Our Judge – God – He’s Always Fair

We hate it when someone accuses us when we did something illegal or hateful, but we are really hurt when they accuse us and we are innocent. Jesus faced many accusations, but He simply surrendered the situation to His Father. As His followers, Christians are probably doing the same that Jesus did, correct? Well, let’s look closer at this and see how sincere we are in following the ways of Jesus. We know and honor the same fair Judge as He did, but can we let go and let God?

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-10-31
WRITTEN AT: Vicksburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Peter 2:21-23
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 21 ….. Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in His steps: 22 He never sinned, never told a lie, 23 never answered back when insulted; when He suffered He did not threaten to get even; He left His case in the hands of God who always judges fairly. 

OBSERVATION: We hate it when someone accuses us when we did something illegal or hateful, but we are really hurt when they accuse us and we are innocent. Jesus faced many accusations, but He simply surrendered the situation to His Father. As His followers, Christians are probably doing the same that Jesus did, correct? Well, let’s look closer at this and see how sincere we are in following the ways of Jesus. We know and honor the same fair Judge as He did, but can we let go and let God?

APPLICATION: It happens at home, at work, at church and almost anywhere that we become involved, people falsely accuse us for one reason or the other. What are the causes? Jealousy and envy might be the two major causes, but the excuses are normally: favoritism; kissing up to the boss; given more education opportunities; etc. These all sound so familiar, and often used and misused by those who set out to attack us. Friends, at one time or another in our lifetimes, we could probably have been charged as ’guilty’ for retaliation, due to one or more of the above. Anger results as we rehearse in our minds what the person may have been thinking, planning or about to do. Revenge is something that we start to plan, for we then want the other person to hurt more than we do. But for the child of God, what aught we to do? Just keep everything bottled up inside? I don’t believe that’s what we are being taught in the Scriptures. Notice that we are taught about the character of Jesus, before being told how He handled unfair attacks against Him. So let me suggest that you pinpoint a scenario today where you would normally not handle attacks very good. Perhaps at work; at church; at a social club or even at home. Would the people in those places be able to accuse you of lying; lashing back at them verbally or perhaps threatening to get even with them? If so, do you suppose that they would trust you to judge them fairly and pass an honest verdict on their behavior? Friends, I believe that Peter wanted us to understand that if we truly model the life of Jesus, then we are more apt to follow His practices of leaving any judgment up to God on those that we feel may have persecuted or abused us. I believe that it is extremely challenging for us to rid ourselves of revenge. But what I do know is that there is One who can handle that for us. Oh that we would surrender our will to Jesus each and every day so that more of Him will come forth in our lives, for He judges fairly and He will guide us into His way of righteousness. Perhaps we should practice praying for those who persecute us, instead of fighting back or seeking revenge. The love of God will cause us to seek the very best for our opposers rather than following the world’s practices.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for showing us the way to righteousness. Thank You for showing us the source of power that will help us to live like You exampled before us. It seems so easy for us to draw conclusions about the thoughts and intentions of those that touch our lives. Please humble us to allow Your guidance and Your powerful touch to overcome and avoid evil, and to not be an instigator or agitator that may cause evil. Lord, may Your perfect will be done in and through us today and every day. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Eye Witnesses

If innocent and trying to defend yourself in a traffic case or in any court battle, you will always look for and appreciate good eye witnesses. Conversely, if you are guilty, then you would hope that the defense does not have an eye witness to bring to the courts. God said through Peter that even though neighbors may accuse you, they will have no choice but to give a witness to God for your honorable and trustworthy behavior. Today’s Scripture leads us to recall what might cause us to be worthy of such honor from our neighbors. Stay with me!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-10-30
WRITTEN AT: Vicksburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 PETER 2:11-12
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.[i]

OBSERVATION: If innocent and trying to defend yourself in a traffic case or in any court battle, you will always look for and appreciate good eye witnesses. Conversely, if you are guilty, then you would hope that the defense does not have an eye witness to bring to the courts. God said through Peter that even though neighbors may accuse you, they will have no choice but to give a witness to God for your honorable and trustworthy behavior. Today’s Scripture leads us to recall what might cause us to be worthy of such honor from our neighbors. Stay with me!

