Celebrate The Blessings Of God

It is so easy to read about the ungratefulness of others, as in our Scripture today, but hard to understand their ungratefulness especially when they have been the recipients of daily blessings from God. In our story of the Israelites as they traveled through the Wilderness under the watchful eye and protective hand of the Master, from a land of slavery to a land of freedom and countless provisions, they showed anything but thankfulness and appreciation. But have we really learned anything from this story? Are we in constant awe and full of appreciation for what God does for us? Let’s stop to ponder that for a few minutes today.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-05-31
WRITTEN AT: Lake Wales, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Numbers 14:21-23
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 21 But I tell you the truth. As surely as I live and as surely as the Glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, I make you this promise: 22 None of the people I led out of Egypt will ever see the land of Canaan. They saw my glory and the great signs that I did in Egypt and in the desert. But they disobeyed me and tested me ten times. 23 I promised their ancestors that I would give them that land. But none of those people who turned against me will ever enter that land!

APPLICATION:  It is so easy to read about the rescue of the Israelites from slavery at the hands of the Egyptians, and to see the miraculous works of God as He led them through years and years of travel through the wilderness. There He saved them from slaughter by approaching armys; provided food for over 1,000,000 people; gave direction and protection to them as they traveled, made a way for them when there appeared like they were doomed for destruction by Pharaoh’s fiercest men, while all the while holding a token out in front of them to their ultimate destination – a land flowing with milk and honey. Isn’t it extremely upsetting to think of them grumbling in the midst of all the awesome things that surrounds this story? Isn’t it awful to think of the Israelites choosing to worship a false god who could never have helped them, even if he tried? Isn’t it good to know that we are so much better at that than they were? BUT wait, are we?? I tried to place a positive spin on the title of today’s devotion, instead of what I was really feeling like God might say to us at times today – can’t you imagine God saying to us: ‘Just quit the griping and complaining’? Just in case you are blinded to really see how little we have changed, let me suggest that not a whole lot has changed. Friends, using the backdrop of the awful complaints by the Israelites, in response to all the awesome provisions and blessings God was showering on them every day, I want us to look inward and turn our eyes to our own lives and our challenges that we deal with each day. From the time that we awaken each day, from our comfortable beds, in super cool air-conditioning, we may start by complaining that it’s so warm outside, and furthermore I have to get off to work. Let’s stop right there for a moment and remind ourselves that many have no choice but to endure that warm/hot air 24 hours per day without the convenience of air conditioning; Some are currently out of their homes because of flooding, tornadoes or simply due to financial problems, and many of these may not be able to return to their homes. So do we truly have room to complain, or do we have something to be very thankful for? Of course our complaining continues into the choice of food we have for breakfast, or the broken down vehicle that we drive to work, or the time of day that we have to report to work. While many others could only wish that they had each of the above. Yesterday many may have chosen alternate gods to worship, just like the Israelites, instead of assembling ourselves together with other believers in thankful praise to our Creator, Provider and King of all kings. Friends, may I suggest to you that we should learn from the Israelites to appreciate all that God provides for us each and every day. Yes, our greed and our selfish desires always tend to want something different and superior to what we have, but as we look into the eyes of our Master, isn’t there unlimited reasons to praise Him instead? Thank You, thank you, thank You Lord for Your mercies and Your kindness to me – Your humble servant. Who am I to deserve such grace, and such love from such an awesome God? Please forgive my readers and I for our ungratefulness Lord. Please help us to always look at all You endured so that we might have eternal life, and a home in glory with You. Your love for us, and Your daily gifts to us are beyond anything we could measure, so may we always find room in our hearts to praise You and rejoice in all Your tender mercies, for You alone are God!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: We have so many reasons to sing praises to our Lord and King, that it may be challenging to carve out sufficient time to do this. Our priority should lead us to the foot of the cross to meet with our Savior at least daily.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You are so good! We are such a needy people and we cannot do this thing called ‘life’ here on this earth without You. There are so many things that we take for granted, but that we know you have provided for our good. Thank You Lord for Your mercies on us. Mercies that endure day after day! We really have no room to complain, for Your goodness deserves our praise and our daily echo of thanksgiving. We worship You oh Lord, and we long to see You face-to-face in heaven one day. Until that time, please give us grateful hearts that will express your praise at every opportunity. 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!

Don’t Limit The Power of God

Moses was blown away with what God said He would do, and this was partially due to the fact that Moses was looking through the lens of man’s physical limitations. But I believe that because we think so logically, we just find it very challenging to see beyond that. Let’s think about how God settled this for Moses, then think about the mountains in our own lives and how we need to surrender those apparent ‘impossibilities’ to the Master.

