Careful Not To Tear Them Down

Paul was actually addressing the subject of some followers finding guilt in eating certain foods prescribed in the Old Testament as ‘forbidden’, while some had heard Jesus say that nothing He made should be considered unclean. The latter group would often come across as smearing their new-found freedom in the faces of those who were still convicted of such eating to be a sin. While this may still be an issue today, I believe there are many other things that we, as Christians, may use to unintentionally discourage others, rather than helping to lift them up. Therefore, it may be good for us to meditate on this for a moment today.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-05-10
WRITTEN AT: Jupiter, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 8:11-12 (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 So because you “know it is all right to do it,” you will be responsible for causing great spiritual damage to a brother with a tender conscience for whom Christ died. 12 And it is a sin against Christ to sin against your brother by encouraging him to do something he thinks is wrong.

APPLICATION: We still have scenarios today where some believe that they could eat anything, based on the New Testament promise that anything God made and blessed is clean and good to eat. However there are some who are convinced that based on Old Testament teachings, and because Jesus said that He came to re-emphasize the former teachings and not tear down, then they should follow teachings such as the various foods mentioned that are forbidden. Friends, we are talking about items here that have nothing to do with salvation, or the path to heaven, but one group may easily insist that God will hold the other group responsible for disobeying his commands. I believe that if we are convinced in our hearts, the same heart where the Holy Spirit (God) resides to give us wisdom and direction in our earthly Christian walk and ministry, then we need to pay attention to what the Spirit would have us say or do, and not ridicule them because of pious opinions. Remember, sinful man can be reconciled with a holy God, if we would pray for them, encourage them, and help them along the way, instead of turning their eyes from anything that looks like us. God still wants us to share His love, His mercy and His grace with others, and not try to do His job. Yes, we should be passionate in discussing various philosophies and teachings that we hold close to our heart, but please friends, let’s return to placing the ‘main thing’ back into the mainstream of our witness and our preaching and teaching, for unless those who we come into contact with, know Jesus as Lord, they will die and go to Hell, whether they obey Old Testament teachings on certain food, or not. But let’s not misunderstand what Paul was teaching here in these few verses, for the Spirit of God led Him to share with us that if we hang around with friends, that believe in not eating such food that they think are declared ‘unclean’, then we who are Christ followers, should not provoke them by eating in their presence exactly what they feel convinced by the Holy Spirit is indeed unclean. Unfortunately, this concept can cover so many areas of our lives, for there are some that feel like going to the movies is a sin, or cooking on the Sabbath is a sin, or doing any kind of manual labor on that special day set aside to worship God is also a sin. Friends, let’s think back to what Paul said when he was so burdened about the unsaved in his time, he said that he would be all things to all people, if it meant that their eyes and hearts would be opened to the gospel of Jesus Christ. How far would you be prepared to go? If the only time that your friends could attend church is a Sunday evening, but you don’t normally attend any church at that time, will you make the sacrifice to make sure that they get under the preaching of the Word? Are you prepared to sit and chat with a friend who has a strong smell of alcohol on his breath, but crying over his life’s condition? People need the Lord dear friends, and this should be our priority, way more than any other personal preferences we might have. There is no teaching greater than that of salvation – please pray and be willing to do whatever the Holy Spirit leads you to do, in order to help someone come to know Christ!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, it is challenging to know that You accepted us just as we were, yet we tend to set so many expectations on those who need to know You as Lord. In Your Word you declare that we should come ‘just as we are’ for there is no ‘cleaning up’ that we can do under our own power. For You sacrificed Your very own life, so that we might be saved. Please help us realize that only You can save us from the sin and the wretchedness of this world. There is no prescription for good living, or healthy living, or even good behavior that could save us from our sin. Nothing but the blood of Jesus, as one favorite hymn declares! Lord, thank You for saving my soul, please help me to never stand in the way of another who needs 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!