APPLICATION: I had someone once use me in an illustration along the lines of today’s subject. They said that we should be of sufficient good character, that if our spouse or best friend was given accusatory information on us, they would, without a full investigation, refute the accusations based on their first-hand knowledge of our character. I wonder how many close friends we might have where we could be that confident about their character? There are several pointers given to us by Peter that we should bear in mind as we ponder what others might see in us:
a). We are temporary residents and foreigners here on earth – Isn’t that an interesting concept, especially considering how determined we are to work ourselves silly to make sure that we are financially fit for retirement? How much is enough? A little bit more is needed, right? Often it is for this reason that we see so many die prematurely, because of the stress placed on themselves. It is also something that leads so many into illegitimate jobs and risks so that they could supercharge their income and expedite their road to retirement. When considering how much is needed to carry you through retirement, how many years do you account for? That’s right, you have no idea. However, Peter warned us to make our short number of years here count for the Master. Don’t waste it following the residents who have no plan at all;
b). Keep away from worldly desires and pressures – for the world will try hard to win you over to their evil desires and way of life. Establish borders for yourself and decide before hand how far you will go in pleasing your fellow man, especially when your actions might encroach on your beliefs about what God expects of you. I was approached late one evening by some young men who wanted to borrow my boat so they could pull off a drug heist. Sure, I could have paid off my boat and probably taken a grand vacation from the few hours that I loaned out my boat, but was it worth more than my commitment to God to stay true to Him? If I gave in once, then my character would have been placed into question and everyone outside of that transaction would have lost faith in what I actually stood for in life. Who or what was guiding my path? God, or just another deal that I might not refuse?
Oh that God would be my everlasting guide, protection and deliver, so that He would always know in whom I believe. May others see Jesus whenever they look into my character and my life, and may they stand firm as eye witnesses for me and the man of God that I strive to be, with God’s help. May this prick the hearts of those who have not fully surrendered their lives to Jesus, and may your hearts be softened as you meditate on this devotional, so that you might also stand firm in your faith, and your stand for the Master. Others have an opinion of you. May they be an eye witness of your good works and your godly influence on them.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for loving us and thinking so much of Your creation that You sent Your Son Jesus to provide the means for our salvation. We are made new in Jesus, and we are cleansed of all the dirt that this world has stained us with. We know that You are fully aware of our spiritual condition, but we ask that You continue to work miraculously in us so that the world might also know in whom we believe. May they be drawn to You through their dealings with us, and may their surrender to the God that we serve and long to be with. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

How To Recognize A Christian

In spite of carrying the title of Governor of his state, if you were to meet a man for the first time, and he was on his farm tilling the ground and spreading cow manure (fertilizer), I believe that you would be convinced that he was a farmer, and never imagine him to be a state governor. Likewise, if you saw a man coming from a nightclub and he could barely walk without help, plus he had a strange lady all over him, you would probably never guess that he was a Christian. Why not? Let’s study the Word of God together to see what God shared through Peter about how we should live.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-10-29
WRITTEN AT: Vicksburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Peter 1:14-16
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 14 As God’s obedient children, never again shape your lives by the desires that you followed when you didn’t know better. 15 Instead, shape your lives to become like the Holy One who called you. 16 For Scripture says: “You are to be holy, because I am holy.”[aa]

OBSERVATION: In spite of carrying the title of Governor of his state, if you were to meet a man for the first time, and he was on his farm tilling the ground and spreading cow manure (fertilizer), I believe that you would be convinced that he was a farmer, and never imagine him to be a state governor. Likewise, if you saw a man coming from a nightclub and he could barely walk without help, plus he had a strange lady all over him, you would probably never guess that he was a Christian. Why not? Let’s study the Word of God together to see what God shared through Peter about how we should live.

