The Day of The Lord

The Bible says that life will be going on as usual – Christmas celebrations, Covid complications, New jobs, Retirements, New births, deaths, family celebrations and family arguments. Any of these things could be happening when the last trumpet call is heard loud and clear. Christians know that this will herald a time when they will meet their Savior face-to-face. However, Zephaniah has a stark contrast for those without Jesus Christ. Your choice today decides what you will face on the day and time of that last trumpet blast. Think about that today as we delve into the Scriptures.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-12-20
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Zephaniah 2:2-3
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible (AMP)

BIBLE TEXT:  ….. Before the burning and fierce anger of the Lord comes upon you,
Before the day of the wrath of the Lord comes upon you.
Seek the Lord [search diligently for Him and regard Him as the foremost necessity of your life], All you humble of the land who have practiced His ordinances and have kept His commandments; seek righteousness, seek humility [regard them as vital].
Perhaps you will be hidden [and pardoned and rescued] in the day of the Lord’s anger.

OBSERVATION: The Bible says that life will be going on as usual – Christmas celebrations, Covid complications, New jobs, Retirements, New births, deaths, family celebrations and family arguments. Any of these things could be happening when the last trumpet call is heard loud and clear. Christians know that this will herald a time when they will meet their Savior face-to-face. However, Zephaniah has a stark contrast for those without Jesus Christ. Your choice today decides what you will face on the day and time of that last trumpet blast. Think about that today as we delve into the Scriptures.

APPLICATION: We all love to have fun, and in most cases that is a good thing. However, Zephaniah wanted to make sure that that putting all the fun aside, the Judeans knew that they had a very bleak future ahead. So he shared very bluntly what they could expect that day, or on any other day that Jesus Christ returns. Way too often we show such a good face to our friends and neighbors that they would probably be willing to testify of our future prospect in heaven. However, God knows what’s under the surface and buried deep inside our ugly hearts. Although Zephaniah was deeply concerned for the Judeans, God is concerned about us all, and I believe that He insisted on this scripture being included in His Book, because He wanted us to also be reminded that very sad times are ahead for those who choose to ignore the love of Jesus Christ on the cross. Notice that the Word encourages us to seek after Jesus with all our heart – in fact, make it a top priority in our life. Why? Because we could very easily hear that trumpet blast before we could finish reading this blog. For those of us who make it a priority to ‘live right’, or obey the commandments of God, Zephaniah is encouraging us to really strive hard to improve our relationship with our King in two primary areas (probably the ones that we struggle with most):
~ Seek righteousness – Righteousness is thought of best when we honestly consider if we are ‘right with God’. Very challenging, as God is known as the only perfect One, and we realize what a stretch that would be for us. But also notice that God commanded through Zephaniah that we ‘seek after’ righteousness. In other words, evaluate self against the Word of God, and then reevaluate yourself after a challenging day to see how you did with that. When you take time to look for ways to improve your actions and determine how you could be more like Jesus, then I believe you are ‘seeking after’ ways to be ‘right with God’; and
~ Seek humility – Most would gloss over this because they are convinced that they already have this under control. But if we feel like we could brag about it, doesn’t that mean that you’re not really humble? Friends, this is a very challenging characteristic and one that we are forced to seek after until we are called home to Glory. You know what it means, and you know what it looks like as you look on others who struggle with being humble. Let me suggest that you join me in asking God at the beginning of each day to help us to be humble, like He is. Then at the end of each day, ask God to show us where we messed up, and how we may be more like Him in humility the next day.
Like Zephaniah told his people, as we strive to assume the above characteristics of our Father, then perhaps He will pardon us on the Day of the Lord, when He returns to take His church home!

PRAYER: Thank You for Your Word today Lord. Another reminder that You are not finished with us yet, but that we are a work in progress. Please Lord, impact our hearts in such a way that we will daily seek to improved our walk with You and seek after righteousness and humility – two areas that I believe we will never attain perfection in while living here on earth and being stained by the world’s sinful acts. Oh that we might be found faithful and true, for this is my humble plea for my readers and I. 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Christmas Gift Ideas

At Christmas time we seem to easily find room in our hearts to be kind to others. In our verses today Paul reminds us of what all God did for us, and how that should lead us to do the same for others. So as we meditate on this today, may it stir up within us many ideas on how we might bless others at Christmas!

Friday, 2020-12-08

Bible Reference: Colossians 3:12-14
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 12 God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So your new life should be like this: Show mercy to others. Be kind, humble, gentle, and patient. 13 Don’t be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If you feel someone has wronged you, forgive them. Forgive others because the Lord forgave you. 14 Together with these things, the most important part of your new life is to love each other. Love is what holds everything together in perfect unity. 

