Under Pressure, What Might You Say?

“If I go down, you’re going with me” – common words by rebels when one of them might be in jeopardy of arrest! Peter, a disciple of Jesus, and one of His strongest supporters, swore up and down that he would stick with Jesus through every circumstance of life. However, the tide changed on Peter’s intentions when he was identified in public. We may have a few choice words for friends who turn on us when under due rest, but would we be anymore sincere or dedicated if we were the one under pressure? Join me as we consider this thought in today’s devotional.

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2022-08-31
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 14:70-72
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible (AMP)

BIBLE TEXT:  70 ….. the bystanders again said to Peter, “You are in fact one of them, for [it is clear from your accent, that] you are a Galilean, too.” 71 But he began to invoke a curse [on himself] and to swear [an oath], “I do not know this man you are talking about!” 72 Immediately a rooster crowed the second time. And Peter remembered what Jesus said to him: “Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And thinking of this, he began weeping [in anguish].

APPLICATION: There are times when our best friend may embarrass us in public, and we might kid around by pretending that we disown them! However, how much worse will that condemnation get if you are spotted together and one of you are wanted by law enforcement for questioning on a recent murder case? In such a scenario, or as in the case of Peter when questioned about his relationship with Jesus, or in the case of our friends identifying us as Christians outside of the church walls, we may choose to be silent, or we may even choose to play the part of Peter and deny Jesus Christ. I know, many readers and listeners are probably shaking their heads east to west right now, as you might be much like Peter when he told Jesus that he would never deny Him. So, what happened to Peter, and what happens to us in times like these? I believe it is time that we face reality and acknowledge that others may see us dressed for church on a Sunday morning and carrying our Bible, but not in beach attire like they might be. They may see us bow for prayer over our food, or when asked to in a public place. They may notice that we don’t laugh at the dirty office jokes anymore. They may notice from our speech, that we are blessed by the Holy Spirit to speak like Jesus, and not like the world. So why did Peter, and why do we, lose hope and courage when questioned or identified in public? Are we ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or the One who gave up His life for our eternal salvation? Do we regret making the decision to follow Jesus, know Him intimately, and share in His life, death and resurrection? Jesus had been arrested, and I’m sure that Peter knew that he could just have easily been arrested next, and lined up for crucifixion, if the authorities knew that he was just like Jesus. Is that what happens to us? Or are we afraid that we would lose our earthly status, or our youthful nickname, or never be invited to awesome parties again, but instead stand out as a sore thumb when around our ‘old’ friends? Jesus knew what Peter would do – that’s why He quickly told him in advance what he would do. Jesus also knows what you and I will do, that’s why He challenged us in the Scriptures by telling us that those who claim Him publicly here on earth, He will also claim us before the Father. But for those who are ashamed of Him here on earth, He will disown us before the Father. So, I believe that our challenge for this last day of August in 2022 is to truthfully consider that based on our words, actions and thoughts over the last few days, what might Jesus be saying to His father at this very moment? Rejoicing over a sinner saved by His wondrous grace and living a life worthy of His love and admiration, or is He shaking His head in shame and disappointment that it is very clear that we have not been serious about our decision to accept and serve Him? Your pastor, wife, mother or father can’t answer that one for you, but Jesus will gladly point you towards the right path that He has set out for you. One-on-one time with Jesus will help you continue your walk with Him, if you know Him as Lord and Savior, otherwise He will gladly draw you to Himself, if you share your desire with Him. I pray that you will make time to be with Jesus today and open to listening to His still small voice to lead you on.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus knows all about our struggles, He will guide til the day is done

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus that You know all about our struggles, and that You have the power and willingness to guide us through each and every day. Please help us to step aside and allow You to have control. We tend to blame our weakness on us just being ‘human’, but Lord, help us instead to look at, remember, and always allow the awesome power of our King to rule, reign and have His way in us. Through Your power, under your inspiration, and with Your constant encouragement, we can overcome! Peter struggled, and so do we. But with You in the wheelhouse of our lives, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Use us Lord as Your instruments to touch the lives of the unsaved and uncommitted 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!

David, Bathsheba, God and Us

Several times my wife and I have seen God bless us in outstanding ways when something terrible has happened or is about to happen. David had just gone through what seemed like the worst time in his life when he received a word and saw God’s actions that showed how much God cared for him. There are some lessons in our Scripture today that should open our eyes to the awesome God that we serve. Stay with me as we seek the face of God and discern what He might have for us through His Word.

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2022-08-30
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Samuel 12:24-25
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 24 Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and David named him Solomon. The Lord loved the child 25 and sent word through Nathan the prophet that they should name him Jedidiah (which means “beloved of the Lord”), as the Lord had commanded.