APPLICATION: The Word of God is powerful – useful for correction, direction and guidance in everyday life. However, It is obviously black and white, in that It contains what God directed through His chosen authors. At times we will raise our hands in thanksgiving for the joy that it brings to those who are blessed by the God of this universe, but then there are times that we are hit between the eyes with essential truths of what God intended for us to hear. This Scripture today is probably one of the latter, because although we often rejoice in the freedom afforded to us by our loving Lord, this Scripture reminds us that there we are not to be double minded, fork-tongued, or hypocritical, because we serve a God who didn’t just punch our ticket for heaven, but He gave us a Book of Instructions that not only assures us of God’s love for us, but it is our guidebook to life. It is filled with the commands of God; examples of Jesus while here on earth; a large number of promises; an account of miracle after miracle performed, and that teaches us a lesson, along with God’s miraculous touch. Many have surrendered their lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ because of a call on their life by the Holy Spirit. Although misguided by man’s talk and/or expectations, some have supposedly surrendered themselves to Jesus also. So although it is easy to tell from the way of life shown by the non-Christian, it is often challenging to tell in the lives of those who claim Christianity. Jesus taught us in this Scripture today that it could be easy for us to discern who is holy, and who is not. Are they living a life of holiness. To be holy, is to live a life set apart from the world, and imitating the life of Jesus as foretold in the Bible. Set apart, or holy, means that you have separated yourself from your old ways – the ways of the world, and with God’s help, you have set out for a new path – a holy path, or the ways demonstrated by your new-found Savior and Lord. When you find yourself continually going back, then perhaps you should revisit the moment of your conversion and discern if you truly did business with God that day, or whether you simply pleased someone who pressured you into a decision. Friends, Jesus was so serious about saving us that He hung on a cross with full access to all the power necessary to win the battle over evil, yet He chose to complete the Father’s will for the remission of sin. Please consider how serious you are about living a holy life like that of your Savior. Others who need a Savior are watching you to see if He made a difference in your life. Will they find sufficient evidence in you, to help them make this important decision? Be ye holy, even as I am holy. (Vs 16).

PRAYER: Lord, may others see enough difference in my character and my life that might convince them of my Savior. As others read this devotional today, I pray that You will also give them the same challenge that I faced as I read this Scripture today. People we know, need the Lord. Oh that they will see You in every aspect of our life today, so that they, in turn, may seek Your face and invite You into their heart. May we act like children of the King, and not like we used to live. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Answers for Your Ailments

I believe that a great number of people might admit to their physical and/or mental ailments at this particular time. As we continue to face challenges with COVID, and as division among church members and churches continue, we may even admit that we need Jesus now, more than any other time in our lives. Fortunately the answer to all of life’s dilemmas is clear in the Word of God. Meditate with me as we examine this important Scripture today.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-10-27
WRITTEN AT: Lillian, AL

BIBLE REFERENCE: James 5:13-16
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 13 Are there any believers in your fellowship suffering great hardship and distress? Encourage them to pray![q]Are there happy, cheerful ones among you? Encourage them to sing out their praises![r] 14 Are there any sick among you? Then ask the elders of the church to come and pray over the sick and anoint them with oil in the name of our Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith[s] will heal the sick[t] and the Lord will raise them up,[u] and if they have committed sins[v] they will be forgiven.[w]
16 Confess and acknowledge how you have offended one another[x] and then pray for one another to be instantly healed,[y] for tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer[z] of a godly believer!

OBSERVATION: I believe that a great number of people might admit to their physical and/or mental ailments at this particular time. As we continue to face challenges with COVID, and as division among church members and churches continue, we may even admit that we need Jesus now, more than any other time in our lives. Fortunately the answer to all of life’s dilemmas is clear in the Word of God. Meditate with me as we examine this important Scripture today.

APPLICATION: Many will pay handsomely for counselors to give them answers to life’s dilemmas, but I am fascinated that so many of those answers are already provided in God’s Word. This is yet another plug for getting into the Book each and every day. Imagine for a moment how much sense it really makes to take your car into the dealer, or if near enough to the manufacturer, take it straight to the source that made it. So how is that any different to life itself? God created us; He longs for daily communion with us; He provided a Book (manual of sorts) for us to refer to, whenever we feel like something is not going just right – so it only makes sense that we stay close to our Maker and learn as much from His Book of Instruction as we possibly could! In our verses today we are given guidance on several matters:
a). If we are suffering great hardships and distress – then we are to pray. Sounds too simple, right? Yes, I know that many of us tend to pray. But how often do we get down to brass tacks and truly place our specific burdens before the Lord? God already knows that many are suffering hardships and distress, but what is your specific challenge? It’s ok, in fact desirable, to be very specific when you speak with God. It’s ok to tell Him every little sin or dirty detail that you feel may have caused your challenge. When He told us to pray, that means that He wants us to share our heart with Him and ask for specific help. Try this my friend. Often it will help you to talk about the problem anyway, and who could better keep your secrets than the One who already knows all things?
b). If we are happy – then give God the praise and sing your praises to Him. Can you imagine the Sunday morning worship service if we all bottled up our praises and released them together in that service? I long for that type of service!
c). If we are sick – call on the elders of your church to anoint you with oil and pray over you. Many will quickly respond that men have no extra power that could help with healing, and you will be 100% correct. However, when God tells us that He will release His power to heal when we follow His commands, then I believe you could quickly agree with me that we should call on our Elders when we need healing. Just do what our Almighty God tells you to do!
d). If we feel sick emotionally – look for one you may have offended and pray over them, for the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a righteous person will heal our heartaches and broken relationships.
Read the Book my friends, there’s no telling what other advice might be revealed to you each day! What a reminder for believers, and unbelievers alike, to know that our Creator thought so much of all that He created, that He gave us a Book of Instruction (the Bible) to help us through the ups and downs of life. Knowing Him personally makes all the difference in the world!

