Press On – God Is Victorious!

It is so easy for us to become discouraged when we fail, then turn around and walk away, much like a dog with it’s tail between it’s legs. But as we meditate on this Scripture today, I believe it will become apparent that if we march to God’s orders, we will never fail, for His commands always lead to victory!

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2022-04-30
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Joshua 8:1-2
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 1-2 The Lord told Joshua: Don’t be afraid, and don’t be discouraged by what happened at the town of Ai. Take the army and attack again. But first, order part of the army to set up an ambush on the other side of the town. I will help you defeat the king of Ai and his army, and you will capture the town and the land around it. Destroy Ai and kill its king as you did at Jericho. But you may keep the livestock and everything else you want.

APPLICATION: We can grieve the Spirit by sin. We can quench the Spirit when we fail to wait on the Lord to receive direction. But the Lord never gives up on us! God exposed Achan’s sin as the reason Joshua and his army met with failure, but at just the right time, God said to Joshua: “Don’t be dismayed. I will now give you the victory!” Praise God, He doesn’t give up on us either, even when we were careless in following His orders, or not at all. Dear friend, the successful person in life is the one who gets up one more time than he or she is knocked down. Too many Christians, when they are dealt a blow, lay in the dust day after day and don’t get up. But Paul dealt with this when he addressed the church at Philippi. He told them: “Forgetting the things which lie behind, I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”! Among all the people in the world, how could Paul possibly accomplish what he did? By forgetting that which was behind him, and looking ahead, instead. Fortunately God does not judge quite like we do. He didn’t set Paul aside and give up on him, instead God had a great work prepared for Paul. Just as Joshua learned a very humbling lesson from his first attempt at conquering the king and people of Ai, Paul also learned that God could use even a persecutor of Christians to forgive and use in His service. Doesn’t it seem well within reason for God to also use you and I in His service here on earth? You see, only wicked man will look at our lives before Christ became a part of it, for in their eyes we could never become holy enough to represent the God of all righteousness and hope. But God yes, BUT GOD, in all His mercy and grace, sent His only Son to die for folk like us, so that our old, disgusting life of sin could be cleansed, made white as snow, purified, in the eyes of our Creator. So if we are ‘right’ in the eyes of God, of course we could be used by Him to reach folk that may doubt and fear the possibility of restoration, renewal, or even salvation in the holy name of Jesus. Joshua didn’t stay down, but God was able to teach him a lesson and give him the opportunity to try it again, this time letting God take the lead and give him the winning instructions. Perhaps we need to surrender ourselves to the King of all kings as well, and allow Him to work in, and through us, to do all that He has planned for us in the work of growing His Kingdom here on earth.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God used the same man who forged ahead into battle without God, to send back into battle, but this time insuring that he would let God be in control. When our battle belongs to God, we win!!

PRAYER: Lord, we normally plead for help with our forgetfulness, but in accordance with the words You gave to Paul for us, please help us to forget what is behind us, so that we may stay focused on all that You have in store ahead for us. Our battle belongs to You Lord. Please teach us as we proceed ahead, and give us victories that will glorify You in every way. Many are struggling, and even more are holding back in committing themselves fully to You, please show them vividly how mighty and awesome You are, so that they may be drawn to You. Use us completely in every way for Your glory oh Lord. AMEN!

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

Reasons To Commune With God

There are a few questions that may arise as we study this short Scripture: With Jesus being God, why would He get up early to pray? Things were going great right where He was at, so why would He uproot his disciples’ comfortable position to move on to another town? Perhaps God has a word for us today as we meditate on His Word!

DATE POSTED Friday, 2022-04-29
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 1:35-38
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 35 Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. 36 Later Simon and the others went out to find him. 37 When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
38 But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.”