APPLICATION: Although the Bible does not record it this way, it appears that Satan entered into David when he saw Bathsheba taking her bath on the roof of her home. Despite the number of wives that David already had, yet his carnal mind became filled with lust for another man’s wife, and being the king, he knew that he could get whatever he desired. After committing the sin of adultery, David did what most of us do when we sin, he tried to cover it up. His guards and personal attendants knew that David had sent for Bathsheba, and they probably had a pretty good idea what went on behind the closed doors of his bedroom. Yet David’s sin led him to even more sin as he continued down a path to have his own way. Often, we will gather in our groups and discuss how terrible David was, but I firmly believe that God would desire that we examine our own heart and how we try to cover up our sin. Hopefully no reader or listener ever had someone killed to avoid being found out about his/her sin. But when we allow Satan a little leverage in our lives, he will push that to the limit as he mocks God through us. Way too often we follow in David’s footsteps in going after something that we really shouldn’t have, or that we know will displease God, but we do it anyway. Then comes a time of reckoning: men lose their good wives; children disown their mothers; pastors lose all respect and are asked to leave a church where they have flourished in ministry; elders bring disgrace on their church; we lose our job and spend time in prison; or like David, we may even lose a child. In our story, we know that David went through an awful time of mourning over the loss of his child, and we know that Bathsheba needed a time of consoling after David was able to do so. Think about what happens to churches left to deal with the effects of sin. Some never overcome its impact, and some lose many members because of it. Think about families faced with the effects of sin. Divorce; separation from God and from each other; infighting, children who disappear and never return. Friends, God showed us through David that He abhors sin and will just not stand for it. But to an even greater extent, God showed us through this story that He is a forgiving God, and while He will punish us for our sin, He is faithful to forgive us when He sees that we are sorry and want to overcome the sin that so easily grabs hold of our attention. This reminds me of what Jesus did on Calvary, for He could have called legions of angels to His rescue, but instead the Father showed His love for all mankind (whosoever will – according to John 3:16) that He prefers and desires to see us saved by His grace and mercy, than crucified because of our sin. But just as David humbled himself before God and sought forgiveness from the very depths of his heart, so we are to humble ourselves before the God who can – forgive us of our sin and still loves us knowing that our sin is totally washed away. So let me encourage you today dear friends: God loved David when He sought forgiveness, and He accepted Him with an open heart. That same God is still your God today and He will forgive you for our sin, if you ask Him to. Don’t put it off, for you are only promised the very moment in which you are at. Try going before the Master right now, ask His forgiveness and invite Him to be Lord, Ruler, and everlasting Father to you for the rest of your life here on earth. Just as He forgave David, He will also forgive you. No telling what He has in store for you as you look to Him for guidance and strength to face every temptation that comes your way.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God forgives – even those that we feel don’t deserve it or are way too ugly in their ways and mannerisms. He is a loving and forgiving God even to those we might never consider letting back in to our circle of influence.

PRAYER: You know us all too good Lord, for You know our thoughts and our intentions. David’s sin is recorded for all to read about, but many of us may still be trying to hide our sin. Thank You for reminding us that nothing is hidden from You, so it behooves us to keep our relationship open and transparent at all times. Thanks for warning us about how our sin hurts the Father, who gave His very own Son as a sacrifice for our sin. Please forgive us Lord and strengthen us every day to keep our eyes focused on Your righteousness so that we might desire to live upright, and in a manner pleasing to You. Thank You for being with David, forgiving him, and giving him another chance to happiness through his son Solomon. Keep us close to You, Lord, and invoke a spirit within us that will help us to seek You in every step of this challenging life here on earth. May we live life pleasing to You Almighty Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 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!

My God is….

When deciding who to vote for, it always helps to know something about the person and their accomplishments. When trying to convince others about the power or love of our God, try telling them about His attributes and the accomplishments you know of firsthand. They’re more apt to pay attention when they know that you have experienced Him personally.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2022-08-28
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Jeremiah 31:35-36
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 35 It is the Lord who provides the sun to light the day and the moon and stars to light the night, and who stirs the sea into roaring waves. His name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and this is what he says: 36 “I am as likely to reject my people Israel as I am to abolish the laws of nature!”

