We Are Accountable To God

Some may tend to look at the Bible as a book of stories about events from long, long ago. Some may stop to consider how odd it is that prophesies foretold hundreds of years earlier, actually came to fruition during the span of time the Bible was written. While others, like me, may actually live our lives today in honor of what the Word of God says, because we feel like it is the living Word of God, already proven accurate in numerous ways. And so we await the completed work of God, based on the rest of the story. Let’s meditate on what today’s story tells us about accountability!

Monday, 2019-09-30

Bible Reference: Hebrews 4:12-13
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

OBSERVATION: Some may tend to look at the Bible as a book of stories about events from long, long ago. Some may stop to consider how odd it is that prophesies foretold hundreds of years earlier, actually came to fruition during the span of time the Bible was written. While others, like me, may actually live our lives today in honor of what the Word of God says, because we feel like it is the living Word of God, already proven accurate in numerous ways. And so we await the completed work of God, based on the rest of the story. Let’s meditate on what today’s story tells us about accountability!

APPLICATION:  Ever get frustrated by someone telling you something, but not really telling you enough to help you understand the full impact of what they mean? Imagine telling a blind person that the sky is not blue today? Would that really help them understand what color the sky really is today? I got the impression from this scripture that the Word of God is still very much alive today as it always has been, meaning that it’s fresh, current, discerning, applicable, and will not cut any punches, but get straight to the point for us. It is through this same Word that God actually touches our heart, prompts our thoughts and energizes us towards living Godly lives that resemble His example. Think of it as us being an open book before God! So why is this important Christian friend? Surely God is saying to us that as a child we look to, and obeyed our parents in order to live obedient and upright lives, following in their example as much as possible. God is like our parent, helping us continue to determine right from wrong. Additionally, He sent His Son, Jesus, to set an example of the life that He would like for us to live. If we have invited Him to be our Savior; our Father; our deliverer; our leader in life; then we are His children, and He will hold us accountable to all that He teaches and expects of us. How are you doing with that, dear friend? Are you in the Word enough to allow it to teach you the ‘right’ way to live – to walk, talk and act like Him? So then, why would this be important to you who have not accepted my Lord as your Savior? I believe that there is no reason for doubt about the way you should live your life. Without Christ, you will live by every shift of wind, and very much according to those around you and the circumstances that surround you. This will often lead to confusion, frustration, evil and hatred – just as the world lives. A choice to live a committed life to God, is a will to be obedient in ways that will please and honor God, to live according to the example He set for us while here on earth, and the excitement of living in the awesome expectation of one day being face-to-face with Jesus in glory. It’s the comfort of knowing that you are loved, protected and cared about by the God of this universe! How awesome is that friend? May I have the honor of introducing you to my Friend? Please read my ‘Footnote’ for additional direction. To all my readers, please read the last sentence carefully and understand that we are accountable to God for our decisions, our actions and our obedience. Is there anything you would dread if you were called before God today?

PRAYER: Dear God, we are so frivolous to believe that we can live our lives any way we please because of our freedom to choose. You gave us the freedom of choice, but we are accountable to You for the choices we make, and the resulting consequences or rewards for those choices. Please forgive us for our littleness in thinking that it’s nobody’s business but ours what we do with our life, for You sent Your one and only Son to the cross to show us Your love and how much You care about our choices. Please awaken us and keep our eyes focused on You in all of our choices, and may this reflect in the way that we live, so that others might be drawn to You through our surrender, obedience and witness. I realize this is an awesome and powerful request Oh Lord, but because I am asking this in the name of our most awesome and powerful Savior, Jesus Christ, I am comforted that I can ask this in confidence and with thanksgiving. 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Always Be Ready To Share

Peter wanted to be sure that followers of Jesus Christ be prepared for the questions that folk will ask of us, especially when they see us acting and speaking differently to the majority of individuals they will come into contact with. In other words, if someone special resides inside of us, then His character will be revealed through us. Nothing to be ashamed of, and it should be nothing for us to brag about, but when we are asked ‘why?’, we should always be prepared to answer them about the hope that is ours, who know Jesus as Lord and Savior!

Wednesday, 2018-12-05

Bible Reference: 1 Peter 3:14-16
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 14 But you may suffer for doing right. If that happens, you have God’s blessing. “Don’t be afraid of the people who make you suffer; don’t be worried.”[a]15 But keep the Lord Christ holy in your hearts. Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have.16 But answer them in a gentle way with respect. Keep your conscience clear. Then people will see the good way you live as followers of Christ, and those who say bad things about you will be ashamed of what they said.