PRAYER: My Jesus I love thee, I know thou art mine! For all the times that I worry about not having all the answers to life’s challenges, please forgive me. You have reminded me again today that I am a child of the King, well thought out in creation, and well cared for each and every day by a God who cares for me and loves me more than I could ever imagine. Thank You for Your Word, and thank You for the confidence placed in me that You can do all things, if I place my faith and trust in You. Please minister to my readers today and give them the same assurance. For the one who will read this without knowing You personally, I pray that their eyes may be opened and their hearts drawn to You as their only hope in this life. Oh that You may be glorified today because of Your power and Your love for all mankind. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Commit to Peace and Unity!

Paul, who went through a miraculous conversion into Christendom, had spent quality time with his friends at Corinth. He had also written several letters to them in between trips, just to encourage the new converts and help them stay strong in their faith, with their new-found Savior. At the conclusion of his letter, Paul gave some excellent advice, that I believe not only helped those believers in Corinth, but because churches today are still facing very similar challenges, I believe that this advice is still very applicable to us today.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-10-26
WRITTEN AT: Lillian, AL

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Corinthians 13:11-12 (TPT)

TEXT:  11 ….. beloved friends, be cheerful! Repair whatever is broken among you, as your hearts are being knit together in perfect unity. Live continually in peace, and God, the source of love and peace, will mingle with you. 12 Greet and embrace one another with the sacred kiss.

OBSERVATION:   Paul, who went through a miraculous conversion into Christendom, had spent quality time with his friends at Corinth. He had also written several letters to them in between trips, just to encourage the new converts and help them stay strong in their faith, with their new-found Savior. At the conclusion of his letter, Paul gave some excellent advice, that I believe not only helped those believers in Corinth, but because churches today are still facing very similar challenges, I believe that this advice is still very applicable to us today.  

APPLICATION:   So often we look for Christian advice in the Bible, but then question every other resource for ways to do better in our family, friends and work life. I believe that you will find this Scripture helpful to you in general, so listen closely to the word of God. In earlier days of the church, some Might recall days, and sometimes weeks of revival services and/or evangelistic services, where there was a strong emphasis on reviving the saints and evangelizing the lost of the community. Because of the strong emphasis on prayer leading up to and during the times of these special services, there was usually a very strong presence of the Holy Spirit and many lives were impacted. Often at the end of the services, there was a sense of sadness to see the services end, so at the parting service there would be very similar sentiments, and challenges offered like these that Paul shared with his followers. Why was revival services needed? I believe that the answer is summed up in a phrase that I heard an old pastor say: “because, as Christians, we tend to leak!” Friends, it is very challenging to keep a good healthy church surviving as such, for there are many personalities working together – or at times against one another. There are so many who feel like they have all the right answers and therefore they should be the boss in most areas of the church. There are so many with chips on their shoulder, and if you only look at them seriously they may become very upset and threaten to leave the church, because they figured out exactly what that look meant! Aren’t most of these things very, very silly? Think about the one true God, whose Son we endeavor to exemplify. Jesus came into an imperfect world, as the perfect Son of God, filled with godly wisdom, and with love for everyone, as only God Himself could do. And this perfect Savior, He taught among the elite of society, as well as carefully and lovingly attending to those in need along the street and in the crowds that followed Him. He healed those that we may have considered ‘worthy’ and some who we tend to disassociate with, because they may not be ‘just like us’. He ate with sinners, and He chose some to follow Him that many would have turned up their noses at. However, for those of us that have accepted Jesus as Lord, and are committed to His teachings and commands, we strive to be just like Him. Why then do we tend to be so much unlike Him in so many ways? Are we still that needy, or is it that we have not totally turned away from our earthly master yet? In verse 11 of today’s Scripture, Paul warns us that we should repair whatever is broken among us. I believe this starts with our relationship with our Lord, for if we have a healthy relationship with Him, He will direct our paths, if we let Him, and that includes relationships with one another. Friends, here’s how important I believe this is: If we expect to be instrumental in our family and friends’ lives, to encourage them into a relationship with our Lord, then we must be living like Jesus. We could ‘tell’ them all we want, but unless they see it evident in our lives, they won’t listen to, or follow us. How much is a soul worth to you? There is absolutely nothing more important to me than to see my family and friends make a decision to follow Christ. When they, and me, leave this world, I want us all to be ready to meet Jesus in the air! I hope that you feel the same way!

