How To Be Christ’s Disciple

Peter ridiculed Jesus for talking to His closest companions about His death. Peter had seen the miracles Jesus was capable of, and Peter just knew that there was no way that Jesus would be taken hostage and crucified by mere men. In our Scripture today, we can read how Jesus corrected Peter. I wonder, how are we doing with the direction given by Jesus to those who are interested in being His follower?

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-02-27
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 16:24
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

BIBLE TEXT: 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [[p]cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].

OBSERVATION: Peter ridiculed Jesus for talking to His closest companions about His death. Peter had seen the miracles Jesus was capable of, and Peter just knew that there was no way that Jesus would be taken hostage and crucified by mere men. In our Scripture today, we can read how Jesus corrected Peter. I wonder, how are we doing with the direction given by Jesus to those who are interested in being His follower?

APPLICATION: In most Bible translations that we use today, we are told to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus Christ. I believe many of my readers, like myself, would appreciate seeing that command in a much simpler form so that we could understand exactly what Jesus is teaching us. I found two translations that helped with this, one of them being the Amplified version that I am sharing with you today. Unfortunately I find where I need serious help from the Master to change my ways and truly follow Him, if I am to live by His commands. Perhaps many of you might also find this need to be true in your life. Let’s take our time and break this down so that it is clear what we need to plead with God for, since He commanded us to:
Deny self:
> disregard self – As we meditate on this, we may surprise ourselves how selfish we truly are in what we do, what we say, where we go, and why we do these things. It’s all about ‘me’, whether we care to admit it or not;
> lose sight of selfish desires – In our own flesh, we will always desire things that are good for us. This may also be the reason why so many marriages fail, for we find it so challenging to please the other party. What if we had The strength to always please God when we make our plans, or respond to life’s various scenarios?
> forget about self and our personal interests – Can’t you hear a therapist telling you in marriage counseling: ‘Can you just forget about yourself for once, and think about what might make your spouse happy?’ I believe that’s what Jesus is telling us to do, for then we will love like He loved, and obey His other commandments;
Take up our cross and follow Christ:
> cleave steadfastly to Jesus – You might cleave steadfastly to a life raft if your boat sank and there is no land in sight. That raft becomes the most important thing in life to you at that point. Don’t you know that ‘cleaving’ to Jesus is very much the same way? Like the life raft, Jesus is the only way to Heaven, the only healer of all our diseases, the One who loves us in spite of our wicked selves, the One who prepared a place for us to go when we pass from this world. Why not cleave to Jesus?
> wholly conform to the example of Jesus in our living, or even if circumstances dictate – in death – Many will question what this might mean. I believe that if we do all of the above, we will realize that we are conforming to the example and will of the Father, and not simply seeking after our own selfish desires. Life will look much different my friend, so brace yourself for being called such things as ‘Holy roller’, or Jesus freak, or you have gone nuts, etc, etc.
So why do you suppose that Jesus thought this was important for Peter, his fellow disciples, or ourselves? I believe that just as Peter surprised Jesus with his efforts to correct Jesus, we too might disappoint Jesus with the some of the things we say, or do, or the selfish attitudes we have about helping others, being kind to others, or loving even the unlovable. In trying to be a Jesus follower, surely we must make every effort to look, sound and act just like Him. Many are looking at us as an example of the One we say that we are following. Do you suppose they’re getting a fair assessment of Jesus? Try taking up your cross and follow Him in all things, and at all times. Perhaps then you may be seen as a true follower of Christ!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for doing Your part in saving us from our sin and preparing us for heaven. Please forgive us when we disappoint You like Peter did. We acknowledge that we are a sinful, selfish people who seek after our own likes, and shun from our dislikes, while always trying to promote self and please ourselves. I am convinced that only You can help us overcome this weakness and truly follow You in all sincerity, as You intended. Please give us the strength, boldness and wisdom to follow You in all aspects of our life. May others not be misled when the look at our example and our pattern for life. May they see Jesus in action through us and be drawn to You for all eternity. 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!

Why Worry, Where’s Your Faith?

People are often referred to as ‘worry warts’ because they worry about every little thing. But for the Christian, our Scripture today reminds us that there is no need to worry, for we serve a God who can do all things! May we find peace in the God we love, adore and serve, as we meditate today on the perfect Word of God!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-02-26
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 16:8-10
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: Jesus knew what they were thinking and told them, “O men of little faith! Why are you so worried about having no food? Won’t you ever understand? Don’t you remember at all the five thousand I fed with five loaves, and the basketfuls left over? 10 Don’t you remember the four thousand I fed, and all that was left? 11 How could you even think I was talking about food? ….

OBSERVATION: People are often referred to as ‘worry warts’ because they worry about every little thing. But for the Christian, our Scripture today reminds us that there is no need to worry, for we serve a God who can do all things! May we find peace in the God we love, adore and serve, as we meditate today on the perfect Word of God!