OBSERVATION: At Christmas time we seem to easily find room in our hearts to be kind to others. In our verses today Paul reminds us of what all God did for us, and how that should lead us to do the same for others. So as we meditate on this today, may it stir up within us many ideas on how we might bless others at Christmas!

APPLICATION: Most children are probably looking forward to Christmas because of the gifts they have asked for, and expect to receive. As adults, Paul has reminded us of the gracious gifts that are ours, in being a child of the most high God! Here are some of the gifts mentioned by Paul: 1). God has made us His holy people – imagine that – steeped in sin and very much a part of Satan’s army, yet when we felt the call on our life by Jesus, and surrendered our life to Him, we were adopted into the sonship of the Most Holy God! That is beyond comprehension, and could only be imagined through faith in the truth of God’s Holy Word; 2). God loves us – ‘Love’ is an awesome word that we use, and even abuse in our lifetime, but it takes on such a special meaning when the holy Son of God loves a child that has been so blatant in sin, and asked for His forgiveness. Oh that we may find it in our hearts to love like that this Christmas! But because of all that God blessed us with, here are some gifts that we may give to others, knowing that He will continue pouring out His gracious love to us: Show mercy towards others; Be kind to others; Be humble towards others; Be gentle to others; Be patient with others; Don’t be angry with others; Forgive others; and LOVE others. Friends, the best news of all about these godly gifts, compared to our usual gift giving, is that there will be no increase in credit card bills whatsoever!  So why not read over this devotional again as Christmas draws closer, and concentrate on all the gody gifts that you can extend to family and friends. Be instrumental in teaching them God’s ways and His teachings through your example this Christmas! Others just may see that you have a heart like that of Jesus, because you showed that you cared for them!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for Christmas, and the precious gift of Your Son! Thank You for teaching us about the many precious gifts that You bless us with, and then through your servant Paul, teaching us how we might extend to others the many gifts that You have showered on us. Please help us to make someone’s Christmas special this year, simply by showering them with the character of Your Son, and the godly gifts mentioned in our Scripture today. AMEN!

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

How To Recognize A Christian

In spite of carrying the title of Governor of his state, if you were to meet a man for the first time, and he was on his farm tilling the ground and spreading cow manure (fertilizer), I believe that you would be convinced that he was a farmer, and never imagine him to be a state governor. Likewise, if you saw a man coming from a nightclub and he could barely walk without help, plus he had a strange lady all over him, you would probably never guess that he was a Christian. Why not? Let’s study the Word of God together to see what God shared through Peter about how we should live.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-10-29
WRITTEN AT: Vicksburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Peter 1:14-16
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 14 As God’s obedient children, never again shape your lives by the desires that you followed when you didn’t know better. 15 Instead, shape your lives to become like the Holy One who called you. 16 For Scripture says: “You are to be holy, because I am holy.”[aa]

OBSERVATION: In spite of carrying the title of Governor of his state, if you were to meet a man for the first time, and he was on his farm tilling the ground and spreading cow manure (fertilizer), I believe that you would be convinced that he was a farmer, and never imagine him to be a state governor. Likewise, if you saw a man coming from a nightclub and he could barely walk without help, plus he had a strange lady all over him, you would probably never guess that he was a Christian. Why not? Let’s study the Word of God together to see what God shared through Peter about how we should live.

APPLICATION: The Word of God is powerful – useful for correction, direction and guidance in everyday life. However, It is obviously black and white, in that It contains what God directed through His chosen authors. At times we will raise our hands in thanksgiving for the joy that it brings to those who are blessed by the God of this universe, but then there are times that we are hit between the eyes with essential truths of what God intended for us to hear. This Scripture today is probably one of the latter, because although we often rejoice in the freedom afforded to us by our loving Lord, this Scripture reminds us that there we are not to be double minded, fork-tongued, or hypocritical, because we serve a God who didn’t just punch our ticket for heaven, but He gave us a Book of Instructions that not only assures us of God’s love for us, but it is our guidebook to life. It is filled with the commands of God; examples of Jesus while here on earth; a large number of promises; an account of miracle after miracle performed, and that teaches us a lesson, along with God’s miraculous touch. Many have surrendered their lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ because of a call on their life by the Holy Spirit. Although misguided by man’s talk and/or expectations, some have supposedly surrendered themselves to Jesus also. So although it is easy to tell from the way of life shown by the non-Christian, it is often challenging to tell in the lives of those who claim Christianity. Jesus taught us in this Scripture today that it could be easy for us to discern who is holy, and who is not. Are they living a life of holiness. To be holy, is to live a life set apart from the world, and imitating the life of Jesus as foretold in the Bible. Set apart, or holy, means that you have separated yourself from your old ways – the ways of the world, and with God’s help, you have set out for a new path – a holy path, or the ways demonstrated by your new-found Savior and Lord. When you find yourself continually going back, then perhaps you should revisit the moment of your conversion and discern if you truly did business with God that day, or whether you simply pleased someone who pressured you into a decision. Friends, Jesus was so serious about saving us that He hung on a cross with full access to all the power necessary to win the battle over evil, yet He chose to complete the Father’s will for the remission of sin. Please consider how serious you are about living a holy life like that of your Savior. Others who need a Savior are watching you to see if He made a difference in your life. Will they find sufficient evidence in you, to help them make this important decision? Be ye holy, even as I am holy. (Vs 16).

