Our Miraculous God

Wednesday, 2019-06-12

Bible Reference: Luke 1:18-20
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How do you expect me to believe this? I’m an old man and my wife is too old to give me a child. What sign can you give me to prove this will happen?19 Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel. I stand beside God himself. He has sent me to announce to you this good news. 20 But now, since you did not believe my words, you will be stricken silent and unable to speak until the day my words have been fulfilled at their appointed time and a child is born to you. That will be your sign!”

OBSERVATION: Way too often we pray for God’s wisdom; His healing; His direction; and His protection, yet when God is on the move we tend to find explanations on why certain activity is occurring, or we may even attribute the turn in events to ‘good luck’. Oh my, where is our faith truly at? Who is our God? I have two similar Biblical characters to consider today that reacted surprisingly to God’s orders/miracles. Let’s examine our own hearts as we look at this.

APPLICATION: In my Old Testament reading today, there was the story of Balaam. He spoke to God about whether he should visit with king Balak. God directed him not to go. However, Balak was persistent and he sent back a different team of messengers to plead with Balaam to change his mind. Although having been given a Word by God, Balaam went before God each time that Balak’s team of men asked. I can’t imagine God changing His mind, neither telling Balaam that He had made a bad call in His first response. But eventually God saw the need to teach Balaam a lesson by letting him go with the messengers. Then I turned to my New Testament study and found this story of Zechariah, who encountered a similar discipline to that received by Balaam. I’m sure it is easy for us to look down our noses at both of these servants of God and in shock wonder how on earth could they possibly respond in the way that they did. But are we truly any different in our response to God and/or His miraculous work? I don’t think so, for I believe we are equally as bad, or perhaps even worse. Now think about this: we have learned from Balaam, we have learned from Zechariah, and I’m sure there are many other similar examples throughout God’s Word, but way too often we place God in a box only as big as our vision and our capacity. How often do we go beyond those borders? I have a very personal experience, I can share with you from my church: our leaders are stretching and testing their faith in trying to solve a challenge of overcrowding. Through faith in our all-powerful and fully capable God, they are led of God to find property to relocate, or expand our ministries to meet the needs of adequately ministering to the people He is sending our way, and will send our way over the foreseeable future. To approach our God for something like this – something that is several times larger than what we have; something that will meet the needs of ongoing ministries way beyond our ability to imagine – this requires a persistent faith that is strong and immovable. Please consider praying with BFC, Sebring, FL about this need. We want to see Jesus lifted up and glorified, even through our humble efforts. We are convinced that God has blessed us with the crowds He has sent our way, even in spite of a community that is largely unchurched. However, we take the Scripture very seriously, and He has encouraged us with the words, that if I am lifted up, I will draw the people unto myself. We are in a continual mode of lifting up the name of Jesus in all that we do. As for you, may I suggest that you stand in awe of who God is, and all that He has done, plus all that He has the power to do again. Try looking beyond things that your natural eyes can see, and try trusting God in the small and in the great things. Try listening to what God wills, and allow Him to stretch your vision and your faith so that you will openly allow His work to be done for His glory alone.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for saving a sinner such as I. It is hard to imagine that a miraculous working God like You, who has the power to do all things, and see all things that are yet to come, yet You loved me enough to use even me in Your mighty work. Lord, my readers and I stand in awe of You. We want to experience your awesome work, and we want to participate in the many blessings that You shower on us each day. Please teach us to pray. Please strengthen our faith to believe and deepen our trust in You for all things. May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, so that You may be glorified in all things. Thank You Heavenly Father for loving even us. AMEN!

Our Responsibility

Tuesday, 2019-06-11

Bible Reference: Psalm 37:30-31
Translation: GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Bible Text: 30 The mouth of the righteous person reflects on wisdom. His tongue speaks what is fair.
31 The teachings of his God are in his heart. His feet do not slip.

OBSERVATION: I believe that very often we go on the premise that because of whose we are, we will automatically do the right thing. However, I feel like the Psalmist is also reminding us that when we claim the name of Christ, we need to be committed to living like Jesus and submissive to His will in our lives. Not sure how you might be doing with that, but I need some time with the Lord to meditate on this. Join me, won’t you?