APPLICATION: As we read this story, I’m sure we will look at the disciples as weak, and as awful doubters. After all, they had participated in two huge miracles over recent days, where Jesus multiplied the little food found in the crowd, and the disciples were able to feed thousands of men, women and children. But now that they find themselves in need of food, they are filled with worry about how, or what they will eat. Jesus addresses their concern in our verses today. But what might Jesus say to us when we grovel in doubt, fear and a feeling of desperation? After all, many who will read this devotional today have read, or been under the teaching of some who have told about the various miracles performed by Jesus – the same Jesus that we believe in, and say that we have faith in. We know that miracles were performed while Jesus was alive, and many of us have either been witness to, or heard from family and friends where miracles have occurred in their lifetime. So why do we fear? Why do we doubt? Why do we feel like God performed miracles on ‘them’ but poor old me, I must carry this malady to the grave? Friends, some may wish they were princes because of the luxury, attention and goodwill afforded to them. But as a Christian, we are a ‘prince’, for we are sons (and daughters) of the King of all kings and Lord of all Lords! Never before in the history of mankind have we heard of a man laying down his life so that his subjects could be freed. But Jesus did! He willingly went to the cross and suffered pain and agony, so that we might have life eternal with He and His Father in heaven. So as His blessed children, is there anything that He wouldn’t do for us? Would He perform miracles so that we would not suffer pain and heartache? Would He heal broken bodies with sick parts? He did it before my friend, and I have no doubt that He would do it again! If you have faith to believe in the Son of God, then I dare say that you can muster up the faith to believe that He will do what He has promised. He cares for us and He wants us in good health so that we may serve Him passionately. Have faith in God, for He will never leave us or forsake us!

PRAYER:My faith looks up to thee oh God! Thank You for reminding my readers and I of the miraculous God that we serve, and the One in whom we have placed our faith and trust. Our needs are many, so we ask that You open the flood gates of heaven and pour out a great miracle on us today. You know what we need and whether we should have all that we ask of You, so Lord we place our faith and trust in You and await Your powerful hand to work on us. May the unsaved be convinced of Your power and therefore seek to know You personally. Lord I believe in You, please help my unbelief at those times that I doubt. 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!

Great Faith

In your desperation, what are you prepared to do in order to receive the necessary help from the Master? Persistence often pays off, but there is often a fine line between persistence and making a pest of yourself. To the disciples, the Canaanite woman had become a ‘pest’, but praise God, to Jesus she had proven that her faith led her to the only One who could help, and she wasn’t about to give up. Her persistence was evidence of her great faith. How strong is your faith?

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-02-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 15:22-23; 28
TRANSLATION: Good News Translation (GNT)

BIBLE TEXT:  22 A Canaanite woman who lived in that region came to him. “Son of David!” she cried out. “Have mercy on me, sir! My daughter has a demon and is in a terrible condition.”23 But Jesus did not say a word to her. His disciples came to him and begged him, “Send her away! She is following us and making all this noise!”
28 So Jesus answered her, “You are a woman of great faith! What you want will be done for you.” And at that very moment her daughter was healed.

OBSERVATION: In your desperation, what are you prepared to do in order to receive the necessary help from the Master? Persistence often pays off, but there is often a fine line between persistence and making a pest of yourself. To the disciples, the Canaanite woman had become a ‘pest’, but praise God, to Jesus she had proven that her faith led her to the only One who could help, and she wasn’t about to give up. Her persistence was evidence of her great faith. How strong is your faith?

APPLICATION: At a time when my daughter was looking for employment, I asked a young man a good restaurant how did he get his job there. It attributed it to persistence. For he not only completed his online application, but he kept checking at the restaurant to see if they had made a decision yet. This helped to convince the restaurant management that this young man wanted to work there so badly, that he persistently checked with them. I wonder if any of my readers might recall a time that you were persistent in prayer about something? Were you near as persistent as the young man in my introductory story? Why not? In our story, the Canaanite woman knew where to go to find Jesus; she was not afraid of any of his attendants/disciples that tried to protect the Master; and she was so convinced that Jesus was the answer to all the problems that her daughter was dying of. But isn’t that the same as us today? We know all the same things that the woman knew. We are convinced that Jesus is still as capable today as He always was, in being able to heal and restore back to perfect health, yet we fail to follow through in persistent faith to plead our case before the Great I Am. Is it pride that holds us back? Perhaps we don’t want to hear the jeering from our peers or even from our prayer warriors who may come to know what we are going to pray for again at our prayer service. Jesus was impressed with the faith of the Canaanite woman, for He commented about her GREAT FAITH. How do you suppose He would describe your faith? I pray that you would: examine your relationship with Jesus; understand the level of faith you have in His abilities; and prepare yourself to brush all pride aside so that you may look full into His wonderful face and say ‘I believe, Lord. Please help my unbelief’. Know that you know the power of our God and rest completely and contented in Him for all your needs. Have faith, my friends!

