Prayer – A Plea To God

Often in our prayers we will thank God for our food, thank Him for His blessings on us, ask Him to bless our family, etc. But there are times of desperation where we plead with God about circumstances beyond our control that often bear heavy on our heart. As we meditate on this passage I pray that we will be reminded of the love of our Savior in our good times, where it seems like blessings abound, and in our most challenging times when we desperately need Him.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-04-30
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 27:7-9
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
Do not turn your back on me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me, O God of my salvation!

OBSERVATION: Often in our prayers we will thank God for our food, thank Him for His blessings on us, ask Him to bless our family, etc. But there are times of desperation where we plead with God about circumstances beyond our control that often bear heavy on our heart. As we meditate on this passage I pray that we will be reminded of the love of our Savior in our good times, where it seems like blessings abound, and in our most challenging times when we desperately need Him.

APPLICATION: Most people remember God and they remember to pray to Him when they see no way out in the critical circumstances of life. Imagine leading up to a a car wreck, all passengers are drinking and having the time of their life. The driver falls asleep and the inevitable occurs – a head on collision with a tree. At least one passenger has life-threatening injuries. What do you suppose is the first thing the remaining occupants will do? I agree, probably pray. I’m not qualified to say whether God hears their prayer, and answers their pleas, but the Bible has many instances where we are warned that no one knows the day or the hour where our life here on earth will end, and that we should be ready to meet our Maker at all times. David faced many challenges in his short life, but he had a very intimate relationship with his Maker. Because of his relationship with God, he mentioned how he heard in his heart that God wanted him to pour out his heartfelt needs to Him. Like us, David was afraid that God was not hearing him, and even worse, he was afraid that God would reject him. Don’t try to knock David down for his feelings, because while we could read a lot from the Bible about David, and it all seems honorable and it makes David look very good, we must remember that only David knew what was going on in his life. He was able to open his heart to God, because he knew that God knew all too well about the good, bad and indifferent in David. This is important for us to take note of, for we might try to pull the wool over the eyes of our parents, our spouse, or our good friends, but we can’t do that with God. For God not only knows everything about us, but He also sees everything we do, He hears every word we say, and even more frightening – He knows our very thoughts. So there is no need to beat around the bush when conversing with God, but instead be honest and hold nothing back. He is waiting to see if you will be honest with Him. Also, when you go before God in prayer, remember He is the Master and you are the servant. You are asking Him for whatever needs are impacting your life, so don’t tell Him how to do His job. Respect Him as God of the universe, and speak to Him as One who knows all about what your needs are. He has the power to forgive, and He alone can heal and forgive us of our sins. Listen carefully for His answer, as it may not align with your desired response. He’s better than that, and He will answer in a way that far exceeds anything we could ask or expect. Let me encourage you to cast your cares upon the Lord, and expect His supernatural response.

PRAYER: Although we are afraid to tell our friends everything that bothers us, Lord we realize how You already know about our good times, our wishes, our desires, and our wants. Please speak intently to us so that we may not ask astray. We are thankful that You know what’s best for us ahead, and You know the perfect timing for those things. Please humble our hearts to talk with You in all honesty, and to be patient as we wait for Your response and direction. Thank You for the life of David, and thank You for his honesty in speaking with You during his intimate times with You. We have no one to impress, so help us to just be ourselves as we come before You in prayer. Please continue to bless us, and bless those that we pray for, so that You may be glorified here on earth, as You are in Heaven. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. 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 Best Place To Be A Witness

While I admire believers who feel like they should always be in church, I often wonder what impact the church really has on its local community. Of course, the church is not a building where we meet to worship, it is totally comprised of the people that come together to worship the one and only Lord of the universe. However, after being reminded in this Scripture again today, I wonder if God looks any more favorable on church attendance, or on what the church does outside of the 4 walls where we meet. Please reread the Scripture and meditate with me, as God ministers to you and I.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-04-29
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Mark 2:15-17
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) 16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”
17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

OBSERVATION: While I admire believers who feel like they should always be in church, I often wonder what impact the church really has on its local community. Of course, the church is not a building where we meet to worship, it is totally comprised of the people that come together to worship the one and only Lord of the universe. However, after being reminded in this Scripture again today, I wonder if God looks any more favorable on church attendance, or on what the church does outside of the 4 walls where we meet. Please reread the Scripture and meditate with me, as God ministers to you and I.