DATE WRITTEN: ^, 2021-06-^
WRITTEN AT: Sebring, FL

Bible Reference: Numbers 11:21-23
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 21 Moses said, “There are 600,000 soldiers here, and you say, ‘I will give them enough meat to eat for a whole month!’ 22 If we were to kill all the sheep and cattle, that would still not be enough to feed this many people for a month. And if we caught all the fish in the sea, it would not be enough for them!”
23 But the Lord said to Moses, “Don’t limit my power! You will see that I can do what I say I can do.”

APPLICATION: There’s a song ‘Got any rivers you think are uncrossable?‘. Some might sing ‘mountains’ instead of ‘rivers’, but I bet we all can identify with the song, no matter which huge object is used! For there are times when our challenges are much bigger than anything we have answers for, or that we could overcome. But friend of God, let’s be reminded that there is also another song that reminds us that ‘Nothing is impossible‘ when we place our trust in God! The interesting part of the story with Moses is that God said He would feed meat to the Israelites for 30 days, and Moses took it as his responsibility to determine where he would get the meat from for God to do as He promised! That is almost comical my friend, for if God brings us to it, He will take us through it! He is not one who makes a promise and then turns around, scratches His head and tries to figure out how He will accomplish His work. If He said it, we could go to the bank with that, sit back and just watch Him accomplish whatever He said He would do. I’m sure that we are no different to Moses in wanting to be involved, wanting to help, and wanting to figure out how we could solve planet earth’s problems. But stop to remember how many other miracles Moses had already seen, and yet he still didn’t just take God at His word and sit back in wonderment while God accomplished the miraculous act that He spoke about. Friends, let’s remember that we serve an awesome God and that He can. and will do, everything that He has promised, and that He might promise you today. So let us therefore place our faith and our trust in Him, depend on Him, and be ready to praise Him as we see Him accomplish His work. Remember that mountains and rivers are only obstacles for us, not for our powerful, miraculous, awesome God!

PRAYER: Lord, we have faith, but every day we need more, for we struggle to see beyond the limitations of our own eyes. I believe that each reader of this devotional will face mountains, or rivers of some form today. Oh that we might constantly be reminded that greater is He that lives inside of us than he that is in this world. In fact, You, Mighty God, created the mountains and the rivers, so You control them. Lord, as You look on feeble man today, please once again touch and encourage your children to keep our eyes fixed on You, our all-powerful God, through whom all things are possible! 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!

Responsibility of Parents and Children

Although it is a delight to be a parent, it is also an awesome responsibility. But we all have them (parents), and God expected us to use their mentorship to lead us into responsible, loving and respectful individuals. Let’s look into this to help ensure that we are doing what God expects of us.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-05-29
WRITTEN AT: Lake Wales, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Proverbs 6:20-22
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 20 Obey the teaching
    of your parents—
21     always keep it in mind
    and never forget it.
22 Their teaching will guide you
    when you walk,
protect you when you sleep,
    and talk to you
    when you are awake.

APPLICATION: I believe that Solomon gave us awesome advice in these verses, but I see advice here for parents, and for their children. It seems like our family structure has suffered greatly over recent years, so regardless of your religious beliefs, I believe it is worth meditating with me on this today.
FOR PARENTS: We have the joy and privilege of honoring God in not only populating the earth, but ensuring that we provide responsible, respectful and loving individuals to bless others that they come into contact with. This requires teaching our children right from wrong, and in many cases, to correct the areas of life that we feel like we could have done better. But this is a daily task, and it requires our consistent guidance and/or correction. Notice that our little ones who look up to us morning, noon and evening will someday depend on what we taught them as they begin to decide for themselves what pleases God, and what is most acceptable to others. Because of this, it is important that we be strong enough, and big enough, to apologize if necessary and correct any bad advice or action that we realize we gave in error. Our children will soon conclude that we don’t live in a perfect world, but rather one that is very dependent on God and His wisdom.
FOR CHILDREN: It is so sad to hear an adult say that they have bad, or hateful memories of their parents, for that is obviously not what God intended when He created the world and its inhabitants. From our earliest recollection, we will remember how loving and forgiving our parents were, and as we make decisions and approach daily chores, we will often be reminded of how important certain processes were to our parents. I believe these principles become very real when others look at us and say how much we remind them of one of our parents, based on certain actions we take! Mannerisms are continued because of things taught in our homes – good and bad manners! I have a nephew who is constantly complimented on his good manners, and I attribute that to all that was taught to his mom and dad from their parents.
God knew what He was doing when He created the family structure. It’s up to us to trust Him that He is all-knowing; filled with wisdom, and that He created us in His image, for His glory. This is the basis for a perfect world, if only we will do our part as parents and/or children, in recognizing the Creator and His awesome plan for us!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Children are a gift from God, but I believe that good and faithful parents are also an awesome gift of God to their children!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for daily reminders that You are in control of our lives and of our circumstances. Thank You for providing great parents who tried very hard to make sure that we would be the best student, best companion, best worker and best friend to those that we come into contact with. I am eternally grateful for my parents, and I pray for all my readers that they too may be enjoying success and blessings as a result of all that their parents conveyed to them, and practiced in their home. Oh that we may recognize Your goodness to us and practice it daily, so that the world might know that Jesus lives, because they see You living in and through us. AMEN!