OBSERVATION: Peter wanted to be sure that followers of Jesus Christ be prepared for the questions that folk will ask of us, especially when they see us acting and speaking differently to the majority of individuals they will come into contact with. In other words, if someone special resides inside of us, then His character will be revealed through us. Nothing to be ashamed of, and it should be nothing for us to brag about, but when we are asked ‘why?’, we should always be prepared to answer them about the hope that is ours, who know Jesus as Lord and Savior!

APPLICATION: Over and over I’ve seen friends whip out their wallet, or their phone, to show a photo of the latest thing that brought joy to their life – perhaps a baby boy, or a granddaughter, or a son-in-law! I have a coworker who always responds to a greeting with the words “I love my job”. He has a response that make me smile, and makes me proud of him everytime we greet each other. I wonder how willing, or prepared, or quick, Christians might be to respond truthfully about the root cause of happiness; joy; expectation or hope that is being expressed through them? I would challenge those of us who know Jesus as Lord to ensure that each day we have a fresh encounter with our God. Talk with Him – through prayer; Listen to Him – through His Word; Be guided by Him – as we ask for His direction in all decisions known and unknown that we will face today; and Praise Him – through expressing gratitude and honor for all that He has done for us. Please be careful to recognize Jesus as the healer, deliverer, guide and everlasting Father that He is. It will be so easy to follow the way of the world and attribute your ‘blessings’ to luck, or medical staff, or good friends, or the knowledge of man, and while these are awesome in their own way, our faith and our hope lies in the One to whom we belong. Friends, let’s be willing and ready to give an answer to anyone about the hope that we have. In fact, let’s be careful to give the same answer to our friends as we would give to God about our hope!

PRAYER: Merciful Father and all powerful God, thank You for choosing to work in my life. Oh though so unworthy, still I’m a child of the King! Lord, help me to not only sing that song to myself, but freely and willingly share that with others that may ask about the hope that I have. Oh that You might be glorified in and through all saints that allow You access, and ask for Your help today 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

God’s Discipline

I am reminded that discipline comes in many forms, and from almost every person in authority over us. Jesus (the Amen, as referenced in several translations) saw the need to say this to the church at Ladocia because they ‘sat on the fence’ – they were not hot, or cold. For they said they were servants of God, but they didn’t allow Him to be God in their own lives. Could God be bringing this to our attention today so that we may closely examine our own lives, and that of our own churches?

Thursday, 2018-11-29

Bible Reference: Revelation 3:19
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 19 I continually discipline and punish everyone I love; so I must punish you unless you turn from your indifference and become enthusiastic about the things of God.

OBSERVATION: I am reminded that discipline comes in many forms, and from almost every person in authority over us. Jesus (the Amen, as referenced in several translations) saw the need to say this to the church at Ladocia because they ‘sat on the fence’ – they were not hot, or cold. For they said they were servants of God, but they didn’t allow Him to be God in their own lives. Could God be bringing this to our attention today so that we may closely examine our own lives, and that of our own churches? 