APPLICATION: Try convincing a stranger to believe in your dad, and only share his name with them. Do you suppose that you will get their attention? However, try sharing some firsthand attributes and accomplishments of your dad, and suddenly you will see the lights turn on in their eyes, because they will begin to understand the passion you feel so strongly about him. So why don’t we do that when we try to assure friends that God will be their powerful defender and/or healer in their earthly struggle? Way too often we quickly respond to Christians or unbelievers in much the same way: ‘may God be your comfort during this time’, or ‘I will pray for your mom’. Think with me for a moment what the unbeliever might be thinking at the time of hearing your well wishes. Try to understand that if you give them a personal experience about this awesome God that you are referencing, it will help convince them that since you are speaking from a current, personal experience, they too might expect to believe that this same God could also help them in their time of need? Notice what Jeremiah did in our Scripture today: he spoke of the power of God in causing the sun to shine by day and the moon by night; He causes the oceans to tumble and roar; and He is the Lord of Heaven’s armies! Friends, with that type of reference, would you believe that He could keep your country safe, like He did for the Israelites? What if you were reminded that the same God who made the bodies of waters, also had the power to speak to that water and have it stand back so His people could cross safely on dry land? But let me suggest that you not use this as a reference point when trying to assure your family or friends today. Yes, this could possibly help, but what will help even more is a personal, current experience. When they know that the God you are referring to was just actively involved in your life last week, then obviously He is still available to help them today. I believe it is also important that you share your relationship with this miraculous God. You see, while it is urgently important for them to depend on God for a matter that is at hand, you want them to know that they can place their full faith and trust in God for today, tomorrow and through all eternity. Often God will allow these friends to call on you, so that you could help them see that a personal relationship with Him is vitally important. Don’t disappoint them, nor God who sent them to you. So how do you describe God? How will you convince someone that He is YOUR God? I pray that it will be in a very intimate and relational way. He sacrificed a lot for you, so don’t be timid about sharing His worth to anyone when the opportunity presents itself.

PRAYER: A song comes to mind as I meditate on this thought today: ’I don’t know about tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand’. (The words are underlined allowing you to click and listen to this old hymn.) Lord, I truly believe that our friends will need that kind of assurance when we try to convince them of Your power and Your love for them. Praise You God for speaking through Your servant Jeremiah to assure the Israelites. But I praise You even more for also loving me and working miraculously through me. More than ever before Lord, I humbly pray that You would make Yourself known to unbelievers, and the uncommitted, today as they meet with Your saints to worship. It may just be honoring a praying mother for her child to attend church, but I pray that You will show Yourself to them in a very personal way today. Draw them to the foot of the cross dear Lord and convict them of their sin and ungodliness. We will be eternally thankful! AMEN!

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

Promises Made, Promises Kept

How are you doing at keeping your promises? What if the party to whom you made a promise is now dead and gone, will you still feel obligated to keep your promise to them? In our Scripture verses today, we will encounter a man, a man after God’s own heart, who made a promise to his good friend Jonathan, and even after the death of he and his father, David still chose to honor his promise to Jonathan, by treating his handicapped son just like a father would. Join me as we search for what God might teach us through this encounter today.

DATE POSTED Friday, 2022-08-26
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Samuel 9:6-8
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: …. When he arrived, Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan, grandson of Saul, laid facedown on the floor and honored the king.
David: Mephibosheth!
Mephibosheth: At your service, my king.
David: There’s no need to be frightened. I intend to treat you kindly for the sake of your father, Jonathan, who was my loyal friend. I will return to you all the territory that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always be welcome at my table.
Mephibosheth again prostrated himself before the king.
Mephibosheth: What am I to you that the king should look with favor on a dead dog like me? I am as one of your servants.

APPLICATION: Although we personally would never do this (ha ha), there are many who will make a promise on a whim, with little hope of ever fulfilling that promise, especially if the person is dead and gone. This might be expected from an unbeliever, because they have no basis on which to fulfill their promise regardless of the circumstances between them and the person they made a promise to. But with the child of God, I believe that we could read for ourselves how God was faithful in all that He promised. To our ancestors, God promised forgiveness of their sin through the sacrifices and blood of animals. Later He sent His only Son for the atonement of our sin, and at that same time, God promised that anyone who would believe in His Son and accept Him as Lord of their life, they would experience forgiveness of their sin, and be considered holy even in the presence of an omnipotent and holy God. One thing that God has always proven to mankind, even from the very beginning of time, is that anything He promises, can be considered complete – forevermore, right up to and until He returns or takes us home to heaven. In Acts 13:22, we are told that God considered David to be a man after His own heart. As such, perhaps it is easier for us to understand why David did what he did for Mephibosheth, for if he didn’t, would we ever think about counting him as a God-like person? I believe the challenge for Christians in today’s Scripture is that we also are expected to be Christ-like, and to live according to all that He teaches us in His Word. How do you suppose God might look at us? A man/woman after God’s own heart? Is it common for us to honor promises we made to our deceased parents, to our best friend? or even to God? Can the world say about us, compare us to David, and say about us – ‘he/she is or was a man/woman after God’s own heart’? Is it obvious in our promises, our actions and our words? Friends, God not only sees our outward actions and evidence of our promises, but He knows our very heart? Will you automatically respond from your heart like God would? If there is any doubt, may I suggest that you consider drawing close to God so that He might draw close to you and direct your path? Be sure that you have a ‘relationship’ with Jesus Christ, God’s Son, and not just had a passing glance at Him when you attended church once while under pressure from a parent or a friend. More of Jesus into your life, will result in more of Jesus out of your life through your words and actions. Daily intake from His Word and daily conversation with Him through prayer will make all the difference in this world, and the next.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: David allowed so much of God into his life, that his words, actions and promises reflected what God would do and say, not just what ordinary man would do.