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

If You Obey, I Will… Otherwise I will ….

Having worked a little in programming, there were many occasions that If-Then formulas were used to direct programs on how to deal with data meeting certain criteria. Long before computer programming, God gave us an If-Then condition for us to analyze, and He gave us what the results will look like for the specific condition we decide to follow. This is a good time to review our options today as we study the Word together!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-05-28
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Leviticus 26:3-16
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: Faithfully obey my laws, and I will send rain to make your crops grow and your trees produce fruit.
I will bless your country with peace, and you will rest without fear.
You will chase and destroy your enemies, even if there are only five of you and a hundred of them, or only a hundred of you and ten thousand of them.
14-15 If you disobey me and my laws, and if you break our agreement, 16 I will punish you terribly, and you will be ruined. You will be struck with incurable diseases and with fever that leads to blindness and depression……

APPLICATION: God provided freedom to His people, the Israelites, who were enslaved in Egypt. To make the transition, I’m sure God had to lead them in every walk of freedom, including those things that trigger His gifts and generosity. Often as we tune in to the evening news and hear of everything that is creating havoc for our respective families and country, we may be forced to ponder what on earth have we done to deserve all the bad things that occur every day. For the sake of brevity, I only included highlights from Leviticus 26. Let me encourage each reader to click on the Scripture reference above and read the whole chapter. There are things promised by God that I’m sure we would wish to enjoy and flourish in today. However, there are also warnings that God gave about His reaction to our disobedience, and we could only stand back in shock about how real these are even in our current day situation. Notice that God warned about incurable diseases that He will allow to affect us – perhaps cancer, COVID, or other such diseases. Weather conditions that will impact growth of our natural food items. And these forms of punishment will be multiplied as we continue our stubborn and disobedient streak. Friends, I found this extremely interesting as I read this today. Yes, this related how God spoke to the Israelites. But I believe it was placed in His Book of Instruction, so that we might know how He operates. Simply put, I believe God is saying to us that if we recognize Him as our Creator/God and we obey His commands, He will bless us beyond our ability to comprehend. However, beginning in verse 14, God is telling us that if we choose to go our own way, ignore the Almighty God who created us, and live according to the world’s standards and beliefs, then He will release His fury on us. No doubt we will ponder why on earth will anyone choose to be punished. Ever since the very beginning of time, Satan has misled mankind into thinking that they know better than the God who created them. Unfortunately, Satan is still whispering words of deceit to many today, for until some are challenged with unusual or burdensome things that serve to destroy them or their families, they usually opt to continue their rejection of the Great I Am. I believe that it is extremely obvious as to God’s intentions, and His positive reaction to our obedience. But He is strongly against our disobedience, so if it’s up to you, then why would you choose death over life; or evil over goodness; or damnation over the goodness of a loving and caring God? Friends, God has made His decision on the outcome, it’s up to you now to choose your ultimate destination and whether it will be blessings in store for you, or curses. I know you are smart and that you will make the right decision, God being your helper and provider.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: In spite of accepting us in a very sinful state, God saved us from the pit of Hell and, as promised to the Israelites in today’s Scripture, He has many, many blessings in store for His children. We serve such an awesome God!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul…. Thank You also for Your promises of ongoing blessings just like You promised the wicked Israelites who stubbornly worshiped idols, even while You provided their food and passage to a new and wonderful, free land. Please Lord, touch Your people once again today so that our eyes might be opened and our hearts refreshed to Your many blessings. Please give us boldness to stay in Your Word and apply it to our lives every day. May the source of our strength and our divine guide be obvious to all those around us, so that they may also seek after You. AMEN!

