If You Have Faith

I’m sure that almost every reader/listener will immediately think of a time when they wished they had more faith. There are times that we say a quick prayer for a concern that we have. But then there are times that we take to our knees and plead with God for certain urgent and critical concerns. Jesus told His disciples that faith is the secret to our prayers having feet or substance. How’s your faith? Let’s meditate on this Scripture and see what God has to share with us that might help.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-07-10
WRITTEN AT: Kingman, AZ

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 17:19-20
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 19 Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?”
20 “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.

APPLICATION: This Scripture comes at a time when I am visiting the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA. We can read about God creating mountains and canyons, but until we see these things in person, it is so difficult to truly fathom His awesome works. In reading this Scripture I quickly concluded that God was simply using mountains as an illustration for us to understand how powerful our faith truly is, to the one who believes on teh Lord Jesus Christ. But as I looked at those beautiful mountains, I could only think that I would have no reason to have a mountain move, for it is very obvious that they were placed meticulously and perfectly by God. In all humility, I just beg of God to give me faith to heal certain diseases that hinder enjoyment of life by so many, even the health of my very own family. Think about it – COVID; Cancer; Alzheimer’s; Blindness; Deafness; the awful position of many who are lame or crippled, etc, etc. Friends, you may look at my list and say that in the realm of human capability, those diseases are just as huge as mountains, for they have been around for a while now and they seem to be beyond help by doctors, much less normal laity like you and I. But unless we go beyond the faith of the disciples, Jesus would repeat His explanation to us all over again as He did to the disciples. We currently have every reason to take God at His word in saying that ‘Nothing is impossible’, for we have seen where He performed miracle after miracle,and we know that all things are possible with Him. But I had a friend who would stop and pray that God would help him find his car keys, or show him the right path to take in his business. He said by turning everything over to God, it provided him with a foundation upon which to stand while asking God for the BIG things in life that may otherwise seem impossible in the eyes of man. Whatever it takes to syke up our minds to let go and believe in God with all of our heart, soul and mind, we must do it dear friend, for He cares for us and loves us more than anything we could even imagine. In some biblical translations a verse is added as vs 21, and it says that having this kind of faith may require us to fast and pray in deepest faith. So just as in the case of building physical strength, where we start small in our weightlifting and then increase as we could handle it, let’s plan to do the same on our Spiritual journey of faith. Develop your faith by trusting God in the small things, and watch how He will strengthen you to trust Him even in the times that may seem impossible, especially to unbelievers.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Just a little amount of faith will go a long way. Have faith, believe, and nothing will be impossible!

PRAYER: Lord, we often say that we believe in God, and that is admirable. But may we have such faith in You that our Scripture today will become a reality – Nothing is impossible with God, and for the one who believes in God with all their heart, soul and mind. Please embolden us with Your love, Your miraculous touch, and the everlasting hope that brighten the day of every believer in Christ. Please work miraculously through us, and grant us the boldness to know that ALL things are possible through the powerful and strong name of Jesus Christ. AMEN!

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

Practical Faith

For the pastor among us, he will probably use things from his ministry in examples that he will share with you. For the banker, or undertaker, or chef or any other profession, they will probably do the same. In our Scripture today, a Roman officer used his professional experience to petition Jesus for a more urgent, but remote healing of his servant. This expression of faith derived from the Officer’s practical work experience, impressed Jesus. No need for us pretending to be something we’re not, in order to get Jesus’ attention. Just be pratical.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-06-30
WRITTEN AT: Gallup, NM

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 8:6-10
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”
Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”
But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel

APPLICATION: One of the things that tends to throw unbelievers off track, is when they see Christians adding on to their everyday language, or doing things out of character in their actions. These things might cause them to act differently, in order to impress others about their relationship with Jesus Christ. Pretense always appears fake. The Roman Officer in our story had faith to believe that it was worth him going to Jesus about his servant’s ill health, and as a leader and powerful being, the Officer knew that Jesus could heal someone by placing His hand on him, but He could also heal through His commands offsite also. The Officer used an example he was familiar with in his work environment, and it was so targeted that Jesus was actually astonished over the faith of the man. Think about our prayers, do we go into the very finest detail to explain to God what our sick friend looks like, where he lives, how long he’s been sick and what it might take to truly heal him? Most of the time we do. I remember a pastor who tried very hard to discourage lots of detail when a church member asked for pray for someone, because often those requests turned into a gossip sessions about what all is wrong with the sick person, how they got that way, and how many family members may have been involved! I am convinced that Jesus knew exactly what was wrong with the servant, He knew what it took to improved the faith of the Officer asking, and those in the audience listening. You see, often in life we have our ideas about what is needed to resolve certain circumstances, and anything short of that would be a total disaster. A deacon or elder may visit a sick person in hospital and pray for them very deeply. But if you listen to the sick person’s story to a friend, they will tell how no one came from the church to visit, as that pastor is always off busy with the young folk or his clique of favorite members. It’s really sad to see how, in our minds, we have weakened the powerful hand of our awesome God. With a single word God put the world together and He created mankind. He hasn’t changed, so believing that He could still do anything that He sees fit to do, is strongly substantiated by all that He has already done. Our faith in God is a very natural thing, based on past experience that we read about, or may have experienced. Just be yourself and talk to God as your father – your Almighty Father. If you use personal examples or references, you won’t shock God. Remember, He created us, and He is well aware of everything we work at, volunteer at, experience, or believe in. Just talk to Him as God!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God knows us and He understands all that occupies our minds. Being pratical with Jesus will not surprise Him or throw Him for a loop!