APPLICATION: I found it very interesting how Jesus chose unlikely people to follow Him – fishermen; tax collector; etc. Then there was also another surprise when He sat at the home of Levi, a tax collector, to dine with friends and associates of Levi. In fact, the Pharisees openly showed their dismay over seeing Jesus dine with such people. But let’s examine why this appears as a surprise to us. First of all, and probably the most likely cause, is that the Pharisees hung out with other Pharisees and did not associate with the Gentiles. They considered themselves above the normal citizen, because of their knowledge, power and position. Now moving to current-day Christians, why might this story surprise us? Well, in the world of Christendom, we are ‘supposed’ to hang with other Christians. We were taught that to hang with unbelievers, we might soon assume their worldly view of anything goes, no respect or love for others, among many other things. We are taught by the church that we are to attend every possible service held at the church. We are quickly scolded if we are seen in places where ‘Christians don’t go’! Anything wrong with this picture so far? Probably not, but will we have opportunity to witness to the unsaved in any of these ‘likely’ places? Probably not. But think about this: did Jesus sin by sitting and eating with the group at dinner that night? Is it a sin if we sat and ate with a room full of business executives who never attend church? I believe the answer is clearly ‘No’, for there were no commands of God that were dishonored or disobeyed. In fact, the opposite might be true. There were opportunities to be a witness to the unsaved, and wide-opened opportunities to share the love of Christ, and the Good News with a number of people eating with you. At a cocktail party for local businesses I remember coming across the head elder from my church. He had his glass in hand, just like the rest of us, but it was filled with refreshing Coca Cola. You see, he was ‘in the world’ through the normal course of business, but he was not ‘of the world’ by participating in the drinking of alcohol, per his personal beliefs. So in our Scripture today, I believe that God may be calling out to say ‘follow the example of my Son’, don’t set so many rules that you are crippled in being a living witness for our Lord to those who have not chosen to follow Him yet. Of course this comes with many cautions. If you are a recovering alcoholic, please don’t place yourself right smack in the middle of a party where alcohol is served. If you have been the subject of human smuggling and/or human slavery, don’t place yourself in the middle of a group that will refresh those fears and hurts. I believe that God would have us use common sense about how far to go, and to find the right opportunities for meeting with folk that He is actively working on already. Seek God first, and all this will come to you by His Holy Spirit. We may often come across to the world as Mr or Mrs ‘Goodie Too Shoes’ if we feel we are too good to join a friend in certain activities at certain places other than the church, but when you are guided by the Holy Spirit, His work will be accomplished through you – even in those places.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You know first hand how trapped we are in this wicked world. We receive emails and texts, but we have to first discern if they are legitimate or if they are merely traps to sabotage our electronic world. Satan is actively trying to trap us also in our daily lives, and we must always have our guard up. Please Lord, give us the wisdom to know the things You would have us do, and the places You would have us visit, for the meetings You have scheduled for us to influence an unbeliever for the Kingdom. Please help us to always be open to the direction ordered by the Holy Spirit and help us to always stay strong in our faith, so that the world will see Jesus, and not the weakness and failures of our own selves. May our mission always be about the One that we love, adore and serve, and may Your work be accomplished through us so that mankind may be drawn to You, and where You may be glorified. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. 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!

Determined to see Jesus

There are at least two ways that we could look at the theme I chose for this devotional today. (1) How determined/diligent am I to see Jesus during my day; and (2) How determined/diligent am I in letting go and letting God reign in my life so that others might see Jesus and believe on Him. No doubt God may give you even greater insight in this Scripture, but let’s at least explore these two!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-04-28
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Mark 2:2-5
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: Soon there were so many people crowded inside the house to hear him that there was no more room, even outside the door.
While Jesus was preaching the word of God, four men arrived, carrying a paralyzed man. But when they realized that they couldn’t even get near him because of the crowd, they went up on top of the house and tore away the roof above Jesus’ head. And when they had broken through, they lowered the paralyzed man on a stretcher right down in front of himWhen Jesus saw the extent of their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “My son, your sins are now forgiven.”

OBSERVATION: There are at least two ways that we could look at the theme I chose for this devotional today. (1) How determined/diligent am I to see Jesus during my day; and (2) How determined/diligent am I in letting go and letting God reign in my life so that others might see Jesus and believe on Him. No doubt God may give you even greater insight in this Scripture, but let’s at least explore these two!

