the above instructions, and try to understand why God would have us apply these instructions today.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-08-24
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Thessalonians 3:11-13
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. 12 We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. 13 As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.

OBSERVATION: It is often said that when we find instructions repeated in the Bible, that we should pay close attention to the instructions. In Galatians 6:9 Paul warned that fellow Christians should not tire of doing good. As you can see in verse 13 above, he repeated these instructions for the Thessalonian church. Let’s carefully examine what prompted Paul to give the above instructions, and try to understand why God would have us apply these instructions today.

APPLICATION: I’m not sure how many of you walk into your churches and assume that everything is ‘honkey dorey’ (I hope that others use that terminology at times also!!!), meaning that trouble may exist in the church down the road, but you are very sure that everyone adores your pastor and leadership, and they love their brothers and sisters in your church just as if you were already in heaven! Friends, I would encourage you to pray hard that you are correct in your wishful thinking, and I would suggest that you warn your friends to stay away, because you surely don’t want anyone else coming there to disrupt that love and good order! Unfortunately I have seen disharmony in my family at times; among my friends frequently; backbiting against the pastor and also his leadership team; and members walking away from the church because of being hurt by another member. No, I have not looked for such churches, but this occurs in most places where people, like you and I, work, worship, socialize, or just hang out. And this is not new, for these verses we are studying is just a clip of the letter Paul wrote to his membership who were dealing with trouble in their midst. It is very unfortunate that after all these years we have still not learned from these things that Paul taught under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for churches are still splitting, arguing over trivial things, and even dying because of internal challenges. Paul and his missionary teams always sought to support themselves financially while working with the churches he helped to start and maintain. So his first piece of advice in these verses is that brothers and sisters should keep themselves busy in supporting themselves, as this will give them a reason to arise each morning and keep their minds busy, instead of finding it their job to meddle in the affairs of others. I believe this also goes a long ways in helping to prevent them from criticizing others for their efforts, as they will see for themselves that they can’t do the same job as well as the incumbent, so there’s no need to criticize them. I’ve heard others say repeatedly ‘I don’t envy that person for the job they are trying to do, because I’ve been there and tried to do it myself’. Furthermore, Jesus Christ demonstrated love for us even while we were unlovable and full of sin, because He was crucified so that we might seek forgiveness of our sin and live eternally in heaven. If Jesus Christ has such love for us, why don’t we, as His representatives here on earth, seek to love others and pray for the job they are trying to do for the Kingdom? I believe they will improve their on-the-job performance knowing that God is pouring out His blessings because of our prayers! But as we look at ‘doing good’ – let us pray for one another; love one another, even if the other person is unlovable; lift up one another; volunteer to help each other, for that shows your love in tangible ways. As Paul said ‘NEVER TIRE OF DOING GOOD’ my Brother and Sister in the Lord, for this will help eliminate a ton of trouble in your lives, and help you demonstrate what it is like to be a child of the King!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for ‘setting the bar’ in doing good for each of your children here on earth, in spite of whether we deserved it or not. Our aim while here is to be more like You, and to represent You well among fellow Christians, and especially when trying to show unbelievers that we care, and love them. May we always be busy about Your work, and may our lives be influenced in every way by all that You taught us personally, and through your servant, Paul. May we allow You to help us build the mindset of helping and loving others, and never tire of doing good, so that You may be glorified through Your precious children! 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 encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Enjoying Evil vs Believing Truth?

Tell me who would say no to a good party? Is that not a common theme when one is planning a party? Of course it is, because we all love to have fun – both Christians and non-Christians. So we must be careful how we interpret what Paul is telling the Thessalonian church today through our above Scripture. Please examine Paul’s words closely, because we can’t afford to miss the point. I believe that today we must have more ‘evil’ going on than anytime in past history. Stick with me as we consider God’s Word for the hour!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-08-22
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10 He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. 11 So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. 12 Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.

OBSERVATION: Tell me who would say no to a good party? Is that not a common theme when one is planning a party? Of course it is, because we all love to have fun – both Christians and non-Christians. So we must be careful how we interpret what Paul is telling the Thessalonian church today through our above Scripture. Please examine Paul’s words closely, because we can’t afford to miss the point. I believe that today we must have more ‘evil’ going on than anytime in past history. Stick with me as we consider God’s Word for the hour!