APPLICATION: We often hear about Pastors who spend hours per day studying the Word of God, and in prayer. Why? So they could be more holy, or knowledgable in the Bible? In the Bible we are told that Jesus only spoke what He heard from the Father. He only did what He was told to do by the Father. He only went where He was instructed to go by the Father. I guess I have always assumed that these things were passed on to Jesus through something like osmosis! But in reading this Scripture today, I am convinced that Jesus found it necessary to steal away from everyone and seek a quiet place to get alone with His Father, so that He might receive further instructions from Him. In quiet and in total seclusion, tells me that Jesus wanted no distractions. Before dawn, tells me that Jesus wanted to fill His mind with the Father’s love and instructions before anything else. Now if Christians are a mirror of their Savior here on earth, and we should be imitating His character, His habits and obeying His commands, then I believe that we have clear instructions on how our morning should be priortorized. I had an older deacon tell me one time that it was not a matter of not having time in the mornings to dig into the Word of God and spend time in prayer, it was instead a matter of priority. Those stinging words have never left me. Instead I have used them in teaching that my students try saying to God at the end of our day that spending time with Him that day was not a priority, versus giving all the normal excuses about their lack of time! It works my friend. Seek to make your time with God a priority, and all else will fall into place. Now back to our story – notice that Jesus received a change of plans from the Father, for the first thing that He told the disciples who came looking for Him, was that they would be moving on to the next town. This didn’t settle too good with the disciples, because they quickly responded “That’s great that all men are seeking You, but everyone wants You here!” Unfortunately, we will often find ourselves frazzled and fried if we listen to the wrong voices. Our priorities will get mixed up and we’ll feel wiped out. Our ministry might even be done in. Our heart will be weighed down, instead of rejoicing that we are doing the Father’s will. I have been in positions of church leadership where we had to dig in and keep the ministry going when a pastor leaves. It’s always sad to see a good, hardworking pastor leave, who helped bring many to the Lord. But the church becomes so relaxed in watching them kill themselves out, that little ministry is performed by the members. Unless we do the Father’s will and obey His commands, then our work will often falter to doing what sounds good, looks good and feels good. But that’s the world’s way of doing things. Let’s always strive to follow Christ and continually lift Him up in praise for all that He will accomplish from our efforts here on earth. Thy will be done oh Lord, even if it hurts us to see it differently to anything we could wish for.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus reminded the disciples of why He came. Perhaps we need that reminder each day to help keep us acutely focused on the ‘main thing’!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we are eternally thankful for all that You have modeled before us. Your Word is a light unto my feet, so teach me to daily follow in Your footsteps. It was important to You to spend time with the Father each day, and so must I make it a priority to spend time with You. Please touch the heart of every reader and listener today, and may they be reminded of the importance in setting their priorities straight – always God first. May they frequently celebrate seeing everything else falling into place on a timely basis. As this materializes, I sincerely trust in You to help us also keep You first in every aspect of our lives, so that the lost will truly experience the image of God in each of 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!

What Happens To Unholy People

I believe we could break apart today’s Scripture into three parts: The Problem; The Solution; and the Reunion. Marriages go through this, and counselors work with the couple to help them become reunited. At work one may be placed on probation until a boss approves continued employment. In a group setting, such as churches, cities and/or countries this becomes more challenging, as a mediator strives for group agreement to a recommended solution. Think about anything that may be preventing you from enjoying a full, holy, right relationship with God.

DATE POSTED Thursday, 2022-04-28
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Joshua 7:6-7; 10-11; 13;
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: Joshua and the elders of Israel tore their clothing in dismay, threw dust on their heads, and bowed face down to the ground before the Ark of the Lord until evening. Then Joshua cried out, “Oh, Sovereign Lord, why did you bring us across the Jordan River if you are going to let the Amorites kill us?…
10 But the Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why are you lying on your face like this? 11 Israel has sinned and broken my covenant!…
13 “Get up! Command the people to purify themselves in preparation for tomorrow. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Hidden among you, O Israel, are things set apart for the Lord. You will never defeat your enemies until you remove these things from among you.

