Relationship Denials

We are identified and referred to by the people and places that we hang around, and often by the clothes we wear. Imagine a doctor walking around your favorite store in a pair of shorts. Would you ever recognize him? Imagine a charismatic pastor sitting in a waiting room at the hospital in casual clothes calmly and softly chatting with a young lady, would you recognize him? Also, what if you traveled to a country that is unfriendly to the gospel, and the authorities identified you as ‘one of those Christians’. Would you quickly step forward and rejoice that God has answered your prayers? Join me as we meditate on the dilemma of Peter.

Thursday, 2019-09-12

Bible Reference: Luke 22:26-60
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 56 A girl noticed Peter sitting in the firelight. Staring at him, she pointed him out and said, “This man is one of Jesus’ disciples!”
57 Peter flatly denied it, saying, “What are you talking about, girl? I don’t know him!”
58 A little while later, someone else spotted Peter and said, “I recognize you. You’re one of his, I know it!”
Peter again said, “I’m not one of his disciples.”
59 About an hour later, someone else identified Peter and insisted he was a disciple of Jesus, saying, “Look at him! He’s from Galilee, just like Jesus. I know he’s one of them.”
60 But Peter was adamant. “Listen, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Don’t you understand? I don’t even know him.” While the words were still in his mouth, the rooster crowed.

OBSERVATION: We are identified and referred to by the people and places that we hang around, and often by the clothes we wear. Imagine a doctor walking around your favorite store in a pair of shorts. Would you ever recognize him? Imagine a charismatic pastor sitting in a waiting room at the hospital in casual clothes calmly and softly chatting with a young lady, would you recognize him? Also, what if you traveled to a country that is unfriendly to the gospel, and the authorities identified you as ‘one of those Christians’. Would you quickly step forward and rejoice that God has answered your prayers? Join me as we meditate on the dilemma of Peter.

APPLICATION: With every good intention, many of us pray that others may see the character and love of Jesus in us, hoping that others might be drawn to Christ because of our testimony. Inside our churches we sing His praises, love on other like believers, and we may even shout ‘Amen’ in agreement to all that the Pastor has to say. All things that the Savior might be proud of, right? But what are we like in our business places? In our business decisions? In our after work parties? Or in our political affiliations? Will the servant girl identify us as ‘one of His’? We might very easily become entrapped in similar challenges with other associations in life. Like Peter, some may be afraid of the consequences that might ensue because of family affiliations, or political affiliations, or others. Friends, I believe that our challenge in this Scripture today is ‘What will we do with Jesus?’. Is He just a good relationship to keep mom, spouse, children and the pastor, happy and off our back? Is He good to know when things are really rough on us – medical challenges; dying relative; a child in trouble with the law; etc. or have you truly accepted Him as your Lord and personal Savior? I pray that you’ve developed such a relationship with Him that you are comforted by His love; His guidance; His wisdom; and His promise of eternity with He and the Father in heaven? Let me suggest that if you feel all of the latter, and you know that your eternity is secure in Him, then may I challenge you today to think about what your answers would be to the questions asked of Peter? For I believe that you will be challenged along the same lines as Peter was, while living this life here on earth. Decide this day whom you will follow, and to whom you will cling to, when challenged by the ungodly and those who are out to get you.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on through every step of this Christian life. Whether in the good times of rejoicing with fellow Christians, or in situations where we are faced with the daggers of the enemy, please give us the boldness to never back down from our association and relationship with You. After all, You bore the embarrassment and the sting of punishment for us while carrying out the plan of Your Father, so that the mean and the wicked of this world might have the means of salvation – union with God the Father. Thank You for Your sacrifice, and thank You for the love shown for us. Please embolden us with Your power and Your strength to never back down from our ties with You. Oh that You would rule and reign in us, until the day You call us home to glory! 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!

Telling The World To Whom You Belong

Today people that you come into contact with will know who guides your life. But I’m a boisterous type person who openly speaks my mind on every subject, you might say, and you know how to hide your private feelings, so your audience will never figure you out. Another might respond, but I’m a very quiet and reserved type person, so they will never figure me out. As we meditate today, let us consider what we say to friends every day regarding our faith and the one who has a lasting impression on our lives.