PRAYER: Lord, only You really know the heart of man. Despite the failures by David, yet You knew that he had a heart that was compassionate, forgiving, loving unconditionally, sacrificial, and enduring – just like You. There are times that we wonder if we could ever be like You, for we cave into every trick of Satan and his demons, that seem to be on the lookout for us wherever we go. Forgive us Lord for assuming that You will just lay on Your goodness and Your character, while we continue to live like the world. Oh, that You would bless us with a heart like Yours, so that we may desire to know You better and to practice the instructions You gave to us in Your Holy Word. You made lots of promises to us who are called by Your name, please embolden us and give us strength and desire to always keep our promises in being Your faithful servants here among the evil that surrounds us much of the time. I want to be just like You, Lord, but I can only do that under Your strength, guidance and provision. Be glorified today through Your faithful servants, is my humble plea. 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 Will You Know?

Paul was concerned about false teachers, preachers and evangelists who might come and confuse their hearers, and since I am convinced, this is still a concern today, I believe that God wanted me to warn my readers, listeners, subscribers and I about this possibility. In the business world, we have auditors and government officials who tell us when we are misunderstanding or disobeying business rules. Let’s use this nudge from Paul to discern how we might know today when there are false teachers trying to impose ‘a new gospel’ on us.

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2022-08-24
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Galatians 1:7-8
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: There is no other message that is the Good News, but some people are confusing you. They want to change the Good News about Christ. We told you the true Good News message. So anyone who tells you a different message should be condemned—even if it’s one of us or even an angel from heaven!

APPLICATION: Often church leaders and evangelists will use catchy sermon topics to catch our attention and perk our desire to learn from God’s Word. But I believe that Paul is urging us to be careful in what is actually taught, so that we might not taint the truth by which we were saved. In my earlier career, I worked for an organization where auditors came in on a surprise basis to examine our files and prove whether we maintained accuracy and best practices in accordance with company and government regulations. For them to write an exception for something where they determined we had not followed regulations, they had to quote the regulation so that we could read for ourselves what it is that we should have done differently. I believe that the same should apply to our pulpits, Sunday School teachers and/or anyone who tries to correct our understanding or our ways. But there is another piece to this that many church-goers, or Christians in general, take for granted. In addition to demanding accountability from your pastor or teacher, it is imperative that you take your tools with you when you attend church or a Bible study. If you are attending a Bible-teaching church, then it is imperative that you take your sword (Bible) with you. When a scripture is quoted, or read, look it up and follow along so you could validate what is being taught. If a reference was not included by the teacher or preacher, stay behind afterwards and ask for the reference so you could read the context on that Scripture for yourself. By asking, you will help that teacher or pastor to know that the audience is listening, validating and holding him accountable to tell the truth of God’s Word. I had a pastor who was told by an old lady that she understood a certain Scripture, he referenced in his sermon that day, differently. That pastor went home and researched, only to find that his church member was correct. He re-preached the whole sermon at the next service so that he could clear up any misunderstanding or mistruth. Paul taught that perhaps God should condemn anyone who deliberately confuses their hearers into believing something that is not true. Wouldn’t it be interesting if God was to also condemn us for simply attending church, and not paying attention nor checking the references given by our teachers? Friends, unless we protect the truth of God’s Word that we have learned, we might allow falsehood and various doctrines to dilute that truth or erase its impact on us. We must have a solid footing on which we may base our knowledge of the one true God. Reading your Bible on a daily basis and asking God to impress upon you everything He wants you to learn from His Word – that will help you when others try to teach or share with you a different gospel. Are you living out the teachings of the Lord Jesus and practicing all that He demonstrated for us during His time on earth? You should be – God being your helper!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Listen to the Word of God, understand its impact on your life, practice its teachings every day and stand ready to defend its cause when false teachers try to destroy you.

PRAYER: Open our eyes Lord, that we may see You clearly in the church, in Your Word, and in our relationship with You. We can’t thank You enough for the many ways that You bless us and fill us with Your goodness. But we want to help others Lord, so please fill us with Your Word, teach us Your ways, and keep us accountable for testing all that is taught, so that when we share with others, we would be sure of its meaning to us, from You. It’s all about You, Lord. The world doesn’t need more of my doubt, my tainted teachings, or my example that shows failure to imitate You on a regular basis. Please bless Your messengers and fill us every time that we try to share about Your power, forgiveness, love and provisions for eternal life. Oh, that You will be glorified in total innocence and adoration by all Your saints today, 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!