APPLICATION: I wonder if, in the eyes of a stranger, they would know who our Master is? Who or what drives us and influences our decisions. Under stress, if they met us for the first time, would they recognize who is influencing our defiance, or our calm spirit, even in the midst of the storm? The Psalmist reminds us that our mouth will reflect the wisdom of the One we claim as our Master; our tongue will speak out of fairness if we claim the only true and fair God as our Lord and Savior. He goes on to give us the reason why these good things mysteriously occur in our lives – because of the teachings of our God that we have allowed to indwell our hearts and control our very lives. He declared that when we allow such an influence in our lives, we stand on a solid footing and our lives will reflect the God in whom we place our faith and our trust. Friends, our lives will reflect the One in whom we place our faith and our trust. The decisions that we make and the words that we speak will be a reflection of the teachings that we have permitted to dwell deep within our hearts and souls. If we fill ourselves with evil and the things of this world, then we will make decisions based on those ideas and principles. If, however, we have filled our lives with the things of Christ, His words, His example and His character will influence the decisions we make and the words we speak. Please allow me to be the first to tell you today that the world is carefully watching you, and they are ready to jump on you with great judgment when they see you acting contrary to what they expect from a Christian. So I believe our challenge is, that we react in such a way that the unsaved will want to know the Source of our wisdom, our good judgment, our love for others, and our careful use of words that are representative of our Master. That’s the only way that we will fulfill His purpose and help the unsaved to know Jesus. Preaching to them, or at them, will have minimal impact on them, compared to what they experience from our words and through our actions.

PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, please help us to be more like You in every phase of our life. We know that Your ways are perfect, and that we will only reflect the attitude and character of the One that we love, adore and serve. Please inspire the lives of my readers and myself, so that others will see Jesus in everything we do or say. It’s all about You dear Lord, Oh that we may be a living example of You in every way. AMEN!

Blessed But… Ungrateful?

Monday, 2019-06-10

Bible Reference: Numbers 21:4-5
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey, and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”

OBSERVATION: It would be easy to read this Scripture and criticize the Israelites for their ungratefulness, but can you see yourself in the picture painted above? Let us consider for a few moments today whether we are among the blessed, but still ungrateful….

APPLICATION: Unless you stop to consider your blessings, you might easily get caught up in the idea that all you enjoy each day is just a normal part of life. In other words, you may take for granted all that you enjoy each day, and that it is automatically provided just for you. Unfortunately, when you do this, you become depressed and despondent, like the Israelites, when things are not going the way that you are expecting. But the Israelites showed us how one might react when things are not going as expected. For in spite of all God had done for them already, and all that He continued to do each day for them, yet the Israelites were ready to complain/criticize God and His servant Moses, for what they saw as not enough variety in their meals, and not enough water, and for the extra walk, that was really necessary for their own safety. But what about us, surely we are not that ungrateful, right? May I suggest that you think about this reminder more fully my friend? Don’t you remember waking up to thunder, lightening and rain on a day that you had other plans, and how you whined and complained about yet another day of rain, even though your neighbor had been crying for more rain to help his garden grow better? And don’t forget about the aches and pains that we complain about to all of our friends, or the quality of the food that was provided for us out of the goodness of our neighbors last night, or perhaps the diminishing eyesight as you grow older, etc, etc, etc! Friends, if we look at life as a blessing from God, which it truly is, and if we accept all aspects of life as God-directed, God-blessed, God-ordained and God’s perfect will for our lives, then we should automatically explode in awesome praise when we awake to raindrops on our window, or a car that won’t start, or more money that we could possibly spend in a given week (ha!), for God has a plan for us and He wants to protect us and bless us beyond our ability to understand or appreciate. But let us be deliberate in praising our Master every day for all things, for He truly loves us and, I believe that, He truly wants us to flourish in His many blessings that He careful pours out on us every day.

PRAYER: Father God, thank You for Your loving kindness to the Israelites, in spite of their ungratefulness. Having recognized that we have not learned any good lessons from the Israelites, we must ask Your forgiveness and plead with You for Your ongoing patience with us as we learn to recognize Your goodness and Your mercy towards us. You are an awesome God, and I am thankful for Jesus and the forgiveness of my sins, so that I may call You Father. Oh how I long for my readers and I to one day look full into Your wonderful face and sing endless praises to our King! In the meantime, please help us to do just that each and every day, especially those days when we seem to think that circumstances should be different. AMEN!