Friday, 2019-08-02

Bible Reference: Luke12:8-9
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: “I can assure you of this: If you don’t hold back, but freely declare in public that I am the Son of Man, the Messiah, I will freely declare to all the angels of God that you are mine. But if you publicly pretend that you don’t know me, I will deny you before the angels of God.

OBSERVATION: Today people that you come into contact with will know who guides your life. But I’m a boisterous type person who openly speaks my mind on every subject, you might say, and you know how to hide your private feelings, so your audience will never figure you out. Another might respond, but I’m a very quiet and reserved type person, so they will never figure me out. As we meditate today, let us consider what we say to friends every day regarding our faith and the one who has a lasting impression on our lives.

APPLICATION: Isn’t it interesting how God covered all types of individuals in the two Scripture verses chosen today, even the two mentioned in my Observation? Yes, for the one who is hyper and keeps talking endlessly, they may have a weak self image, so in their attempt to be seen or heard, they look for ways to be recognized. Often, this is a self image they are trying to develop, or make up for, and often this individual will tend to speak first and think afterwards. They might ask a lot of questions about their new found Savior, and eventually they may be some of the first to speak up in a Bible study class, or perhaps one of the first to pray in a prayer meeting. Friends might recognize a change has occurred in their lives, but I feel like they will quickly learn more about that change as they interact with this individual. Most individuals live to please others, and not to ‘rock the boat’ in their relationships with others. Therefore most will tend to hide their relationship with Christ as a private matter, if they suspect that talking about it would hinder relationships. Friends, if we’re not careful, this type of undercover Christian might easily be the type that Jesus speaks of in verse 9 – for these individuals may go along with the flow so often that friends will not even recognize that a ‘Christian’ is in their midst. Does this equal being ashamed of Christ? Or pretending to not even know Jesus as Lord? Let me encourage you to answer these questions. But consider this: If you were carrying around a 9″ cross as a witnessing tool, would there be situations and/or places and/or people groups where you would either hide that cross, or leave it at home? By chance, are you a little ashamed of the Christ who once hung on that cross to save the world when you are around certain people? Would you prefer that the world not know your association with Christ in certain crowds or situations? How then would you feel when Jesus tells the Father, I never knew this one? He said that He would do that if we pretend that we don’t know Him. Friends, I don’t believe for a minute that Jesus expects us to walk around with a huge Bible that we would bang over the heads of unbelievers. However, in much the same way that you would unashamedly associate yourself with your spouse, or parents, in any crowd or company, I believe that a man/woman/child should just as freely claim their submission to, dependence on, and allegiance to, their Savior and Lord – their Almighty God. Think on these things today child of God. Are you for Him, or against Him? Are you willing to tell the world that you love Him and claim Him as Lord of your life?

PRAYER: Oh Lord Jesus, we are grateful for our salvation and the awesome sacrifice that You made at Calvary. As our Creator, we are also grateful for the precious gifts You give to us each and every day to enjoy here on this earth. We thank You for all that You have done, and continue to do, so unselfishly just for us. Please fill us with a deep commitment to serve You, and to honor You, and to share about Your goodness in every circumstance of life. Please encourage us to not only be mouthpieces for You here on this earth, but may we also express Your love for us, through every action, regardless of the audience we might find ourselves in. 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!

A Rewarding Faith

It is obvious through the list of faith warriors mentioned in this chapter that their faith in God was rewarded in many wonderful and miraculous ways. Wouldn’t it be a great witness for the believer today, who might say to a friend that a miracle occurred in their life, because of their faith in God? Nothing to say lightly, but if you are convinced that it was your faith in God that took you to Him, and it was only because of His touch that you witnessed a miracle in your life, then I feel like it would be quite an experience to especially share with the one who might doubt the existence of God.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Hebrews 11:6 (TPT)

TEXT:  And without faith living within us it would be impossible to please God.[e] For we come to God in faith[f] knowing that he is real and that he rewards the faith of those who give all their passion and strength into seeking him

OBSERVATION:   It is obvious through the list of faith warriors mentioned in this chapter that their faith in God was rewarded in many wonderful and miraculous ways. Wouldn’t it be a great witness for the believer today, who might say to a friend that a miracle occurred in their life, because of their faith in God? Nothing to say lightly, but if you are convinced that it was your faith in God that took you to Him, and it was only because of His touch that you witnessed a miracle in your life, then I feel like it would be quite an experience to especially share with the one who might doubt the existence of God.