PRAYER: To the God of this Universe who not only made this world, but also created us, I say thank You Father. I have faith to believe that You created everything, so please give me foresight to also have faith in all that You could do for me – a child who loves You with all of my heart and believes in Your awesome power. The Roman Oficer believed that You could heal his servant, without ever being present in the servant’s room. Please impress upon my readers and I the power that You possess and how You could do much more than we could see or imagine. We love You Lord and look forward to all that You will do in our lives as our Almighty King. please touch the lives of those who struggle in their faith. Please remind us often of the faith You saw in the Roman Officer. I believe that we could be just as bold today, with Your help and direction. AMEN!

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

Here’s What Distracts Our True Worship

Isn’t it interesting how Satan distracts us from worship to our God by placing small petty things in our way to get our attention? The Pharisees, who were the leaders of the church in Jesus’ day, were keenly aware of the disciples not washing their hands before meals, but they were blinded to the sins that kept them from a right relationship with God. Unfortunately this may apply to us still today, more than we would care to recognize. Oh that the Word of God might open our eyes today as we meditate on our Lord.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-02-23
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 15:15-20
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 16 Jesus then said: …. 17 Don’t you know that the food you put into your mouth goes into your stomach and then out of your body? 18 But the words that come out of your mouth come from your heart. And they are what make you unfit to worship God. 19 Out of your heart come evil thoughts, murder, unfaithfulness in marriage, vulgar deeds, stealing, telling lies, and insulting others. 20 These are what make you unclean. Eating without washing your hands will not make you unfit to worship God.

OBSERVATION: Isn’t it interesting how Satan distracts us from worship to our God by placing small petty things in our way to get our attention? The Pharisees, who were the leaders of the church in Jesus’ day, were keenly aware of the disciples not washing their hands before meals, but they were blinded to the sins that kept them from a right relationship with God. Unfortunately this may apply to us still today, more than we would care to recognize. Oh that the Word of God might open our eyes today as we meditate on our Lord.

APPLICATION: As a teenager, I remember a situation where two sons of a prominent church member came to worship services one Sunday. One of the ushers immediately ridiculed the young men about their dress code not being appropriate for God’s house. There’s no telling how long parents and friends had prayed for these young men to return to church, but the ridicule pushed them further away from the church than they ever were before. How on earth would dress code prevent a person from hearing the Gospel or worshiping their Lord? If you have relatives who live by certain dietary restrictions, especially if they feel there are Biblical reasons, then you have probably been preached at for sinfully eating the wrong things. No doubt there are many other examples where people are considered ruthless sinners because they do not adhere to all of the church rules created for their ‘guidance’. Jesus found the opportunity to speak to religious leaders over an issue very similar to what we experience today. As a child I was trained to always wash my hands before coming to the table to eat, but the Pharisees took this to the extreme by making it a sin if you didn’t wash before eating. But just as in the case of the Pharisees, Jesus is very aware of what the real sin is in our lives also. Furthermore, He is teaching us in the Scriptures today, that sin against God has a serious adverse effect on our worship to the only holy and righteous God. But where does sin originate? As I read this teaching by Jesus, my mind immediately went on to think about what a person does when his heart is continually topped off with anger over certain things that he feels strongly about. I believe it would be virtually impossible for that person to respond in love, in happiness, in kindness and in a spirit of helpfulness. An angry heart invokes angry actions. You will note that Jesus used several other descriptors to help remind us that we will speak or react based on the mode of our heart. Unless we fill our hearts with the attitude and character of Jesus Christ, then we cannot except to respond like He would. Take ‘love’ for example – Jesus went willingly to the cross for you and me, even while we were still steeped in sin. When we love like Jesus did, we can do it regardless of the circumstances around us, or on what may have impacted us up to that very moment. To worship God in spirit and in truth, means that we can stand honestly before the King with no regrets, or worries, about what may have provoked us into temptation. The Psalmist asked God to create in me a clean and upright heart. Perhaps we should seek God’s face in similar fashion so that we may stand before Him in all honesty and truth, with a clean and contrite heart.

PRAYER: I believe that the only heart that is clean when it comes into the presence of our Holy God, is a heart that has been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, and one that has sought the face of Jesus for a renewed cleansing from the battle scars of this old world. So Lord, I beg of You to cleanse my heart and renew within me a right spirit, so that I may stand before You in worship without the distractions of this sinful world. Please also touch the heart of my readers so that they also might find peace in knowing You, and may they desire a renewed cleansing that would present them faultless before the King of all kings. Forgive us Lord for trying to worship You through our distractions and our sin. May we not only come face-to-face with You in holiness, but may our lives be more usable by You when clothed in Your righteousness. AMEN!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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