PRAYER: Lord I believe! But at times those words may come out before I allow myself to place my faith and trust in You completely. Thankfully, we have excellent medical professionals that we may choose to take our sick loved ones to, but oh Lord, may we always know who holds tomorrow, and who hold our hand. Only You have the final say in what happens Lord, so I beg of you, much like the Canaanite woman did, to please heal our land, our people, our churches, our family and our friends. We need a fresh touch from You, and we will continue to pray in faith, believing, that You will revive us again and strengthen our faith in You more than we have ever experienced before. May Your miraculous power shine brightly through us, so that others will experience You and place their faith in You. 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!

Here’s What Distracts Our True Worship

Isn’t it interesting how Satan distracts us from worship to our God by placing small petty things in our way to get our attention? The Pharisees, who were the leaders of the church in Jesus’ day, were keenly aware of the disciples not washing their hands before meals, but they were blinded to the sins that kept them from a right relationship with God. Unfortunately this may apply to us still today, more than we would care to recognize. Oh that the Word of God might open our eyes today as we meditate on our Lord.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-02-23
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 15:15-20
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 16 Jesus then said: …. 17 Don’t you know that the food you put into your mouth goes into your stomach and then out of your body? 18 But the words that come out of your mouth come from your heart. And they are what make you unfit to worship God. 19 Out of your heart come evil thoughts, murder, unfaithfulness in marriage, vulgar deeds, stealing, telling lies, and insulting others. 20 These are what make you unclean. Eating without washing your hands will not make you unfit to worship God.

OBSERVATION: Isn’t it interesting how Satan distracts us from worship to our God by placing small petty things in our way to get our attention? The Pharisees, who were the leaders of the church in Jesus’ day, were keenly aware of the disciples not washing their hands before meals, but they were blinded to the sins that kept them from a right relationship with God. Unfortunately this may apply to us still today, more than we would care to recognize. Oh that the Word of God might open our eyes today as we meditate on our Lord.

APPLICATION: As a teenager, I remember a situation where two sons of a prominent church member came to worship services one Sunday. One of the ushers immediately ridiculed the young men about their dress code not being appropriate for God’s house. There’s no telling how long parents and friends had prayed for these young men to return to church, but the ridicule pushed them further away from the church than they ever were before. How on earth would dress code prevent a person from hearing the Gospel or worshiping their Lord? If you have relatives who live by certain dietary restrictions, especially if they feel there are Biblical reasons, then you have probably been preached at for sinfully eating the wrong things. No doubt there are many other examples where people are considered ruthless sinners because they do not adhere to all of the church rules created for their ‘guidance’. Jesus found the opportunity to speak to religious leaders over an issue very similar to what we experience today. As a child I was trained to always wash my hands before coming to the table to eat, but the Pharisees took this to the extreme by making it a sin if you didn’t wash before eating. But just as in the case of the Pharisees, Jesus is very aware of what the real sin is in our lives also. Furthermore, He is teaching us in the Scriptures today, that sin against God has a serious adverse effect on our worship to the only holy and righteous God. But where does sin originate? As I read this teaching by Jesus, my mind immediately went on to think about what a person does when his heart is continually topped off with anger over certain things that he feels strongly about. I believe it would be virtually impossible for that person to respond in love, in happiness, in kindness and in a spirit of helpfulness. An angry heart invokes angry actions. You will note that Jesus used several other descriptors to help remind us that we will speak or react based on the mode of our heart. Unless we fill our hearts with the attitude and character of Jesus Christ, then we cannot except to respond like He would. Take ‘love’ for example – Jesus went willingly to the cross for you and me, even while we were still steeped in sin. When we love like Jesus did, we can do it regardless of the circumstances around us, or on what may have impacted us up to that very moment. To worship God in spirit and in truth, means that we can stand honestly before the King with no regrets, or worries, about what may have provoked us into temptation. The Psalmist asked God to create in me a clean and upright heart. Perhaps we should seek God’s face in similar fashion so that we may stand before Him in all honesty and truth, with a clean and contrite heart.

PRAYER: I believe that the only heart that is clean when it comes into the presence of our Holy God, is a heart that has been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, and one that has sought the face of Jesus for a renewed cleansing from the battle scars of this old world. So Lord, I beg of You to cleanse my heart and renew within me a right spirit, so that I may stand before You in worship without the distractions of this sinful world. Please also touch the heart of my readers so that they also might find peace in knowing You, and may they desire a renewed cleansing that would present them faultless before the King of all kings. Forgive us Lord for trying to worship You through our distractions and our sin. May we not only come face-to-face with You in holiness, but may our lives be more usable by You when clothed in Your righteousness. 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!