Awestruck By Your Story

I believe we will see from todays Bible story that it is more important to share our story about how Jesus Christ made a difference in our life, than to just hang with other believers and soak up more of His goodness. Hopefully this Scripture will force us to reflect on our goal in life, and redirect our efforts, if necessary, so that God may be glorified in and through us.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-05-09
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 5:17-20
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 17 … the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone! 18 So he got back into the boat. The man who had been possessed by the demons begged Jesus to let him go along. 19 But Jesus said no. “Go home to your friends,” he told him, “and tell them what wonderful things God has done for you; and how merciful he has been.”
20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns[a] of that region and began to tell everyone about the great things Jesus had done for him; and they were awestruck by his story.

APPLICATION: Jesus performed a miracle by freeing a man from the demons that possessed him. He was haunted and terrorized by the demons, but Jesus made the demons come out of him. Word of this miracle quickly got back to the neighboring towns, causing curiosity seekers to rush to the area to see what could possibly be going on. This upset the Pharisees, as this one act drew more attention than their years of teaching from the Scriptures, so they asked Jesus to leave. I know, you’ve heard stories just like this about a local church near you, right? Unfortunately, in this world we are led to believe that we must be the center of attraction, and that our acts of giving, teaching or preaching is enough to draw unbelievers to church. But notice in our story, the people were drawn to the works of the Creator – God. Perhaps for some, it was just their curiosity, but I believe that for others, it may have been because they had certain personal issues that they wished the Master would also remove from their lives. This reminds me so much about our churches and our groups of Believers today, for we seem to be very inward focused in our ministries and our witness to others. But friends, I believe that Jesus is saying to us, like He did to the healed man, don’t just hang around Me and the comfortable things of life, go to your family and friends and tell them what the Lord has done for you. Did you ever stop to think about how many lives could be touched by our ‘story of salvation’, compared to the endless sermons on various parts of the Bible? Sermons tend to show Believers the truth of God’s Word and help us know our Savior more intimately. Sharing our story with an unsaved friend helps them confirm that Jesus is real and that the same Jesus that touched our life and healed our illnesses and our sin, would definitely also listen to them. You see, we feel so comfortable around other believers because they are our brothers and sisters. But when an unbeliever tries to look at our group, can’t you see how they may feel inferior, imperfect or too impacted by sin for a Holy God to even consider touching their life? We can help them break down those walls by sharing our ‘story’ with them. For even though we may not have murdered anyone, or robbed a bank, yet we were steeped in sin when Jesus found us and saved us from all our iniquities. We were, just as they are now, and if Jesus saved us, we know that He could also save them. Who knows, your friends might be just as awestruck hearing how Jesus saved you, as the friends of the demoniac was when they heard his ‘story’!

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for looking beyond our faults, our disobedience, our sin, our disrespect and our lack of love for our family and friends, and You acted on our cry for salvation. Only a God like You will go that far. But God, I pray that You will make such a change in our lives that unbelievers will stop and listen to our story of meeting, and being accepted by, the Creator of our universe. Thank You Lord for our pastors, church leaders and Sunday School teachers, but please touch the lives of every believer who reads this devotional today and impress upon each one the importance of them also sharing their personal story of faith in God, dependence on Him and His response to their prayers. May sharing this story bring positive reactions from unbelievers and cause them to look closer at the living Christ who can do ALL things. May Your kingdom come today as we be about Your work. 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!

Make Good Use of Your Time

Unbelievers reading today’s devotional will probably try to think of ways to confuse a Christian as they test them on their ‘faith’. Christians may sometimes wonder ‘what’s the big deal about pretending to be something that others want you to be?’. Jesus said that if we have been touched by the God, we should be ready at all times to give an account of all that He did for us. Let’s examine what Paul was really teaching us in today’s Scripture.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-05-08
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Colossians 4:5-6
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: Walk in the wisdom of God as you live before the unbelievers, and make it your duty to make him known. Let every word you speak be drenched with grace and tempered with truth and clarity. For then you will be prepared to give a respectful answer to anyone who asks about your faith.