APPLICATION: This is a very popular Bible story. In fact, I remember as a child seeing this miracle demonstrated on flannel-graph! However, as I meditated on the Word today, I was forced to consider all that took place in this story, and I would encourage you to also seek God and ask Him to truly speak intimately to you as you meditate on this. Think with me about my insights that I believe God got my attention on:
-> Seeing Jesus in my day: The men who carried the lame man knew that only Jesus could heal their friend, based on the miracles they had already heard about Him. First of all, we could see great faith here because, just as we see today, there are many who still can’t walk. Did they never get close enough to Jesus, or did He decide not to heal them? But for these men, there is no indication that anything negative ever crossed their minds, for they had a friend who needed Jesus and they were determined to get him in the presence of the great Healer. How are we doing in our faith? Anywhere close to what the men in our story showed? Do we just give up when it seems like doctors are hopeless with our diseases and our ailments? Are we quick to judge when we see loved ones who experienced healing or a touch from God, or do we praise God with them over the miraculous touch of the Master? Do we automatically fall back to things like ‘good luck’; ‘happen-chance’; or just ‘great doctors’ when we see someone overcome pain and suffering, or are we the first to raise our hands in thanksgiving to the God who can? Dear friends, we still serve the same awesome God who can still touch broken hearts and still heal our diseases. Do we have the kind of faith that prompts us to seek out the Master Healer first?
-> Letting others see Jesus: Notice how Jesus decided to heal the bed-ridden man based on the faith demonstrated by he and his friends. What do you suppose our friends conclude about our faith? Do they see that we are confident in our faith? Is it something that they wish that they had, because of what they see in our life? Would you have dared tear a hole in the roof large enough to let a man and his bed down, because of the depth of your faith in the Great Healer inside the room below?
Friends, I believe that our words and our actions will reveal to others the extent of our faith. I trust that each reader has such a determination to see Jesus, and that you are so filled with faith, that you are in constant contact with Him throughout your day. As you are reenergized in your faith, those who are close to you will desire what you have and will grow to desire the King that you love and adore. Oh that our faith will be evident through our actions every day.

PRAYER: You saw the faith of the paralyzed man and his friends and you honored their steps of faith by healing the paralyzed man. Lord, I pray that You would touch our lives in such a way that our faith would be energized and that our pride will be set aside, for You alone are worthy of our praise and honor. It’s You in whom I believe, and I pray that my readers would would also acxklnowledge their extreme faith in You. For Your praise only, I pray that You might be recognized and glorified in and through us. May unbelievers witness our faith and be so reminded of You that their hearts will be stirred to surrender to You precious Lord. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. 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!

Our Mission

Ask a pastor what his mission is, and he will probably have a personal mission for his ministry, plus he will probably refer you to the mission of the church in which he is serving. Should this be any different for the normal Christian? Jesus said that His mission was to share God’s message to people wherever He went. I believe that as followers of Jesus Christ, our mission should be similar to His, but let’s allow the Holy Spirit to direct us on this as we study the Word today.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-04-27
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Mark 1:38-39
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 38 Jesus answered, “We should go to another place. We can go to other towns around here, and I can tell God’s message to those people too. That is why I came.” 39 So Jesus traveled everywhere in Galilee. He spoke in the synagogues, and he forced demons out of people.

OBSERVATION: Ask a pastor what his mission is, and he will probably have a personal mission for his ministry, plus he will probably refer you to the mission of the church in which he is serving. Should this be any different for the normal Christian? Jesus said that His mission was to share God’s message to people wherever He went. I believe that as followers of Jesus Christ, our mission should be similar to His, but let’s allow the Holy Spirit to direct us on this as we study the Word today.

APPLICATION: Jesus commanded us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. I know, you saw the word ‘preach’ and immediately transferred that command to the shoulders of your pastor, right? But you don’t travel the world, so surely Jesus wasn’t ordering you to take His message ‘to the world’, right? Isn’t it amazing how easily we could shrug off our responsibility as believers and followers of our Lord Jesus? I was totally drawn to the words of our Lord as I read verse 38 above. Jesus was unhappy just sitting around chatting with His disciples while people very near by were living without the message of the Father. In fact, His very mission was to tell the message of His Father. That’s why He came. It made me stop and ponder what my personal mission might be. Why am I here? I believe we could look at this through the various phases of our lives. For example:
-> As a dad: Why are you there in the home? What’s your mission in sharing Christ with your kids, and in reenergizing your spouse in her walk with the Lord?
-> As a church leader: What’s your mission to be the best leader for God in His church? Hopefully it’s more than just another title, or a position where you might tell the pastor what you think!
-> As an employee: Proving your reason for being on the job will make the difference between your success and failure. Failing to take the name of Jesus with you on the job will present itself as a failure in God’s eyes, as He intended for you to take His message to the world – don’t exclude places like your workplace.
Friends, when we make it our mission to take the name of Jesus with us wherever we find ourselves, we not only obey the commands of God, but our witness to unbelievers in unlikely places will go a long ways towards introducing our Lord to the unsaved. Jesus told His disciples that’s what He came for. What do you suppose you came for? I trust that you will make it your mission to take the name of Jesus with you – everywhere you go!