APPLICATION:   Ever noticed how exciting it is to someone when their baseball team is playing, or even more so when that team wins? They are ready to tell the world, or at least anyone that will give them three minutes to listen to them! Notice also that they have no problem in telling anyone – even those who might hate baseball, or who might be opposed to the millions of dollars that the players earn! Be sure to also notice how they know the team members so well, that they are willing to bet about how good they will play, or how badly they will beat their opponents they are about to play! Please know that I have nothing against baseball, or the fans that are so faithful to the game, but I want to use that scenario in comparison to a friend who has been touched by God, or who knows the power of God, as evidenced through answered prayer. You see, our Scripture today reminds us that it is a matter of ‘faith’ for us to believe in God, because we have never seen Him in human form. However, we know that God is alive and that He works in and through the lives of those who believe in Him, for they have ‘faith’ to believe that He exists. But meditate for just a minute on the last part of this verse, for the Scripture reminds us that God rewards the one whose passion and strength is devoted to seeking and following Christ. Friends, I believe that others around you will know it, if your passion is to follow Christ, for all they will hear about from you is Christ. I also believe that if you shared with me about the source of your strength to overcome life’s challenges; deal with disappointments; feeling totally loved at times when others feel so alone and abandoned; you will truly get my attention. Why then do we fail so miserably at this? Could it be that we are ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Could it be that we are afraid of being condemned by our friends who may not feel the same way that we do? What’s the difference between sharing a personal experience like your relationship with the King of all kings, and in sharing about a baseball team that you have never seen, or shared an experience with? Are we involved enough with God to be rewarded for our faith? I believe that God is waiting for us to truly know and experience Him. I believe that through that experience we will learn to trust Him fully, and that our faith in Him will become richer and fuller. In this chapter of Hebrews, we are all encouraged by the faith seen in our ancestors, and it draws us to a deeper faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Oh that others will look at us, and to our degree of faith, and be blessed, encouraged and drawn closer to a deeper faith in their Savior! For the believer reading this devotional today, may it be evident to others where our passion is!

PRAYER:   Dearest Lord Jesus, please touch the hearts of those that claim You as Lord and Savior. May we develop a deep passion for You in character, commitment, love for others, service, faith and witness. Lord, may others be drawn to You as a result of our passion, and Your holy presence in our lives. 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!

A Personal God who Cares about YOU

Notice the personal involvement of God in the phrases throughout these 3 short verses! Notice the person to whom these blessings pertain – you, not ya’ll; not the church in general; not the city of ???, but ‘YOU’. Now theologians might want to correct me and say that this was specifically spoken to the family of Jacob and of Israel, but when I read Ephesians 2:15, I am reminded that we are all children of the King, not just Jacob and the country of Israel. God is bold enough and personal enough to pinpoint His intention to us personally, and has no need to generalize. He’s my God, and I’m His child! You can say the same if it pertains to your commitment with Jesus Christ. How awesome is that?!!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Isaiah 43:1-3 (TLB)

TEXT:  1 …… I have called you by name; you are mineWhen you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up—the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, your Savior, the Holy One of Israel….

OBSERVATION:   Notice the personal involvement of God in the phrases throughout these 3 short verses! Notice the person to whom these blessings pertain – you, not ya’ll; not the church in general; not the city of ???, but ‘YOU’. Now theologians might want to correct me and say that this was specifically spoken to the family of Jacob and of Israel, but when I read Ephesians 2:15, I am reminded that we are all children of the King, not just Jacob and the country of Israel. God is bold enough and personal enough to pinpoint His intention to us personally, and has no need to generalize. He’s my God, and I’m His child! You can say the same if it pertains to your commitment with Jesus Christ. How awesome is that?!!