Your Efforts Could Be Crowned with Success

God’s Word amazes me in every way! Think about what mankind desires – primarily that he may be acceptable to God and his fellow man! Wouldn’t you say that pretty much sums it up in a nutshell? Our Scripture today has solid truth for us on how we could be most successful in setting this as a goal for ourselves, so let’s spend a few moments to truly meditate on God’s instructions to us.

Monday, 2021-02-22

Bible Reference: Proverbs 3:4-6
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:  4-5 If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.

OBSERVATION: God’s Word amazes me in every way! Think about what mankind desires – primarily that he may be acceptable to God and his fellow man! Wouldn’t you say that pretty much sums it up in a nutshell? Our Scripture today has solid truth for us on how we could be most successful in setting this as a goal for ourselves, so let’s spend a few moments to truly meditate on God’s instructions to us.

APPLICATION: From the moment we are born, our mother and father begins drilling into us those things that we should, or shouldn’t do, if we want to please them, make them happy and/or proud of us. The more independent we become, we realize that there is a lot more to life than just making our parents happy, although that is at the very top of our list of priorities. Think about the idea of attending a school where no one really cares about us, because of our selfish or rotten attitude. Shouldn’t we strive to improve that? Then we start our career path and we can’t keep a job because no one could get along with us, or there might be some character flaws that the boss decides that they will not allow us to poison the other workers with. Wouldn’t we want to seek help on ways to correct those issues so that we could fit in and get along with everyone? Friends, I believe that our Scripture today has some answers for these issues that plague many today. For we are a people who strive to be independent, and do life our own way. However, in doing this, we tend to multiply our issues rather than solve them. Solomon is telling us that before we could gain the trust, respect and love of others, we must first allow the God of this universe to have an impact on our lives. In other words, acknowledge that we don’t have all of the answers, and then align ourselves with the only One who not only knows about today, but also has control of what tomorrow holds. Friends, our God created these complicated bodies in which we live, and He has a plan for each and every one of us, with the end goal of us living in such a way that He might be glorified through us. A reward is already established also – that whosoever believes in Him, then we will spend eternity in Heaven with He and His Father (God). So think about this as a resolution to the above dilemma: God created us; He established a plan for our lives here on earth that will glorify Him; And He has prepared a place for us to go when we pass on from this world to the next. This sounds like an awesome plan that is perfectly designed for our complete happiness and peace of mind, so why would we seek to do life on our own without any foreknowledge of tomorrow? Let’s follow God’s design for us and our wonderful life here on earth! Remember, if you want favor with God and with your fellow man, then trust in God and not in yourself. Put God first in everything you do, and He will direct your path and crown you with success! What an awesome God we serve!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You are more wonderful than anything we could even imagine. Your Word today has reminded us of the plan You established for our happiness here on earth and in Heaven. Please humble us to the point of understanding Your plan, and grant us willing hearts to obediently follow Your plan. You designed us, and You sacrificed Your one and only Son for our eternal salvation. We are convinced that You have our best interest at heart, so please help us to accept the fact that mortal man will only fall deeper and deeper into the trap of Satan and his eternal destination of Hell. Please touch my readers and myself with Your marvelous love, and draw us to Yourself precious Lord, so that together we might all rejoice when we see You face to face. Oh what a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see! AMEN!

Man-Made vs God’s Laws

I try very hard to share commentary on Scripture where God has spoken to me first. Perhaps God will also use this devotional to draw your attention to what He wants to share with you today. Try clicking on my Scripture link so that you could read all of chapter 15, just to make sure you don’t take my chosen verses out of context. Let God minister to you today through His Word.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-02-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 15:5-9
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 5-6 But you say, ‘Even if your parents are in need, you may give their support money to the church[a] instead.’ And so, by your man-made rule, you nullify the direct command of God to honor and care for your parents. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, ‘These people say they honor me, but their hearts are far away. Their worship is worthless, for they teach their man-made laws instead of those from God.’[b]

OBSERVATION: I try very hard to share commentary on Scripture where God has spoken to me first. Perhaps God will also use this devotional to draw your attention to what He wants to share with you today. Try clicking on my Scripture link so that you could read all of chapter 15, just to make sure you don’t take my chosen verses out of context. Let God minister to you today through His Word.