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

Actions That God Hates

Seldom do we read about something that God hates, so when each translation uses these words, I believe it is important that we try to fully understand, and seek to always avoid those things that He hates. Stay with me as we meditate on this today.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-05-27
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Proverbs 6:16-19
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 16 The Lord hates these seven things:
17     eyes that show pride,
    tongues that tell lies,
    hands that kill innocent people,
18     hearts that plan evil things to do,
    feet that run to do evil,
19     witnesses in court who tell lies,
    and anyone who causes family members to fight.

APPLICATION: As a child we learn very quickly to avoid those things that our parents hate, or strongly oppose. In school we tend to do the same in respect to our teachers. And of course, we especially try very hard not to provoke our lifetime partner in life, our spouse, from becoming upset over us doing those things they hate. But what about God? We tend to hear more about His sacrifice; His commands; His direction to His disciples and other Bible saints; and His unconditional love for us. But in the Proverbs today we are given some things that God hates, and I believe it deserves our undivided attention:
~ Eyes that show pride, or prideful eyes, as some translations read. Jesus was the most humble person on earth, and we are to imitate Him, so where might pride come from? Satan reinforces this characteristic in those that He wants to lead astray, so he makes them proud of their personal achievements, and convinces them that they needed no help arriving at their goals. For the Christian, we recognize the source of all good things, and we live in subjection to our King. There is no room for pride, without first recognizing our source of life and all that has been provided for us by Him;
~ A tongue that tells lies – One of the names that Jesus is called in the New Testament is ‘Truth’. So when we seek to know the truth about something, we must first consult Truth – the one Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The world is known for its lies as a primary source of deception. If you belong to God, then you listen to Him and act like Him in telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth;
~ Hands that kill innocent people – Murder is never acceptable by God. He taught us to never do this in the Commandments He gave to Moses for the Israelites, and now it is reemphasized by Solomon in the Proverbs. No matter how wrong someone is, and no matter how much we learn to dislike them, we have no right to take the life of an innocent man created by God;
~ Hearts that plan evil deeds – God is in control, and not us. He will revenge the guilty, so there is no need for us to plan evil against anyone. Live like Jesus and seek to do good during your lifetime and love one another, just as Christ loved us;
~ Feet that run to do evil – Just as in the previous point, God despises the looks of evil, so anything we do to create an atmosphere of evil is an abomination to God;
~ Witnesses in court who tell lies – Witnesses in most courts will be sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. How dare us make a sworn promise to God that we will tell the truth, then turn around and lie. I’m surprised that God don’t strike those guilty of this sin down right on the spot, like He did to Ananias and Sapphire;
~ Anyone who causes a family to fight – Many families are struggling to get along today. Often it is caused by at least one of the sins mentioned in this list. However, it takes one member deliberately trying to provoke trouble, arguments, and all sorts of unrest to create disharmony and internal fights among family members. God is not happy with such family members – in fact, He hates the idea of anyone causing fights among His loving family units.
FRIENDS, if you are trying to live a Godly life, then you will make every effort to seek God – His power, His wisdom, and His mercy to help you live like He intended, and not as Satan and his cohorts of this world lives. God will help you do that, if you call on Him to guide you.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God loves us way too much to see His children fail in life. He only hates our actions when He recognizes that we are trying to live life under our own terms. Keep this list handy so that you will quickly recognize when you are guilty of something that God hates!

PRAYER: Oh Lord my God, thank You for creating perfect individuals! Thank You also for not giving up on us when we fail. Today we have learned about the things You hate. Please strengthen us and embolden us to stand firm in our faith, and live lives disciplined to please You in every aspect of life. Many others need the Lord. May they see You so vividly in us that they will be encouraged to seek You while You still may be found. Please bless my readers today with a new invigorating faith and desire to live like You and serve You faithfully until You return to take us home to glory! AMEN!

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

What It Means To Be A Follower of Jesus Christ

Take up your cross and follow Jesus. These words have always been a mystery to me, so I wanted to share my thoughts with you on a clearer understanding of those words. This all leads to us thinking about how serious we are in following our Master and our Lord. Is it just words, or our we truly committed to following the One who gave up His life for us?

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-05-26
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 8:34-36
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 34 Then Jesus called the crowd and his followers to him. He said, “Any of you who want to be my follower must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you for following me. 35 Any of you who try to save the life you have will lose it. But you who give up your life for me and for the Good News will save it. 36 It is worth nothing for you to have the whole world if you yourself are lost.