APPLICATION: I could bore you with examples of what I consider ‘evil’, but I believe the best place for you to see first hand what Paul might be referencing, is to Sit and listen to the evening news. Like me, I’m sure that you will stop and wonder ‘what could possibly be next’, for it is sad to hear of the evil occurring in each reader’s country that you would never have thought possible. Now, let’s hone in closer to what Paul was dealing with, for your see, he wrote this letter to the church. Yes, God’s people – those who are called by His name. I am convinced that God wanted this included in His Word for the church of today, because He was sure that this same type of behavior would still be prevalent in your church and mine. I know you might be shocked, but please recognize that everyone that walks through our church doors are not Truth followers. Therefore, their minds are not fixed on Jesus and their hearts are not filled with the Word of God. However, I believe that instead of pointing fingers, it would be best that we devote our time to recognizing our own strengths and weaknesses, and to acknowledge if we might be considered by God as loving His Word, accepting His Word, and obedient to His Word. If we are unable to affirm a definite ‘yes’ to each of these things, then I would dare say that we are probably easily swayed by the things of this world, and therefore respond to challenges based on what we have learned from the world. Paul referred to these folk as: being fooled into the way of destruction (the way of Hell); easily deceived; believe lies and will be condemned, because they are ignoring the Truth/the Word/the Bible. It is easy to see dear friends, that God gave us His Book of Instruction to be our guide through life. It teaches us the wonderful laws of life that He has set out just for us, so that we might be like Him and show Him off to a lost world. If we ignore that Book, then we are saying ‘yes’ to Satan and following his evil practices. Also, without the Truth embedded deep into our souls, we will listen to, and be swayed by, any false teachers that find their way into our churches. And friends, this is where church struggles really take root. Let’s do our part child of God! If you know Jesus Christ as Lord, then follow Him, obey His Word, and practice the Truth, as taught to us through the Scriptures. This will allow Jesus to shine through us, and keep evil practices out.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we could find lots of excuses why we sin, why we are disobedient, why we don’t prioritize Your Word in our lives, and why we do like everyone else around us in following the evil one. But You know us better than we know ourselves. You gave us the same number of hours as everyone else, so we allocate those hours for the desires of our heart. Dear Lord, please teach us, Your children who are called by Your name, to prioritize our time with You, so that our hearts might become like Your heart, so that our lives might look more like Your life demonstrated in so many ways while here on earth. Please draw us close to You, Lord. We want to see You, and we want our lives to be so filled with You that we will immediately identify false teachers, and those who try to win us over to the world. May we live to be more like You in every aspect of our lives, and may there be no other priority like the one we establish, with Your help, to live holy and righteous lives that look just like You, and that prepares us to fight off the evil one when he comes knocking. People need You, Lord, so may they not be distracted by anything in our lives that may create doubt, fear or unbelief in their minds. Oh that Your power, Your love and Your peace be at work in our hearts and in our minds every minute of every day! AMEN!

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

Be Thankful

It seems unfortunate that we tend to bash someone and find fault with everything they do, rather than concentrating on their good points and positive results. I like the way that Paul shares in these verses that it is our ‘duty’ to God. As we meditate today, let us examine where Paul may have been coming from in this statement of thanksgiving.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-08-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: Dear brothers, giving thanks to God for you is not only the right thing to do, but it is our duty to God because of the really wonderful way your faith has grown and because of your growing love for each other. We are happy to tell other churches about your patience and complete faith in God, in spite of all the crushing troubles and hardships you are going through.

OBSERVATION: It seems unfortunate that we tend to bash someone and find fault with everything they do, rather than concentrating on their good points and positive results. I like the way that Paul shares in these verses that it is our ‘duty’ to God. As we meditate today, let us examine where Paul may have been coming from in this statement of thanksgiving.

APPLICATION: Ever heard someone say that they may as well do a certain evil, because that’s all that friends ever notice anyway? That’s a sad statement, because it paints a picture of who we truly have become. But why exactly did Paul see such importance in this point of thanksgiving? First of all, if Paul and his co-laborers were praying for God to move in the lives of the church, and cause them to have more faith in Him, so that they may show more love towards one another, don’t you suppose that they would be overjoyed to see the results of their prayers? I believe their hearts would be overjoyed and therefore very thankful. So this makes me question whether we take time to pray for those fellow Christians who always seem to lead the pack in causing trouble in the church. Are they such trouble makers that we tend to think they are beyond God’s help? Or is it that we find a certain amount of joy in putting others down? I trust that it is not the latter. Secondly, wouldn’t it be good practice to always give thanks when we see God at work in our midst? Whether He answers our prayer and convicts the sinner, or simply reenergize the hope that lies inside of the Christian, it is always a joy to see our God at work in our midst! Thirdly, when we know that a people is down and out, burdened by something that has happened to them, we tend to know what to expect – crying; discouragement; bitterness; hopelessness; etc. However, when we recognize just the opposite in attitudes and reactions to life, we should be energized to give thanks for what must be the miracle working God at work in their midst. You see, it is very easy for us to celebrate God when everything is going better than we deserve, but it’s an even greater joy to give thanks when we see Christians celebrating in the midst of their storm, for they are proving to us the One in whom they have placed their faith, their strength and their hope, is far greater than he that is in the world. So friends, please help me as we all try to do like Paul, in giving thanks for our respective churches, no matter what they are struggling with at this time. Let’s be willing to see the hand of God at work, even if it is in unexpected ways and quite different to anything we would ever do. Praise God, He knows our heart and He blesses and provides a way for those who truly love and obey Him, regardless of what we might see wrong with the picture.