APPLICATION: Things had been going extremely well for the Israelites. God had protected and taken exceptional care of the estimated 3 million people for 40 years, both in getting them away from Pharaoh/Egypt; through the harsh desert in providing food, water and protection from every source of danger; and in clearing the way for them to assume residency in the land promised to them. So of course the leaders and their people got a little sideways in being punished in defeat against the men of Ai. They had become a bit spoiled with the various miracles performed for their benefit. But here’s the difference between God and man: Joshua and the elders went into a time of serious prayer and mourning before God, for they had no idea why their small army was defeated. However, God knew that there was disobedience involved in handling the capture of Jericho. From’s man’s standpoint: the walls fell as God told them they would; the Israelites successfully slaughtered all living things, just as God told them to do; all gold, silver and precious jewels were retrieved just as God ordered them to do; and as far as the leaders knew, everything was taken to the temple as ordered by God. But God knew that the covenant agreement He made with the Israelites had been broken. Unfortunately this happens all too often in our lives also. God agrees to save us from our sin, but don’t we return to sin whenever the circumstances warrant? In our marriage relationships, God provides us an awesome spouse and we make a covenant agreement with God and our mate that we would love, provide for them, and keep them til death do us part, but isn’t it unfortunate how many change their minds after they get what they want from the relationship? In the case of the Israelites, God withdrew His hand of protection and His mighty power to win the battles that His people sought after because they broke their covenant agreement with Him. What if God was that tough on us, and our churches today when we break our covenant relationship with Him and with each other? God was not willing to work with the unholy Israelites, He ordered that they purify themselves. Do you suppose He is waiting for us to do the same before He resumes His blessings on us? Talk to the Father my friend, see if there be any wicked way in you that is causing Him to distance Himself from you. Seek His purification over your life my friend.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God was willing to resume His blessings on the Israelites if they cleaned up their act and made themselves right before God, again. We serve such a forgiving, loving God!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, please take our hand and lead us on to a glorious life where You are our focus, and You are so prevalent in our life, that others are attracted to a relationship with You also. We feel so inadequate at times that I’m not sure how we would make it through life without You guiding us, protecting us and loving us. Please teach us to maintain an honest, right relationship with You. We need You Lord Jesus, for we are afraid to walk without You holding our hand. Our battles are real every day, just as the battle the Israelites attempted on their own, but i feel like we need You even more that they did. Thank You for the reminder that You will withhold Your promises if we choose to do life without You. Lord, we need You every hour, please stay by our side and gently guide us through every aspect of life. The glory belongs to You for everything accomplished in and through our lives, may You have full reign to reach others, and if necessary, use us to accomplish 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!

Simple Words Powered By The Holy Spirit

Ever find yourself listening to a speaker whose education shone through his words, but his message was just beyond your understanding? As a total opposite experience, have you sat under the preaching of an old man who was never blessed with a lot of education, but He had a very deep relationship with Jesus, the One whom he spoke about? Let’s think about Paul, who faced an audience for whom he had to simplify his message. It may teach us something about speaking so that the masses would understand, rather than to impress the professors in the audience!

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2022-04-27
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: Dear brothers, even when I first came to you I didn’t use lofty words and brilliant ideas to tell you God’s message. For I decided that I would speak only of Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my preaching was very plain, not with a lot of oratory and human wisdom, but the Holy Spirit’s power was in my words, proving to those who heard them that the message was from God. I did this because I wanted your faith to stand firmly upon God, not on man’s great ideas.

APPLICATION: Praise God for those who have been persistent and successful throughout their years of education, and have shown initiative to excel and learn even more about a particular trade. Often we might step back and congratulate them, for their gifts help them excel in their jobs. In our biblical account of Paul, we must realize that He had just come from Corinth where we see him going to Mars Hill in the city of Athens, gathering with the intelligent students of the day to discuss with one another about the happenings of their day and place, and as in Paul’s case, to teach and preach the Word of God. Often this discussion and philosophy would serve only to help the very top students of the day, because the success of his sermon was very minimal in reaching the actual hearts of the lost and uneducated. Commentaries believe that this intellectual time by Paul failed in his mission to teach and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Coming now to Corinth, Paul was touched by God to speak the truth of the Word to the common person, and not be so concerned about impressing just the highly educated. This helps to explain why Paul placed aside his oratory skills and instead sought the help of the Holy Spirit and the heart of God for His people. I believe it is evident that God uses hearts to touch hearts, for eloquent words often fall by the wayside. Does this still happen in our churches today? Of course this continues. I sincerely believe that it is often not intentional, as we all tend to speak at the level that we would normally communicate in life. So I believe that it takes the power of God to actually help a teacher or preacher to simplify his message so that those in attendance would understand and apply the message to their lives. After all, why study and labor over a lesson or a sermon, if it will fall on deaf ears, or is not understood by those listening. Friends, that could also happen in any of our lives. For those who have attended church and been under the listening of thousands of sermons or Bible studies, we have learned a language that only fellow Christians truly understand. How then can we speak to an unchurched, unbeliever, who knows nothing about our special language? The important thing that comes out in this lesson today is that Paul sought the help and power of the Holy Spirit, and I am convinced that the Holy Spirit not only knows what we need to simplify, but He also knows the level at which the hearer needs to understand. Begging God for the wisdom on what to say to those who need to hear, is only one part of the equation. We should also ask God to bless us with an understanding heart – one that will identify with our audience and help us to become one with them. God’s messenger who could teach His Word is a unique and amazing thing, but to also find one who could simplify it so that even the uneducated, unsaved, needy person who might be weak in their faith, is nothing less that miraculous. May God bless the messenger who is attentive to the Holy Spirit in teaching and preaching the Word of God in simplicity and clarity!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: To understand God’s Word is far more beneficial than to listen to many eloquent words that do not clearly teach us the picture that God wants painted in our hearts and minds.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for leaving us Your Word, and also the Holy Spirit to bless us in our understanding of it. Please help us to always be mindful of the hearer when we try to witness, teach and preach, so that the world will know about You and their need for salvation, and not just be impressed with our level of education. Thank You for our educators, and for where they have brought us to scholastically. Please help us to reach family and friends from all walks of life and varied levels of education. Holy Spirit, please help us to always understand what our audience knows about our Father, so that our teaching and our witness will result in the unsaved receiving Jesus, spiritual growth and in productive fruit. Please open the heart of our hearers so that they will desire to know more about the Jesus we love, adore and serve. 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!