APPLICATION: What do others see in you during their encounters with you? Yes, they will probably see you without pretense, for you always try to live by the motto ‘what you see, is what you get’! I believe that if we were preparing a timeline that would show the influences in our lives, there may be specific mention of parents; siblings – especially older siblings; grandparents and other older family members such as aunts and uncles; school teachers; Sunday School teachers; pastors and other church leaders; spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend; employers; special coworkers; friends – good, bad or indifferent; and of course, Jesus. To ensure that I take no one for granted, I understand that some readers would not include one or more of these people into their timeline, and some will be able to add others that I have not thought of. It would be a great exercise to add under each person, what attributes you feel they added to your life! In our Scripture Paul is teaching us from his present stand, not only as a prisoner, but from his personal experiences and as a messenger of the Gospel. Let’s remember that his former name was Saul – a persecutor of the Christians. So right away we are confident that He speaks to us from a life of varied experiences. Paul also knew that during his time as a prisoner, other prisoners could have looked at him as just another criminal, or for the qualities that they saw in him. He recommended that we (Christians) make a goal for ourselves: ‘to make our Lord known to all that we come into contact with’. To do this, our whole perspective on others will change, for we will see them as valuable in God’s eyes – whether they are a prisoner, a criminal, a dad who abandoned his children or a person who is constantly conjuring up evil thoughts about attacking God’s kids. Paul also gave us great advice about how we are to speak – especially with unbelievers:
-> First, let our words be drenched with grace. Only God can fill our hearts with grace. So from a heart filled with the power and humbleness of our Lord Jesus, carefully speak words filled, or drenched with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit;
-> Words tempered with truth and clarity – no need to try and impress the unbeliever. Let Jesus complete His work through you. Keep it simple, filled with only the facts – truth. Make sure that the hearer not only hears you, but understands what you are sharing with them. As a Christian, you may have developed quite a vocabulary of ‘church’ lingo that an unbeliever may simply not understand. Make sure that you and your hearer is on the same page and understand each other as you speak. To speak volumes with someone and they didn’t understand what you said, is an unfortunate waste of your time, and most unfortunate in neglecting to share the Gospel truth;
Friends, others will surely want to know why you are different and why you believe the way you do. Using the above tips from Paul, he warned us to be ready to share as the opportunity presents itself. Wouldn’t it be neat if today God gave you the opportunity to share why you believe the way that you do, and why God is so important in your life? Be ready, dear friend!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You know exactly what today will bring forth, You know the people we will meet and even their heart’s condition. Please prepare my readers and I so that we may share Your love, Your character, and Your saving grace effortlessly with those we meet. Please place them in our path today, and give us peace and wisdom to share what You would have them hear in order to make a decision to accept You as Lord and Savior of their lives. Please bless Your children today and all that will be accomplished in Your name. 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!

Be Like Your Father – HOLY

Many of us admire the good things in our earthly dads and we strive to imitate those good things as we grow into adulthood. When we accept Jesus, its often because we saw characteristics in Him that we admired and we want to mirror His character. But in being His child, He wants us to be ‘Holy’, just like He is. Whether you feel like you have attained this perfection, or not, this Scripture today will speak volumes to most of us. Please allow me to share my thoughts on the matter.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-05-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Peter 1:14-16
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 14 Obey God because you are his children; don’t slip back into your old ways—doing evil because you knew no better. 15 But be holy now in everything you do, just as the Lord is holy, who invited you to be his child. 16 He himself has said, “You must be holy, for I am holy.”