APPLICATION:   I wonder how personal we become with God? I wonder how often we stop to think that He created us and placed us in a world that He created. He saw the challenges we had in living life to the fullest and in line with the glorious provisions that He provided, so He created, miraculously, a Son that would mirror the Father, but yet He would live among us to show how personal and caring He truly is. I wonder how often we stop to ponder that when God created us, it was in His image that He chose to create us. So the choice He gave us then is: what will we decide to do personally? God strategically placed here on earth for such a time as this? To be ‘Christ-like’ and then act like Christ’s oppressor, His enemy; His mocker, His persecutor, wouldn’t that make us extremely miserable inside? Friends, these verses from Isaiah reminds us of the awesome God who created us. What He told us through the prophet has already been proven, so to sit back and question, or analyze whether God can do these things through us, is nothing short of you looking for an excuse to be disobedient and follow your own imperfect will, or to give Satan full reign in your life. Where are you at today, friends? Are you convinced that you are God’s and that He is yours? Are you convinced that what He says is actually true, possible and in fact happening in and through you as you place your faith and trust in Him and allow Him to love you, guide you and give you strength for each day? I would like to encourage you friend, not browbeat you into a feeling of guilt and worthlessness. I am just like many of you, where I struggle with the temptations of life every day, and find it extremely challenging to live in total opposition to the world around me. But praise the almighty power of God, I am a child of the King, saved from my sin by the grace offered through Jesus. Although I live on earth and face the challenges of this world, greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world. My whole purpose in sharing these journals with you friends, is that you might be encouraged by my experiences and in my joys with the Lord. Today will be a perfect day for you to place yourself before the Master and ask Him to examine you and see if there be, any fault or sin that might separate you from His most gracious Son, Jesus. Please read my ‘Footnote’ for Scripture references surrounding a close(er) walk with the Lord. Please contact me so that I may pray with You as you strive to draw closer to the Lord.

PRAYER:   Lord You are good, and Your mercies endures forever! Thank You for being patient with me and for prompting me through Your gracious Holy Spirit each and every day. Lord, may You be glorified in everything that I do and through everyone that I encounter, for I want so bad to be a living sacrifice for You, and a mirror of all that You want sinners to learn and witness from You. Lord, may You be praised, lifted up and honored this day, especially while sinners surrender their lives to You. This is my prayer, my deepest requests and my plea as I walk with You daily, 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!

 

A New Dimension in Praying For One Another

The first three verses of this book introduces Job as an honest and upright man of God, then immediately goes into these two verses. I would say that this is a strong indication of the special kind of man that Job was. When we say that we are followers of the Word of God, wouldn’t it be awesome if we took to heart some of the great things spoken of by precious saints of God in the Bible? What a better world this would be….

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Job 1:4-5 (CEV)

TEXT:  Job’s sons took turns having feasts in their homes, and they always invited their three sisters to join in the eating and drinking. After each feast, Job would send for his children and perform a ceremony, as a way of asking God to forgive them of any wrongs they may have done. He would get up early the next morning and offer a sacrifice for each of them, just in case they had sinned or silently cursed God.

OBSERVATION:   The first three verses of this book introduces Job as an honest and upright man of God, then immediately goes into these two verses. I would say that this is a strong indication of the special kind of man that Job was. When we say that we are followers of the Word of God, wouldn’t it be awesome if we took to heart some of the great things spoken of by precious saints of God in the Bible? What a better world this would be….

APPLICATION:   I’ve heard people say that they would attend church with, or listen to one preach, if this certain old gentleman was speaking, but if it was going to be this other person, whom they classified as a ‘hypocrite’, then they will stay far enough away from that church. So what is it that turns a man’s head toward you, and willing to listen to your testimony, or turn away from you because of the stench of deceit, sin and disregard? Well, I wouldn’t dare say that there are many of us that could live up to the qualities of Job, but I am convinced that each of us could quickly size up an individual in the first few minutes of speaking with them, or being around them. After all, think about Job and try to place yourself in his shoes. Try inviting your kids over each morning after their late night of partying the night before, and have you a good old prayer meeting over those kids! There is no indication that Job criticized his children, nor accused them of any wrongdoings, for anything they may have said or done, but he simply took them before the throne of God and asked Him for forgiveness for his kids, in case they did anything that displeased God the night before. Friends, what if we cared for our neighbors like that, instead of cursing them for all the noise they made the night before? What if we called over that disrespectful teen and showed some godly interest in him, rather than constantly putting him down before our kids? What if we duplicated some of the things that Jesus did, instead of allowing our anger to build up inside because they may act, or speak differently to our kids? Do you suppose that we may eventually get the opportunity to pray with the neighbors, or possibly share the Good News of Jesus with them? Dear ones, this concept of ‘neighbor’ carries over to our ‘neighbor’ at the restaurant, or at work, or while camping, etc. May I encourage you to read the first chapter of Job to see how highly God thought of him? I believe this would give you new strength for your Christian walk!