APPLICATION: Over time, mankind has honed in on certain Scriptures that various leaders ‘hang their hat on’, and because of differences of opinion, these leaders split off and started respective denominations. I Have no doubt that there are numerous great preachers out there, and perhaps we should permit them to use their God-given gifts to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ In whatever setting they see fit. However, for the poor sinner who might be trying to decide on which church to become a part of, it must be extremely challenging for them to decide, based on the various beliefs out there, and the tone of the various worship services. I’m not here to promote either one in particular, nor am I here to denounce any. However, I would implore you to examine the teachings of any church you are looking to attend, and be sure that they are aligned with the Word of God. In our Scripture today Jesus found a case where some were giving to the church in accordance with their teaching, however this was at the expense of not adhering to the teachings of God to rightfully care for their loved ones. Friends, it is important that you get into a personal study of the Bible, for It is God’s word to you about His commands that He wants you to follow, and His character that He wants you to imitate. When we try to accomplish each of these things, God will give us wisdom to identify teachings that may tend to misguide us. I know, you are just a simple individual with limited education and the Bible seems so complex to understand. I will agree with that statement, especially when you approach the study and understanding of the Word on your own wisdom and abilities. Let me suggest: try using a translation that is easy for you to understand; seek God before you study, and ask Him to give you wisdom to see and understand what He has in store for you to learn; Ask God to soften your heart so that you may apply the Word to you first. Way too often we could easily see how badly others need correction, while all the while overlooking how badly God needs to work in our life. I sincerely pray that you will not become more confused in hearing my advice to check out the belief’s of your church, or one you are looking to attend. But Brothers and Sisters you must understand that the Preachers, Teachers and leaders running your church, are fellow human beings, and while many will painfully seek God’s wisdom on what He would have them do and say, there are many who do not. You have an obligation to the Master to understand His Word correctly so that you may obediently follow in the path He has set out before you. Have your Bible with you in Bible study and in church services, so that you may validate what the Word says about a subject and not jut be gullible to what the preacher says. Jesus found that His people were allowing their loved ones to perish for lack of financial means, while being obedient to their local churches in providing for their means. There is a fine line here with the subject of tithing, so please seek the face of God for direction on what changes you should make, if any, in your giving to the work of the Lord.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I’m afraid that we have become so accustomed to instant service through fast food drive-thrus; through microwaves; and through prepackaged meals, that we hardly want to take the time to study the Bible for ourselves, so that we might receive direction from you. We may tend to think that it is so much quicker to let someone else teach us the Word. Please help us to always remember that You took no shortcuts for us, for You suffered beatings, scorn from the crowds and total humiliation when You hung on the cross at Calvary. If we are sincere in our commitment to give You rule over our lives and to honor and praise You always – whether here on earth and in eternity in heaven, then the most important thing we could do is to devote ourselves to reading Your Word and waiting patiently for Your still small voice. Please Lord, assume Your rightful place in our hearts and direct our lives as You see fit. 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!

Overwhelmed By The Power of Jesus

Think about a time in your life where you witnessed the awesome power, love and/or grace of the Master. As you do, I believe you will better identify with the disciples who had just witnessed the miracles of: walking on the water; saving a distracted disciple and calming the rough and troubled waters around them. Perhaps you also will be refreshed in your spirit and led to the feet of the Master where you will simply and sincerely worship Him, because you are reminded of the true Son of God!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-02-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 14:32-33
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 32 And the very moment they both stepped into the boat, the raging wind ceased. 33 Then all the disciples crouched down before him and worshiped Jesus.[j] They said in adoration, “You are truly the Son of God!

OBSERVATION: Think about a time in your life where you witnessed the awesome power, love and/or grace of the Master. As you do, I believe you will better identify with the disciples who had just witnessed the miracles of: walking on the water; saving a distracted disciple and calming the rough and troubled waters around them. Perhaps you also will be refreshed in your spirit and led to the feet of the Master where you will simply and sincerely worship Him, because you are reminded of the true Son of God!