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, thank You for showing us how evangelism was a high priority to You. The disciples were told that the reason You came was to share the message of the Father. I am convinced that in our effort to be more like You every day and in every way, we too must be ready and willing to share, and extremely concerned that the world would know about our Father. Please Lord, give us the desire to share the joy of the Lord that lives inside of us; the wisdom to know when to share; the knowledge of all that we should share; and the boldness to share our story with the world around us. People still need the Lord. Oh that we might be instrumental in sharing our experience, our intimacy and our love for our Lord. After all, that’s what we’re here for! AMEN

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. 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!

Saints on Vacation

I once heard a sermon entitled ‘Saints on Vacation’. It was an awesome reminder that while we may need a vacation to rest our minds and our bodies from the normal routines of life, we don’t need a vacation from God, although many find that necessary. Notice that Jesus and His disciples came into Capernaum and He immediately sought out a place to worship. Seeing that Christians are committed to following in Jesus’ example, I thought we might allow the Word to speak to us today about our commitment to worshipping God with other believers, no matter where we are geographically.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-04-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Mark 1:21-24
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 21 Jesus and his companions now arrived at the town of Capernaum and on Saturday morning went into the Jewish place of worship—the synagogue—where he preached. 22 The congregation was surprised at his sermon because he spoke as an authority and didn’t try to prove his points by quoting others—quite unlike what they were used to hearing!
23 A man possessed by a demon was present and began shouting, 24 “Why are you bothering us, Jesus of Nazareth—have you come to destroy us demons? I know who you are—the holy Son of God!”

OBSERVATION: I once heard a sermon entitled ‘Saints on Vacation’. It was an awesome reminder that while we may need a vacation to rest our minds and our bodies from the normal routines of life, we don’t need a vacation from God, although many find that necessary. Notice that Jesus and His disciples came into Capernaum and He immediately sought out a place to worship. Seeing that Christians are committed to following in Jesus’ example, I thought we might allow the Word to speak to us today about our commitment to worshipping God with other believers, no matter where we are geographically.

APPLICATION: Blessed is he that attains the age of retirement, and who actually takes advantage of that wonderful option! Praise God, I have been such a blessed individual! One of the things my wife and I enjoyed while working and taking a vacation, and that we totally enjoy now that we are privileged to visit other states/cities, is to visit the local church. What a blessing to study the Word together with other Christians across the nation, many miles away from our home church, and to sit in their places of worship and sing praises to our One God, our only God – the same God we worship at our home church! We have come to look forward to these special times of worship! Unfortunately, many folk will use circumstances such as I mentioned, to remain in their hotel rooms, or visit the beach, as there is finally no one to call and ask about their whereabouts! Even more unfortunate was the onset of COVID last year where houses of worship were forced to close down. Today many of our family and friends have used this excuse to still stay away from worshipping our awesome God with other believers. Friends, if Jesus saw this as important, and he exampled this before His disciples, shouldn’t we (His followers) also do the same? If we are not especially careful, we will end up with a generation of children who saw their parents sleep in, or do any number of things during church times, instead of getting themselves together and making their way to the house of God to thank Him for His many, many blessings throughout the week, and praise Him for His goodness and unconditional love towards us- even us. Children of God, as our kids follow in our footsteps, may they always recognize the Almighty God, and may they be eternally thankful for His many mercies. Let’s not wait until something awful takes hold of our kids, in much the same way as the demon possessed man in our Scripture, before we awaken from our Satan induced spell and get on about our Father’s work. We are well enough and protected enough to go to work and do almost every thing else during the week, let’s be careful that we don’t allow Satan to fill our minds too much longer with his lies about why we should not go to church. Remember, Jesus loves us unconditionally and He would do anything for us – including His acceptance of a death sentence on a criminal’s cross so that we might have access to life eternally in Heaven. How it must grieve His heart to see us find excuse after excuse why He is not worth our sacrifice of a few hours on Sunday, or Saturday, to worship Him with other believers. He may very well have wonderful miracles in mind for you, just like He did for the demon possessed man, but you’re missing out my friend. Satan and his demons have no place in the life of one filled with God’s Holy Spirit. Denounce Satan and take your place at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will cause you to be hungry for God’s Word, and to associate once again with His people.