APPLICATION: From a very early age, good parents will discipline their children, as a way of stopping wrong doing, and guiding children towards the right way to act and do things. As children mature, they go to school and teachers are forced to instill discipline in their lives also. As young adults, they then find the need to test the systems outside of the home and school systems. So law enforcement and the courts come into play. Then they enter the work environment, where supervisors or managers take responsibility for guiding them as adults, and holding them accountable for their actions. Imagine what a parent will do if the young man who just landed a job, went home one evening and ignored everything his parents asked him to do around the home? In fact, all that he learned in growing up seemed to have drained out of the young man, for he is also ignoring his manners, respect and chores that were assigned to him. So the parents are looking at their son from birth, yet his attitude has changed into something they just can’t identify with. They want to love him, because of his ‘sonship’, yet they don’t want to reward unappreciated, rotten  behavior with their precious love. In our Scripture, Jesus is looking at a church that He gave up His very life for, yet He is disappointed at their disregard for His teachings; their refusal to participate in a number of church meetings that were designed to grow Christians; their withdrawing from certain activities that particular families are a part of, because they just don’t like them. Imagine the lack of appreciation Jesus must feel, knowing that He loved the church so much that He freely gave up His life for their good, and for their victory in overcoming the world’s weaknesses, and living with the promise of eternal life in heaven with Jesus and His Father? Do you suppose that He would be tempted to spew them out of His mouth, and possibly start over with a new group that may show signs of hope? What kind of discipline do you feel might be most appropriate for a church such as I described? Do you feel that you would be one who is caught up in the worldly actions described, or one of the few that may be praying for God to help them clean up their mess and live righteously before a holy God? Friends, I would encourage you to look inward before criticizing the church at Laodicea, or trying to pin the actions I raised on certain individuals. Does Jesus see an individual with a clean and contrite heart, filled with His righteousness, and appreciative for all that Jesus did for the church, when He looks intently into your heart? Precious Lord, may it be so for myself, and for many who will read this devotional. Please teach us to alway seek the truths of Your Word, and to humbly obey Your teachings.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for giving wholeheartedly of Yourself so that we might be saved from the attractions of this world. Thank You for helping us to look with joy at the realization of heaven and the wonder of the King of all kings and Lord of all lords, welcoming us home as a ‘son’ or a ‘daughter’! Our hearts are overwhelmed with joy over the promise and expectation of this, as we patiently await Your return to take us home with You precious Lord. Please ‘jerk our chain’ as we lose sight of whose we are, so that we would never be tempted to stray away from the commands of our General – our Lord and Savior. Thank You Lord for loving us enough to bring us through this challenging world with our eyes fixed on You. Please help us to maintain ‘tunnel vision’, so that the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of Your glory and grace! 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Who’s the Culprit?

I wonder today how much of our prayer time is spent on explaining to God who may have caused us to sin, or how it was possible for the infraction? Let’s Look at how Adam even went to the extent of trying to pass the responsibility of this sin to God Himself for his sin.

Monday, 2018-11-26

Scripture

Bible Reference: Genesis 3:6–8

Bible Text: 6 The woman stared at the fruit. It looked beautiful and tasty. She wanted the wisdom that it would give her, and she ate some of the fruit. Her husband was there with her, so she gave some to him, and he ate it too. 7 Right away they saw what they had done, and they realized they were naked. Then they sewed fig leaves together to make something to cover themselves.
8 Late in the afternoon a breeze began to blow, and the man and woman heard the LORD God walking in the garden. They were frightened and hid behind some trees.

Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

On reading the title, you might conclude that I am about to introduce an old TV show by the same title! That’s not my intention, so no need to close the blog without reading today’s devotional!!! This scripture got my attention though, because we see in the three examples in this story how each party, Adam, Eve and the serpent, all found excuses for the cause of this very first sin that we read about in the Bible. In each case they quickly threw the blame, or cause of their action, on someone or something else. Unfortunately, in spite of all that transpired in this story, added to the enormous blessings that God has showered on us, I am amazed how little mankind has changed. I wonder today how much of our prayer time is spent on explaining to God who may have caused us to sin, or how it was possible for the infraction? Look at how Adam even went to the extent of trying to pass the responsibility of this sin to God Himself, for had God not sent the woman to Adam in the first place, then Adam thought that he would not have sinned! eeeennnk! I don’t believe so Adam! Think about our many excuses, men blame their distractions at work or even at church, on the pretty lady who wears very short dresses or very tight pants, for leading them to infidelity. I wonder when God looks at the deepest part of man’s heart what He must find is really happening, to cause such sin to erupt in a man’s heart? Yes friend, you read that right. God considers even our wicked thoughts when He judges us! Men, may I plead with you to join me in fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith? May I suggest that we commit ourselves more to the idea of drawing closer to God and being obedient to His Word, then perhaps our minds would be more focused on eternal matters than on the sinful things of this world? Ladies, I know you are not exempt from this condition, so please consider the gist of what I just shared and apply it to the challenges you face. God in His mighty wisdom actually distracted me on to the thoughts I just shared, because my initial intent was to actually introduce the Advent season into my blog over the next 24 days. Friends, we are introduced in this scripture today, to the very first sin – also known as the fall of mankind. You will quickly recognize that it was from the very beginning of time that God saw the need to send our Savior into the world to save fallen man. This ‘Savior’ of which I am referring is God’s very own Son that He sent – Jesus. It is the miraculous birth of Jesus that we celebrate each and every Christmas. Perhaps this should be the season of Thanksgiving when we consider the precious gift given for our benefit, even though we are personally embellished by the  weakness of sin!