PRAYER:   Often we feel like no one ever had it quite as challenging as we do Lord, but as we read Your Word, we could see where many had it a whole lot worse. Please Lord, with the same power and grace that You gave to saints we read about in Your Word, please give us the grace, boldness, determination and encouragement that we need each day, to be a living example of You. People need the Lord, may they see You in every phase of our life today precious 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!

 

When Leaders Humble Themselves

At the dedication of the temple Solomon, with much grace and humility took the stage, and instead of standing there and boasting of all that he had done to provide the awesome temple, he instead took the opportunity to raise his hands in praise and thanksgiving to the God of this universe for all that he had done in blessing His people and giving them wisdom and passion to erect such an edifice. I believe that God is always looking for men who will worship Him under all circumstances and before any crowd.

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-11-28
SCRIPTURE

From:

1 Kings 8:22-23 (TLB)

Text:

22-23 Then, as all the people watched, Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord with his hands spread out toward heaven and said, “O Lord God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven or earth, for you are loving and kind and you keep your promises to your people if they do their best to do your will.
OBSERVATION:
At the dedication of the temple Solomon, with much grace and humility took the stage, and instead of standing there and boasting of all that he had done to provide the awesome temple, he instead took the opportunity to raise his hands in praise and thanksgiving to the God of this universe for all that he had done in blessing His people and giving them wisdom and passion to erect such an edifice. I believe that God is always looking for men who will worship Him under all circumstances and before any crowd.
APPLICATION:
Walk in to any crowd and you will face challenges in detecting Christians vs non-Christians. In a church building, they all pretty much look like Christians. In a public square, they all look like non-Christians. I believe that way too often we become chameleons so that we don’t stick out in the crowd. However, what might we do if we find ourselves in a crowd that are acting totally different to our beliefs, try to fit in? I believe that God would desire you to stand your ground for feeling uncomfortable, and  get out while you could. Now, from the boldness and humility of Solomon, what would be your response when a friend  asks you why you left? So how does one feel that may visit our churches? Do you help them feel comfortable and at home, or do you struggle with their appearance, or their choice of jewelry, or something else? I trust that visitors will feel the warmth of Jesus as you welcome them next Sunday. Friends, I don’t believe that God wants us to act any differently when we’re in a different kind of crowd, other than to stand our ground for what we believe. I also feel like He would approve of you leaving, if you begin to feel uncomfortable. I believe that the biggest lesson we, Christians, can learn from this Scripture today is that, God has placed His Holy Spirit within us to be our guide and our protector. He will guide us unto all truth, make us uncomfortable when faced with challenging moments, and give us boldness to be His witness and speak up, even in a crowd of folk that might not initially appreciate it. Can you imagine the impact that Solomon’s actions had on his people? Can you imagine the impact Solomon would have had if he had not recognized the God that he had lifted up all of his life? I can assure you friends, that people all around us are watching. They may poke fun at times, but they are taking note of our actions and our words. If we’re serious about Jesus, then we will speak and act like Him.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, You have given us power, strength and boldness to lift up Your name on high, and to be a living witness to Your perfect character. At times we are placed in challenging situations to prove our willingness to witness under ALL circumstances. Please provide us grace, mercy and humility to always exemplify You in all that we do and say, no matter where we might find ourselves. 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 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!

Proud To Be A Christian?

Gideon was an interesting character. He asked for God to clearly prove Himself when He first spoke to Gideon. Now when asked to prove his allegiance to God by completing an order to destroy the idols of his dad and his town, he agreed, but he completed the task in his own time, to be the least possible conspicuous. Do we try to hide behind something when we serve God, so that we are not faced with challenging questions about our belief? We will discuss this further….