PRAYER: Thank You for directing my thoughts today precious Lord. I’m not perfect, so I beg for Your forgiveness when I fail You, and fail to honor You in my life. Lord, I pray that You will speak to the hearts of Your people who have become lax in attending church, Bible study and corporate prayer. I pray that You will touch the lives of those who have allowed Satan to draw them away from You, and I pray that You might touch them miraculously today so that they may be drawn back to You. Little ones are following in our example as we lead them astray, although You have warned us about not allowing anything to distract them or pull them away from You. Forgive us Lord for allowing Satan and the things of this world to come between us. Please empower us to be more like You each and every day, and help us to stand strong in our faith so that others may be encouraged and ministered to for Your name’s sake. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. 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!

It’s Time

When one prepares for major surgery, there are many things to consider. Doctors and nurses try to help prepare you for what must be done, as you may be incapacitated for a while. The better you prepare, the better you and your affairs are attended to during your down-time. In today’s study, we are encouraged to turn our lives towards God, as the fulfillment of His kingdom is at hand. How well are you prepared, should Jesus return today?

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-04-24
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Mark 1:14-15
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 14 Later on, after John the Baptizer was arrested, Jesus went back into the region of Galilee and preached the wonderful gospel of God’s kingdom. 15 His message was this: “At last the fulfillment of the age has come! It is time for God’s kingdom to be experienced in its fullness! Turn your lives back to God and put your trust in the hope-filled gospel!”

OBSERVATION: When one prepares for major surgery, there are many things to consider. Doctors and nurses try to help prepare you for what must be done, as you may be incapacitated for a while. The better you prepare, the better you and your affairs are attended to during your down-time. In today’s study, we are encouraged to turn our lives towards God, as the fulfillment of His kingdom is at hand. How well are you prepared, should Jesus return today?

APPLICATION: There’s a lot in the Bible that warns us about the time leading up to the return of Jesus, and there are many warnings as to what will occur if you are prepared for that historic event. It is a known fact that many will refuse to believe in the return of Christ; and God, in His infinite wisdom, knew that would happen, so He gave insight into what will happen to those who refuse to listen, believe and accept Jesus as Lord. Friends, please know that our Scripture today applies to everyone, not just those who believe in their Creator and have accepted His free gift of Eternal Life. Just as in most areas of our lives, many are skeptical, Jesus knew that regardless of what was done in a manger in Bethlehem many years ago, and no matter how much pain He endured on a rugged old cross at Calvary, yet some will doubt, while many will procrastinate as if they know the day and the hour that Christ will return. But I feel a responsibility to warn you today, that just as the prophets foretold the birth, crucifixion, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus, they also foretold exactly what Jesus returned to Galilee to tell the people there. If you visited a website where a financial guru told you where to invest your money, because He felt certain of later success and profitability in certain areas of the market, you would jump to invest every extra dime you could put your hands on. Yet the Creator of this universe, and of you and I, says in His Word that He loves you enough to sacrifice His very life for you, because He wants you to be ready when the trumpet of God is sounded. But some have opted to accept eternal damnation in Hell instead. What’s with that dear friends? To my reader who remains skeptical about my Lord, please let me remind you that there is no greater love than for a man to lay down His own life for you, like my Jesus did. Please be careful as you observe the free will He has given to you. Unless you accept Him as Lord and Savior of your life, you are destined for a sinner’s Hell. To those who have accepted Him and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, there is a place prepared for you, together with all the saints, in glory, where we may rejoice with the Father and the Son forevermore! The choice is easy my friend, but you must make that choice. Make it today, while you still have breath to do so.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me home… Thank You Lord for saving my soul and thank You for the promised rewards of Heaven. Oh that Your Word might penetrate the heart of the unsaved one that reads this devotional. May they choose life – life eternal with You and the Father in Heaven. We long to be where You are dear Lord. May Your kingdom come soon. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. 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!

Enough of the Stress – Confess Your Sins

There are so many things that stress us out, and everyone we talk to will have a solution on how we should deal with that stress. So from the Word of God, let us meditate today on what it teaches us about relieving ourselves of stresses in our life.