Prayer

Father, from the time of our very first ancestor, sin has been a problem – a challenge for mankind. We are weak, and very gullible to sin, but then we are so quick to deflect the cause of that sin onto anything, or anyone else that we could think of. Please open our hearts to the awesome reminder of how You not only saw our sin, but You did everything to help us seek forgiveness of that sin in preparation for standing before a holy, sinless God. You alone are God in heaven, and yet You loved us enough to make the way clear for us to be with You! Thank You Heavenly Father, thank You Jesus, and thank You Holy Spirit. We are truly a blessed people. May Your kingdom come oh Lord, and may each person meditating on this thought today be ready to see You face-to-face on resurrection morning, all because of Jesus! AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. 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 could 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Guard My Mouth

No doubt David had given some thought to what may cause him to do and say some crazy, human things at times. Because it is evident in these verses today that David looked deep within to find the root cause of things that may have helped him to mess up. I believe that we do the same thing on a regular basis, therefore I feel it would be good to stop and meditate on this for a short while today.

Saturday, 2018-11-24

Bible Reference: Psalm 142:3-4
Translation: Amplified Bible (AMP)

Bible Text: 3  Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips [to keep me from speaking thoughtlessly].  4  Do not incline my heart to [consent to or tolerate] any evil thing, Or to practice deeds of wickedness with men who plan and do evil; And let me not eat of their delicacies (be tempted by their gain).

OBSERVATION: No doubt David had given some thought to what may cause him to do and say some crazy, human things at times. Because it is evident in these verses today that David looked deep within to find the root cause of things that may have helped him to mess up. I believe that we do the same thing on a regular basis, therefore I feel it would be good to stop and meditate on this for a short while today.

APPLICATION: Kids who are generally good, will often be challenged to look deep within after being tempted, or drawn into bad behavior or wicked deeds, because they hear things from family or good friends like: What on earth got into you? Or: The devil got hold of you child, because you weren’t brought up to think like that, or do those things! It seems like David had an awakening like that in this moment of his life. I find it interesting that God led David to search inwardly first, and then to subsequently share with us, the following thoughts: Firstly, David asked for help with his mouth. Isn’t this something that still tend to generally get us into our deepest trouble today? I believe that, like David, we need the powerful hand of God to help us avoid the need to say something on every occasion, especially things that are not intended to build up. Often we have helpful things that we could lend to a conversation, but more often than not, we are simply trying to show off our knowledge, our worth or our value. I love the way that the Amplified version clarifies that we have a general tendency to speak thoughtlessly. Secondly David prayed that God would protect his heart from evil. Friends, from the heart, our mouths will speak! In other words, we will only speak what’s deep inside of our hearts. If we feed it filth, we will speak filthy. However, if we fill it with words of wisdom, love and compassion as exampled by Jesus Christ, then don’t you know that your words will be filled with these good things. David also wanted to make sure that he would stand firm when the wicked perform evil deeds or practice wickedness.  This is probably one of the most challenging to deal with, because you could very easily be called Mr. or Mrs. ‘Goody two-shoe’, or accused of knowing it all. But to sit idly by and say nothing, might indicate your condoning of the behavior, speech or evil deed. I am convinced child of God, that if we fill ourselves with the Word and person of God, then it will overflow from our lips and through our deeds. When we see something different occurring, it is high time that we draw closer to God, so that He may wash us of our worldly tendencies and fill us with the love and person of His Son.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for working in the life of David. We come humbly before You today knowing that our hearts are impacted by this old world in much the same way that David found himself. So Lord, I pray that You might wash us clean of the evil that has rubbed off on us from this world, and that being filled with Your Holy Spirit, we might instead be a lighthouse in this world for You. Lord, may You be seen in our actions, heard through our words, and experienced by those who have given You full control of their lives. Lord, may witnessing followers of Yous have a deep impact on those who have rejected You as Lord up to this point in their lives, for this is my heart’s cry 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 could 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Let Nothing Take God’s Place In Your Heart

In the verses leading up to our focal verses, John had gone into depth explaining the presence and importance of knowing Jesus, God’s only Son, and the only Perfect One. However, John also warned his people that they must be aware that Satan is also very real, and that he would try every trick in the book to try and distract those who claim Christ as King of their lives, to mess up and turn the other way. God gave John a cure to share with his folk about this, and I believe it is so applicable to us today. Let’s meditate on this for just a while.