PRAYER: Lord, may others see enough difference in my character and my life that might convince them of my Savior. As others read this devotional today, I pray that You will also give them the same challenge that I faced as I read this Scripture today. People we know, need the Lord. Oh that they will see You in every aspect of our life today, so that they, in turn, may seek Your face and invite You into their heart. May we act like children of the King, and not like we used to live. 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Anger Does Not Promote Righteousness

In the Bible there is a challenge that states ‘the innocent should throw the first stone at a man being charged by them.’ That is a reminder today as we look at these verses, for we all become angry at some point in our lives, and we act in ways that later cause us shame. Anger is an emotion built into humans by God, but like with anything else in life, how we use that emotion makes all the difference in the world. Join me as we meditate on this as part of our devotional today.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-10-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: James 1:19-20
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

BIBLE TEXT: 19 Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. 20 For man’s anger does not promote the righteousness God [wishes and requires].

OBSERVATION: In the Bible there is a challenge that states ‘the innocent should throw the first stone at a man being charged by them.’ That is a reminder today as we look at these verses, for we all become angry at some point in our lives, and we act in ways that later cause us shame. Anger is an emotion built into humans by God, but like with anything else in life, how we use that emotion makes all the difference in the world. Join me as we meditate on this as part of our devotional today.

APPLICATION: As we begin the study, let me encourage you to stop and ponder the times that you’ve seen others react to something in a state of rage, or anger. More than lightly it was ugly, and you probably wished several times that you would never embarrass yourself quite like that, correct? Why? Because it often brings out the worse in us, regardless of who we are, or what commitments we have made to God, to therapists, to family or to friends, that we would always try to deter anger before it controls us. What has been some of the results of anger? Fights, murder, not speaking to that person again, finding it impossible to show love towards that person, etc. So why do you think it was so important for God to have Paul share this word with us about this awful reaction? I believe that God draws us unto Himself, so that we might commune with Him; so that we might learn from His Word with our minds centered on Christ; so that we might imitate His reactions to life as recorded in His Word. Let’s remember, we were created in His image so that we might become like Him through faithful obedience to His teachings and commandments. Things that enable a close relationship is best for the believer. However, things that distract from our new desire to follow Jesus and be like Him, are often directed by the evil one so that our fellowship with God might be broken, or at least seriously fractured. Furthermore, God intended for us to show the world proof of who we believe in. When we do that, the world is comparing us to their image and not their expectations of a holy God. Although it is recorded of a time that Jesus became angry, it was considered a righteous anger, as He could not believe the neglect and disrespect as He saw what the merchants were doing in the temple courtyard. In our Scripture today we are told that this awful emotion does not promote the righteousness of God. So if we are trying to live a life that looks like our Master and Lord, we truly mess up when we allow anger to show its ugly head in our actions. I love how the Word tells us to accomplish a character that will promote our Lord: Be quick to listen – a ready listener. So many family and friends just need someone that they could talk to, without judging them or becoming angry at them; Slow to speak – We have two ears and just one mouth. It would make sense that we should listen twice as much as we speak. Waiting for the other person to have their full say on something might have a drastic influence on what we say in response to them; Slow to take offense – When someone is giving their opinion, it is exactly that. It may not be the same opinion to which we uphold, but they are sharing their mind with us. Take no offense to that, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion; Slow to become angry – Knowing that God knows the heart and mind of each person, should satisfy us. He will deal with that person in all righteousness – even in their unrighteous actions. It’s not our job to angrily react to what they believe. Remember, our job is to remain righteous, and promote the righteousness of God! The ‘other’ person may not even be a Christian. Will they see the righteousness of God in our reaction, or will they see that we are just as bad as the rest of their worldly friends?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, this is a topic that most of Your dear children battle with. I am definitely not exempt from showing my anger, and I apologize for failing to represent You well in those times. Unless the unsaved see the righteousness of God in our actions and reactions, they may struggle to see Jesus here on earth. Please Lord, promote within us a righteous mind, and cleanse our hearts so that our lips will only spew out the righteousness of our heart. May others be encouraged to accept You as Lord, because they had an encounter with us. Oh that You may be glorified today, even through Your saints on earth who strive to live like You taught us to. 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