Friday, 2021-04-23

Bible Reference: Psalm 32:1-5
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: It is a great blessing when people are forgiven for the wrongs they have done, when their sins are erased. It is a great blessing when the Lord says they are not guilty, when they don’t try to hide their sins. Lord, I prayed to you again and again, but I did not talk about my sins. So I only became weaker and more miserable. Every day you made life harder for me. I became like a dry land in the hot summertime. Selah But then I decided to confess my sins to the Lord. I stopped hiding my guilt and told you about my sins. And you forgave them all! Selah

OBSERVATION: There are so many things that stress us out, and everyone we talk to will have a solution on how we should deal with that stress. So from the Word of God, let us meditate today on what it teaches us about relieving ourselves of stresses in our life.

APPLICATION: I’m certainly not trained to deal professionally with how one should handle the stress in their lives (that’s my legal disclosure!!!!). However, from the Word of God we can see what David said about his weaknesses, his challenges, his sin; his forgiveness and how his confession led to his happiness. Today David is challenging us to consider how easy it is to try and cover up our sin and pretend it doesn’t exist. Also, how miserable we are when we go around pretending all is well. Friends, I believe that is the first inhibitor for stress – when we know something is going on in our lives, but we pretend to those around us that all is well. Unfortunately I believe that we unconsciously show our pretense to God also, for we follow our own desires, knowing that often these things are contrary to the Word of God, and to what He desires of us. We just go on about our day pretending that all is well. In my opinion, this is the source of stress, for we are covering up something that we know should be done or said differently. But praise be to God, dear friends, the Psalmist showed us that there was excellent results for him when he followed the normal pattern designed by God. You see, God set the pattern for His children so that they might be pleasing to Him in every way. However, in all of our wisdom, we somehow figured that we could go our own way and do our own thing, and God would be just as happy seeing us struggle along. But I believe that God placed an uneasiness in us, that some may call ‘stress’, because He wanted us to know when we were doing something that He isn’t happy about. Let me encourage you to re-read the last part of our focal verses today, and I believe that like me, you too might notice the loud sigh of relief by David as he concluded that God heard his burden for forgiveness and He forgave him. I pray that our goal today might be that we live as an open book before God – nothing to be worried about, holding nothing back, exposing everything to God that bothers us in the very least. God knows us friend, and He knows what we may be covering up. But I believe that He longs to see us reconcile our faults before Him, and seek His forgiveness, so that we may be one with Him. Consider making this the day that you relieve yourself of the stress in your life. Seek God while He may be found. Expose your heart to Him, so that He might cleanse it and make you whole. Be one with your Maker my friend, and allow your mind to be at rest in Him!

PRAYER: Precious Lord Jesus, we approach You as Your loving children that are broken and filled with stress over trying to do ‘life’ on our own. Please speak directly to our innermost person today and help us to acknowledge our shortcomings, and our inability to handle this complex world on our own while thinking that we could still please You. Without You we are broken, without any hope of repair. Please humble our hearts so that we might surrender our all to You and give You full reign in every aspect of our being, so that You may be honored and praised by all who may encounter 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!

Our Assignment

Ever notice how popular Sunday morning church service is, compared to Sunday evening discipleship hour, or Wednesday evening prayer service, or perhaps men/women Bible Study? Based on this comparison, we might seriously ponder how much of the Gospel (or how little) we take with us in our work places, or our social events, etc. after Sunday is over. But we have a huge assignment form Jesus in today’s Scripture, so meditate with me on His commands.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-04-22
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 28:18-20
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 18 Then Jesus came close to them and said, “All authority of the universe has been given to me. 19 Now wherever you go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 20 And teach them to faithfully follow all that I have commanded you. And never forget that I am with you every day, even to the completion of this age.”

OBSERVATION: Ever notice how popular Sunday morning church service is, compared to Sunday evening discipleship hour, or Wednesday evening prayer service, or perhaps men/women Bible Study? Based on this comparison, we might seriously ponder how much of the Gospel (or how little) we take with us in our work places, or our social events, etc. after Sunday is over. But we have a huge assignment form Jesus in today’s Scripture, so meditate with me on His commands.