Your Will Be Done

When faced with extreme circumstances, what do you do? What do you suppose God would want you to do? How well do you accept God’s plan for your life, versus what you desire or what might make you more influential, rich, or popular among your peers? Many of us faced similar challenges over the past 3-4 years when our lives were taken in totally different directions to what we studied for in college, decided on with financial advisors, planned for in college preparation for our kids, or dreamed of with our spouses for an eventual retirement. Meditate with me as we consider how Jesus set the perfect example for us in the Garden of Gethsemane about following the perfect will of our Father in heaven.

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2022-08-23
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 14:33-36
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 33 He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. 34 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
35 He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. 36 “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

APPLICATION: Often we will face the challenge of knowing the outcome of what is going to impact our lives. Challenges such as the situations I made reference to on my introduction to this devotional. Do these challenges bring out the Christ who lives inside of us, or do they tend to bring out the worst in us? For the unbeliever, they might struggle to predict what they will do because, in most cases, they react the only way they have ever known, and often that will lead to extreme anger, revenge, and unattractive, horrible reactions. But what might you expect to see in the life of a Christian? Well, since we are tasked with following the example and teachings of our Lord Jesus, let us take a look at what He did:
-*- Jesus wanted to share His heaviness in thought and concern with those closest to Him. Could Jesus have gone off to Himself alone? Yes. However, I believe that Jesus wanted His friends, and us, to know that a problem shared is half the battle. It helps you, and it might have a godly impression on our friends;
-*- Jesus wanted His close friends to know that He would be praying about this concern that was troubling Him. Again, Jesus could have done this without anyone else knowing, but there is such peace in knowing that others might be praying with you, even though the Bible does not record that the disciples prayed for Jesus while He went off to Himself in private prayer;
-*- Being well aware of what He wanted, and what might be easiest for Him, yet Jesus knew the importance of pleasing the Father. God had a purpose and a will for the long-term effects of everything that would happen to His Son. I believe that man’s greatest challenge today is to follow in the example of Jesus and pray to the Father: ‘Knowing full well what this situation will lead to, yet I want to see Your will fulfilled so that mankind might see Your glory, and honor Your holy name.’ Imagine praying those words to the Father when faced with one of the challenges mentioned above?
Friends, very often in this life here on earth, it is much easier to learn, teach and preach what the Word of God teaches on a subject, than to actually follow it in obedience to the Father. Remember – not my will that I should be totally healthy; not my will that I should be financially capable of traveling the world, helping the poor while still buying everything my family and I desire; not my will that I should retire and rest in peace while the church and the younger generation carries the torch of evangelism; but Your will oh Lord, my God and my salvation. May You be glorified in and through everything I do and, in every effort, to grow Your kingdom, while I have breath to do so here on earth.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Total surrender to God, means surrendering to His perfect will for my life – good, bad, or indifferent to what I want. Oh that I might sing that old invitation hymn every day – ‘I surrender all, all to thee my blessed Savior, I surrender all.’

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, may we stop being selective in what we obey from Your Word and from Your example lived out in the words of Your Book. May my readers, listeners and I be willing to listen, understand, and without excuse, obey Your Word – Your will for our lives. You did it, even though You knew it would cost You life itself as we know it here on earth. The sacrifice was hurtful for You, but You showed us that above all else, we must be obedient to the Father’s will. for He holds the future in His hands, and He really don’t need our two cents worth of suggestions on what must be done to bring about the end result He has in store for His children, and for this old world. Servants, or a beggar looking for bread, is what we are. Humble us, direct us, and continue to love us through the rough parts of life here on earth, is our plea today dear Lord. May Your will be accomplished regardless of our stubbornness and rejections. Please let others see the love and perfect will of the Father today, instead of our selfish, sinful acts and words. AMEN!

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

Overwhelming Blessings!

David had, what he thought was, a great plan to bless God with an awesome, palatial, house of worship. However, we must learn from today’s Scripture that God had much more in mind for David, than he could ever imagine. We also could never out-give God, for He has a plan for us, and a place for us to enjoy eternal peace and contentment with Him! Meditate with me as we are reminded of how awesome our God truly is!

DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-08-22
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Samuel 7:18-21
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 18-21 King David went in, took his place before God, and prayed: “Who am I, my Master God, and what is my family, that you have brought me to this place in life? But that’s nothing compared to what’s coming, for you’ve also spoken of my family far into the future, given me a glimpse into tomorrow, my Master God! What can I possibly say in the face of all this? You know me, Master God, just as I am. You’ve done all this not because of who I am but because of who you are—out of your very heart! – but you’ve let me in on it.