True Happiness Is…

There are probably more books sold and more seminars attended on this subject than anything else imaginable. I believe that the primary reason for this might be due to the fact that Satan, the ruler of all evil on this earth, is constantly battling for our attention and our affection, and that is a genuine recipe for disastrous unhappiness. But the recipe for happiness taught by James here is not new, for you will find this revelation throughout the Bible in many of the teachings and illustrations placed there for our good. As we meditate on the importance of this today, may we truly find real and lasting happiness.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-10-19
WRITTEN AT: Bostic, NC

Bible Reference: James 1:25
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: 25 … the truly happy people are those who carefully study God’s perfect law that makes people free, and they continue to study it. They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God’s teaching says. Those who do this will be made happy.

OBSERVATION:   There are probably more books sold and more seminars attended on this subject than anything else imaginable. I believe that the primary reason for this might be due to the fact that Satan, the ruler of all evil on this earth, is constantly battling for our attention and our affection, and that is a genuine recipe for disastrous unhappiness. But the recipe for happiness taught by James here is not new, for you will find this revelation throughout the Bible in many of the teachings and illustrations placed there for our good. As we meditate on the importance of this today, may we truly find real and lasting happiness.

APPLICATION:   I often compare illustrations on marriage to help illustrate the relationship we should strive towards with our Lord. In marriage, many couples attend marriage enrichment classes, or take cruises geared towards married couples, or read books on ways to refresh our marriages. We are looking for ways to refresh our love for each other. Without this, we tend to start taking each other for granted, we relax our initial commitment to love and uphold each other through good times and through the challenging times as well. In fact, many who make no effort to keep their marriages fresh, tend to result more into divorce than ever before. James is teaching us here in this Scripture today that true happiness for mankind is found in carefully studying the perfect laws of God, as outlined in His book of instruction – the Bible. Throughout the Bible, we are taught and reminded that God loves us more than we could even imagine. He showed His love for us in many ways, but the ultimate love was shown when He willingly went to the cross as a sacrifice for us. But why did Jesus go to the cross? For all who existed at that time were not saints, nor were they deeply in love with God, but instead they were ‘dirty’, ‘filthy’ sinners. But, in love, Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross knowing that it would be the means of forgiveness when we ask for it. So knowing that someone loves us so much, and without conditions placed on why He would love us, why do you suppose we would not want to obey His commands? James reminds us that through obeying God, we not only receive His wondrous love, but we become sons and daughter of the greatest person that ever lived, our Lord and Savior. The contentment this brings to us is pure, unadulterated happiness. Now if we are serious about this kind of commitment to Jesus Christ, and the happiness that results, James said that we would want to continue to study and learn from the teachings of Jesus. Further, we must always be mindful of what we have studied, for it is intended to guide our lives into total Truth. As we learn, and discern God’s will for our lives, may we strive to obey it and live it out in our lives. You see, I am convinced that God created us to illustrate to the world, what a loving, caring God looks like. How do you suppose you are doing with that? It’s very easy for us to see the good, the bad and the ugly in others, but I would suggest that we look inward today and, based on what James is teaching us, evaluate whether you think that others are seeing the ultimate happiness of our loving Lord in us!  If you feel like you are not the epitome of Christ’s happiness, then we are taught in this verse to get back to the Book and study what God intended for us.

PRAYER:   Precious Lord, thank You for Your sacrifice at Calvary. Thank You for loving us enough to offer Your life as a sacrifice for our sin. Thank You for providing Your Word so that we may be reminded of Your love, and also how we may maintain our happiness in You. Please give all those who will meditate on this devotional today, the boldness to demonstrate Your love for us, to all those that we come into contact with. May we be committed to reading Your Word, understanding it’s truth, and practicing it’s values every day in the way that we live and interact with others. May You be glorified through our humble lives today oh Lord. AMEN! 

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

Only Believe

Jesus had told His disciples ahead of time that He would suffer and die, but He would only be in the grave three days. Mary and her friends had already returned and said that the tomb was empty. Now some of disciples were telling about Jesus being alive, and chatting together while walking along the road to Emmaus. Yet when Jesus appears before the disciples, some were still filled with doubt and frightened about what was really happening before their own eyes. I wonder, how might we react today if Jesus appeared before us? After all we have even more information before us about our risen King!