APPLICATION: What might your ‘rough waters’ look like today? You know, the ones that may be causing you to feel all alone – even by the Master? These might be: Perhaps sickness – for we have sure heard about more complex, no cure type sicknesses lately; Perhaps loss of loved ones – for this COVID virus has been responsible for many deaths, including some of our very closest relatives; Perhaps rough financial waters – for many have been unemployed over the past year while businesses closed to help ward off the spread of the deadly COVID virus. Whatever it is, we just hurt, and we feel so alone – in fact, we sometimes feel like Jesus must have passed right on by us. As we reflect on this Biblical story, I believe that Jesus must be amused at times with His children! I’m sure that when the storms arose on the lake that night, the disciples must have been crying out to God for help? Yet when Jesus approached, the disciples were afraid that it was a ghost! Were they not expecting God to respond to their cries for help? What about us, don’t we seem just as shocked and surprised when we see help coming our way? In fact, don’t we tend to immediately think that we have fallen into ‘good luck’? Oh for the faith of Peter once he received confirmation that it was Jesus approaching the boat, for Peter asked Jesus if he could also walk on water towards Him. Yes, he asked Jesus to perform a miracle by having him do the impossible in man’s eyes – walk on water. There are a lot of sermons preached around the idea of this miracle and all that took place, but I would rather have us apply this scenario to our own personal situations where we cry out to Jesus in our times of need. How often are we willing to ‘step out of the boat’ (a secure place) and trust God to do all that He is capable of doing? My mind goes to a kidney donor who knows that they could save the life of a loved one or friend if they donate their kidney to them, but how many are willing to risk their own lives in the bold effort to donate and extend life for a loved one? There are some neat examples of the power of our awesome God in this story that might give us confidence: The disciples had been rowing all night (it was about 4am when Jesus met up with them) yet Jesus got to them just in time to help save them. He may have walked the whole way from the edge of the lake, or He may have just appeared a short ways from the boat. Nonetheless, He miraculously caught up with them without a boat. These men had never before seen anyone walk on water, as they were always of the understanding that was impossible, yet Jesus did it, and He authorized Peter to do it. This was no ordinary man! As Jesus and Peter entered the boat, the rough waters subsided. God made the waters, and only He could manage their actions, so the men immediately knew that Jesus was indeed God. So what about us? Do we need a personal miracle like Peter and the disciples witnessed? Or can we, in faith, believe that the same Jesus who walked on water, had Peter walk on water, and calmed the waters of the lake, is the same Jesus who we call on for our respective needs today? Friends, our Father is very capable of still performing miracle after miracle even for us. There’s no problem or difficulty that God can’t handle, and we know that He loves us immeasurably, so we must have faith to believe that He will ‘walk on water’ or take whatever steps necessary to help us in our time of need, hurt and/or difficulty. Like the disciples who witnessed all that took place that night, imagine how we also will bend our knees before the Father and worship Him from the overflow of blessings, healing and love poured out on us. Friends, we serve an awesome, all-powerful God who is able to not only meet our needs, but to exceed our wildest expectations. Let us worship Him from the very depths of our heart for all His goodness today and every day.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I have no doubt that You are well aware of the ‘rough waters’ my friends and I are facing these days here on earth. Thank You for reminding us about the way You arrived on the scene of trouble for Peter and his fellow disciples at just the right time. Many times we feel like we are in a state of urgency and need You here with us at your earliest convenience. What a comfort to know that our Father is all-powerful and very capable of handling our ‘rough waters’ when we call on You. Please continue to guide us, protect us and reassure us of Your love, and that You will once again walk on water, if need be, to meet with us and handle our emergency. We love You Lord, and look forward to being in Your presence where we might worship You endlessly. While here on earth, please use us for Your glory, to encourage others who need You. 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!

God Will Supply Our Needs

The crowd followed Jesus with hopes of seeing miracles performed, but little did they know that He was also capable of meeting their physical needs – like food. We are such a peculiar people, for we seek Jesus for our specific hurts and ailments while He knows so much more about what lies just ahead, that may impact us tomorrow. Perhaps today we will be reminded that He is God and that He knows what we need, in spite of our human limitations.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-02-19
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 14:19-21
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 19 Then he had everyone sit down on the grass as he took the five loaves and two fish. He looked up into heaven, gave thanks to God, and broke the bread into pieces. He then gave it to his disciples, who in turn gave it to the crowds. 20 And everyone ate until they were satisfied, for the food was multiplied in front of their eyes![f] They picked up the leftovers and filled up twelve baskets full! 21 There were about five thousand men who were fed, in addition to many women and children!

OBSERVATION: The crowd followed Jesus with hopes of seeing miracles performed, but little did they know that He was also capable of meeting their physical needs – like food. We are such a peculiar people, for we seek Jesus for our specific hurts and ailments while He knows so much more about what lies just ahead, that may impact us tomorrow. Perhaps today we will be reminded that He is God and that He knows what we need, in spite of our human limitations.

APPLICATION: After foot surgery, I remember returning to my Podiatrist and complaining of continued pain. He assessed the problem and remarked that had he known that I also had issues with another part of my foot, he could have also taken care of that while in surgery the first time. The crowd, mentioned in today’s Scripture, followed Jesus because they had similar ailments to those He had already healed, so they were hoping that they might be next in line. Of course they had also heard that Jesus was the promised Messiah, so they wanted to evaluate His ministry and determine for themselves if He truly was, who He said He was. The disciples had been with Jesus for a while now, and they had witnessed many miracles, yet they were still ‘worry warts’. They wanted the approval of Jesus to shoo the crowds away so that they could feed themselves, but just as in our world today, there is little chance that a crowd of 10,000 to 20,000 people would go down a hillside, walk into their homes and prepare supper, for many were probably from miles away. Besides that, what would the crowd think if the ‘miracle worker’ sent them away because He wasn’t capable of feeding them, or didn’t care about their hunger? Friends, Jesus knew all about the thoughts, actions and worries of the crowd, and He knew what worried His disciples. The Scriptrue declares that ALL things are possible with God, so of course Jesus knew how He could deal with the situation at hand. His disciples needed one more mighty act of God to strengthen their belief in their walk with Jesus. They needed reminding that instead of defaulting to a belief that something is impossible, they should run to the Master and seek His direction, or ask for His awesome mighty works. Does that sound a little like how you feel when life hits you head on with overwhelming challenges? Are you more apt to whine, complain and seek pity from your family and friends, or are you strong enough in your faith that you run to Jesus and seek His power over your situation? In our story today, Jesus didn’t stand for the crowd to go hungry – He loved them too much for that. Jesus saw the weakness and lack of faith in His disciples, and He wouldn’t stand for that. So He took charge and told the disciples and the crowd what to do, as He performed yet another miracle in their midst. This was a display of compassion, and a reenforcement of courage and faith for His disciples. I sincerely believe that today God knows what each of our needs are, and I am convinced that He is still all-powerful, all-loving and all-caring, and He will never leave us alone. He wants us to recognize Him as Father, Almighty God, Healer, Forgiver of our sins and our Eternal Father. Let’s me encourage you to place your faith and trust in God first, before you ever begin to worry or fret about life’s circumstances. He loves you dear friend!