APPLICATION: Based on the Word of God, I believe that we would easily discern that there was good reason for God to consider David ‘a man after my own heart’! For God not only saw the works of David, but He also knew the heart of a man, He created, that loved Him in return, and who was persistent in following the commands of God honestly and without reservation. It is so unfortunate that many in our day will try to attend church – if there’s nothing better on television, or no favorite stars performing nearby, or inclement weather for beaching or boating. In other ways, some will work on deals and relationships that are totally private to their bank, their pastor, their friends, and especially their family, so of course they think that God would never know about what goes on behind closed and private doors. Pastors and church leaders have lost their ministries when these things come to light, and church members who looked up to them, often leave churches while vowing never to entrust such a person again. Yet we wonder why such ‘honorable’ ministers are not receiving God’s rich blessings? I have noticed in reading up to this place in the Scriptures that David sinned, because of frailties in his human qualities. However, David persistently displayed a humble heart dependent on God for his position as a servant of the king; as the captain of his armies; as a father to his children; as a king to the largest nation of his time; and to everything ordered of God. In the prayer included in today’s Scripture, David acknowledged to God that he was so surprised over His goodness, because he knew that nothing was hid from God – none of his sins were unknown to Almighty God. Friends, when we know the will of God, and still commit our sinful deeds – especially those we think are in private, we can expect God’s wrath while trying to correct us, redirect us and still love us enough to see us return to Him. When we experience otherwise from God, like David did: loving on us; blessing us with good health; showing us what He has planned for our future; and giving us more than we could possibly handle; then we are forced into the humble position David found himself in when he sat before the Lord and prayed this appreciative, celebrative, yet humble prayer. Let’s be reminded today that there is nothing we can do to demand God’s forgiveness or His goodness, even if we attend church every time the doors open, of demand total honesty and transparency in our businesses. In the words of David, God will bless us because of who He is, not because of anything we have done or said in His name. We are no different to our ancestor, David, so God is looking for more men and women who are willing to live out the heart of God like David did. Has God discovered your attributes yet? Do you suppose that He sees His righteousness displayed though everything that you are in the eyes of the public here on earth? How’s your heart? Can it be likened to a heart after God’s very likeness? Not sure about you dear friends, but it seems like I have need to stay on my knees before God so I would quit acting out the heart of ‘man’, and start acting, speaking and loving like a man after God’s own heart, God being my helper. Pour out your heart to God today, my friend!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God blesses us because of who He is, not because of anything we have done to deserve His goodness!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, in deepest humility I dare pray to You, because I am reminded that You know my heart, You are well aware of my thoughts, and You know my intentions and prejudices. Thank You Lord for including me when considering the sacrifice needed at Calvary. Nothing, absolutely nothing can wash away my sin, but the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Lord, as my readers, listeners and I approach Your throne today, we come like David, knowing that You will bless because of who You are, because there is nothing, we can do that would be worthy of such mercy by the King of all kings. Thank You for Your mercy, Your forgiveness and Your everlasting love that transcends all human love. We worship and adore You Lord Jesus for who You are, and for all that You have done, presently doing, and promised to continue doing for 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!

Spiritual Exercise

I find it amazing how Paul found ways to explain himself, and how his illustrations fit so perfectly with what is going on around us – even today! Staying fit – most people will tell you that they are going to the gym, or they have an exercise regiment, or they are on some sort of diet, in making every effort to try and stay physically fit. With that in mind, wouldn’t it also make sense for us to regularly exercise ways to stay spiritually fit? Let’s study this some more as we look into this Scripture today……

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2022-08-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 1 Timothy 4:7-8
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: Don’t waste time arguing over foolish ideas and silly myths and legends. Spend your time and energy in the exercise of keeping spiritually fit. Bodily exercise is all right, but spiritual exercise is much more important and is a tonic for all you do. So exercise yourself spiritually, and practice being a better Christian because that will help you not only now in this life, but in the next life too.