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, we need You more today than ever before. I believe that Paul realized how much impact Satan was having on Your children in his day, and I’m sure Satan is still impacting the lives of our people today. Lord, I know that You are such a strong and awesome God and that there is nothing that You can’t handle, so I beg You to work miracles in the lives of Your children – embolden us to be more like you in our character, our words and our actions. Humble the hearts of the proud into total surrender to You. I know that we don’t have a perfect world, but I am convinced that we have a perfect God, so I beg with You to work on us imperfect beings, all for benefit of Your kingdom, 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 could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Who’s The Judge Around Here?

Fortunately there are some God has given delegated authority and responsibility for judging: Certain civil acts to human governments; Certain church conduct to elders, and the behavior of children to their parents. But way too often we tend to assume the responsibility of Judge when we look down our noses at others. James has a grave caution for us today, stand by as we look into what God had intended for us in this arena.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-10-25
WRITTEN AT: Lillian, AL

BIBLE REFERENCE: James 4:11-12
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters.[d] If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. 12 God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?

OBSERVATION: Fortunately there are some God has given delegated authority and responsibility for judging: Certain civil acts to human governments; Certain church conduct to elders, and the behavior of children to their parents. But way too often we tend to assume the responsibility of Judge when we look down our noses at others. James has a grave caution for us today, stand by as we look into what God had intended for us in this arena.

APPLICATION: I remember one time in church leadership mentioning that a brother was not active in the ministry life of the church. I was quickly rebuked by those who saw that brother actively involved behind the scenes almost daily. That was just one example of where God used His servants to help me refocus my attention on how I might do a better job of obeying God’s commands, rather than doing His job in judging others. I believe that after being reminded of the Scriptures today, you also might realize that there were times that you had lost focus of where your attention should be directed, and perhaps you too may have tried to assume God’s responsibility of judging others. Friends, when this happens, we upset the whole order of what God ordained, and we contribute to confusion, hatred, revenge and evil thoughts from a brother or sister who might otherwise be a great influence to us in our Christian walk. I’m sure that you will agree with me that life here on this earth is very challenging, and that we could use all the help we could get from others who walk a similar road as we do. Often when we judge, we are doing so blindly, for we do not have all the facts nor the full story behind someone’s actions. But in this reminder today, I believe we could all agree that we have a full time job trying to do our part in focusing on God’s Word and obeying His commands. Way too often we point one finger at our neighbor while having 4 pointed directly back at ourselves. You see, our sins and misguided thoughts are often enough to have everyone preach back at us for our disobedience to the finer details of God’s Word, so let’s make every effort to use the errors we see in their ways to remind us of how damaging our sinful ways are to others. Seek the Lord dear friends and ask for His guidance to do His perfect will by following His commands. Remember, God designed His commands as a way to help us be more like Him. Our ministry to others will be impacted by what they see in us.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for loving us enough to provide a plethora of commands that would steer us away from wrongdoing and towards holiness. We are in full time need of help and guidance from You to accomplish all that You have commanded, especially in this world where its citizens are striving hard to pull us in the opposite direction. Please help us to stay focused on all You have commanded of us, and allow You to also work in the lives of others who may be like us. We want to be Just like You dear Lord, but we need endless help from You to accomplish that. Please help us to fix our eyes on You, the author and finisher of our faith. Please help my Brothers and Sisters who will meditate on this devotional. May they also be drawn to You and revived in their spirits to live like You commanded. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

True Wisdom

Like me, you may have heard it said multiple times over, in your lifetime, when your parent may have run out of the right words to say, or the correct action to take, and they said something like ‘If I only had the wisdom of Solomon’! But today in our Scripture we can find where God taught us through His servant James what true godly wisdom looks like. This is well worth your time to ponder my friend, as it teaches us how to exemplify Christ in us to a sinful world. Join me as we look deeper and learn about true wisdom.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-10-24
WRITTEN AT: Lillian, AL

BIBLE REFERENCE: James 3:16-18
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 16 Whenever people are jealous or selfish, they cause trouble and do all sorts of cruel things. 17 But the wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere. 18 When peacemakers plant seeds of peace, they will harvest justice.