Obedience To God’s Will

Saturday, 2019-06–8

Bible Reference: Numbers 20:6-12
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: …. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to them, and the Lord said to Moses, “You and Aaron must take the staff and assemble the entire community. As the people watch, speak to the rock over there, and it will pour out its water. You will provide enough water from the rock to satisfy the whole community and their livestock.” So Moses did as he was told. He took the staff from the place where it was kept before the Lord. 10 Then he and Aaron summoned the people to come and gather at the rock. “Listen, you rebels!” he shouted. “Must we bring you water from this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the staff, and water gushed out. So the entire community and their livestock drank their fill. We 12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!”

OBSERVATION: Obedience to God’s will is vitally important, whether we understand His purpose or not. Remember, “God’s will: nothing more; nothing less; nothing else; at any cost”. Let us meditate on this thought for a few moments today.

APPLICATION: I shouldn’t have to apologize for including so much Scripture today, but it is longer than I usually include, and it’s because I wanted you to understand the basis that God’s reaction in verse 12 was based on. As I read the verses preceding the above, I was so impressed with the attitude of Moses and Aaron to fall on their faces before God in seeking His help for the situation at hand with the ungrateful Israelites. For every little hiccup, the Israelites protested the idea of Moses leading them away from their ‘safe’ life in Egypt, albeit slavery. However, I want us to watch what happens to Moses and Aaron when they delivered on the instruction ordered by God. In verse 10 Moses seemed to have delivered the miracle of God in anger, because he was upset over their grumbling, and absolutely couldn’t understand their need to complain. But more than that, Moses presented the plan to produce water – like it was something he or Aaron would do for the Israelites, in response to their dilemma, and that was wrong. Moreover, Moses took it upon himself to enact the miracle in his own way. But look at what our faithful God did, He still allowed water to flow forth from a rock! He stayed true to His word, even though he felt compelled to deal with Moses and Aaron for their disobedience in not carrying out His plan as designed. You see, God never told Moses to strike the rock twice, and since it was ‘GOD’ who was really behind the miracle, shouldn’t Moses have given credit to God, instead of making it sound like ‘he‘ was the miracle worker? You see, God knew what He was doing, and He gave the instructions to Moses very precisely. He didn’t need Moses to add in the extras. Commentaries also claim that this act of striking the rock, represents the New Testament story of our Rock (Jesus) being stricken, or crucified. And it was unnecessary for Jesus to have been smitten a second time. Friends, this story relays an illustration to us that as we receive a word from God, through His Son Jesus, we need no other confirmation. No other help, and no other word than what He has ordered. Our part is to be obedient to the will of the Father and simply obey Him. There is no need add or take away to God’s word. Let us take note of God’s discipline on Moses and Aaron, for what they did. Let us never forget that God could also discipline us for taking it on ourselves on how we will deliver the word, or action ordered by our Lord. He needs no help from us, than to carry out what He orders us to say or do.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for using even us to carry out Your work here on earth. Thank You for the reminder today, that You need us only to be obedient servants, and no need to add in our ‘two cents’ worth, in thinking that we could help You do it right. We acknowledge that You are God and that only You have the power to perform miracles. Thank You for loving us and showing us through your servants Moses and Aaron, that You may choose to use even us, if we are willing to obediently follow your Commands. Please make us useful for your serve and Your glory oh Lord! AMEN!

God Will Not Forsake His Saints

Monday, 2019-06-03

Bible Reference: Psalm 37:4-7
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life, and he will provide for you what you desire the most.
Give God the right to direct your life, and as you trust him along the way you’ll find he pulled it off perfectly!
He will appear as your righteousness, as sure as the dawning of a new day. He will manifest as your justice, as sure and strong as the noonday sun.
Quiet your heart in his presence and pray; keep hope alive as you long for God to come through for you. and don’t think for a moment that the wicked in their prosperity are better off than you.

OBSERVATION: Words spoken by a man with experience, are normally taken very seriously by those around him. For example, if I was to consider starting a woodworking project, I would listen very attentively to a carpenter friend. In our Scripture today, David is sharing from his personal experience, how trustworthy his/our God is. I believe it deserves our attention and our meditation today as we consider what he shared in this Psalm.