PRAYER: Thank You for loving us enough, that You gave the very best available to You – Your one and only Son. Thank You for caring enough that You fed the thousands of people on that hillside in our story today. Thank You for the promises of Your Word in declaring that You will never leave us alone nor forsake us, for You came to rescue us from the evil of this world so that we may assume our rightful place next to You in heaven. Lord, we are overwhelmed with Your goodness and we are sorry that we ever resort to worry over the various challenges here on earth. Please help us to recognize the acts of provision and healing and encouragement that You place inside of us at just the right moments when we need it. Oh that others might see Jesus alive and active inside of us each and every day, so that they too might desire to know You personally. 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!

Your Sins Will Find You Out

As a youngster you may have told mom that it wasn’t you who stole from the peanut butter jar, while all the while showing evidence all around your mouth! Perhaps you’ve been holding on to sin, while hoping that you have done a good job covering up the instigator of such behavior. Judah thought that he had done a good job covering up for his sin, but it didn’t work out like he had planned. How much are you covering up?

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-02-18
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Genesis 38:24-26
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 24 About three months later someone told Judah, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has behaved like a prostitute, and now she’s pregnant!”
“Drag her out of town and burn her to death!” Judah shouted.
25 As Tamar was being dragged off, she sent someone to tell her father-in-law, “The man who gave me this ring, this cord, and this walking stick is the one who got me pregnant.”
26 “Those are mine!” Judah admitted. “She’s a better person than I am, because I broke my promise to let her marry my son Shelah.”….. 

OBSERVATION: As a youngster you may have told mom that it wasn’t you who stole from the peanut butter jar, while all the while showing evidence all around your mouth! Perhaps you’ve been holding on to sin, while hoping that you have done a good job covering up the instigator of such behavior. Judah thought that he had done a good job covering up for his sin, but it didn’t work out like he had planned. How much are you covering up?

APPLICATION: Isn’t it amazing how smart we think we are? Even if no one else agrees with us, we know that we are smarter than almost anyone else around us! Ha! How we blind ourselves to things that others obviously see in the open! Judah thought that his one night stand with a supposed prostitute would remain just between them two and that no one else noticed. Moses had a similar incident when he slaughtered an Egyptian. He also thought that no one witnessed the altercation and therefore it would just be an unfortunate incident in the course of his life. In both cases, each of the individuals were identified after the incidents occurred. But I felt led to ponder this today with you, because there may be some who are hanging on to mishaps, or sins, that you feel no one will ever find out about. The good news is that you are right, no one here on earth may ever know about your wicked deeds of the past, or your sin that you committed in very private situations. However, I believe that for the child of God, we must be extremely careful not to underestimate the power of the God of this universe, for He is omniscient- knows everything about everything; He is omnipresent- meaning that He is always present in every situation; and He is omnipotent – meaning that He is all powerful. So what is it that you are convinced that only you know about? Have you given thought to what you might say when God questions you about those private, embarrassing, sinful moments that you hoped no one else would know about? Friends, I don’t believe that God wants us to stand before the world and proclaim our sins, but I do believe that He expects His children who are called by His name and claim His righteousness, to be truthful, honest and totally transparent before Him. Of course this means that if we are questioned about these things here on earth, we should be truthful, for He is also there during the questioning. Imagine, if we lie to our fellow Brothers and Sisters about our sins. Do you suppose they will receive the truth from us when we tell them about our Savior? At conversion, we asked God for forgiveness of our sin, and I am confident that He forgave us and washed us white as snow. In God’s eyes then, we are sinless. However to to world, they know about the sins we committed. That never goes away. We can only pray that God will allow them to see Jesus when they look at us, and not the sin that we ignorantly committed before our relationship with Christ. If we lie about it, the world may really question if there really was a change in our lives. Let me encourage all my readers to join me in being transparent to the world, while being totally honest and committed to the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. Some day soon, we will see Jesus face-to-face, I pray that we will have no regrets.