APPLICATION: I believe we all may have given some thought as to why we want to stay physically fit. For some, it may ease certain aches and pains; For some it may help their breathing; For some it may help avoid certain medications by keeping the heart healthy; For some, it prepares them for a huge competition that’s coming up; and a plethora of other reasons, I’m sure. So then, why do you suppose that God, through His servant Paul, found it necessary to get our attention in staying spiritually fit? Let’s first look at the pitfalls when we are not spiritually fit. I believe that this is where we are easily provoked into sin, for we have no real, current, depth and/or communication with the Master. There are really two parts to this, first of all we must know what to do and what’s expected of us. This means that we have to learn what’s expected of us by our Lord. As in the business world, this means that we not only learn the Word, but we also keep on learning and refreshing our knowledge of the Word. Secondly, we must put into action all that we learn. Imagine in the business world where you might tell an auditor that your books, practices and overall processes are in order because you read about what’s required? That will absolutely not protect you against exceptions, since your auditor will compare what you are actually doing, against what written regulations say that you must be doing. Our Christianity is much the same. God has set forth a wonderful book that details His commands, and it shows us how our Savior lived perfectly while here on earth by following the commands of His Father. For us to do the same, we must know those commands, we must be in the Bible daily so that our minds might be spiritually fit for battle against the Evil One at every opportunity that he aims to challenge us. Yes, I know that some are fast studies and therefore only need to read through the Bible once but let me assure you that the Word of God is very real and it is pointed to help us each and every day, no matter what we are facing today for the very first time in history. To practice what we learn, we must be diligent to apply God’s rules and commands in every aspect of our lives, with the Master’s help. In fact, if we aim at perfection in all our ways, then we might be mistaken frequently for the One that we are imitating. Has that happened to you recently? Friends, when we hit our finger with a hammer, our immediate response will often reflect what’s inside of us. Likewise, when we are hit with life’s challenges and the temptations of Satan, our immediate response will reflect what has filled our heart, and how close we are to the Savior – how fit we are spiritually. How are you doing friend? Seek the Lord while He may be found, and allow Him to guide your steps, your actions and your speech. May it be known to God, and obvious to all those you meet, that the blood of Jesus as washed your sins away and that Jesus lives within every fiber of your being!

PRAYER: This is a very challenging passage of Scripture Lord Jesus. One in which we are reminded that we don’t have all the answers, and we desperately need You in every aspect of our lives, every day. We are reminded that without You we can truly do nothing of value for the Kingdom. Please open our hearts and draw us to a closer walk with You and a life truly dependent on the power of Your sweet Holy Spirit. Lord, You know all too well how weak we are, but thank God You also know that You created us to be like You. So Lord, again today we beg of You to forgive us for those evil things that we do, and the awkward things that we say – our spiritual weaknesses. Please draw us close to You and melt our hearts to closely depend on You in all walks of life, so that You may be glorified in every aspect of our lives. AMEN!

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

Test Your Christianity

Do you want to know if someone in your church is a ‘true’, or legitimate Christian? Just ask another member! But perhaps you should test yourself to see if you are really a Christian! Don’t shoot, for it was Paul who said that. He said that in response to the accusations he heard they were making about his stand for Christ. Remember before you embark on reading my full devotional, there’s a chance you might convince yourself of your Christianity, or as Paul indicated in the last words of our focal verse, ‘that you aren’t at all’!

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2022-08-20
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Corinthians 13:5
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: Check up on yourselves. Are you really Christians? Do you pass the test? Do you feel Christ’s presence and power more and more within you? Or are you just pretending to be Christians when actually you aren’t at all?

APPLICATION: Paul had a purpose in asking this question of the Corinthian church. Some evangelists might ask this to invoke a spirit of personal examination into our spiritual condition, to see if there is a need for revival of a life dulled by the things of this world. But Paul was actually being accused of not doing the work the people felt like God sent him there to do. This still goes on in churches today, for church leaders are quick to blame the pastor when things are less than booming in church growth, in financial giving, and in satisfying to desires of the congregation. Wouldn’t it be interesting for our Father to sharpen the minds of the people to first examine themselves? Wouldn’t it be challenging for the church leaders to first examine themselves and their lack of sharing the love of Christ with everyone they meet? We should realize that Paul wanted the people to examine themselves and prove that they were worthy of the Kingdom of God. If they were, then credit should be given to the one(s) that shared Christ with them (Paul)! And not to tear him down for not doing everything they expected of him. Friends, I hope that Paul’s congregation accepted his challenge as an opportunity for self-examination before a holy and righteous God. But seeing that God included this in His Book of Instruction (the Bible), then we must assume that He wanted us to also perform a self-examination before God, and here lies the challenge. Why, we’ve been getting away with pulling the wool over the eyes of our Pastor, our Sunday School Teacher and church leaders for years. For we attend church regularly and we have the lingo down pat. But should we be forced to reconcile any difference in opinion with God, that might really present a problem. Here are some things that might help us self-examine our own Christianity: a). Are we truly in the faith or are we simply attending church with hopes that everyone will assume we are? b). Do we honestly have an intimate, daily and active relationship with Jesus? c). Do we have a love for holiness, or does it tend to interfere with our social life? d). Do we abhor, or hate, sin, or does that seem too hypocritical to us? e). Do we practice righteousness by loving the brethren, or does it still depend on who they are? f). Can a new Christian follow in our example – our righteousness? g). Have we truly separated ourselves from the world and the things of this world? h). Do we look and sound so much like Jesus, that the world often mistakes us for the Master? I believe that through His servant Paul, God is teaching us to evaluate ourselves on a regular basis, especially before we attempt to point fingers at another beggar who is also looking for the Bread of Heaven. Our Christian walk is not meant to impress others, it is intended to help others who are seeking Christ to find Him at work in us. Oh that we would never be a stumbling blook to some poor sinner looking for the Master. ‘May they see Jesus’, should be our persistent prayer!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: One beggar helping another beggar find bread! That should be the aim of every believer through their actions and their speech. If Christ resides inside of us, He will shine through in everything we do or say!