OBSERVATION: Like me, you may have heard it said multiple times over, in your lifetime, when your parent may have run out of the right words to say, or the correct action to take, and they said something like ‘If I only had the wisdom of Solomon’! But today in our Scripture we can find where God taught us through His servant James what true godly wisdom looks like. This is well worth your time to ponder my friend, as it teaches us how to exemplify Christ in us to a sinful world. Join me as we look deeper and learn about true wisdom.

APPLICATION: I love it when we not only hear about what we are doing wrong, but when we are also educated, or shown the correct way of doing something. God used James to point out to us that in and of our own selfish ways, we are apt to allow our jealousy and selfish desires to react wrongly and do immense harm to someone when we try to get back at them for not appeasing us. I’m sure that the court docket could reveal case after case on this problem, for we tend to get caught by the authorities for living out our troubled minds. For example, lying, stealing, cursing, fighting, and even murder. The Word of God says that these sorts of things are often caused by jealousy, selfishness and envy. Unfortunately these things still happen today – even to those of us that have asked God to rule and reign in our lives. But here’s another plug for daily communication with God – prayer and Bible Study, for then we are reminded of those things that might cause us to destroy our witness and our love for others. Today we are told to draw close to God, plead with Him for His kind of wisdom in all aspects of our life, and then watch as He showers upon us His gracious blessings/gifts, such that leads us to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere. Friends, do you suppose that we would see a better world, if God’s people would humble themselves and pray and seek God’s face for more of His qualities in our ways? I believe that the Word confirms in various places that this would result. I would like to begin by asking God to magnify Himself in and through me, and I pray that each reader might do the same today. The world needs to see more of Jesus and less of us for us to see any change brought about in them. Imagine how we will impact our families, our workplaces, our churches, our social clubs and especially our friends when we surrender full control over to God in our lives. Will you commit to allowing God to begin a new work in you today?

PRAYER: Oh for the wisdom of Almighty God today as we deal with so many aspects of life – so many things that could otherwise trigger strife, hatred, envy, jealousy and revenge. So Lord, we humbly ask that You take away our urge to do our own thing, and instead depend one hundred percent on Your power to overcome the world. May we learn to live lives that are pleasing to You and exemplifies You in every way. Please help us to stand strong in our commitment to You and to allow Your wisdom and Your guidance to direct our lips and our walk today. May the world see Jesus, because we commit to having You rule and reign in every aspect of our lives. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

I’m Not Ashamed

Paul was able to mentor the young man Timothy because he was convinced of his calling, and committed to the One that he served. Regardless of what happened to Paul, including beatings and imprisonment, he was unashamed of the One that he served. I wonder how many of us could truly pass that test today?

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Timothy 1:11-14 (NET)

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-10-23
WRITTEN AT: Hope Hull, AL

TEXT:  11 For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher. 12 Because of this, in fact, I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, because I know the one in whom my faith is set and I am convinced that he is able to protect what has been entrusted to me until that day. 13 Hold to the standard of sound words that you heard from me and do so with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 Protect that good thing entrusted to you, through the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

OBSERVATION:   Paul was able to mentor the young man Timothy because he was convinced of his calling, and committed to the One that he served. Regardless of what happened to Paul, including beatings and imprisonment, he was unashamed of the One that he served. I wonder how many of us could truly pass that test today?