PRAYER: Precious Lord Jesus, our only perfect and righteous God. Thank you for looking, even in Your perfection, and forgiving us of our sins and failures. You created us, and therefore knew that we would give in to the sin of this world. But praise to our wonderful Lord, I am convinced that You also honored our request for forgiveness, and You cleansed us of all our sin. Please help us to always be conscious of whose we are, and may we be determined to live a perfect life, even as You are perfect in every way. Please help us to never feel like we could hide anything from You, for we know that as we honor You, we will stay true to Your commands. Please forgive us when we fail Lord, help us in our weakness to remain focused on You, so that others will see Jesus, and not our weak and mortal 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!

What Will You Do With Jesus?

Have you ever gone to a concert, to a church, or to watch a movie, and was shocked by what the star, or church leader looked like? He just was not what you had pictured in your mind. In fact, there was such a difference that you found it difficult accepting what he had to say, or sing. As we meditate on the Scripture today, we will see an example of where something very similar happened to Jesus in His hometown. The people had to choose whether they would accept His ministry, or not, for He was just a boy from their little town. Nobody really special.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-02-17
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 13:54-57
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 54 He went to the town where he grew up. He taught the people in the synagogue, and they were amazed. They said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and this power to do miracles? 55 Isn’t he just the son of the carpenter we know? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? 56 And don’t all his sisters still live here in town? How is he able to do these things?” 57 So they had a problem accepting him.
But Jesus said to them, “People everywhere give honor to a prophet, but in his own town or in his own home a prophet does not get any honor.”

OBSERVATION: Have you ever gone to a concert, to a church, or to watch a movie, and was shocked by what the star, or church leader looked like? He just was not what you had pictured in your mind. In fact, there was such a difference that you found it difficult accepting what he had to say, or sing. As we meditate on the Scripture today, we will see an example of where something very similar happened to Jesus in His hometown. The people had to choose whether they would accept His ministry, or not, for He was just a boy from their little town. Nobody really special.

APPLICATION: I believe that in our day, many churches thrive when the preacher is charismatic, the praise and worship team reminds attendees of a rock band, and the congregation could attend the services without ever being pestered about working hours and hours in helping the work of the ministry move forward. Unfortunately, many of these attendees may have been ‘burnt’ in some previous church/ministry, and they are looking for a place to worship without ever placing themselves at risk to be hurt again. But our Scripture today highlights the importance of setting aside any preconceived ideas about an individual, and accepting God’s messenger who brings God’s message to change the minds of sinners about the kingdom of God. I have served on many committees tasked with the job of finding a new pastor for a church. It is amazing what input we received from our respective congregations about what they wanted to see in a new pastor. Occasionally there was a congregant who may have desired the new prospect to be an excellent teacher of the Word of God, but way too often they wanted the needs of their own families met by someone who cared. Friends, I believe that when God sends a church leader or teacher to our church, He may deliberately send us someone who may not fit the mold we have in mind, because He wants our undivided attention. There was a pastor that I served under, who had a note on the pulpit to remind him every time he stood there, and the note read ‘Oh that they may see Jesus’. What a testimony of an honest man who wanted to be used by the Master in His ministry to the local church. I believe that in today’s Scripture we are challenged to walk into our places of worship with the intent to worship the great God of this universe and to hear how the proclamation of the Word may challenge our wicked hearts, so that we may be shaped into better soldiers of the cross that would enable others to see the image and works of the Holy Spirit – even in and through our lives as we go about our average day at work, in social clubs, in our families and especially when among unsaved friends. I believe that when we beg God to help us enjoy this type of relationship with Him, we would not be tempted to tear down our pastors or church leaders, who are still a work in process, by God. For we will quickly be reminded of that old spiritual ‘It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer’, not just that old, dull preacher. In conclusion, please allow me to remind you that verse 58 reads: Jesus did not do many miracles there, because the people did not believe in him. Please don’t be guilty of shooing away the work of the Master in your life, in the life of your church, or in any other area of life in which you are involved. Look and listen to the work of God through His messengers, whoever they may be. To reject them, is like rejecting God who sent them.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, it’s sad to see that Your own townspeople rejected You in Your ministry among them. Too often we are saddened by the way our local pastors are treated, for we acknowledge that they are still human and will make mistakes as long as they are here on earth. Sadly, we are also reminded that You didn’t stick around to help your town’s people, since they showed no interest in listening to Your teaching nor in the miracles that You wrought in their midst. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that our people have learnt a lot from Your reaction to rejection, so I beg of You today Lord to touch our hardened, prideful, condemning hearts and cause us to reflect on the gift of personal sacrifice You offered for us, while we were yet filthy, dirty, sinners. Please help us to accept You and Your precious love for us, even when it makes no sense to us, or even if it is not packaged the way we may expect. Thank You again for making our way clear for a personal relationship with the Master of this universe, and entry into Your heaven. 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!