APPLICATION: No doubt some of you might be an adoptive parent, just like me. When we saw our perfect gift from God, we undoubtedly felt like we had something to share with that child that far exceeded what they may have encountered so far in this life. Things such as love, respect, caring, giving, were probably at the top of our list, plus we wanted them to see life in a manner that they perhaps never saw before. This wish list would have impacted us as parents also, for we would have committed ourselves to be consistent in these things each and every day. Because we wanted that child to experience our way of life, is evidence that we felt like there was something worthwhile in our family that would benefit that child. We felt like we had something to offer that would improve that child’s character and perspective on life. Now, if you will, turn your perspective to the Christian life. Without Christ, we were much like that adoptive child. Life was hopeless because we felt all alone; out of control, because we were allowed to do whatever we wanted; unhappy, because of the void in our life; and meaningless, because we often failed at most things that we attempted to do. But Jesus knocked on our heart’s door (He got our attention) and showed us that there is One who is perfect in every way and who brings hope to a lost and dying world. You see, this whole Truth became evident to the Israelites back in Leviticus 11:44, for the God who brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, told them that they were to follow His example as He led them to freedom and into a promised land filled with hope and prosperity. In our Scripture from 1 Peter, God continues this same call through the ministry of His servant, Peter. In today’s world, mankind is still grasping for someone who will help them overcome the weaknesses of mortal man. We can read where some have said that they sinned, because the devil made them do it. Wife murderers will say that their spouse provoked them to commit murder. Children will say that because of their upbringing, they learned to hate others and chase after riches. Although you too might have endless excuses why sin abounds in your life, Jesus cries out to us with the comforting words, ‘but I have this all worked out for you, just give me a chance’. And as we do, we submit ourselves to being taught and molded by the only perfect One, the only holy One, the only One who loves us enough to willingly sacrifice His life for us. ‘Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest’. As we succumb to this awesome God who is perfect, and who has overcome the world and its failures, we find that He is holy, and that He desires for us to reach for that same ideal – a life of holiness. There is light and hope at the end of the tunnel dear friend, won’t you accept His invitation today? You will find a link in my Footnote ‘To Know Jesus’. Click on it for a variety of Scripture verses that will introduce you to my Savior and it will help you as you surrender your life to Him. Do it today precious one.

PRAYER: We are to be holy, as You are holy! From our stand, this seems like an impossible task, especially while living in a world filled with sin, temptation, hatred and greed. But God, we know that You would not have demanded this of us, knowing that we could never achieve it. Praise God, You have taught us that ALL things are possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. So Lord, I am humbly asking today that You might empower me to always seek that holiness of which You have taught us about. I pray also that You would miraculously touch every individual who reads this devotional today, for we are all in the same boat, we need a holy God to empower us with holiness; a loving God to empower us with love towards our fellow man; and a righteous God to call us out of a wicked world into the righteousness of Heaven. Oh that Your awesome holiness and power would envelope us today so that we may represent You well and demonstrate to the world that You are well and alive, because You live in 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!

Think About His Goodness

No doubt the Psalmist had many miraculous answers to personal prayer that he could have rejoiced in the Lord over, but he also looked beyond that and also recognized that this same God is also the God who created everything around him with such purpose, beauty, creativeness and power. So David sang out praises to the Almighty! We also serve this same mighty God who is awesome in every way, and He deserves our praise!

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-05-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 104:7-12 (TLB)

SCRIPTURE TEXT: 7-8 You spoke, and at the sound of your shout the water collected into its vast ocean beds, and mountains rose and valleys sank to the levels you decreed. And then you set a boundary for the seas so that they would never again cover the earth. 10 He placed springs in the valleys and streams that gush from the mountains. 11 They give water for all the animals to drink. There the wild donkeys quench their thirst, 12 and the birds nest beside the streams and sing among the branches of the trees.