APPLICATION:   Many churches in America, and perhaps other parts of the world, will celebrate when one of their own commits to the ministry of Jesus Christ. Some churches may even make particular mention of individuals who commit themselves to serving as elders, deacons, teachers or other leadership/servant roles in the church. Because of this recognition, often folk will be prideful of these positions, but nonetheless, committed to serve for the duration of their committed term. There are some ministry jobs and assignments that remind me a little of what Paul experienced, such as missionaries who travel to countries that they know are unfriendly to the gospel of Jesus Christ; pastors who serve in churches and they may or may not be able to pay them, yet they work endless hours to win the lost and disciple the saved, just as if they were serving the richest of congregations. Of course, all church positions require a heart for representing our Maker to those that we serve, and with hearts  and mindsets of volunteering our time, effort and complete selves. But to put this all into perspective and try to identify with Paul, I believe that we need to think about the sacrifices we may make in serving and in our volunteering, even if we knew that we would be mocked, ridiculed, beaten, cursed at, or imprisoned for what we do. Would we still be able to stand upright and share, in the words of Paul, that we are unashamed of the message and person of Jesus Christ?I believe that my biggest appeal today would be for the lay persons who might read this devotional. Sure these verses were written to Timothy who was a young pastor. Sure these are very applicable to pastors, elders, teachers and other church leaders. But friends, let me remind you that God didn’t save us so that we might shut up inside of us that good thing that He did for us. I refuse to believe that He would have to create another Red Sea phenomenon, for us to truly believe, brag on, and boast about our God. For if we have permitted the lordship of our Savior and Lord to rule and reign inside of us, and if we maintain an active and sincere relationship with Him, then a river of life would flow out through our actions, our speech and it would become very evident in our outward expression and reactions to others. Remember, we don’t want others to see how cool we are, or how rude we could be, but instead, we want them to see Jesus in and through every aspect of our lives. Nothing to be ashamed of my friend, allow that good thing that has made a difference in your life, to be revealed to others so that they may desire our Savior also. Paul made reference to ‘that day’, meaning the day that we meet Jesus face to face. May we live in such a way that we will be overjoyed and filled with celebration on ‘that day’ because of the relationship we had with Jesus while here on earth, opposed to a time of regret because we were ashamed, and we kept everything about God’s goodness locked up inside of us.

PRAYER:   Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus, and for making the way possible for us to see You face to face one day! In fact, we are so thankful of that precious gift, that we want to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to evangelizing that ‘good thing’ that has gotten hold of this old sinful person, and caused a complete turn around in our walk. Lord, we surrender all to You, so that You may fill us with more of Yourself, so that others will see Jesus, and not the earthly sin-filled bodies that would constitute the alternate man. People need the Lord, not more of the same old sinful world. Use us Lord as Your instruments to fulfil Your purpose here on earth. 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 could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

God-Talk vs God-Acts

Many of you will know the theme of these verses as ‘Faith without works are dead’. However, I felt like the Message cut to the chase and translated these verses in a way that would truly help us to get the message that God was sending through James. Join me as we study these verses and may we look deep inside and analyze what God is doing inside of us.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-10-22
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: James 2:14-17
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 14-17 Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

OBSERVATION: Many of you will know the theme of these verses as ‘Faith without works are dead’. However, I felt like the Message cut to the chase and translated these verses in a way that would truly help us to get the message that God was sending through James. Join me as we study these verses and may we look deep inside and analyze what God is doing inside of us.

APPLICATION: Holy Spirit, please open the eyes of our heart so that we might see You at work within us, and that our faith in You might declare Your handiwork and Your goodness to us. So friends, as we consider the matter of faith, and whether it impacts our lives and our actions, let us first bring this subject right down to where we are today. Most of us would have reached for the light switch as we rose from our beds this morning, and we had faith to believe that through our action of turning on the light switch, the room would be filled with light. We pulled out a chair to the breakfast table, and we had faith that the chair would hold our weight. We asked God to bless our food, and we had faith that He would nourish our bodies for His service today. But some of our more challenging faith tests today may be something like: (1) A call from the hospital – a relative or good friend may be very sick and they wanted their relative to make us aware of their condition and location. Why? Do you suppose it may be because they know that we know the Great Healer and we would therefore pray for their well-being? But what did you do? Tell the caller to let the sick person know that you are thinking about them and wishing them well? Wouldn’t it have been a strong message to the caller if you stopped what you were doing and, in faith, prayed with the caller while still on the phone? (2) A derelict sitting on the curb downtown – He calls out to you for help in getting a meal, but how do you respond? Most of us will shrug the poor man off and say that we have no cash. What if that was Jesus inside those dirty clothes and unshaven face, would your response have been any different? What if you looked down from heaven and saw that man had no one tell him about the love of the Savior, so he never accepted Him as Lord. What a disappointment to God when He looks into your face and ask why? Friends, these are examples that really hurt, but we do them almost every day. With part of the Trinity living inside of you, what could possibly be too difficult for you and the Holy Spirit to handle? Is there any good reason why you would say that you are a person of faith, yet when presented with the opportunity to use that faith, you are timid, doubtful and filled with intimidation? I believe this all starts with a daily communion time with God. See what He has to say to you through His Word and try to apply it to your life and be guided by what He has to say. Speak with Him through prayer and thanksgiving. Be His representative in such a clear way that others will know that God exists, because they saw or witnessed Him today when they met you. Faith – knowing the power of God that is available in and through you, and be willing to act while depending on that faith.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, please have mercy on us, Your humble, but stubborn children. Thank You for Your words through your servant James. May we carefully search out the full effects of the faith that we are convinced we have. May we prove its effectiveness through our actions today. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Evil Motives – Not An Attribute Of God