APPLICATION: Prior to these verses, David shared the challenges that the wicked face with so many challenges in life, yet they have no one of integrity or worth to run to. However, for the follower of Christ things are quite different – because we have a connection with the very Creator of this universe! But notice how David specifically directs us into having a very intimate and trusted relationship with the Master. In other words, the type of relationship that we are actively involved in, and not just one that we feel associated with, or that we could call on when we need some magical intervention in our lives. Friends, I love to compare our intimate relationship with God to that with our spouse. For you see, when I treat my Savior with the respect and trust that is required to share the joys and challenges of my heart, then I believe that I have built an intimate relationship with my Lord – one where I might trust in His goodness; plead for His guidance and His help; and believe in His power to handle the challenges of life that often seem overwhelming to me. I don’t believe for a moment that David was cheering us on to trust in a Savior that we barely know, or one that we meet with a few times a year when we visit church, or one that is tucked away and can be called on when we have trouble brewing in our lives. Read verse 4 again and meditate on the preface of this whole Scripture reading today. It begins with us delighting in, and desiring from, the very God that we have invited to lead and direct our life. So allow me to suggest that you make it a priority today to sure up your relationship with God. I believe that He is either King over all things in our lives, or He is not King at all to you. Only you will know how much of your life you have surrendered to God, but remember I said that He must be God of all, or else He will know that He is not really God at all for you. Trust in Him my friend, and watch for His amazing and miraculous works in your life. I love the words in verse 7, where David advised us to long for our Savior, and long for His goodness in our lives. I believe He longs for this type of relationship with us, but we must allow Him to do that. It’s now your turn dear one. What action will you take today to sure up your relationship with your Lord?

PRAYER: Thank You Lord, for Your mercies on me! For all You have done, in providing a Savior so that I may have life eternally in heaven with You, I say thank You Lord, for Your mercies on me. For watching over me each and every day, and providing me with the health and ability to carry on, I say thank You dear Lord for Your mercies on me. For the friends You have directed to read this devotional and draw closer to You, I say thank You Lord for Your lifelong mercies on Your children. Please speak to hearts today as each one is reminded of the words of David. May we all be reminded of the King of all kings, and Lord of all lords, who stands ready and willing to forgive us and accept us, if only we would sincerely ask. Thank You Lord for Your mercies on us. AMEN!

Appreciate The Good Things of God

Saturday, 2019-06-01

Bible Reference: Numbers 14:21-23
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

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

OBSERVATION: It is so easy to read about the ungratefulness of others, especially in response to miraculous works by a leader that constantly shows their appreciation, love and direction to them. That’s the story of the Israelites as they traveled through the Wilderness under the watchful eye and protective hand of the Master. But what have we really learned from that story? Are we in constant awe and full of appreciation for what God does for us? Let’s stop to ponder that for a few minutes today.

APPLICATION: It is so easy to read about the rescue of the Israelites from slavery at the hands of the Egyptians, and to see the miraculous works of God as He led them through years and years of travel through the wilderness. There He saved them from slaughter by approaching armys; provided food for over 1,000,000 people; gave direction and protection to them as they traveled, and held a token out in front of them by their ultimate destination being a land of milk and honey. Isn’t it extremely upsetting to think of them grumbling in the midst of all the awesome things that surrounds this story? Isn’t it good to know that we are so much better at that than they were? BUT wait, are we?? I tried to place a positive spin on the title of today’s devotion, instead of what I was really feeling like God might say to us at times – ‘Just quit the griping and complaining’!! Just in case you are blinded to really see how little we have changed, let me suggest that not a whole lot has changed. Friends, using the backdrop of the awful complaining by the Israelites in response to all the good that God was doing for them, I want us to turn our eyes to our own lives and our challenges that we deal with each day. From the time that we awaken each day, from our comfortable beds in super cool air-conditioning, we may start by complaining that it’s so warm outside, and furthermore I have to get off to work. Let’s stop right there for a moment and remind ourselves that many have no choice but to endure that warm/hot air 24 hours per day; Some are currently out of their homes because of flooding, tornadoes or simply due to financial problems, and many of these may not be able to return to their homes. So do we have something to be thankful for? Then of course our complaining continues into the choice of food we have for breakfast, or the broken down vehicle that we drive to work, or the time of day that we have to report to work. While many others could only wish that they had each of the above. Friends, may I suggest to you that we should learn from the Israelites to appreciate all that God provides for us each and every day. Yes, our greed and our selfish desires always tend to want something different and superior to what we have, but as we look into the eyes of our Master, what can we truly say? Thank You, thank you, thank You Lord for Your mercy and Your kindness to Your humble servant. Who am I to deserve such grace, and such love from such an awesome God? Please forgive us for our ungratefulness Lord. Please help us to always look at all You endured so that we might have eternal life, and a home in glory with You. Your love for us, and Your daily gifts to us are beyond anything we could measure, so may we always find room in our hearts to praise You and rejoice in all Your tender mercies, for You alone are God!