APPLICATION: I sometimes wonder if we truly ever slow down enough to reflect on the ways that God blesses us each and every day. For I believe that if we did, there would not be enough hours in the day for us to sing out praises and thanksgiving our Creator for all He does for us. You think about your typical day and I will share a few things that immediately comes to my mind about my typical day: 
-> I am able to rise from my warm bed each day – compared to some who sleep in the cold, on a piece of cardboard under a bridge, with or without a blanket;
-> I was blessed with air to breathe on my own;
-> I was blessed with strength and mobility to actually get out of bed;
-> I had an inside bathroom to use and didn’t have to go to an outhouse or a nearby tree!
-> I was able to put on a different set of clothes than I’ve been wearing all week, and they have been washed and prepared;
->I have a wonderful wife who prepares my meals. Yes, there was food to prepare;
-> I have been blessed with a great place to work and retire from, as opposed to those who wait on long lines at the unemployment agency;
-> I am blessed to have transportation, and not have to walk, wait for a bus service, or wait by the roadside for a ride with a friend;
-> I am thankful for the wisdom God gave to His children to make automobiles and other conveniences that we tend to take for granted;
Friends, don’t you see that we can go on and on praising teh Lord for His blessings on us? I could easily have gone on to speak about the wild life, animals and trees that I enjoy seeing every day, and the beautiful landscapes God designed and created for our benefit. Yep, He did all of this for us, plus a whole lot more, and I believe that we would have done this if we were the only ones that He wanted to bless! In our Scripture today, imagine God creating the beautiful oceans, then creating land in such a way that those waters would not rise up over it and destroy life! Only God can perform such wonders! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Our God is an awesome God! How Great Thou Art! How Great is our God! These are just a quick reminder of songs of praise we can offer up to God, and yes, He loves your singing voice just the way it is, for He never made any junk! Take time to look around and then look to God from a heart filled with thanksgiving and praise.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for Your mercies on me! Lord, You are so good and so merciful to me, and I’m sure that as my readers meditate on this devotional today, they too will realize that even when things appear to be going sideways for them, yet they can still find so many ways that You are blessing them. Please help us to keep our minds so fixed on You and the many wonderful blessings that You bestow on us that the minor issues that we face each day would seem immaterial. Lord I know that You bless us, please help us to recognize those blessings more vividly each day, and pour out our thanksgiving to 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!

Your Mindset When Listening

As you meditate with me on the Word today I would ask that you not look for how this parable refers to the Brother next to you, or the Sister behind you in church, but rather, how this applies to you. Having taught the Bible in a Sunday School setting, I could look across an audience and see that almost every student was in a different mindset about being there: who’s teaching; who’s sitting next to them; and whether they wanted to be there, or not. Each of these things impacted what they received from the lesson. Allow God to speak with you about your heart’s condition today.

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

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 4:3-9
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: “Consider this: A sower went out to sow (seed). As he sowed some fell along the beaten path and soon the birds came and ate it. Some fell onto gravel with no topsoil and quickly sprouted since the soil had no depth. But when the days grew hot, the sprouts were scorched and withered because they had insufficient roots. Some fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. But some fell onto good, rich soil that kept producing a good harvest. Some yielded thirty, some sixty—and some a hundredfold! If you understand this, then you need to respond.”

APPLICATION: I find it absolutely amazing how we could have read a passage of Scripture all our lives, heard sermons on it, had Sunday School lessons on it, yet today God has a new revelation for you in that very passage! God’s Word is alive and active! Yet in today’s Scripture, I am reminded that no matter how hard I aim at applying the Word of God to my life first and foremost, yet I am caught off-guard at times where God will say ‘are you listening good?’ Or as our Scripture ended ‘you need to respond’. I don’t believe that I am all that different to most of you that will read this devotional, for we read, or we listen to the Word being read, and immediately we start applying it to those around us. I have always looked at this parable so differently by applying it to people who appears to be in various states of mind in their relationship with God. Of course the unbeliever wants nothing †o do with the Word of God, for they are so wrapped up in the things of this world, and their minds are so twisted by the evil one. The Word of God will therefore most often fall on their deaf ears because of their lack of interest. But what about the Christian who comes to church unprepared to meet the King of all kings, our Teacher, the God of the universe, Healer, the Author of the most powerful Book ever written. Will they/we truly receive the Word God designed for us to hear in that service? Will it penetrate deep enough to affect our lives any? Will we recognize and acknowledge the reason we attended church that day, or that we were standing on holy ground in the presence of the only Holy God? You might say later, I know, there was one thing that the preacher kept shouting and pounding away on, so you might leave remembering those specific words from his sermon, right? But did God really penetrate our heart with that word, or was it like the seed that landed on rocky ground, where it really had no impact on our way of living? However on other occasions there are times that we will head out to church after a week of trials that resulted in us arguing with our relatives, shouting at our spouse and kids, and wishing that we would never have to return to our workplace. Our minds are racing on all the ways that the world seems out to ‘get us’. Then we enter the doors of the sanctuary. Do we have a switch that automatically cuts off the awful activities and interactions of our week, so that we could now concentrate on the Master? Not so easy, is it? We are reminded of this parable where the Good News is entering a crowded and choked up mind. Can we truly receive the Word and allow it to impact our lives for the glory of God? Friends, Jesus knew fully well that His children are in the world, and way too often we are of this world and struggle to truly connect with His awesome goodness towards us. We are at church in body, but our minds are way too preoccupied to truly be blessed of God. What then shall we do? Jesus said in verse 9 that if we find ourselves in the dilemma illustrated above, we are to respond. Seek the Lord while He may be found. Know that He alone is God and can do ALL things for His glory. In being our Father, He would never want us to be unsatisfied, unhappy and distant from Him. But He will not force Himself into our lives. He wants us to respond – ask Him to settle our minds; give us better attitudes with those we live with, work with, and come into contact with throughout the week. Most of all, give us settled minds so that we could approach the Father in humility and without remorse for our neighbor (those around us). It’s up to you to respond my friend. Don’t wait, do it today so that You may once again enjoy a right relationship with the Father.