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-09-24
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Luke 24:36-41
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 36-41 While they were saying all this, Jesus appeared to them and said, “Peace be with you.” They thought they were seeing a ghost and were scared half to death. He continued with them, “Don’t be upset, and don’t let all these doubting questions take over. Look at my hands; look at my feet—it’s really me. Touch me. Look me over from head to toe. A ghost doesn’t have muscle and bone like this.” As he said this, he showed them his hands and feet. They still couldn’t believe what they were seeing. It was too much; it seemed too good to be true.

OBSERVATION: Jesus had told His disciples ahead of time that He would suffer and die, but He would only be in the grave three days. Mary and her friends had already returned and said that the tomb was empty. Now some of disciples were telling about Jesus being alive, and chatting together while walking along the road to Emmaus. Yet when Jesus appears before the disciples, some were still filled with doubt and frightened about what was really happening before their own eyes. I wonder, how might we react today if Jesus appeared before us? After all we have even more information before us about our risen King!

APPLICATION: I believe that after reading this Scripture today, I can understand a little more clearly why we tend to doubt so much here on earth. Think about it, these disciples had been with Jesus all of His ministry life here on earth. They saw miracle after miracle, including Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. The disciples were told that Jesus would be taken away, and He would return to earth again, yet they still could not believe their own eyes. But let’s stop for a moment, before we get too deep into criticizing the disciples, or coming down hard on them, and let’s see how we might do with this scenario today. Fortunately, we are blessed at having heard about all that Jesus did through the days of the Bible. We have been blessed by all that God has done in our own lives and through our relatives. We have virtually seen miracle after miracle occur all around us, yet when we ask God for something and we see it miraculously materialize, we use excuses like: I am one lucky man; or I have the best friends around; or why didn’t I think of that? Friends, when will we learn to raise our hands, and in all humility, give God praise and glory FIRST – before we even try to think of any other contributors to our miracle. Think about it, the God of this universe has looked down in love and answered our prayer! When we take our petitions before God, there is no more room for ‘luck’ or ‘happen-chance’. We take it before Him in faith and it’s just like He says in return: “it’s OK my child, you can rest assured that I’ve got this. You’ve got nothing else to worry about.” Our part then is to rest in faith believing in the power of our awesome God! It’s like us passIng the baton to our Maker Knowing that He will take control of our situation! What a peace that is to the one who believes in Jesus Christ! If you don’t know that kind of peace today dear friend, please read my footnote on ways that you can get help in knowing my Savior intimately.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for loving even me. Thank You for caring enough of Your children to hear our heart’s cry and answer our prayers in ways that You know are perfect for us. Please give us faith to look towards You first; faith to rest our cares and concerns at Your feet; and faith to believe in Your glorious response to our prayers. You alone are God, and You alone can perform the miracles that we so often worry about. We love You Lord, and we lay ourselves before You, because we are such a needy people. Please hear our cry and answer according to Your perfect will. 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Encouragement Brings Refreshing Times

In this translation, verse 7 reads that Philemon was encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints. In the NLT, we are told that Paul was excited because Philemon refreshed the hearts of believers! Ever been guilty of that? Let’s meditate on how we might do that…

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-09-18
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Philemon 1:4-7
Translation: Voice Translation (Voice)

Bible Text: I am constantly thanking God for you in my prayers because I keep hearing about your love and faith toward our Lord Jesus and all those set apart for His purposes. Here’s what I’ve been praying on your behalf:
Thank You, Father, for Philemon. I pray that as he goes and tells his story of faith, he would tell everyone so that they will know for certain all the good that comes to those who put their trust in the Anointed One.
My brother, because you are out there encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints with such love, this brings great joy and comfort to me.

OBSERVATION: In this translation, verse 7 reads that Philemon was encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints. In the NLT, we are told that Paul was excited because Philemon refreshed the hearts of believers! Ever been guilty of that? Let’s meditate on how we might do that…