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

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog 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!

Man’s Picture vs God’s Reality

Third day, 2019-05-30

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lord, You are….

Wednesday, 2019-05-29

Bible Reference: Psalm 36:5-8
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: Your steadfast love, O Lord, is as great as all the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your justice is as solid as God’s mountains. Your decisions are as full of wisdom as the oceans are with water. You are concerned for men and animals alike. How precious is your constant love, O God! All humanity takes refuge in the shadow of your wings. You feed them with blessings from your own table and let them drink from your rivers of delight.

OBSERVATION: I believe that if we were exposed to God’s awesome love, as displayed in nature, rather than what we see on our television screens or devices, then perhaps we might become more appreciative, and creative in describing the awesome handiworks of our maker, like David did. For a farmer will probably describe something or someone in terms of what he experiences each day, while an artist will see, and explain things quite differently. Each one is correct, so let’s just remember to look for the handiworks of our awesome God and share that with Him – often!

APPLICATION: So if you were to describe your Master – your God, your Savior, to someone that you meet later today, what might be some of the adjectives you would use? Too often we will simply say that He is good, or we may even stretch it to say that He is awesome, but if you walked along the edge of a stream in a mountainous area, do you suppose that you might be able to add a more descriptive view of God? What about a view of God after sailing quietly in the clear waters of the Bahamas early one morning? What about doing this right after leaving the hospital and hearing your doctor say that you must have been healed, because he was unable to find that mass inside that showed so prevalent in the radiation reports? Friends, I don’t believe for a minute that God created us so uniquely, for us to just repeat what the Psalmist said. For I believe that from the depths of our heart and the experiences we have been blessed to encounter, we may have a lot more to say than David ever saw, or thought to say. I believe that in much the same way that spouses like to be told how awesome they are, and kids long for parental affirmation, God also longs to hear His children lift up their voices and lift up holy hands in praise and worship to our Creator. Do you do that often enough? Do you look for, and acknowledge all that He does in your life, and all around you? Great is the Lord, and worthy of praise! Great is the Lord!

PRAYER: You are so worthy dear Lord of our worship, our praise and our thanksgiving, for You are sooooo good to us. Lord You designed us to return thanks to You and to worship and adore You, but we have allowed pride and worldly attitudes to creep into our lives that hold us back. Beginning with the nucleus of friends that will read this devotional today, I pray dear Lord that You would create a right spirit within us, and fill us to overflowing with a strong hunger for more of You in our lives. For I pray that we will overflow with your goodness to such an extent that the world will see, hear and know that we are saturated with Your love. We are a thankful people oh Lord! May we express that more often in appreciation to You and so that people around us may know the source of our joy! AMEN!

How Will We Know?

Monday, 2019-05-27

Bible Reference: Mark 13:5-8
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: Jesus replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

OBSERVATION: The disciples took advantage of their time with Jesus to ask Him about the end times. I found it especially interesting to be reminded of what Jesus said, because in His caution I could see that end-time evangelists today still use the same signs that Jesus warned us not to get caught up in. Wars, earthquakes, famine, etc. Jesus warned that these are all part of what we could expect here on this earth, but as for His return…..