So That All Will Know

Let’s remember that Joshua predicted that all the peoples of the earth would know about God because of the miraculous things He did for the Israelites! As we meditate on the Word of God today, I trust that you will seek to answer two questions around this subject: By what character or activity do the people of your community know about 1). Yourself? and 2). Your church?

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2022-04-26
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Joshua 4:21-24
TRANSLATION: New International Version (NIV)

BIBLE TEXT: 21 He (Joshua) said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lordyour God.”

APPLICATION: It seems like any time Satan makes his way into the local church and manages to distract a godly leader, the town’s gossip ring becomes alive to inform the masses that the church is not ‘perfect’ after all, and therefore should not be trusted. It is unfortunate that in doing the good that Jesus’ ministry always demands, that will hardly ever invoke a positive response out of the community. Unless the ministry efforts impact an individual personally, the ministry goes unnoticed by the community. Think about some of the ways your family, friends and coworkers are helped through the ministry of the church: They continually make every effort to help folk struggling in poverty and hard times; Sinners are often led from darkness (sin, and the things displeasing to God) into light (a life of righteousness dedicated to God); People who would normally never involved in community affairs, are often encouraged by God to actively become involved in His service and thru His church; People who would often turn to drugs, alcohol or crime are often encouraged by a pastor or church leader who loves on them and shows them that they care about them. And these are just a few ways God’s family shows His love to others! Friends, I often wonder if the church has not become so ‘politically correct’ that they have become much less effective in telling the world about: The Christ who died for them; The Savior of the world who arose, so that we might have forgiveness of our sin and live eternal in heaven; The healing power of Jesus Christ as evidenced first-hand in our own lives; The love of God that envelopes us and makes it bearable to stay in this world and help others to also experience salvation! God had His servant Joshua command the people to leave a memorial at the place where He performed a monumental miracle experienced by millions of people. In Joshua 5:1 we could read where the kings west of the Jordan became extremely fearful after learning about the awesome work of the Almighty, for they knew that if such a powerful God planned to also lead these people into their lands, they would not stand a chance. Do you suppose there’s anything about our churches that our community leaders fear? Do you hear them accusing God for the work He is doing in our churches, or are they convinced that church leaders are just caught up in greed and tax-free opportunities, at the expense of the town’s good people? If you were questioned as a church member, who would you say is in charge of your church? The pastor; The elders; The few with money; or is God truly in charge of His church – your church? Can you offer a few testimonies about God’s handiwork in your church? Does the church building stand as a testimony of repeated times that you encountered Jesus Christ and His miraculous works? What’s the simple answer you would give to your child’s questions about the church and why they are being taught and encouraged to attend? Do you suppose that the world sees sufficient evidence that God is all-powerful and that He is at work in your church? In applying the same questions to your personal life, do you suppose that the world sees enough evidence to believe that God is alive, well, and still as miraculous today as He was for Joshua and the Israelites? If not, why not? If not Christ, who then do you give your allegiance to? Please allow me to recommend Jesus Christ, for He is the same yesterday, today and always, just as He was for Joshua and the Israelites.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God is alive and working in our lives, and in the life of your church. He still wants the world to know and experience His love, His power and the everlasting hope that we enjoy in knowing that Jesus will return one day to take His church with Him – to heaven with the Father, for ever!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for Your sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, so that we may have the opportunity to experience the joys of heaven for all eternity! Please open the eyes and hearts of those we come into contact with, so that they may see the miracle of new life that You have lovingly blessed us with. I believe that You not only performed miracles so that the kings in our story today would fear, respect and honor You, but that You have also blessed Your children today with the love of Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, so that the folk we meet and become involved with would also see Jesus. Please help each and every reader or listener to have an attentive ear, and eye, to experience the many blessings that You shower on us daily. Lord, may Christians be so convinced of Your power, that those who touch us in some way will also experience Jesus in us, and surrender their lives to You. Oh that we would decrease, so that You may increase, is my sincere prayer 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!