APPLICATION: Some are afraid to get married, because they’re afraid of the freedoms they would lose as a single, unattached person. Some are hesitant to accept Jesus as Savior, because they are hesitant to give up their worldly freedoms. So what does it mean to actually surrender your life to the lordship of Jesus Christ? Some will tell you that it is the only way of getting into heaven when you die, and I agree with that. However, I believe that there are many more reasons for us to consider aligning ourselves with the Creator of the universe. For you see, there is no one else in the history of mankind that ever agreed to give up his/her life to show how much they truly love us. And why was this deep love so important? Well, God saw that mankind was struggling to follow His commands and therefore show themselves worthy of aligning themselves with Him, so He miraculously formed His very own Son to be born of a virgin. The reason for His coming, was that He would live among men, perform many miracles that would help affirm His infinite mercy and power, then die a cruel death on a cross, whereby showing how the sins of His believers would also die and therefore make them holy, just as He is holy. This was so important to God that He declared this would be the only means of sinful man aligning themselves with Him. The only means of forgiveness of sin. But in our Scripture today, we are told that moving from the world to becoming one with Him, would involve sacrifice. Not the kind of sacrifice that Jesus showed on the cross, but God wanted to see the heart of man being willing to sacrifice everything this world has to offer, in order to give up ourselves wholeheartedly to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Carrying that type of guilt and the burden of sin from this world was referred to as our ‘cross’ by Jesus in our Scripture today. So Jesus told His disciples and the crowd gathered, and He still tells His children today, that we are to give up our earthly cross – that burden of sin, and follow Him. In other words, make a 180 degree turn in our lives. In being of this world, we are following the likes and teachings of this world. A way of life in total opposition to that of Jesus Christ. So Jesus said that we must be willing to give that up and take on our new ‘skin’, a life dedicated to God and following the teachings and sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. The value for the child of God in giving up our earthly idols, practices and evil desires – our cross, is that we take on a new life fully committed to the life, teachings, unconditional love and forgiveness of a loving and sacrificial Savior as we head towards the place He has already prepared for us in heaven! IT WILL BE WORTH IT ALL dear friends! Let’s encourage one another as we give up our cross and follow Jesus!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: There is no greater love than for a man to give up his life for another. Jesus did this for us. Praise be to God for His wondrous acts of love to an undeserving people!

PRAYER: There was a chorus I learned as a very young person – ‘Oh the love of Jesus’! Although very challenging for us to understand that love where You so freely gave of Yourself on Calvary for us Lord, yet I know without a shadow of doubt that You would have it no other way. You created us and I believe that Your ultimate goal is to have us worship You and lift up Your name ever day until we join You in heaven one day soon. Please forgive us for ignoring that love at times and claim that we are enjoying things offered by this world. It is obvious that this world has nothing to offer us that compares to Your amazing love for us. Please continue to be patient with us as we learn to give up this heavy and burdensome cross of this wicked world, and learn to follow You in righteousness, love and concern for one another. We long to be where You are Lord. Please help us to overcome the world and live as children of our awesome God! 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!

Who Am I?

Perhaps you might be asked who is this Jesus who answered your prayer, when you sing His praises for answering your prayers the way you pleaded with Him. But what if Jesus answered your prayer in the way that you personally would not have preferred? In spite of His answer to your prayer being perfectly aligned with His will for your life, you can’t see that, so you may find it challenging to answer this question in a kind way ‘Who is this Jesus?’ Let’s meditate on what this might truly mean.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-05-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 8:27-29
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 27 Then Jesus and his disciples walked to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. On the way, he posed this question to his disciples: “Who do the people say that I am?”
28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptizer, others say Elijah the prophet, and still others say you must be one of the prophets.”
29 He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”…..