APPLICATION: Jesus’ disciples had just encountered the risen Lord for the first time after His crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection. While they tried to celebrate the risen Lord, some were still in a state of shock and disbelief. Surprised, because you thought these were Jesus’ dedicated followers who learned first-hand from Him and saw His many miracles? I know, but don’t think for a moment that they were weaker than you and I, or filled with doubt any more than we are. Notice how Jesus didn’t nurse their feelings by trying to help them overcome their doubt and fear, but instead He immediately told them about their next, and ongoing assignment. Now I believe that this message was also for Jesus’ disciples of today also – my fellow believers and I. So I believe it is important that we understand the command, so that we too can be obedient servants:
-> Go – In other words, as you go, or everywhere you go, do what I am about to tell you. Since retiring, I have been privileged to travel a bit, and I find it extraordinarily rewarding how people are no different in cities considered below poverty level, or cities with the most wealthy. Many still need the Lord, but it is so, so comforting to fellowship with those who know the Savior as you do;
-> Make disciples – based on what I just said above, I am commissioned to not merely look the other way and expect pastors to evangelize those in their city who need the Lord, but I am also expected to make disciples there, or preach the Gospel there, or minister to the unsaved there, regardless of their national origin, color or gender;
-> Baptize the disciples – Don’t just see them accept Jesus as their Savior, but lead them to be baptized, as evidence to their family and friends that they have arisen in newness of life through the power of the triune God;
-> Teach them – Share with the new believers all that God has taught you through His Word. Teach them how to study the Word so that they may know what God expects of them. Oh, you’re not a teacher? No problem, just pretend that you are a beggar helping another beggar to find food. You are not expected to share what the preacher said in yesterday’s sermon, you are commissioned to tell your story of how Jesus saved you and watches over you every day until He returns to take you home to glory!
So it is very obvious that God never intended for us to soak and sour in His goodness, but to share His amazing goodness with everyone that we come into contact with. Friends, how will they know that change is necessary unless, through God’s grace, you share the love of Christ with them, and the assignment He has given to us? Be a faithful servant and obey the commands of our Lord.

PRAYER: Thank You Father for showing us Your love, teaching us Your Word and not just leaving us where we are, but showing us the importance of passing along what we have experienced and learned from You, so that the unsaved too might surrender to Your perfect will for their lives. Please touch the heart of every believer that reads this devotional, and use Your Word to speak miraculously into their lives. Please touch us with Your grace, Your power, Your wisdom, and Your encouragement to share every day what You have poured into our lives. May You be glorified today because of our obedience, followed only by the changed lives of those who accept You as Lord. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. 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!

May Our Actions Never Discredit Our King

Perhaps one of your parents may have told you at one time how they hoped you would never spoil their good name in the community or in the church. As children of the most high God, I wonder what might cross our minds as we meditate on His Word today? Perhaps there are things we say or do that may not promote the Kingdom, and I would be ashamed to see how that must hurt our Father. Allow the Word to wash over you today and complete It’s work in you.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-04-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 25:11
TRANSLATION: New International Version (NIV)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 For the sake of your name, Lord,
    forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

OBSERVATION: Perhaps one of your parents may have told you at one time how they hoped you would never spoil their good name in the community or in the church. As children of the most high God, I wonder what might cross our minds as we meditate on His Word today? Perhaps there are things we say or do that may not promote the Kingdom, and I would be ashamed to see how that must hurt our Father. Allow the Word to wash over you today and complete It’s work in you.

APPLICATION: Ever recognize a couple as being the parents of that boy/girl who recently went to prison for a certain crime? Or have you ever said to a child that they have totally destroyed the respect of your name in the community? But of even greater concern, what if we stop and reflect on the heart of God, like David did, and feel convicted of how we have hurt Him with our actions or words? Yes, we serve a forgiving God who loves us unconditionally. But when we surrendered our lives to Him, we committed to live a life that would reflect the actions and life of Christ. We promised to honestly represent Him here on earth, hoping that family and friends will frequently mistake us for Jesus. Don’t you often stop to reflect on how you are doing in that respect? Do you feel like each end of day, God must review our life and celebrate how well we did? Yes, through the good times, through the great opportunities that presented themselves, through the arguments, through the nasty confrontations and through the lost tempers. Did we truly make our Master shine in the eyes of unbelievers? Did they get a better view of who Jesus truly is, by the way we responded? Can you see more clearly now why David sought forgiveness from the Lord? David was much like us and he knew that the matchless name of Jesus was marred because of his sins, and he wanted that rectified as soon as possible. Dear Christian Brothers and Sisters, join me in protecting the name of the One that we love, because of His unconditional love for us; the name of the One who suffered and died on a rugged old cross at Calvary, so that we might have life eternal in heaven; the name of the One who has power to heal our diseases, direct our paths and guide our decisions for His good! He’s the One we love and appreciate, let’s act like His children so that the world will know Him and desire a relationship with Him. Let’s aim to have the name of our Savior lifted high each and every day, instead of the negative connotations that the world tends to look for.