Foolish, Ignorant, Senseless?

In this Psalm written by Asaph, we can easily identify with him, because he stopped for a while and compared himself to all those who seem successful and doing so well all around him, yet he, a child of the King appeared quite the inferior. But Asaph came to his senses, when the Holy Spirit reminded him how honored he was to be a child of the King of all kings! Frequently we need a similar reminder! Stay tuned while we meditate together on this!

DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-04-25
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 73:21-26
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. 22 I was so foolish and ignorant — I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. 23 Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.

APPLICATION: I believe that throughout our lifetime, and yes, even since our salvation experience, there may have been times when we may have attempted to hide our faces from the Creator, because we came to ourselves and realized that our immaturity and selfishness had caused us to think and act irrationally and perhaps even foolish. Recently I was reminded in a sermon that this is actually the Holy Spirit at work within us, for God said that He would send the Holy Spirit to live inside the Believer in Christ, to be our helper. Boy, do we ever need help every day of our lives! For as long as we live in this world, we are subject to the evil forces around us, as Satan continues to try and trip us up. What then shall we do, you might ask. I believe that God placed this Scripture before us today to show us that just how He worked on Asaph, and melted his stubborn, selfish and hardened heart, He will continue to work inside of us. Nowhere in Scripture will you find that God sent Asaph to telltale on those around him. It was not his job to get them straight, or to correct their ways. Is this starting to help you understand that you needn’t worry about those who persecute you, or tempt you, or try to distract your righteous walk? You see, just like Asaph, we have a heavenly home that awaits us! And if we spend more time praising God for His goodness, and celebrating all that He has done for us, don’t you know that the unbeliever watching might finally get the picture that God has made a difference in our lives? It’s not like God to snap back at the enemy and continually fight them, so when the enemy experiences that behavior from us, they will likely challenge us for claiming to be a child of God, but yet acting like the world. In a right relationship with God, His Holy Spirit will cause us to follow the practice taught by firefighters: stop, drop and roll! For we are not doing the will of the Father, and we need to backup and allow Him to do His work – not our wishes for revenge. After being alerted to his foolish, ignorant and senseless feelings and actions, Asaph came to his senses and acknowledged the goodness of his Father in heaven. My prayer is that God the Holy Spirit will always get my attention and cause me to stop my evil thoughts from ever leaving my mouth, but instead use my mouth to glorify my God in all things – even for those that come my way to test me, tempt me, and make every effort to disrupt my walk towards the Savior. Remembering that God the Holy Spirit lives inside of me, I pray that I will never think, do or say anything that dishonors Him in any way. Please allow me to encourage you to do the same, if you know Jesus as Lord. If you are yet to make that important decision to give God control of your life, then allow me to suggest that you do that today. It’s the only time promised to us!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: What have I in heaven but You oh Lord! No matter what may fail me here on earth, my God stands firm, and He is mine forever!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for reaching down and changing the bitter heart of Asaph. As my Lord and Savior, I too am thankful that You have made the Holy Spirit available to me as my strength, my guide and my everlasting hope. Please continue to work in the lives of Your children who will read this devotional seeking encouragement and hope from the only One who can mend a broken heart, guide a misdirected wanderer and encourage one feeling forsaken in a world totally engrossed in greed and selfish pride. May we all be found faithful as we look to the One who sacrificed everything for our good. Soften the hearts of the unsaved and draw them unto Yourself dear Lord. May Your children, especially me, be especially careful to extend Your love and Your righteousness to all that we come into contact with. 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!

God’s Undeserved Favor

God’s grace is the same as His undeserved favor. As His representative here on earth, God has given us everything we need to showcase His grace to a lost and dying world. As we are reminded of that today, let’s be sure that we deflect that grace to others in a way that is pleasing to, and representative of, God.