Wednesday, 2018-11-21

Bible Reference: 1 John 5:20-21
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God.[e] And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life. 21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

OBSERVATION: In the verses leading up to our focal verses, John had gone into depth explaining the presence and importance of knowing Jesus, God’s only Son, and the only Perfect One. However, John also warned his people that they must be aware that Satan is also very real, and that he would try every trick in the book to try and distract those who claim Christ as King of their lives, to mess up and turn the other way. God gave John a cure to share with his folk about this, and I believe it is so applicable to us today. Let’s meditate on this for just a while.

APPLICATION: We are so careful about keeping our babies away from a stove, or a fireplace, or broken glass, because we don’t want to see them get hurt. Yet we work so diligently with our family and friends to see the bright light of Jesus Christ, and as soon as they make a decision, we turn our backs on them and move on to the next person we were praying for. The logical steps are great, for we should concentrate on helping someone else along, but we must constantly remind ourselves that the new Christian is just like the creeping baby that I shared in my example above. Often they will need our loving guidance, and our warnings about the troubled things that they might be distracted by and drawn into. However, while here on this earth, all of us are subject to the same temptations, because we are all prone to interference by the evil one. I would have two things that might encourage our walk towards righteousness: 1). Flood our lives with the Word of God. For that is where we receive our Godly direction and wisdom from, and that is where we learn about how Jesus overcame temptation, and in spite of it, yet He walked a righteous and sinless life, and 2). Let us strive to live out verse 21 above. Being careful to let nothing take the place of God in our hearts. We do this by making sure that our hearts are constantly filled with God, therefore there is no room for anything else. To the unsaved, or uncommitted friend that may be reading this devotional today, let me encourage you to seriously consider reaching beyond the troubles and trials of this world, seek Jesus – the King of all kings, and Lord of all lords, and allow Him to rule and reign in your life. He created you, and He is desperately waiting for you to join Him some day in glory to spend eternity with He and His Father! That’s awesome news, but be warned my friend, the Word of God is clear that heaven is reserved for those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord. Won’t you do that today my precious friend? Please read through, and follow my Footnote, and if you don’t know a Bible teaching pastor, please drop me a note so that I can pray with you as you begin this relationship. I would be honored to welcome you into the family and pray for you!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for accepting me as Your Son. Thank You for forgiveness of sin – even mine. Lord, You are so, so good to me! I also thank You for the reminder from John today, and I ask for Your ongoing guidance to help me stay totally focused on You and Your Word. May my life be so filled with Your goodness, mercy and grace, that Satan will find no room there. Lord, as readers meditate on these thoughts today, please speak gently to them and give them direction to help them live strong, noble and righteously for You every day. Please also touch the heart of the one that might come across this devotional that may not know You as Lord. Convict them, and lead them to a decision to accept You as Lord today, please? 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Your Body – Resident to The Holy Spirit

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

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (TPT)

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

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

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

PRAYER:   Lord I thank You for accepting me as Your very own son. I thank You for all those who will read this devotional today. As Your Word has sobered my thoughts and drawn my attention to the ever present Holy Spirit that You have entrusted to me. I pray, asking that You will cause me to remember the accountability of Your presence within me at all times. I also ask this of my readers Lord, for in this evil and wicked world we need more and more believers who take their relationship with You seriously and who respects the Holy Spirit inside of them to guide, direct and empower them to share Your love and ministry with all those who still doubt Your existence or everlasting power. You are an awesome God, and we love, respect and need You every moment of every day dear Lord. 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 could 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 to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

All Eyes on Jesus!

King Uzziah, a descendant of King David, had a great mentor in the person of Zechariah. This not only led Uzziah close to God, but also served as an accountability partner for the king. As long as Zechariah was around, King Uzziah depended on God, and he in turn, was successful. However, it soon got to the point where Uzziah started to feel totally capable on his own. This was a fatal mistake, as anytime we take our eyes off Jesus, we are going down, much like in the case of Peter walking on the water towards Jesus. So let’s look inward and determine if our eyes are on Jesus, or off.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Chronicles 26:5; 16 (MSG)

TEXT:  5 He (King Uzziah) was a loyal seeker of God. He was well trained by his pastor and teacher Zechariah to live in reverent obedience before God, and for as long as Zechariah lived, Uzziah lived a godly life. And God prospered him.    16 But then the strength and success went to his (King Uzziah’s) head. Arrogant and proud, he fell.