APPLICATION: Peter and his fellow disciples had been with Jesus when He did some miraculous wonders. But knowing that the Pharisees wanted Him dead, regardless of the miracles He performed in their communities. Jesus may have wondered if these mixed feelings were getting to the disciples, so He asked Peter a very important question in our Scripture today – ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Jesus could also have asked this question of Peter based on his experience to date with the Master. I wonder how we might answer that today? If we have been committed to a personal, deep relationship with the Master, then we would have rejoiced on many occasions because of His love, because of His miracles, His wisdom, His calm assurance, His wonderful blessings and His direction in helping us lead lives that mirror His example – in spite of the very challenging situations of life here on earth. For the believer who lives this kind of life, I believe that we would rejoice in our King, our Savior and our Lord, even when we are still dealt a challenging hand. I find myself using very complimentary descriptions when responding to questions about my parents, or my spouse, because they have been good to me. But do believers always paint the picture of a perfect God each time that they respond to questions about their God? Unbelievers are expected to give unkind remarks about our God, because they have chosen to turn a blind eye to Him and His unconditional love. So we expect them to respond negatively to someone who means nothing to them. But I believe that our BIG question today is not only to try and understand where Jesus is coming from with this question, but to think about where we are in our relationship with Jesus. This will determine how we respond to the question. If we are in a sweet relationship with Him, then we may be frustrated in trying to get out the many compliments stored up in our hearts. But think about this. We will also boast on our God when we are filled with happiness and the overwhelming appreciation that we feel for who He is, and for all that He has done, and continues to do for you. But I would dare say to you friend, that this same internal relational excitement will win, or convince the unsaved world that your God could be of value to them. So may I encourage you to evaluate on a regular basis ‘Who is God – to you?’ Remember, even when His answer to your prayer is different to what You asked for, He’s still on your side and, I believe that He is still providing way more for us than we deserve. Oh that we may glorify God for who He is to us – in the good times, and in those times that we don’t understand what He is doing for our good. For He is still God!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God cares for us and wants to know that we are understanding His love for us, even though His answers to our prayers are way more amazing than we could ever think, imagine or ask for!

PRAYER: Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all thy hands have made! I realized, Lord, that there are things You have made for my good, that I would never have thought to ask for. And so it is with my daily prayers, You don’t always answer my prayers in the way that I asked You to, for You love me way too much to only give me the scraps from Your table. You have way more in store for me than I could ever think or imagine! Lord, there is no God like my God! Please help me to be keenly aware of that, and to openly share Your goodness with those around me, so that they too might catch a glimpse of Your goodness. Lord, You are good and Your mercies are endless. Please help my readers and I to be aware of this, even when You answer our prayers in Your way and for Your glory. AMEN!

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

Come Together To Worship

I wonder what God must think about us having the TV on to Facebook Live while our church service is aired, while we kid around and almost ignore the service playing in the background. Did we truly ‘worship the Creator of the universe’? I realize that we are happy to have the privilege of tuning in to services rather than risk COVID infection, but is this not just one of many excuses we use to not get up, get dressed and worship our Maker together with other believers? The excuse seems relevant for corporate worship, but not work or any other activity during the week!

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-05-23
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Leviticus 23:23-25; 36-37
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 23 The Lord told Moses 24-25 to say to the people of Israel: The first day of the seventh month must be a day of complete rest. Then at the sound of the trumpets, you will come together to worship and to offer sacrifices on the altar.
36 For seven days, sacrifices must be offered on the altar. The eighth day is also to be a day of complete rest, as well as a time of offering sacrifices on the altar and of coming together for worship.
37 I have chosen these festivals as times when my people must come together for worship and when animals, grain, and wine are to be offered on the proper days.

APPLICATION: I was amazed at finding so many times in my Old Testament reading where God emphasized how He expected His children to ‘come together to worship’. I shared just a few examples from the verses I read today, but there are many more instances where God told Moses to share this expectation with the Israelites. Was this word just for the Israelites? Just as I believe the Bible is for all to read and adhere to God’s commands, I also believe that God wanted us to pay attention to what blesses Him. Readers may tend to believe that I specifically chose this Scripture and theme because of this being primary days for corporate worship. That’s not the case, but I strongly believe that God will place His Word before us when He desires for us to read, understand and obey His Word. I also believe that we will be drawn to important commands of God when we see Him repeat it multiple times in His Word. So what might God have to say to us today about assembling ourselves together for worship?
~ Firstly, that it is important for us to worship our Maker. He created us; loves us unconditionally; cares about our every need; cares about our ability to overcome sin so that we may one day join with Him in Heaven, and He did this by sacrificing His very own Son. I believe that worshipping together is important, because a brother may bless you by sharing what all God did for him during the week. And you may bless a sister by caring about the stresses of life that she is dealing with. Promising to pray with her, and/or check on her to make sure she handles that stress properly. That might be just what she needs to deal with her stress and overcome;
~ Secondly, the Israelites sacrificed animals in their seeking after forgiveness and in blessing God for His mercies. We may have to sacrifice certain things to enable specific time for us to rest, and to come together to worship God with other believers. This may mean taking full advantage of our other day(s) off to hit the beach or the theater, etc. This may mean shutting down our devices so that we may concentrate on everything that God has blessed us with. This may mean looking out for the needs of others, as a reminder of all that God does in looking out for us;
~ Thirdly, God set worship times as a requirement for His people. I believe that God might want us to also establish not only daily worship to Him, but also an established time to come together with other brothers and sisters to worship. Friends, we grow spiritually when God helps us, and when we help others. So establish a time to worship corporately and make it a priority to stick to that schedule. Satan will do everything possible to distract you and draw you away from worship.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Those who recognize their blessings from God will be drawn to worship Him. God demanded that the Israelites come together to worship, and I’ve grown to also see the importance of corporate worship!