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-09-02
SCRIPTURE

From:

Judges 6:27 (Voice)

Text:

 27 So Gideon took 10 of his servants and did as the Eternal had told him; but since he was worried about what his family and the people of the town might think, he did it at night while they all slept.
OBSERVATION:
Gideon was an interesting character. He asked for God to clearly prove Himself when He first spoke to Gideon. Now when asked to prove his allegiance to God by completing an order to destroy the idols of his dad and his town, he agreed, but he completed the task in his own time, to be the least possible conspicuous. Do we try to hide behind something when we serve God, so that we are not faced with challenging questions about our belief? We will discuss this further….
APPLICATION:
Do your family and friends know that you’re a Christian? Do you know if they are? They are perfect as a practice target! If you can’t speak with them about their faith, how will you manage with a complete stranger? You might remember that Peter, one of the close disciples of Christ, was challenged about his relationship with Jesus, and he did exactly what he had earlier told Jesus that he would not do, he denied being associated with Jesus or even knowing Him. Gideon never said anything, but what do you suppose that his actions said? Perhaps: I value my life way too much than to be killed by my own people for tearing down their gods; or what will these people, that I’ve known all my life, think of me when I rebel against them by replacing their gods with my own altar of the living God? What does your words and actions say to others about your faith? One of the most challenging things in living a life pleasing to God, is that the ways of the world is often totally opposite. Are you bold enough to ‘go against the grain’ and show that you are different because of Jesus? Another challenge is that you show that you are different, in complete humility. Not to show the other person up. You never put down an unbeliever so that you might look better in your beliefs. Simply live the life that God expects from you and allow Him to do His work in the lives that you are impacting. Words of encouragement and trying to be available for an unbeliever might be a start. Following the example of Christ is the best witness. Friends, Gideon did what he was asked to do, but he also wanted to stay on the good side of his family and townspeople.  In being willing to obey God, we may have to obey God’s commands in spite of any sort of compromise. Are you willing to try that today?
PRAYER:
Lord, we are challenged every day with all that we should do, but way too often we allow our pride to override, or our desire to keep all parties happy. Please help us to be so committed to You Lord, that we will be willing whatsoever You ask of us. We need Your power, strength and boldness every day. Please help us to be images of our God who loves us beyond everything else. 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 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 Will You Do With Jesus?

Barabbas is an active and a militant Jewish leader. In one sense, the choice that the crowd is offered—to have either Jesus or Barabbas released—can be seen as a choice between two types of revolutions. Do they want a revolution of power, a revolution that is easily visible, a revolution that will conquer their enemies in a way they can understand? Or do they want a revolution of healing, a revolution of love, a revolution that will bring the kingdom of God to earth in a mystical, transcendental way? It’s no wonder they make the choice they do. Who wants a gentle revolution in a time of war?

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-06-06
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 15:12-14 (Voice)

Text:

Pilate: 12 Then what do you want me to do with the King of the Jews?

Crowd: 13 Crucify Him, crucify Him!

14 But now he called to them.

Pilate: Why? What has He done to deserve such a sentence?

Crowd (crying all the louder): Crucify Him, crucify Him!

OBSERVATION:
Barabbas is an active and a militant Jewish leader. In one sense, the choice that the crowd is offered—to have either Jesus or Barabbas released—can be seen as a choice between two types of revolutions. Do they want a revolution of power, a revolution that is easily visible, a revolution that will conquer their enemies in a way they can understand? Or do they want a revolution of healing, a revolution of love, a revolution that will bring the kingdom of God to earth in a mystical, transcendental way? It’s no wonder they make the choice they do. Who wants a gentle revolution in a time of war?
APPLICATION:
I would like for you to assume that you were in the public square of your town, and that a local judge, accompanied by military police on each side of him, with automatic rifles in plain view, is about to take the stage. Having been coached by your pastor and church leaders about what all of this involves, you stand as part of a large crowd before the judge. Now the question is posed to you, what will you have me do with your King – Jesus? The crowd all around you is shouting “Electric Chair”; “Hang Him”; and you see the smile come across the faces of the Military Police as they point their rifles over the crowd. No response is the same as agreeing with the crowd. However, remember that He’s the same Jesus that healed your mother; made your uncle to see again and raised cousin Lazarus from the grave. But what will you do with Jesus under these circumstances? I know, I made that choice extremely challenging for most of you, but allow me to challenge you with very lightly ways that could easily happen to you today. You arrive at work and immediately hear of a meeting that the president of your company has called with all employees. He comes onto the stage and in an obviously angered tone, lashes out about the reports he has received about these, so called ‘Christian’ workers who keep Bibles on their desks and use one of the board rooms at lunchtime to conduct a prayer meeting. You realize that Satan is making a dig at you and your fellow Christian workers, but what will you do? The 8 hours per day you are being paid for is expected to be worked for the company, and not evangelizing. However, you are convinced that you can’t leave Jesus at the door until you knock off. Friends, the Holy Spirit resides inside of you to guide you, protect you, give you wisdom, tip you off to digs from the evil one, love on you when you feel all alone and encourage you when you feel like you’re losing the battle in testifying for your Master. May I remind you that what’s inside of you will come out in the words you speak, your mannerisms and in the actions you take. I love a recent verse God placed before me, and it read something like this: when placed in situations where you don’t know what to say, simply open your mouth and speak what’s on your mind, as the Holy Spirit who lives inside of you will give you the right words! Wow! Let’s learn to stand up for Jesus, knowing that He’s got our back and will lead us in ways that will glorify Him! Glory to God on high!!
PRAYER:
Lord God, thank You for being my Savior, Lord and soon coming King! You were mocked, beaten and suffered pain and embarrassment on a cross for my benefit. You already know the limits that each of us can take before we ‘break’, or cave in to the opposition. Thank You Father for filling us with Your sweet Holy Spirit as our strength, our guide and our deliverer. Please help us to be bold in our witness, and give us the strength to endure all things, for Your name’s sake. May You be glorified in all things that we do, all places that we visit, and all things that we say, 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 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!