PRAYER: Into Your hands I commend my spirit oh God. Cleanse me, correct me, and draw me close to You. Help me to always represent You in this world so that the world will know my Savior and my Lord. May my eyes be opened, my heart softened and my mind be alert to receiving Your Word and applying it to my life so that I may obey Your commands and follow Your example in life. May Your Word be received in ways that it will have an impact on me so that I may go on to bless others in Your name. Bless my readers Lord, and offer them the benefits of Your Kingdom, just as I have asked 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!

How To Bring Glory To God

Paul dealt with similar issues that our pastors deal with today in exposing sin, with hopes that parishioners might come to their senses and try to stay in tune with the Son of God, who gave up everything so that we might have eternal life. It appears like the sermon here is that if Jesus gave up so much for us, shouldn’t we consider giving up worldly pleasures in order to give Him priority in our lives? If the Holy Spirit has taken up residence inside of our lives, shouldn’t we be extremely respectful of what we expose ourselves to?

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-05-04
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (TPT)
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 19 Have you forgotten that your body is now the sacred temple of the Spirit of Holiness, who lives in you? You don’t belong to yourself any longer, for the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, lives inside your sanctuary. 20 You were God’s expensive purchase, paid for with tears of blood, so by all means, then, use your body to bring glory to God!

APPLICATION: Most couples dating, or recently married, will often run into times of jealousy towards each other as they build trust in their marriage partner. When we love one another, we tend to become very possessive and defensive, in order to protect the oneness that you feel one towards the other. But what if we were able to go as far as placing a part of ourselves inside our spouse, so that we would be available every moment of every day to help give them guidance while they drive, or as they make decisions in the store, or to prompt them along when they struggle in understanding God’s Word, etc.? Wouldn’t that be neat? But how would it impact us when we are tempted to look at, or flirt with others of the opposite sex? Guys, do you think that you would still run off with the guys to secretly visit the girl’s club? Girls, do you think that you would still have your night out with the girls to visit the strip club? Friends, when we take the Holy Spirit, who lives inside of Christians, into places that we tend to question ourselves about, can you even imagine how He must feel and what His conversations must be like with God the Father, and Jesus the Son? I could only imagine that they must feel like their work and sacrifice must have been in vain. I could only imagine how they must shake their heads in disappointment at the thought that we are so unappreciative of what they did for us. But I don’t want today’s blog to be totally negative, for I know that the Holy Spirit will use the challenges already presented to prompt your heart into action, if it applies to you. But I also want to remind those of us that strive hard to live for Jesus each and every day, because we are His born-again child – made new in Him, and we must have confidence in following the will of the Master through what we have learned from His Word, and from what the Holy Spirit prompts us to do or say throughout our day. Let’s not only protect ourselves from the sin of this world, but let’s really be protective of the sweet Holy Spirit that has taken up residence inside of believers in Jesus Christ. Let’s ask His direction, His permission and His advice when we’re unsure about what to do or what to say. Remember, He said that He would be our Comforter and our Guide, what if we truly allowed Him to do His work in our lives? Wouldn’t that be ultimate peace of mind and unbelievable worship to our Father as we reflect on the great decisions we celebrate because of the work of the Holy Spirit in us? We serve such an awesome God! He thought of everything to make His children successful, meaningful and useful in life, so that He might ultimately receive the honor and glory! Oh that Jesus might be glorified in us, instead of ashamed by our stubbornness, selfishness and our own self-will.