APPLICATION: I don’t believe there is anything more satisfying than to walk in on someone speaking something complimentary about you! I suppose the next best thing is probably to read the compliments on our character in a letter, email or newspaper. Unfortunately this hardly ever occurs until the time of our memorial service! Now, I realize that we never do the work of the Lord for man’s applause, but I also know that we each need encouraging from time to time. Paul’s applause to Philemon was all about the feedback that Paul was receiving from the church members that met in Philemon’s home. Friends, we must remember that as we strive diligently to live as an example of our Master and Lord, if no one around us notices, then how do you suppose we are doing? Philemon lived such a life of love in the presence of his congregants, that Paul likened it to something that we do to our computer screens when we ‘refresh‘ the screen! It’s like something that we diligently pray for in our churches, when we pray for ‘revival‘, for we want our hearts to be ‘refreshed‘ in the love of Jesus, and our spirits refreshed to the state of when we first met Jesus, when we fell deeply in love with Him for saving our soul. Friends, I want to encourage us to not wait for our encouragement, before we refresh those around us that we have seen the love of Jesus in. For as we encourage them and see them rejuvenated in wanting to serve Christ even more fully, we too will be encouraged to reach out to Jesus and desire such a filling of His sweet Holy Spirit that it would electrify anyone’s spirit who happens to Come near to us. People who need the Lord are constantly looking at those who say they have a personal relationship with Him, so they could see what a Jesus filled life looks like. How are you doing with that friend? Can others see enough of Jesus in you that they want to be around you, hoping that some of the joy and love that you exude would rub off on them! Draw close to God friend, and He will draw close to you. In fact, He will overfill your joy and love, so that others will want to know the source of it all!

PRAYER: Thank you Jesus for allowing Paul to encourage his Brother Philemon, based on the great work that he saw from, and heard of, him. Thank You for speaking to our hearts through this Scripture today, so that our hearts might be overfilled and encouraged. May we be looking for avenues to encourage and share Your precious love with others. Please give us more love to share and many more opportunities in which to share that love with others. Draw the unsaved to Yourself Lord, and if I may be of service through some awesome act of love, then I beg You to please use even me. Please have the same impact on all those who will read this devotional today. AMEN!

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

Living in line with True Christianity

At home we are raised by our parents and we will pick up every little habit of theirs. They will also insist on every little rule that they were taught when being raised by their parents. At church, we hope that our kids our taught the same principles as at home, but with a whole lot more emphasis on what God expects of them. Paul know that if Titus was to be successful in raising up a generation to be more like God, he had to not only preach the Word, but demonstrate it in his life, and teach the whole family to be more like Jesus in every way. Each member of the home is addressed in the verses we will meditate on today. Stick with me!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-09-16
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Titus 2:1-7
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT:  But as for you, speak up for the right living that goes along with true Christianity. Teach the older men to be serious and unruffled; they must be sensible, knowing and believing the truth and doing everything with love and patience. Teach the older women to ….. These older women must train the younger women to ….. In the same way, urge the young men to ….. And here you yourself must be an example to them of good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect your love of the truth and the fact that you are in dead earnest about it.

OBSERVATION: At home we are raised by our parents and we will pick up every little habit of theirs. They will also insist on every little rule that they were taught when being raised by their parents. At church, we hope that our kids our taught the same principles as at home, but with a whole lot more emphasis on what God expects of them. Paul know that if Titus was to be successful in raising up a generation to be more like God, he had to not only preach the Word, but demonstrate it in his life, and teach the whole family to be more like Jesus in every way. Each member of the home is addressed in the verses we will meditate on today. Stick with me!

APPLICATION: I feel like it is very important that we pay attention to verse 1 above, where Titus was instructed to train his members in line with Scripture. For without this guide, we will tend to pass along for living our personal principles, that have been tainted by the world. Also in verse 7, Titus was told that he should be sure to live the life he was teaching, so that He not appear hypocritical in what he was teaching. But here are some practical steps Paul taught for each member of the family:
~ Older Men – Not to be ruffled by every little error, or argument, or mishap, but instead be sensible in knowing the Truth, understanding the Truth, and practicing the Truth in all aspects of their lives with patience and love. I believe this is how one gains respect. Yes, I know that we all lose it at times, especially when things appear to be going haywire, but when our minds are fixed on Jesus Christ, we tend to realize real quick that others are acting out because of the same flaws that are usually evident in ourselves;
~ Older Women – Teach them to be quiet and respectful, and not to go around gossiping and speaking evil of others. They must be able to teach their children the right way to live, so they must carefully do the same personally. In fact, God expects older women to set the stage for their younger counterparts;
~ Train Younger Women – Interestingly this was a responsibility given to the older women. I believe that it is especially important that our older women determine in themselves to live out the following principals, if they expect the younger women to listen and obey them: have a quiet nature; show love for their husband and children; think smartly and cleanly; spend time in their own homes; being kind to, and show obedience to their husbands; and live as God expects, so that no one can speak against them;
~ Younger Men – Urge them to live, carefully obeying God’s laws and seriously following the laws of God.
Friends, I believe that God wants us to pay close attention to what He taught through Paul in the Scriptures. Each one reading this devotional will fit into one of the categories above, so I encourage you to take responsibility for obeying the Word. Be sure that you are not looking for excuses to help explain your errors and disobedience. Others are following in your footsteps, please be sure that they are being pointed towards the cross of Jesus Christ!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for providing the Way, the Truth and the example for us to follow here on earth. Lord, our eyes are on You and our minds in the Book, please guide us to Your truths every time we open Your Word and give us the boldness and determination to live like You intended, so that others might be attracted to You. There’s a great day coming for each of us! Oh that we may be found ready for the Kingdom whenever Your trumpet sounds! 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Life’s Guide Book