OBSERVATION:   King Uzziah, a descendant of King David, had a great mentor in the person of Zechariah. This not only led Uzziah close to God, but also served as an accountability partner for the king. As long as Zechariah was around, King Uzziah depended on God, and he in turn, was successful. However, it soon got to the point where Uzziah started to feel totally capable on his own. This was a fatal mistake, as anytime we take our eyes off Jesus, we are going down, much like in the case of Peter walking on the water towards Jesus. So let’s look inward and determine if our eyes are on Jesus, or off.

APPLICATION:   Business owners often look deep for reasons why their business is doing so well, and of course, why the business might be struggling. This helps to direct management into correcting the things that seem to be causing harm to the company, and they try to tweak those things that are helping their success, hoping that they will do even better. Throughout the Old Testament we read of kings who did what pleased the Lord, or ones who did not. Normally there is a wide contrast between what each one accomplished, but it could often be associated with how much access the king gave God to their leadership. We may have all heard a parent say to an adult child that struggled in business, well son, I saw that coming, because I have never seen a business person establish himself in quite the same way that you did. I wanted to suggest things to you, but I wanted you to ask first. Friends, this is exactly the way that God works. Yes, He’s always with us, but He wants us to stay in communion with Him. I believe that as empty vessels we run to the Master to be filled. I believe that we are being taught in this Scripture today that if we have truly surrendered our lives to the Master, then we will seek His face for all decisions in life, for only God knows what we need, when we need it and how much we need. Furthermore, do we expect failure if God directs our business-plan? But let’s think a bit more deeply about how this works. I’m sure that no one expects to arrive at work one day and find God arranging the inventory on the shelves, or continue on to the accounting department and find God there balancing the books. You see, God works through His children – those who have invited Him to be Lord and Savior of their lives. When a business owner knows God personally, and he daily speaks with Jesus about his blessings, and his concerns about his business, I believe that Jesus will be mindful of the man’s concerns – period. Therefore when he arrives at work and needs to make important decisions, he is still under God’s leadership, and those business decisions will be aligned with God’s will for him and his business. King Uzziah was encouraged to serve God faithfully, as long as Zechariah the priest was there as his support and mentor. Who do you have standing with you as your mentor? Who is your ‘Zechariah’? If you have one already, you are a very blessed person! If you don’t, may I encourage you to find an accountability partner who will support you in your effort to be a faithful servant of our most high God?

PRAYER:   Lord You are good to us in so many ways! You know our strengths, and unfortunately, You also know our weaknesses. Please help us to celebrate our blessings often in our praises of thanksgiving to You. Please also help us in our struggles, both at home and at work. I don’t believe You have Your love separated between our home life and our business life, because I believe that You care about us individually. Please help us to find good accountability partners where we could pray for each other, with one another, and be that encourager for each other, as we walk through the ups and downs of this earth. Lord, I am eternally thankful to You, please continue to bless both personally and in my work place. 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 could 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 to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

Accountability

Friday, 2016-07-22

Scripture

Bible Reference: Ezekiel 18:30–32

Bible Text:  30 I will judge each of you for what you’ve done. So stop sinning, or else you will certainly be punished. 31 Give up your evil ways and start thinking pure thoughts. And be faithful to me! Do you really want to be put to death for your sins? 32 I, the LORD God, don’t want to see that happen to anyone. So stop sinning and live!

Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

I want to try something a little different today in my blog, as I want to illustrate the various ways that we are held accountability, and the subsequent results, so that together we will get a better understanding why God also holds us accountable:

  • Home:
    • Unless we take our roles seriously, and treat each one appropriately with love, respect, care and understanding, we could very easily lose our spouse or our children or even our parents. We are accountable to each other, or we lose them;
    • For the safety of our homes, we lock doors and windows, and some may even have alarm systems. Unless we take time to do these things, we could attract robbers and wind up with injuries or losing the contents of our home;
  • Work:
    • Unless we follow the rules and expectations of our employer, we could very easily wind up losing our jobs. We are accountable to them for satisfactory work, in return for the right of being paid a salary;
  • Church:
    • Pastors and leaders have a responsibility to God to preach the Word and provide opportunity for their congregation to worship God. Failing to take this responsibility seriously could lead to personal discipline from God, but also result in losing the church because of missed opportunities to meet the needs of members and/or followers;
  • God:
    • In the verses we are looking at this morning, God said that if we continue on sinning, we will be punished, and this may even lead to death;
    • God also said that unless we start thinking pure and upright thoughts, we will sin and it will lead to His strong hand of discipline.