PRAYER: Lord, You are so good to Your children in so many marvelous ways, and Your love for us is beyond our comprehension. However, we can easily identify with David, because of our constant drive to please the world. Please forgive us for often straying away from Your commands and misrepresenting You before a lost world, in spite of the need to do just the opposite. Lord, we humbly ask for Your power to help us be more like You every day. People need the Lord, including those that we come into contact with, so please give us wisdom and boldness to share Your love with them, and may our character be representative of who You are. Please save the lost, and kindly use us in Your service as You see fit, so that Your name be lifted high – above all other names. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. 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!

Stop Giving

Imagine receiving a letter from your pastor telling you to stop giving, as the church already has more than enough to adequately perform its ministry needs plus its building fund? Hopefully someone will be nearby to pick you up off the floor after you faint from the news, right?!! But Moses did exactly what I just described. What’s the difference? Let’s examine what God may be saying to us through His Word today about our free will offerings.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-04-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Exodus 36:5-7
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: … “The people are bringing more than enough for doing this work that God has commanded us to do!”
6-7 So Moses sent out orders through the camp: “Men! Women! No more offerings for the building of the Sanctuary!”
The people were ordered to stop bringing offerings! There was plenty of material for all the work to be done. Enough and more than enough.

OBSERVATION: Imagine receiving a letter from your pastor telling you to stop giving, as the church already has more than enough to adequately perform its ministry needs plus its building fund? Hopefully someone will be nearby to pick you up off the floor after you faint from the news, right?!! But Moses did exactly what I just described. What’s the difference? Let’s examine what God may be saying to us through His Word today about our free will offerings.

APPLICATION: Most growing churches looking to build a new sanctuary to meet their current, and projected future needs, will try to build a much larger building than they currently worship in. With today’s cost of living, and current building material costs, conservative estimates are in the millions of dollars to construct a nice church building with all the comfort and amenities congregations have come to demand. It’s just a fact of life in the 21st century! Many churches struggle to meet normal budget needs, so how should they possibly consider finding funds for a mega building? But let us consider what might be the difference between the Israelites Moses dealt with in his building plan, verses today’s church? The Israelites came from a life of slavery in Egypt, and followed a man led by God – Moses, towards an unknown land simply known as The Promised Land (a land promised by God). They were witness to miracle after miracle as God forced the Egyptian king to let the Israelites (slaves) go. Additionally, the Israelites saw additional miracles as God protected them, fed them, and lovingly cared for them during their journey through the Wilderness. God gave them everything they needed, so wouldn’t you assume that they too would give sacrificially now that they are given the opportunity of giving everything needed for the house of God? After all, He provided for their every need when they had no other choice, so wouldn’t He also now provide for their needs as they give sacrificially to His house of praise and worship? But friends, how is this different to what we face today? Can’t you see that the doubts that arise in our minds about committing to give for the work of God, and the excuses that we quickly come up with about giving even more than our tithe for a building fund, are simply Satan’s way of helping us change our priority in giving? After all, don’t we depend on God every day for our jobs, our health, our protection and our peace of mind about finding food for our families? So with that in mind, if we ask God to direct us in our giving towards the growth of His work in our community through our church, don’t you think that He will continue to be God and lead us through each day with all the provisions we need – even after committing to give more to His work? As a child, I remember working extra small jobs and helping my parents in filling our missionary offering box, for their annual Missionary fundraising. I could only imagine that the Israelites may have found innovative ways of raising extra money, such as growing one extra head of cattle, so the funds could go towards the construction of the sanctuary. Surely God could open our eyes to ways that we could also give more for His work/ministry that will ultimately help to reach more lost people in our communities. If we all do our part, perhaps our pastor might be able to do as Moses did, and let the congregants know that ‘we have enough, no need to continue giving the extra funds’! But friends, please continue giving until you receive that word from your church!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for giving so much to us! You have blessed us with life itself; with jobs; with food enough, even in excess; with good health; money enough to help others in need; and above all, You have offered us salvation – at the expense of Your One and only Son, Jesus. Thank You Lord for Your mercies on me. Please help my readers and I to be mindful of all that You bless us with each day, especially when we try to evaluate what we might give to bless others. Help us to remember the church growth You have blessed us with when we see the need for a larger sanctuary, so that we might also give sacrificially, just as You did for us. Be magnified oh God because of our willingness to give, sacrificially if necessary, for Your ongoing work. May our giving be from a thankful heart filled with love for our Master! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. 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!