In life we tend to live by certain principles, either from what we were taught as a child; what impressed us in school; was taught by teachers; or what is demanded of us at work. Many leaders will teach based on the rules handed to them, mixed with their own personal principles of life. For those who have been fortunate enough to have parents, teachers, or work coaches who had faith in God, then we were probably taught many Biblical truths along the way. Our lives today portray whatever principles we were taught and that we continue to hold on to. God’s Word is still that one truth that we could trust today, to guide us along the right path of life. Stay with me as we study this principle.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-09-11
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Timothy 3:16-17
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT:  16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

OBSERVATION: In life we tend to live by certain principles, either from what we were taught as a child; what impressed us in school; was taught by teachers; or what is demanded of us at work. Many leaders will teach based on the rules handed to them, mixed with their own personal principles of life. For those who have been fortunate enough to have parents, teachers, or work coaches who had faith in God, then we were probably taught many Biblical truths along the way. Our lives today portray whatever principles we were taught and that we continue to hold on to. God’s Word is still that one truth that we could trust today, to guide us along the right path of life. Stay with me as we study this principle.

APPLICATION: In my career, there were always guide books that not only showed me how to best handle certain dilemmas, but if I did so, I would stay out of trouble with regulators, examiners and auditors. At one point in my career, I was an examiner/auditor, and as such I was on a team that would enter a bank and compare what was being done, to what was instructed in the bank’s rules and procedures. And, or course, we had to make sure that the bank’s demands were in line with government regulations. If we found something that seemed out of line, we would have to write an exception and list the very rule that was not followed. Often when we found a bank branch that had very few exceptions, it was also a branch that was well run, pleased its customers, and escaped errors – because they were following the rules. Although we rarely take time to look at, and analyze, our own lives closely, I believe that each of us could see times when we simply followed what our parents taught us without fighting with them in rebellion. It felt good when we didn’t have to keep looking over our shoulder for retribution from them. It felt good that there was little to no stress when we just simply followed the rules! In our Scripture today, Paul continues to mentor his son in the ministry, Timothy, and God included this in His Book so that each of us that followed after Timothy, would be taught how simple life could be if we just follow His instructions. I don’t believe that God had Paul teach us that if we open His Book and search for answers to throw at people that seek our guidance, they will behave and do better. But what I do believe that God intended here, is that we must saturate our lives with His Word, for it contains the very basis of how we should live our lives; the things that we should avoid; and the right way of handling certain life-issues, knowing that if we follow the instructions given to us be God, then the results will be favorable and pleasing to God. In order to saturate ourselves with the Word of God, it means that we must be consistently reading it, studying its principles, and listening closely to what God is telling us. You see, I believe that when we open the Word after asking the Holy Spirit to indwell us and lead us through the Word, then we will find that it is in season and right on time. Meaning that God will show us how He wants us to respond to life’s challenges that day. I have found that often I will hear a sermon or teaching that aligns perfectly with what I meditated on that morning. Coincidence? No way, for we are providentially blessed by the Almighty God, and He will reemphasize what He wants, in order to impress strongly upon our hearts, what He want us to do, say, or follow. I’m sure that like me, you have experienced times where you’ve been asked to pray about certain life issues going on in a coworker’s life – just out of the clear blue sky. Then you remember your Scripture reading that morning where God saturated your life with reassurance of His love, protection and direction. Suddenly you open your mouth in obedience to pray, and the words just pour forth. Friends, let me encourage you today, to saturate your lives each and every day with the Word of God. Don’t just run to it in the middle of a crisis. What’s inside your heart, will be helpful to you as you stop to say a prayer for a friend. Scrambling to find a good Bible reference will tell them that you are one who goes to the Book on an as needed basis and therefore your help might very well be superficial. Make it real dear ones, be filled with the Word every day, so that God might bring to memory the reassurance you need in times of trouble; the right words to respond, that are filled with His wisdom for the time needed; and you could do this from a heart filled with the love of the One you make it a priority each and every day. We are assured in verse 17 that filling our heart with the Word of God, prepares us and equips us for the work that God has planned for us. Are you ready? Do you have a good reading plan to follow each day? Drop me a note and I will be happy to help you!