Friends, God is not pulling any punches here. He is very forthcoming in telling us that the consequences for our evil thoughts and our sin will lead to eternal death (Hell with Satan). Jesus provided for us the way of redemption, which is the way to eternal life and the glories of heaven with He and the Father. It just don’t get any better than that! So why not hold yourself accountable to doing the right thing. Accept the love offered by God. Ask Jesus to be your Savior and Lord, and aim to live victoriously in His grace and wondrous love. This can happen today friend! In fact, you are not promised a minute after the very time that you ready this blog, for we are promised only the very moment in which we find ourselves. The next minute could find you standing before the throne being held accountability for your decisions made here on earth. Make it count friend, and do the right thing – now, while you have the opportunity.

Prayer

Father, You’ve given us the rules for this life that could result in where we will spend the next life. Having also given us the will to make our own decisions, You hold us accountable for the choices that we make. Please speak to those who know you already, but that You are holding accountable to live the life prescribed in Your Word. Please also speak to those You have created and made Your Word available to them, but they have rejected it and continue to live in sin. Please encourage each one today with the truth of Your Word, and help us to make appropriate decisions that will draw us closer to You. I ask these things believing with all my heart that You can do all things! AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. 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 could 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

What If We Say Only What God Says

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 11:13-14
Today’s Bible Text: Meanwhile, the messenger who went to get Micaiah said to him, “Look, all the prophets are promising victory for the king. Be sure that you agree with them and promise success.” But Micaiah replied, “As surely as the Lord lives, I will say only what my God says.”
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: I believe that much like our ‘worldly’ counterparts, Christians are often guilty of trying to be the popular one in a conversation, or a party, or a family, or among our friends. We all want to be thought highly of, and we would really like to be the popular one in the group. But let’s think that through for a moment. Did we commit our lives to God so that we could have one more on our side, or on our team? Do we need to have one more that we could tell what to do? Friends stop and think this through, did God need us when He created the earth, or the skies, or the heavens? What about when He created you and I, did He do all that alone – without us telling Him what to do or how to do it? I would dare say that I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ because I realized that I didn’t have all the answers; that I have no idea about what tomorrow will bring. I was convinced that Jesus was the answer to all of life’s questions, hopes and dreams. I knew there must be a God, but I also knew that He was far beyond anything I could imagine. I knew that I needed a Savior to fill the gap between myself and the Master, and praise God I found that to be the Lord Jesus Christ! So recognizing that this was a need, why on earth do I try so hard to still make decisions on my own and try to please my peers/friends? Can I possibly be a ‘Micaiah’? Friends, Micaiah’s bravery and determination to be God’s spokesman is a challenging thought for us, because as we can gleam from this story, he declared what God had revealed to him in a dream, even though it was the unpopular thing to do, and even though it led to his imprisonment, and not his place at the head of the king’s banquet table. So why is this important, you might ask. First of all, can you imagine the freedom this must have given Micaiah? He spoke exactly what he knew the Lord had given him to him say. No guilty conscience, but a freedom in knowing that the God of the universe was then controlling his mouth and his words. Can you remember taking a message to your young siblings and adding the words “hey, don’t look at me, that’s what daddy said. I’m just the messenger”!! What if we took that stance in all walks of our Christian life? But wait, that’s exactly what God expects of us. We surrender our lives to Him, because we trust Him to be totaly in charge of all aspects of our life. Are you ready to let Him do exactly that? Our stresses would be greatly reduced, and God will actually make a lot more difference in this world, if only mankind would step away and let Him be God!

Prayer: Oh Lord, may we do exactly what You taught us in and through Your Word today. Micaiah’s boldness proved to us that it is important that we allow You to perform Your mighty works without interference from us, and in spite of what might be the popular or even demanding thing to do. Lord, we mess up way too often and I believe that we stand in the way of Your perfect decisions and will, way too often. Please touch the lives of Your saints today and give us boldness to stand firm for what we believe, and confident in whom we believe. You are Lord of all – or really not Lord at all to those who doubt Your power and who run interference in all that You want to accomplish in and through Your people. Please forgive us Lord, and please redirect our thoughts to one of total dependence on You. I ask these things in the name of the one and only Savior of this world, Jesus, the Christ! AMEN! 

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. 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 could 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

2016