PRAYER: Way too often we tend to sit back in our own little world and assume that everything is ‘peachy’ with everyone else. Thank You Lord for reminding me today how important it is for us to obey Your commands and come together with other believers to worship. It seems like fellow believers bless me and encourage me way more than I could ever have hoped for. So I pray that You might give each reader and myself wisdom on ways to be a blessing to others so that we may all celebrate Your many gifts together. You are precious in our sight oh Lord, please touch our lives and help us to share that with You as often as we should, and may that time always be a priority. 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!

Faith Supercharged

What benefit have you achieved from your experience with Jesus? Was your faith refreshed, reinvigorated and strengthened enough to encourage others seeking a touch from the Master? We will look at an example where Jesus’ disciples seemed to have struggled with evaluating a situation in spite of having witnessed miraculous actions by the Master in very similar circumstances before. Let’s try to learn from their experience.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-05-22
WRITTEN AT: Nassau, Bahamas

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 8:1-4
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 1-2 One day about this time as another great crowd gathered, the people ran out of food again. Jesus called his disciples to discuss the situation.
“I pity these people,” he said, “for they have been here three days and have nothing left to eat. And if I send them home without feeding them, they will faint along the road! For some of them have come a long distance.”
“Are we supposed to find food for them here in the desert?” his disciples scoffed.

APPLICATION: I believe that you can read up on a doctor, or a banker, or a pastor all you want, but try speaking to one who sat under their care and you get to hear the heart of that professional. The reference could speak from experience. But does it work that way in Christianity? Why, look at the disciples and consider the first-hand experiences they encountered while working along with Jesus. Remember, Jesus had healed the sick; fed several thousand people from just one or two people’s lunch; opened the eyes of the blind; and from just a touch of His garment, people were healed. Try placing yourself in the shoes of the disciples. You heard Jesus say that all power was given to you to perform the same miracles and even greater. But feeling no greater power inside of you, there has always been doubt about those words of Christ. In fact, Jesus Himself put your faith to the test by telling you that He wanted your cooperation so thousands of followers could again be fed miraculously from just what you and they had in your possession. You personally had fed your family before on very limited food, but thousands of people? Friends, this opened my eyes and heart to consider how much help I am to those whom God has called to a relationship with His Son. I’ve been in my relationship with Jesus for about 45 years, but I wonder if it is evident in my faith; in my witness; in my everyday walk; and in my answers to their questions. Do I encourage their decision to surrender their life to Jesus, or am I a stumbling block? I’ve read multiple times about the many miracles performed, but have I developed a strong faith to believe that He is still God, and could do the same thing even today? Or am I more like the disciples still wondering who could mend the ills of my friends, or save a wicked sinner like some unfortunately show in their behavior? Jesus said that if we had faith, the size of a minuscule mustard seed, we could command a mountain to move. I believe that I have faith, but do I permit myself to act on that faith, trust in God and believe that He could do ALL things through His children that believes, trusts and obeys Him? Not sure about you dear one, but I believe that my prayer should be for God to help me to apply the faith that He has already blessed me with. Many are looking for Jesus in His children who claim to belong to Him. Oh that others may see, and believe, as a result of their encounters with other believers and myself today. Allow me to suggest that faithful followers of Jesus Christ consider doing the same thing today. The world needs Jesus, and if we might help to influence and encourage them as they seek Him, God’s Kingdom will increase and He will be glorified!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus was well aware of the needs of the thousands who sat under His teaching, and He ordered the disciples to feed them. He also knows our needs today, and I believe that He will miraculously supply our needs also!

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for placing us in a world where thousands still desperately need You as Lord of their lives. No doubt You have placed us here to feed Your Word to a hungry, hurting and desperate people. Please embolden us to simply tell our story, and in faith, believe that You will shine so much through our story, that friends will want to accept and know You personally. Oh that You may be lifted up oh God, as a result of others seeing You in our actions and through our words. 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!