For those who would like to pick apart the subject that I chose, you may first want an analysis of what ‘Evil Motives’ mean, because most Christians will try to tell us that they have none! But consider the example used by James in our Scripture today and decide whether you, or your church leadership, would act any differently! God is not happy when we act based on evil motives. Do you welcome the poor, underdressed and hungry into your home, or your church services each week? Stay with me as we meditate on this today!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-10-21
WRITTEN AT: Bostic, NC

BIBLE REFERENCE: James 2:2-4
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: If an affluent gentleman enters your gathering wearing the finest clothes and priceless jewelry, don’t trip over each other trying to welcome him. And if a penniless bum crawls in with his shabby clothes and a stench fills the room, don’t look away or pretend you didn’t notice—offer him a seat up front, next to you. 3-4 If you tell the wealthy man, “Come sit by me; there’s plenty of room,” but tell the vagrant, “Oh, these seats are saved. Go over there,” then you’ll be judging God’s children out of evil motives.

OBSERVATION: For those who would like to pick apart the subject that I chose, you may first want an analysis of what ‘Evil Motives’ mean, because most Christians will try to tell us that they have none! But consider the example used by James in our Scripture today and decide whether you, or your church leadership, would act any differently! God is not happy when we act based on evil motives. Do you welcome the poor, underdressed and hungry into your home, or your church services each week? Stay with me as we meditate on this today!

APPLICATION: In my early church days I experienced a few church leaders who thought they would help two young men by telling them how they should dress the next time they consider coming to church. This was not a helpful thing for the church, nor the young men, because they never came back to church again. So let’s consider what might be our lesson taught in these verses today. James 2 is a parallel teaching to the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 7, where Jesus taught us that we are not to judge others. I believe that James is teaching us a similar message, but he also expands the subject to include how the world sees no difference in us than it does with the unsaved when we cling to our selfish, greedy attitudes by promoting those who appear more financially able than others. Think about it: the one who drives up to the church in a Porsche is probably one who might benefit our finances that Sunday, verses the one who walks up to the church in ragged clothes, dirty and perhaps, smelly. But is that what the church is all about? What does the heart of each man look like? Have they accepted the Lord Jesus as their Savior? Could one of them be Jesus in the flesh, showing us how we let earthly treasures impact our belief system and therefore cause us to treat one in our midst better than the other? In the business world, a company may hire an independent ‘shopper’ to visit their business and report on the quality of service by front-line personnel. Assume that Jesus is on the sidelines, and as a ‘shopper’ He is watching our every move and interaction with the two men referenced above. What do you suppose His evaluation will look like? In today’s Scripture He led James to tell us that we would be judging the men based on their outward appearance. Praise God He looks at the inward condition of the heart when deciding whether to allow us into heaven! Oh that He would work on us that we may do the same as our Lord and Savior.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for looking at the dirt and scum of this man when I came to the cross asking for forgiveness. You accepted me just as I was and You crowned me as a prince of the King of glory. Oh that we may be willing and able to look beyond the outward appearance of those that we come into contact with and assume Your eyes of faith, love and hope for all mankind. Please Lord, open our hearts so that we might assume the compassion of Your eyes, and Your heart. Perhaps today You might walk up to us in the disguise of a poor, ragged beggar. Please mend our hearts in such a way that we might bow at Your feet in humility and treat You better than the richest man on earth, or the most prestigious person we know. All are precious in Your sight and in need of a Savior. May we accept them as Your creation and love them like You loved us. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!