PRAYER: You saw enough good in us that You sacrificed Your one and only Son on the cross at Calvary, dear Lord, so that we might have a chance at eternal life with You in Glory. It wasn’t something we deserved, or something we achieved in order to be forgiven, but solely because of Your love for us. Thank You, thank You, thank You dear Lord for looking down on us in mercy and through Your grace. Seeing that our desire is to be just like You, I pray that You will help us to evaluate and correct our ways, especially when it comes to relationships with others. Please help us to put aside our critical spirit, and instead look at others in love. Help us to automatically love others, just like You first loved us. Oh that we may share our hearts with them in love, so that You may be glorified. 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 encourage you to visit my home church, 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 Importance of Exercise

I find it amazing how Paul found ways to explain his points, and how they fit so good with what is going on around us – even today! Staying fit – most people will tell you that they are going to the gym, or they have an exercise regiment, or they are on some sort of diet, so that they could try and stay physically fit. With that in mind, wouldn’t it also make sense for us to seek ways to stay spiritually fit? Let’s study this some more as we look into this Scripture today……

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-08-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 1 Timothy 4:7-8
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: Don’t waste time arguing over foolish ideas and silly myths and legends. Spend your time and energy in the exercise of keeping spiritually fit. Bodily exercise is all right, but spiritual exercise is much more important and is a tonic for all you do. So exercise yourself spiritually, and practice being a better Christian because that will help you not only now in this life, but in the next life too.

OBSERVATION: I find it amazing how Paul found ways to explain his points, and how they fit so good with what is going on around us – even today! Staying fit – most people will tell you that they are going to the gym, or they have an exercise regiment, or they are on some sort of diet, so that they could try and stay physically fit. With that in mind, wouldn’t it also make sense for us to exercise ways to stay spiritually fit? Let’s study this some more as we look into this Scripture today……

APPLICATION: I believe we all may have given some thought as to why we want to stay physically fit. For some, it may ease certain aches and pains; For some it may help their breathing; For some it may help avoid certain medications by keeping the heart healthy; For some, it prepares them for a huge competition that’s coming up; and a plethora of other reasons, I’m sure. So then, why do you suppose that God, through His servant Paul, found it necessary to Gain our attention about staying spiritually fit? Let’s first look at the pitfalls when we are not spiritually fit. I believe that this is where we are easily provoked into sin, for we have no real, current, depth and/or communication with the Master. There are really two parts to this, first of all we must know what to do and what’s expected of us. This means that we have to learn what’s expected of us by our Lord. As in the business world, this means that we not only learn the Word, but we also keep on learning and refreshing our knowledge of the Word. Secondly, we must put into action all that we learn. Imagine in the business world where you might tell an auditor that your books, practices and overall processes are in order because you read about what’s required? That will absolutely not protect you against exceptions, since your auditor will compare what you are actually doing, against what your written regulations say that you must be doing. Our Christianity is much the same. God has set forth a wonderful book that details His commands, and it shows us how our Savior lived while here on earth perfectly following the commands of His Father. For us to know those commands, we must be in the Bible daily, so that our minds might be spiritually fit for battle against the Evil One at every opportunity that he aims to challenge us. Yes, I know that some are fast studies and therefore only need to read through the Bible once, but let me assure you that the Word of God is very real and it is pointed to help us each and every day, no matter what we are facing today for the very first time in history. To practice what we learn, we must be diligent to apply God’s rules and commands in every aspect of our lives, with the Master’s help. In fact, if we aim at perfection in all our ways, then we might be mistaken frequently for the One that we are imitating. Has that happened to you recently? Friends, when we are hit with a hammer, the immediate response will often result from whatever is inside of us. Likewise, when we are hit with life’s challenges and the temptations of Satan, our immediate response will dictate how close we are to the Savior, and how fit we are spiritually. How are you doing friend? Seek the Lord while He may be found, and allow Him to guide your steps, your actions and your speech. May others see Jesus in you!