PRAYER: Lord I thank You for accepting me as Your very own son. I thank You for all those who will read this devotional today. As Your Word has sobered my thoughts and drawn my attention to the ever present Holy Spirit that You have entrusted to me. I pray, asking that You will cause me to remember the accountability of Your presence within me at all times. I also ask this of my readers Lord, for in this evil and wicked world we need more and more believers who take their relationship with You seriously and who respects the Holy Spirit inside of them to guide, direct and empower them to share Your love and ministry with all those who still doubt Your existence or everlasting power. You are an awesome God, and we love, respect and need You every moment of every day dear Lord. Oh that You may be glorified because of the submission, love and admiration of Your children today! 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!

I Called On The Lord

I called on the Lord, and He saved me from….. It is clear to see that many of us have encountered challenges in one form or the other over our lifetime. Have you arrived at the stage yet where you have found that God is the only one that can save you, rescue you, protect you and be your comfort in times of distress when you see no way out of your circumstances? It you’re still struggling with this, stay tuned to be reminded how David found strength in the name of the Lord!

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-05-02
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 18:1-3
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT:  1I love you, Lord;
    you are my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
    my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
    and my place of safety.
I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
    and he saved me from my enemies.

APPLICATION: As I meditated on these verses today, my heart immediately started to sing ‘I love You Lord, and Your mercies never fail me’. I included the link so that you might let that play in the background as you meditate on the Scripture and possibly this devotional. What a comfort to know that no matter whether we will enter a day on a ‘high note’ where we enjoy only the blessings of God, or whether its a day where we struggle to enjoy the blessings because of the challenges of life we are facing, yet we KNOW that our Lord never fails us, for He is always faithful to His own. You may feel like you’re in the struggle alone, but if you read the Scripture verses again, you will see that David – a man after God’s own heart, endured some very real struggles where his life was on the line and there seemed like no way out. Unlike us, where we might turn to the internet or the airways for a nice song that will comfort us, or call our pastor to pray with us, or drive down to the church which has always been a place of refuge for us, but David was often in the wilderness by himself, or in a place where he didn’t know if he could trust anyone else to help him. You see, David seemed to have often been in circumstances like we are when laid on our backs unable to move, we have no choice but to look up. Because of David’s relationship with God, and the faith he had developed in God over his life, he confidently called on the Lord to rescue him from Saul, to protect him in the cliff of the mountain where Saul himself came searching, and when faced with Saul’s elite army. Friends, David had gone through a lifetime of trust in God for all his needs, and especially depended on God to protect him, therefore at critical times he knew in whom He believed and in whom he could place his trust. Can you do the same dear Brother and/or Sister. This is the only real way of handling life’s challenges, for few of us can call in an army, or rush to the hospital, or order in the servants to help us. It’s all about Jesus my friend! He alone can rescue us from the tyranny of evil in this life and the forces of Satan that will constantly bombard the believer in Jesus Christ. For those who may not know my Savior, let me encourage you today to meet my Him, and be drawn into an intimate relationship with Him. Only He can save you from your sins; love you unconditionally; protect you from every temptation and struggle in life; and have a home prepared for you in heaven after your life here on earth is over. Thank You Lord Jesus, that Your mercies never fail me!

PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, may I always sing of Your goodness and Your mercies that You faithfully bless me with each day of my life. Please draw my readers and I to You, and find peace and contentment in knowing You, so that even when we encounter times of trouble and distress, we will be reminded of Your love, Your faithfulness, Your goodness, and Your never ending mercies to us. Lord, we have family, neighbors and friends who desperately need You as Lord of their lives. In Your goodness today, please encourage these and draw them to Yourself so that they may find joy in the strength of the Lord. Have Your way in our lives today Lord, and may Your unending mercies always be our comfort. 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!