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2022-04-24
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 1:4-5; 7:9;
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: I always thank my God for you because of the grace that he has given you through Christ Jesus. In him you have been blessed in every way. You have been blessed in all your speaking and all your knowledge.
 Now you have every gift from God while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come again. He will keep you strong until the end so that on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes, you will be free from all blame. God is faithful. He is the one who has chosen you to share life with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

APPLICATION: Paul was overwhelmed that a church, such as the one at Corinth, who had not been very faithful at all, yet it was now evident that they had been graced by God, and it showed in their demeanor and in their love of him and others. Often in today’s churches, we seem to think that those who are graced by God’s favor, are the real religious ones. But I believe that God specifically chose to be glorified through the Corinthians so that it was obvious that it was His grace at work in them. Ever got disappointed when you attended a new church and discovered that it was just an ordinary kind’a looking guy who stood in the pulpit to bring the sermon for the day? Yet by the time he concluded his teaching and preaching you were floored at the amazing way that God used him! My mind goes back to a Father’s Day, when a layman was elected to bring the Word at church that day. He had no seminary training, he was seldom involved in teaching around the church, but because of his relationship with his Master, He opened himself up as God’s messenger for that day. It was evident that God’s grace was all over that man that day, for many left that service totally blessed by God and overwhelmed by His grace to His humble servant chosen to represent Him that day. Perhaps you might recall a time when you were challenged to visit a faithful member of the church who you always looked up to in their faith and knowledge of the Lord and His Word. You may have been humbled to make the visit, but you were probably exceedingly nervous about going to minister to them. I hope that you may have left that home, or hospital bed, that night feeling overwhelmed by the grace of God that overshadowed you and filled you during your visit. A time that I felt used of God, was in agreeing to teach a Sunday School class in a large church I attended. You see, I allowed Satan to make me nervous about ministering to a group that contained many retired missionaries and pastors. Not long afterwards I remember a missionary complimenting me for teaching that past Sunday. I then realized that when God gives us an opportunity to represent Him, we have no need to become nervous, for if He calls us to it, He will guide us and give us the wisdom to make it through that job in a way pleasing to Him. I was awaken to the fact that when we are called by the Master, we should humble ourselves before the Great I Am, and not worry about the accolades from our role models that may be in the class that day. There are words in a song that I love to sing ‘Jesus loves even me’! You see, we may put so much pressure on being perfect, that we overlook the fact that the only Perfect One is the one guiding us and giving us the opportunity to be His hands and His feet here on earth. Let’s learn to soak in His grace and allow Him to lead us. Because He is perfect, our efforts to reflect His majesty will be pleasing to Him. That’s all that matters! The lost will be saved because of their encounter with Jesus Christ, not because of their encounter with a pretender, like we may sometimes portray to others. God’s grace is sufficient for every need, if only we will humble ourselves to allow Him to minister through us!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Because of God’s faithfulness, many have become children of God. I believe He’s still working on the rest! His grace is sufficient for even you as you seek to follow His will!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, I thank You for Your wondrous grace that saved many who might read this devotional. My deepest prayer is that Your grace will be sufficient and meet the needs of the unsaved who might happen across this devotional today. I pray that it will be the answer to their prayers and fill the most important need of their lives. Thank You for Your grace to a sinner such as I, and for convicting me of my sin. Thank You for adopting me as your loving child! May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, my Savior and Lord. AMEN!

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

STAY THE COURSE

As a young man, I remember steering a large boat and being told by the captain the compass course I was to aim the boat. He kept checking on me, because had I steered the boat to the left or right of the actual compass point, the captain would have had a challenge to get the boat back on course and stay accountable for a timely arrival. God gave Joshua a set of instructions and He has given us a full book of instructions to direct our course. As we meditate, let’s consider the consequences of us getting off-course.

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2022-04-23
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Joshua 1:7-8
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: Always be strong and courageous, and always live by all of the law I gave to my servant Moses, never turning from it—even ever so slightly—so that you may succeed wherever you go. Let the words from the book of the law be always on your lips. Meditate on them day and night so that you may be careful to live by all that is written in it. If you do, as you make your way through this world, you will prosper and always find success.