PRAYER: This is a very challenging passage of Scripture Lord Jesus. One in which we are reminded that we don’t have all the answers, and we desperately need You in every aspect of our lives. We are reminded that without You we can truly do nothing of value for the Kingdom. Please open our hearts and draw us to a closer walk with You and a life truly dependent on the power of Your sweet Holy Spirit. Lord, You know all too well how weak we are, but thank God You also know that You created us to be like You. So Lord, again today we beg with You to forgive us for those things that we do and the awkward things that we say – our spiritual weaknesses. Please draw us close to You and melt our hearts to closely depend on You in all walks of life, so that You may be glorified in every aspect of our lives. 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 encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

God’s Perfect Plan for You

In marriage, or really in any close relationship, it is always best to find out what the other person likes, and then do your very best to do those things to please them and enrich your relationship. That’s very much like being a child of God. We should be constantly searching for His will and for those things that ultimately please Him. We have three short verses to meditate on today that are packed with tips for us to know and follows God’s perfect plan for our lives!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-08-19
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 16 Let joy be your continual feast.[j] 17 Make your life a prayer. 18 And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.[k]

OBSERVATION: In marriage, or really in any close relationship, it is always best to find out what the other person likes, and then do your very best to do those things to please them and enrich your relationship. That’s very much like being a child of God. We should be constantly searching for His will and for those things that ultimately please Him. We have three short verses to meditate on today that are packed with tips for us to know and follows God’s perfect plan for our lives!

APPLICATION: In almost any relationship, I’m sure there are ‘Ooops’ as we readjust our speech or our actions in order to please the other person. Marriage is always a great example of this, for you see where two people of the opposite sex are coming together, often from different cultures, sometimes from different faiths, and almost always from a different family upbringing. It’s always a challenge when one states that a certain issue was not resolved that way in their home! However, we soon learn that the things I learned, plus the things my wife learned in her upbringing, now constitutes the basis for us to decide which way we will handle things in our new life together. As Christians, we will also bring into the equation, what God’s Word says about the situation under discussion. However, God gave Paul these words to share with the church at Thessalonica, and to be of value to the church at large, until Jesus returns. So let’s pay close attention to what truly pleases God:
~ Joy – As a kid growing up in Sunday School, I learned a song: ‘I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart….’ Do you suppose this meant that I was one who went around giggling all the time after singing that song? Of course not! It meant that the believer in Christ, is filled with everything that make them happy here on earth, and gives them outstanding expectations of what they could expect in heaven. As this translation indicates, let this ‘Joy’ be your continued/ongoing feast, in your life. Let it drive who you are and what drives you through life. Being filled with, and enjoying life to the fullest, knowing whose you are, will make you one happy person whose happiness will overflow onto others every time you come into contact with them!
~ Prayer – Paul taught over and over how important prayer was to him. So from a life impacted by prayer, he is being led to direct us towards this greatest communication tool with the Father. When you’re happy – pray in thanksgiving to the One who fills you with the happiest moments imaginable. When you’re sad – pray to the only One who has all of the answers, and therefore knows why something is occurring that makes you sad. Knowing that God understands why you are uneasy, unhappy, confused, disappointed, sad, etc. means all the world to us, because we know that regardless of what we are feeling, God is in control, and He will help us through to a successful ending – life eternally with He and His Son, Jesus. That long term result helps us put perspective on the temporary things that seem so huge to us now. May we be so constant in prayer that we may be looked on as this translation puts it ‘that our lives will be a prayer’!
~ Give Thanks – Not just at Thanksgiving, and not just when everything is going according to our plan, but let us be a people who will give thanks in ALL things at ALL times. It makes a huge difference when we remind ourselves that ‘God’s got this!’ For then we could relax and give thanks for whatever the outcome might be. If it pleases God, surely it will please us!
Friends, no doubt you will conclude that only children of the most holy God will benefit from the above, through a close relationship with God. That’s true, however, if you have not yet made a decision to follow Christ, there is still time for you to change that. But don’t delay making that decision, as this very moment is the only time promised to you by God. Without Christ, you will not only endure hardships and trials here on earth, but your destiny in Hell will only worsen your thought of eternity. Meet my Jesus today dear friend, and know that peace, joy and happiness that passes all understanding today and forevermore.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, there is nothing I desire more, than to serve You faithfully the rest of my days here on earth, to impact the lives of those who have not accepted You as Lord, and to live eternally in Heaven worshiping You endlessly. Please touch the lives of those who have chosen to ignore You and Your call on their lives. Oh that they may surrender totally to the God of this universe, and the God we will face in eternity. Please touch all who will read this devotional, and may Your Holy Spirit work miraculously, so that they will surrender their all to You even today. May You be glorified in all aspects of this ministry. 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 encourage you to visit my home church, 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!