PRAYER: Lord, it is obvious that You didn’t save us to sit and sour. You told us in Your word that You want us to let our lights shine brightly so that the world might see where that ‘light’ originates. Please God, touch each reader today. May we all be made keenly aware of the importance of a right relationship with You, and that regular maintenance is needed daily through Your Word that is very much alive, and it will teach us Your ways for the circumstances we will face that day. Your Word is a light unto my feet, and a light unto my path, When I feel afraid, Think I’ve lost my way… Oh that we would keep our eyes on Jesus, and our mind in the Book! 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Those Who Love The Father, Also Love His Children

Whenever asked if we really love someone, we try to find ways that might suitably express how the concerned person might publicly see and understand that we love the person, and how much we love them. Sometimes that could be a challenging experience, for it is hard to explain to someone else how much you love someone. Often the recipient of your love will know, but for either of you to express that to a third party presents a challenge. Until now! Please meditate with me on this Scripture and learn first hand how God said that you could show if you are capable of loving others!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-06-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 1 John 5:1-4
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: If you believe that Jesus is the Christ—that he is God’s Son and your Savior—then you are a child of God. And all who love the Father love his children too. So you can find out how much you love God’s children—your brothers and sisters in the Lord—by how much you love and obey God. Loving God means doing what he tells us to do, and really, that isn’t hard at all; for every child of God can obey him, defeating sin and evil pleasure by trusting Christ to help him.

OBSERVATION: Whenever asked if we really love someone, we try to find ways that might suitably express how the concerned person might publicly see and understand that we love the person, and how much we love them. Sometimes that could be a challenging experience, for it is hard to explain to someone else how much you love someone. Often the recipient of your love will know, but for either of you to express that to a third party presents a challenge. Until now! Please meditate with me on this Scripture and learn first hand how God said that you could show if you are capable of loving others!

APPLICATION: Do you love God? How about God’s children, do you love them also? I bet I should have put those questions right at the end of my ’Application’, because by now you have probably answered ‘yes’ to both and about to close out of this devotional! Not So Fast Brother! Wait a moment Sister! Through John, God has actually given us the formula for measuring how well we’re doing on this! We are told in these verses today that the degree to which we love fellow believers is proportionate to how much we love and obey God. Ok, so I’m sure that you will assume you must truly love one another, because you know that you really love God. But do you really?  The Word declares that the love referenced here is not just a verbal thing, or a feeling, but instead if we truly love God, we will do what He tells us to do. For some that will be easy, because we pray and we seek God’s face through His precious Word. When we truly do this and not only listen to His commands, His teachings, His instructions for us, and His example that He set for us to follow, then we should know what to do. Friends, you may not just learn this from the pastor in a weekend sermon, or from a Bible teacher, but to know what Jesus really has in store for you, it is important that you have regular one-on-one communion with your maker. Don’t know where to start? You may want to follow a good devotional, such as the one you’re now reading, or you may want to look for a Bible Reading Plan of your own. Whatever you decide, just remember to seek God’s face first – as it takes the Spirit of God to truly open your eyes to the spiritual truths of our awesome God. Not much of a reader? It doesn’t matter, when you seek God’s face first and ask Him to open your mind to His, you will find that what may appear to be simple words on a page, actually reveals the perfect will of God for your life right where you’re at during that very moment. Highlight as He speaks to you, and make notes to remind you how He spoke to you that day. Now, todays scripture says that through loving God and obeying all that He instructs you, then you will defeat sin and evil pleasures. Your love for God will become so pure and so real, that you will also love everything that God loves and everyone that He loves. So are you struggling with any part of this today friend? Try following this instruction for at least seven days, and I believe God will give you a burning desire to continue doing the same for the rest of the time you remain here on this earth! Love and obedience to God leads to love for the brethren friend! Imagine standing before family and friends at the funeral of your dearest friend and trying to explain to them how much you loved the deceased. There will be many things that you might be inclined to share that may prove you had love for the deceased, but wouldn’t it be mind blowing if you opened this Scripture is simply quoted how God said you could prove your love for others? God being our helper, I pray that we could now more easily show others how much we care, how much we love, and how they could see proof of it, because of our relationship with the God of all love!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You not only tell us to love one another, but You have even gone the extra step of showing us just how to accomplish that. How unfortunate, that a God who sacrificed His only Son for us on Calvary, must now tell us how important it is for us to love You. How deep the Father’s love for us, in spite of our unworthiness. Yet how easy it is for us to say that we struggle in loving our Christian Brothers and Sisters, even when we don’t fully appreciate the love of our Father, or see fit to obey His simple commands. Please forgive us dear Lord and continue to draw us to Yourself with an even deeper determination to love and obey You. I sincerely thank You for Your love, and for all these things I have asked throughout this devotional, for it is in the precious and loving name of Jesus that I ask, 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!