Traitor

Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, spending His last hours in this world before His Father in earnest prayer. He knew the moment that this event would take place and He knew who would be the instigator. In fact it would be one very close to Him, but He also knew the pain, agony and public disgrace that was in store for Him as the following events took place. I’m sure that Jesus was no different to us, in that His greatest hurt came from the betrayal by one who was close to Him, and not a stranger who had always hated Him and protested His ministry. Can this possibly apply to us?….

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-03-31
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 26:47-50 (NLT)

Text:

47  … Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. 48 The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.” 49 So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss.

50 Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.” Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him.

OBSERVATION:
Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, spending His last hours in this world before His Father in earnest prayer. He knew the moment that this event would take place and He knew who would be the instigator. In fact it would be one very close to Him, but He also knew the pain, agony and public disgrace that was in store for Him as the following events took place. I’m sure that Jesus was no different to us, in that His greatest hurt came from the betrayal by one who was close to Him, and not a stranger who had always hated Him and protested His ministry. Can this possibly apply to us?….
APPLICATION:
My blog title today is ‘Traitor’, because that’s what Judas is often characterized as. Being specifically called by Jesus to be one of His close followers, who Jesus poured life and ministry into, and who Jesus expected to carry on the ministry after His departure, I believe it is obvious that Jesus had great expectations for Judas and His other disciples. So to see this change in Judas, I’m sure was devastating to Jesus and to the other disciples. In fact, I’m sure that they felt very betrayed by Judas. This part of the Bible is challenging for us to wrap our minds around, isn’t it? In fact, aren’t you glad that the whole event is behind us. Surely there can’t be anyone else around that would do such an awful thing, right? Or is there? Look deeply inside of yourself for a moment. Can you think of a time when you may have been ashamed of something that you said to a friend about the ministry of Christ that you thought was less than godly? Perhaps, instead of calling a prayer meeting to pray for your pastor, or an elder, or a deacon, or another church member, you joined in a conversation intended to bash the individual. Was that showing the same love that Christ offers to you, or do you suppose that you may have betrayed the ministry of Jesus Christ and His mission? Perhaps you’ve had friends praying with you about a personal situation that has really affected your. Were you able to brag with your coworkers about the love of God in answering your prayer, or did you have to ‘mellow’ and tell them what awesome luck came your way? If so, you missed an opportunity to witness to your coworkers about the awesome God who answers even your prayers. You also said to God thanks, but no thanks, for your good luck charm did more good than your prayers to Him. Is that Christ honoring, or is that denying the love and power of the awesome God that You serve? As you reflect on these verses friend, may I encourage you to look inward, instead of beating up on the person and actions of Judas. Don’t be a ‘traitor’ or ‘betrayer’ friend.
PRAYER:
Lord, this is a tough lesson for us, because our eyes are opened to the fact that we still do almost as bad as Judas sometimes. You showed Your love for us publicly on a cross, yet we do our best to keep our relationship with You undercover to the general public, because we don’t want to be rejected just because we are Your follower. Lord, may You rule and reign in our lives, and may we boldly declare Your majesty, love and power to all that we come into contact with.  May You receive honor, praise and glory from our actions and never feel betrayed, but Lord we need Your power daily, so that we may remain strong and eternally faithful. Bless us 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 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 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!