APPLICATION: GPS apps and programs have become quite popular for those wishing to find the quickest and shortest route to their destination. Often without a GPS, folk tend to easily get lost, and waste fuel trying to get back on course. Joshua had many options available to him as he assumed leadership of the Israelites. I’m sure that each of the tribal leaders had their own ideas, should Joshua had chosen to listen to their advice. But Moses gave Joshua instructions from God. At that point, Joshua had to decide whether he would accept and follow God’s instructions, or choose to do his own thing. That’s a crossroad we all face each day, for we may open the Word of God and clearly see what He has ordered for us to do, but then we arrive at work and may be given a different agenda by our boss. Decisions, decisions!! But here’s an example of what happens when we choose to do our own thing: I had a relative that would often question why her cake, or other prepared meal would not turn out as good as the one she tasted when she asked for the recipe. My wife or I would ask her if she followed the recipe exactly. By the time she had finished telling us of the exceptions, we helped her realize that her exceptions resulted in a totally different taste or texture!! Isn’t that somewhat like us when we decide that God didn’t really mean that we should follow His exact commands? As God’s representative, Joshua was told not to steer off-course, but to follow the exact commands ordered by God. After all, God had certain end results in mind, and He knew how His people could achieve those results. Friends, so many of us have added our own little twists to what God may have intended for us to do, that the unsaved are confused. I had a friend recently ask me ‘so why did Jesus rise from the dead?’ I was really caught off guard, because I felt like everyone knew the importance of a resurrected Lord. But think about what the lost are seeing in us. Some religions still show publicly that Jesus is still on the cross, so why believe us when we teach and preach about the risen Lord? And that just one of the contradictions that the lost are seeing as they analyze the call on their life by Jesus Christ. Not only have we determined our own way, but we are misleading those whom Jesus is determined to save. God told Joshua to meditate on His words day and night so he would be sure that he knows what it says; remember what it says; and obediently follow what it says. Throughout the rest of the Bible, God clearly promises great success and ultimate happiness to His who does exactly what He ordered Joshua to do. BUT, God goes one step further by telling those who don’t follow His instructions, that they would end up with totally different results. Eternity in heaven with God and His Son, versus eternal damnation in Hell with Satan and his demons. The invitation to Heaven is open to all who will believe in the Lord Jesus. That includes you, dear friend. Accept this as a call from Jesus and invite Him to be Lord of your life today. Ask Him for the course you are to take that will lead you to His throne in Heaven.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Proper instructions have been given for our final destination in Heaven. Let’s stay the course!

PRAYER: You’ve given us what we need to decide between life and death, between heaven and hell, between the love of God and the damnation of Satan. Please continue to impress upon us the need to learn, stay connected, and be determined to obey Your Book of Instruction – the Bible – our compass with concise directions to heaven! Thank You for giving Moses and Joshua such perfect instructions to lead such a vast crowd through the wilderness without food, water or clothing. We are blessed with so much more, but I pray that You will still reach deep into our hearts and promote a sense of determination to obey You in every walk of life. Oh that the lost will understand from Your Word, and the practice of Your children, the right course You have in store for them to stay the course to heaven. AMEN!

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

You Alone Are Our Hope

From birth to young adulthood we may have felt like our world revolved around our parents, for they fed us, protected us, loved us and molded us into adults who could be an asset in this world. Perhaps we may have said: ‘There was no man bigger and bad’er than my dad, and no other woman could cook like my moms!! As David reflected on his life and evaluated how he achieved the blessings that helped him through some very challenging years, he acknowledged that it was strictly God’s grace. Let’s stop for a while today and do our own self evaluation. Perhaps it was God who also played a vital part in our lives!

DATE POSTED Friday, 2022-04-22
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 71:5-9
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: O Lord, you alone are my hope; I’ve trusted you from childhood. Yes, you have been with me from birth and have helped me constantly—no wonder I am always praising you! My success—at which so many stand amazed—is because you are my mighty protector. All day long I’ll praise and honor you, O God, for all that you have done for me.
And now, in my old age, don’t set me aside. Don’t forsake me now when my strength is failing.