APPLICATION: It appears like mankind has this thing about waiting for the last minute to do anything at all. In the area where I live, hurricanes is a great threat. We are warned about the beginning of the typical season, and that we should prepare our food pantry and our window shutters in order to be best prepared when a storm comes our way. Weather forecasters warn us in lots of time when it appears like a storm is tracking towards us. However, most residents will not get themselves into gear until the panic warning is given that the hurricane will hit within 24 hours. In the spiritual realm, we have many churches and even more evangelists that deliver the message of Jesus Christ each and every day, yet we hear of many death-bed conversions. Clearly in our Scripture today we are told that we expect these things in the normal course of everyday life. Yes, they are early warning signs, but notice that Jesus still didn’t tell them when the BIG day would occur? That’s because Jesus never made it a practice to speak out of both sides of His mouth. In earlier Scripture, Jesus made it clear that no one knows the day or the hour, not even He, for His Father alone makes that decision. So let’s get back to the title of our devotional. How will we know? I believe that throughout the Word of God, we are warned that we have no idea when the King will come to take us home, although it could be today! Yes my friend, Jesus never said that He will wait for you to finish your project, or complete your plans to marry your best friend, or to make the amount of money that you always dreamed about. So wait no longer to make your heart right with God, do it now. Should He return today to take us all up to heaven with He and His Father, let there be no doubt that He will find a people who are ready to go with Him! I pray that everyone reading this devotional will waste no time in readying themselves for that day. Read my ‘Footnote’ if you are unsure of what to do. Drop me a note and allow me to pray with you about your decision dear friend.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You not only prepared a home in glory for us, but You provided the means for dirty sinners like us to receive forgiveness of our sin, and to be acceptable in Your sight. Thank You for the warnings You placed in Your Word today to help us see and understand the deceivers that will come our way. Please help us simply to be obedient and ready for Your return, even if it is today. We want to see You Lord, and we want to be where You are. Oh that this might be the day! AMEN!

How To Give Your Two Cents Worth

Saturday, 2019-05-25

Bible Reference: Mark 12:41-44
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 41 Then he sat down near the offering box, watching all the people dropping in their coins. Many of the rich would put in very large sums, 42 but a destitute widow walked up and dropped in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny. 43 Jesus called his disciples to gather around and then said to them, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given a larger offering than any of the wealthy. 44 For the rich only gave out of their surplus, but she sacrificed out of her poverty and gave to God all that she had to live on, which was everything she had.”

OBSERVATION: No doubt you have always given your ‘two cents worth’ in every conversation you overheard! But in today’s Scripture we can see where two cents was everything that this poor widow had, yet she gave it for the work of the Lord in the temple. Still today people give from their abundance, while others give out of deep gratitude to all they have been blessed with, no matter how small that may seem to some. Let us meditate on this one little illustration that made it into the Gospel. Let us truly understand all about how we may apply this illustration to our lives today.

APPLICATION: I believe that all of us could look in on this story and conclude that God wants our very best, and He wants us to give willingly and freely. Imagine for a moment that someone blesses you with enough money to pay all of your expenses for the rest of the year. Would you be forever thankful? I bet you would be besides yourself with gratitude, right? But wait a moment, this gracious person who blessed you has asked for your help on Saturday afternoon while the game is on, plus you have already invited friends over to party with you during the game broadcast on television. So what will you do? How will you respond? There’s no right or wrong answers, this was intended to help you examine your heart for its level of gratefulness. After you have pondered those few questions, now stop to ponder your feelings when you’re paid for your hard work and for the stress you’ve encountered at work. How willing are you to commit to God a portion of what He has blessed you with financially? Remember, He opened all the doors for you to get that job, and He has truly touched the heart of your boss to give you good increases each year. Because of your good health, you have been able to handle your work each and every day. So do you suppose that it was more than anything you could personally have achieved, that made you succeed at work and earn a good income? Since God partnered with you, don’t you feel like you should return thanks to Him by sharing generously from all that your boss paid to you? Friends, we serve an awesome God. He blesses us in ways that we could only imagine; He loves us, in spite of our selfish and conceited attitudes; He provides for us when we wonder where the next dime is coming from. He’s our Almighty; All-powerful; All-loving; awesome God, that sacrificed even His own Son for our eternal benefit. What is it that we would withhold from Him and/or His mission in our family, our church and our community? His Word is specific of where we should give financially, and His Word also gives us a good guide for the amount we should give. In His Word God tells us that we will be blessed in return for our willingness to give. Be blessed today my friend, and give to God’s work freely, lovingly, and with a happy heart. We could never outgive God. And we know that God is pleased when He sees His children show their gratitude in giving freely to His earthly cause. With our hearts in the right place, we will not only give financially to the work of our Master, but we will be much more apt to give of ourselves in His service. So let’s imitate the widow in our story today, by giving of our ‘two cents’, even if it is our last two cents.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord Jesus for giving everything to us. There is nothing that You withheld, and we are forever grateful for Your precious love in blessing us each and every day. May this lesson of the poor widow invoke a new sense of release inside all of us, so that we may give freely from our financial resources and of our time that has become such a precious commodity anymore. It’s all Yours dear Lord, please help us to be open in responding in ways that will please You. Please continue to bless us, and make us channels of blessings; ones that will give and give, back to Your mission here on earth. AMEN!