Your Ashamedness vs God’s Ashamedness

Friday, 2016-11-25

Scripture

Bible Reference: Luke 9:23-26

Bible Text: 23 Jesus continued to say to all of them, “Any of you who want to be my follower must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you every day for following me. 24 Any of you who try to save the life you have will lose it. But you who give up your life for me will save it. 25 It is worth nothing for you to have the whole world if you yourself are destroyed or lost. 26 Don’t be ashamed of me and my teaching. If that happens, I[a] will be ashamed of you when I come with my divine greatness and that of the Father and the holy angels.

Bible Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

My Take

While on the way to a business reception I remember being challenged in the presence of about 4 others, why is that I don’t drink alcoholic beverages and whether it was related to my religious beliefs. I’m not sure if the businessman was starting to think that he might be ashamed of me while at the reception if I was one of the few not drinking, but I believe it was intended to question my Christian stand on the subject of drinking alcohol. There are many other stories I hear of individuals being challenged with similar questions. At times, I believe it opens the door for entertainment while the Christian is put on the spot about a belief that may be contrary to the worldly beliefs of others in the group, but I also believe that many times Satan is using his messengers to challenge us on our beliefs so that we may question our selves and possibly sweep our God-infused beliefs ‘under the rug’. Friends, there are many times that it is safer to blend in with the rest, than to stand out like a sore thumb, all alone in believing something contrary to the crowd. Might I suggest that this challenge is our ‘cross’ that we must carry every day? Let’s compare for a moment. Jesus carried a cross all the way up to Calvary that He knew He would be hung on to die. He also knew that, as the Son of God, He had all power to reverse the whole crucifixion, for we know that previously He had disappeared from a crowd of witness during His earthly ministry. He had miraculously turned water into wine, caused the blind to see and brought the dead back to life. Was there something about this crucifixion that was more difficult or impossible than any of the miracles just mentioned? However, remember when He prayed to His Father in the garden? In response to His own pleading for the cup of suffering to be taken from Him, Jesus said to His Father “none the less, may Your will be done”. Now let’s consider our ‘cross’ that we are called to carry every day. Like Jesus, we may commit to Him in private that we are determined to carry our ‘cross’ each day. However, like Peter, I believe we often cave in to the popular thing to do – the joys of partying and going along with the crowd, even if it takes us into choice areas that we would never agree to, if we sought to do the will of God withough any worldly pressures. Friends, I believe this all boils down to two things: First – Popularity – which means that we want to be super popular with the organizer of an event where we may have to compromise, or we just allow Satan to misguide us into putting God into a ‘box’ – a segregated comfortable ‘box’ we call the church, or even in the privacy of our home. We want to fit in with the crowd. However, Secondly – is Integrity – which means that we will stand firm to our commitment to serve God in season and out of season; at church or on the byways and at our parties or worldly events. Friends, if we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, then transgress to living like the world, are we not saying that we are ok being a Christian in private, but publicly we are really ashamed of standing up for what God really teaches in His Word? Please allow me to be the first to tell you: that is not being a person of integrity. If you commit to something, or someone, let it exude from your mouth, your actions and every aspect of your life. If it’s in you, it will exude from you! I feel like these verses basically say that when we choose to be popular,  or feel ashamed to be obedient to God, we are showing that we are ashamed of Him. Isn’t that the same as saying that you are really not sure that you want to commit to God for all aspects of your life?  God declares that if this happens, He will shun us when He returns, for He will be ashamed of us. Is that what you truly want to happen? I pray that each of you reading this devotional today will stand firm and practice obedience to everything God teaches you to say and do, God being your helper!

Prayer

Lord, as I reflect on this today, my mind goes back to the sign that I see near the exit of many churches ‘you are now entering your mission field’, for daily we leave the comfort of our homes, and the safety of our commitment to you, to be bombarded by the practices of the world and the dictates of it’s leader. Lord, I pray that daily we can mimick Your words to Your Father and commit ourselves in saying:  not my will oh Lord, but may the words of our mouth, the meditation of our heart and the actions we take, be pleasing to You and represent Your compassion for our lives and witness, 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 http://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!