Faith and Persistence

Persistent in our faith is one thing, but being persistent because of our faith is even a step closer to getting the attention of Jesus Christ. Not that Jesus is deaf and needs us to repeat our petitions, but I believe that He wants to know that we are serious about what we are asking. Stay with me as we dig into our Scripture today, and develop this thought. This word still very much applies to us today.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-05-21
WRITTEN AT: Nassau, Bahamas

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 7:25-30
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 25 … a woman whose daughter had a demon spirit heard he was there, she came and threw herself down at his feet. 26 She was not Jewish, but a foreigner, …. She begged him repeatedly to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 Finally he said to her, “First let my children be fed and satisfied, for it isn’t fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
28 She answered, “How true that is, Lord. But even puppies under the family table are allowed to eat the little children’s crumbs.”
29 Then Jesus said to her, “That’s a good reply! Now, because you said this, you may go. The demon has permanently left your daughter.” 30 And when she returned home, she found her daughter resting quietly on the couch, completely set free from the demon!

APPLICATION: It is important that we not only read today’s Scripture, but also read Matthew 15:21-28 to hear the extra details offered by Matthew’s perspective. There were several things that I believe the Holy Spirit ministered to my spirit about in this story, and although you may receive even more enlightenment as you read the Scripture, I wanted to share my thoughts with you, in hopes that you might be encouraged:
~ In spite of feeling like a foreigner to the ministry of Jesus, this mother still knew about the power of God through His Son, and because of her desperate need, she dared go to Jesus with her issue. For us, I am impressed that she didn’t go to the priest for prayer for her daughter, nor to ask that him to accompany her when she journeyed to see Jesus. It seems like we are so quick to call the pastor, or an official of the church to ask them to pray for our sick child. And while I know that the prayers of the righteous children of God availeth much, we should never expect that kind of request to supersede our deepest moments in prayer to the powerful God that we know, and believe in. Remember, the veil has been removed, and we have direct access to the Father. He wants to hear from us and to minister directly to us, in addition to any needs that we may bring before Him;
~ In spite of the disciples pushing her away and trying to protect the time of their Master, she was persistent enough that she caught the attention of Jesus. While helping our daughter to find a job, we asked a young waiter in a popular restaurant how did he secure his job there. I believe I will always remember his response: ‘I am convinced that because of my persistence, my employer saw that I truly wanted the job, and if I was that persistent about my application, they could only imagine how persistent I would be about my job, if employed by them.’ Do you convince Jesus that you truly care about, and want a response from Him because of your persistence? If you are a church leader, are you ever guilty of ‘pushing a desperate parishioner away’ because of the way they look, smell or act, or do you help everyone seeking Jesus to truly find Him and develop a relationship with Him? Please don’t be a stumbling block to any of Jesus’ children seeking to draw near to Him;
~ In spite of Jesus’ first response to this mother, she insisted on making sure that there was no misunderstanding about what she wanted. Her daughter was terrorized by a demon, and she wanted that stopped. Knowing that Jesus was the only one who could perform that miracle, the lady continued in persistent faith to call on Jesus. Don’t you feel like we often give up too soon when we are pleading our case before the Lord? Although the Bible teaches us to not continue in repetitive prayer lines, I am convinced that this refers to recorded lines by local religious officials. I know that when I pray from a sincere heart, because of a strong personal relationship with my Lord, He will hear my cry and He will respond in ways that will keep me in the center of His will.
Dear friends, Jesus is not deaf to the pleas of His children. Seek earnestly today and be persistent in asking according to Your desperate needs. Jesus loves you as His very own child and He will strive to show that love better than our earthly father or mother could ever have done. Keep on keeping on, my friend!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: We are all God’s precious children. Although not a Jew, Jesus still found time to visit with the desperate mother about her daughter who was terrorized by a demon. I believe He still listens keenly and intently for the cries of His children today!

PRAYER: Often we feel like our problems are too minor to bother the Creator of the entire universe, but Lord, I believe that You are way more concerned about every issue that bothers us. Our earthly fathers try hard to provide for our needs and love us unconditionally, but because of earthly distractions they sometimes failed. Praise God, Your love for us is greater than anything we could imagine, so I must ask that You kindly place a refreshing spirit within us to call on You, and chat with You about our every need, and to never neglect to praise You for Your many blessings on us. Your action on those things that we consider ‘minor’ will build our faith to seek only You in those serious times that seem impossible to us. Please draw us close to You oh God and deliver us from the evil of this world in which we live, so that our relationship with You will be enriched and we will come to depend on You as our constant source of help in our time of need. 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!