APPLICATION: Although it seems like one of the great pitfalls of aging today is Alzheimers, another is probably just as prevalent, if we’re not careful – complaining! But if we’re getting older, rather than complaining about our aches and pains or the sorry state of society, what if we chose to talk about the Lord continually? Wouldn’t that be an awesome way to grow old gracefully and faithfully? But i’m sure many will ask how this can be done? Many people try to discipline their tongues, but Jesus said that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). Therefore, the key to changing your speech is to change your heart. How? By allowing the Word of God to fill it day by day. If you do this, your heart, and therefore your words, will be filled with praise. Don’t you know that relatives and friends would much prefer visiting and being around you when you frequently praise the Lord and give Him thanks in all things that He has blessed you with? After reflecting on his blessings, David tells us in our Scripture today that it’s no wonder praise is continually in his heart and on his lips! As for you, sure you may encounter pain in your arms, but how do you feel when you look at a man who has no arms? I was tired and hurting in my back and legs, until I saw a man coming my way with both feet pointing inward, heavy braces on his legs and feet, yet walking along with a smile on his face. Oh Lord, please forgive me when I whine. But precious friends, when I meditate on God’s Word and am reminded of all that He did for our ancestors, and the love that He showed in extreme circumstances, my heart is filled with praises to my King for all that He has done, because He continues to do the same for me and my loved ones every day! Please try and join me each day in seeking out the blessings of God. We could read all that He did for David, and for Moses and the Israelites, but let’s look around and fill our hearts with joy as we observe all that He continues to do for us. Our God is so good, and we could never stop praising Him for His goodness! There is such encouragement and hope in admiring the handiwork of our God!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Let us learn to praise God every day! Enough with the griping and complaining, we serve an awesome all-powerful, ever-loving Savior who gave everything for our eternal salvation!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, teach us to set our minds on the great and awesome gifts that You bestow on us daily! Please help us to shun the desire to whine and complain about everything and everyone, but instead to look towards the heavens, read from the holy pages of Your Word, and reflect on the awesome power of our Lord, so that our hearts may be filled with appreciation that overflows through our lips as we sing Your praises and encourage others to know our Savior and Lord. Oh Lord, great is thy faithfulness and greatly You are to be praised and honored in every aspect of our lives. Minister to the lost today Lord, and open their eyes to Your goodness and mercy. 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!

As You Go, Aim at Changing The World

As you attend weekend services this week, and you reflect on the risen Christ, perhaps you will face a similar crossroad in your faith like the disciples faced when they met with Jesus for the first time after His resurrection. Some of them were challenged in their faith and withdrew, while the others freely worshipped the risen Lord. Sounds a lot like our congregations today, but let me encourage you to do a personal evaluation as we meditate today.

DATE POSTED Thursday, 2022-04-21
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 28:16-20
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible (AMP)

BIBLE TEXT: 16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted [that it was really He]. 18 Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.”

APPLICATION: Some will read today’s Scripture and will respond like Peter did when the soldiers came to arrest Jesus. Peter assured Jesus that he would always stand firm in his faith, but sure to the prediction by Jesus, he quickly cowered and even denounced ever knowing Jesus. When Jesus met the eleven disciples after His resurrection, there were a few other Peter’s and Thomas’ in the group, for they stood at a distance in disbelief. For those who worshipped Jesus, no doubt they recalled Him saying that He would overcome death and the grave. No doubt His cryptic messages about rebuilding the temple in 3 days, started to make a lot more sense to the disciples, and in awe they worshipped the Master knowing that God ordained it for this whole event to take place just as it did. For us, we have the benefit of reading the Scriptures and, under the inspiration and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, have supporting evidence that our Lord is alive, and reigns forevermore! But let’s take a moment to reflect on The Great Commission given by Jesus to His disciples, for this remains as our commission today as well. After celebrating the risen Christ, Jesus gave His disciples their marching orders. All over the world Christians celebrated the risen Christ last Sunday (Easter). I believe it is fitting that God planned for us to study this Scripture this week, because He has our marching orders laid out for us also. He knew that after the ‘high’ of celebrating Easter, we would need to know what we should follow that with. In taking a hint from the Great Commission, I believe Jesus is once again saying to us: the world is still badly in need of the Savior, and you have locked inside of you, the answer to the world’s dilemma. Wherever you go, and whenever you go, tell people about the One who died and rose again so that you might enjoy the everlasting hope of eternity in heaven for ever and for ever with the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. Teach them to observe everything that God has passed on to you through His Holy Word. Win them to the Lord, so that they too might have that everlasting hope that you enjoy. Know that just as Jesus rose from the dead, in affirmation to all that He told you, so will He also be with you wherever you go and in every word that you share of Him, for He also promised that He would do that. Some glorious day, and I believe that will be much sooner than any of us might think, Jesus will return, just like He did after His resurrection, but this time He will take His children home to glory to be with He and the Father. Let’s all be ready to worship Him fellow Christians, just as the believing disciples did!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Share the Good News of our risen Lord, knowing that Jesus will be with us in everything we do for His kingdom’s sake!

PRAYER: Lord, thank You for giving us hope, especially in a world where there seems to be no hope. We want to be just like the disciples who trusted in You and believed exactly what You taught them. Please continue to impress upon us the need for our family, friends, and those we come into contact with, to know You in a personal way. May we be ready to obey Your command to ‘GO’, and as we are going – tell, baptize and teach, so that the world might believe, know and accept You as Lord. AMEN!

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