PRAYER: Lord, I thank You that You lived and died for our sakes. You created us to live as an example of all that You taught through Your wonderful Word. Others expect that and look for that when they want to know who You are. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable to You Oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Please Lord, draw us close to You, and encourage us to be Your church, Your followers and Your light in this dark world of sin. Let others see and experience You today as they encounter us in our normal walk of life. 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!

Why We Thank, Praise and Worship Our God

To worship the God of this universe, the One who created you and I, the One who listens to and responds to our every cry for help, should be a natural response for His created ones, but do we? Do you find yourself praising God in response to answered prayer? When You see God open doors and provide a means for you to move forward in life, do you praise Him for looking out for you? Today, let us take a moment to redirect our hearts and minds towards the God who makes all things possible for us!

DATE POSTED Friday, 2022-08-19
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 138:1-3
TRANSLATION: The Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT:  Lord, with all my heart I thank you. I will sing your praises before the armies of angels. 2 I face your Temple as I worship, giving thanks to you for all your loving-kindness and your faithfulness, for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name. 3 When I pray, you answer me and encourage me by giving me the strength I need.

APPLICATION:  In this Psalm we can see where David was touched by, or reminded of, the love of God and His undying faithfulness, and it triggered his worship of God. Notice that David said he faced the temple as he worshiped, but he didn’t wait until the next scheduled worship service where he could watch the praise team worship, or the pastor rejoice over a passage of scripture that God spoke to them about. Friends, please don’t get me wrong, each of these things I mentioned are important, but I truly believe that when we recognize the love of our God, when we feel His precious love for us individually and we realize that He is faithful to us in every aspect of our lives, then we will be moved to worship our God on a very personal level. When we do that, I believe that our corporate worship services will take on a whole new dimension, for our churches will be filled with worshipers, not just people looking for a place to be electrified or energized by a good worship leader, an awesome praise team, or a charismatic preacher. David goes on in these verses to say that he is reminded that all of the promises of God are backed by the honor of His holy name – the name above all names! He is also encouraged that the God of this universe answers his prayers and encourages him by giving him the strength that he needs to go on each day and live a strong and noble life for the Lord. These are all wonderful reminders for us to also worship our God, but this list is not exhaustive, for I think of the wonders of nature that He places before me as I drive to work or into town, the beauty of another sunrise, the blessing of rain, of cows and wildlife playing in the fields and pastures, these all open my eyes to the wonders and majesty of my God! Most of all, like David, I am amazed that the God of this universe takes time to listen to my prayers and He answers my concerns and comforts my anxious heart. Who am I that a Kind should bleed and die for? Yet, I am often reminded that He would have sacrificed himself on that old cross – even if I was the only one in need of a Savior. He loved me that much, and it is no different in the love that my Savior has for each of you today, dear friends. Look for God’s almighty hand at work in your life, then in spontaneous worship, thank Him! Glorify His holy name! Tell others about your awesome friend! And lift Him up before a lost and dying world! Recognize His goodness and never attribute His careful and deliberate love for you as mere chance or good luck. Make every effort to be a personal, worshiping believer, not just one looking for a good place with great corporate worship done by others. Jesus is, or at least He can be, your personal Savior who loves you unconditionally and so very much.

PRAYER: Father in heaven, You have given us so much reason to worship You from the depth of our heart. Please awaken Your saints from the sleep of laziness, or dependence on others and/or other influences to invoke a heart of worship within us. Please help us to rest from the busyness of this life long enough to reflect on Your goodness, Your love and Your undying faithfulness. The Psalmist has stirred our hearts and minds to remember the awesome joy in lifting up praise and worship to You! May this be a day that our eyes will be opened to reflect on Your beauty and Your goodness, and may we recommit to a personal relationship with the God of this universe who loves us individually, and cares for us intimately. Thank You Father for loving and caring for even me. These things I ask of You in the precious name of Your Son, my Savior and King, Jesus. 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!