Make Your Church Attractive to Your Community

I believe that every reader will have a short list about why they chose the church they are attending. If asked by a friend about why you like your church, I’m sure you will be quick to tell them about the great praise and worship team, or perhaps the preaching, or even other things that you like about your church. But what do you think will attract the unbeliever? Spend time in the Word with me as we note the reason crowds were drawn to Jesus. Perhaps this will help us better respond to questions about our church!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-05-01
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Mark 3:7-8
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: Jesus went away with his followers to the lake. A large crowd of people from Galilee followed them. Many also came from Judea, from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from the area across the Jordan River, and from the area around Tyre and Sidon. These people came because they heard about all that Jesus was doing.

OBSERVATION: I believe that every reader will have a short list about why they chose the church they are attending. If asked by a friend about why you like your church, I’m sure you will be quick to tell them about the great praise and worship team, or perhaps the preaching, or even other things that you like about your church. But what do you think will attract the unbeliever? Spend time in the Word with me as we note the reason crowds were drawn to Jesus. Perhaps this will help us better respond to questions about our church!

APPLICATION: When we think that a friend likes great music, we will promote the great band that our church has, and the exciting Worship Leader who lends energy to our services each week. For the friend who likes to read, we may tell them about the emphasis our church has on studying the Bible. For the friend going through a rough time, you may tell them about the emphasis your church has on prayer. Of course, we all may have heard people brag about the love and care of the church members/attendees, and how they rallied around them on so many occasions of distress and heartache. But although many of these examples represent things that Jesus may have influenced in the lives of believers, isn’t it strange how seldom we give Him credit for all that He is doing in the church? Notice how, in our story today, that the people came from areas all around because of what they had heard about Jesus. Yes, this could mean that they came because of what others shared in their efforts to get them to meet their Savior, but friends, I believe that some of the first words from our mouth, when asked about our church, our ministries, our pastor, or our worship leader, is that Jesus is still the same today, as He was yesterday and the day before, and that we look forward to meeting with Him every time we go to church. Share how He healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, encouraged the down-trodden and gave hope and life to those who were discouraged and ready to give up. In fact, it is very evident that He meets with us each week as we open His Word, for our minds are made to understand; in prayer we speak with Him as One who is right there in our presence and we are encouraged to go on, knowing that the King of all kings still reigns, still loves and still cares for us like no one else could. Friends, this is not just words that we should speak, but rather experiences that we should share. In fact, this becomes reality as we leave our homes where Jesus has been present each and every day through our times of devotion, through our ups and downs of life, and through the answers to prayer for the sick and discouraged of our family. Then as we head to church to lift up His name and sing praise to our wonderful Lord, we are prepared to welcome Him in our midst and ready our hearts for a time of communion with our Lord – the Master and all gracious God. I believe that we have become way too dependent on entertainment, on things that bring us good feelings, on people who give money or things to us, and we go to church for more of the same. Please consider an intimate relationship with this great God of ours. Please consider going to church to lift up His holy name and bless others who need encouragement, and not for the selfish sake of getting your fill of blessings, although that will come when you do the things mentioned. Friends, this same God who created us and provides sunshine and food for us each day, loves us passionately and has a brand new home prepared for us, where we will enjoy His presence in band new bodies without pain and heartaches. Let’s learn to brag on Him more, and for all that He does through His humble servants at our respective churches. May He be glorified in and through us today, and every day.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, You are so good to me. You bless me beyond anything I can imagine. You even gave up Your life so that I might live eternally in Heaven. Please touch the hearts and souls of Your people today oh Lord. May we all be able to rejoice because of the Savior who loved us more than life itself; because of the Prince of Peace that calms us when life turns our world upside down; because You hear our cry for help and You answer our prayers with more than we could ever imagine or ask for. We just serve an awesome God, and we are forever thankful for knowing You as King and Lord of our lives. May all this cause an outflow of love and blessings to others that we come into contact with oh God. Be magnified in and through us, is my humble prayer. 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!