Right With God

No doubt, there are others who struggle with confidence in their faith, because God sure got my attention when I meditated on this scripture today! I believe it is evident that verse 24 simply states that we need to believe in God and His awesome, infinite power in much the same way that Abraham did. But we all know how challenging that is. When something happens that seem impossible to overcome, at least in our eyes, we go into distress mode and shut down, or we go ballistic. Let’s stop and really meditate on the love, power and grace of our awesome God. His Son put His life on the line for our righteousness. Let’s recognize that and savor the thought of such a sacrifice today.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-03-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 4:20-25
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.

OBSERVATION: No doubt, there are others who struggle with confidence in their faith, because God sure got my attention when I meditated on this scripture today! I believe it is evident that verse 24 simply states that we need to believe in God and His awesome, infinite power in much the same way that Abraham did. But we all know how challenging that is. When something happens that seem impossible to overcome, at least in our eyes, we go into distress mode and shut down, or we go ballistic. Let’s stop and really meditate on the love, power and grace of our awesome God. His Son put His life on the line for our righteousness. Let’s recognize that and savor the thought of such a sacrifice today.

APPLICATION: I believe that if you ask most folk on the street if they believe in God, they will say: ‘but of course – that’s the only explanation for all that we see around us’. So what is the difference between that kind of faith, and the kind referred to by Paul? This might explain – there was a gentleman who had confidence that he could easily walk a tight rope across the Niagara Falls, but one day he said that he would push a wheelbarrow across on the tight rope – with a person inside of it. There were a lot more people than normal who showed up to watch this new feat. A reporter walked around asking folk, who had seen him do similar feats in the past, if they believed the man was capable of this particular feat. Most of them reply positively, but when asked if they would volunteer to ride in the wheelbarrow, there were a lot fewer who would agree! So did they really have faith that the man could successfully accomplish his challenge? To a degree perhaps, but they weren’t willing to put their life on the line for it! We have so much in our favor to support our faith in God, for there are so many examples in the Bible on the evidence of faith and all that it produced. Read the story of Abraham and how, in spite of being a childless father, yet he became the father of many nations because of his ‘faith’. Moses stood at the edge of the Red Sea with thousands of followers behind him and when, through faith, he followed God’s instructions, he and his people saw a way paved for them where there was no other way. There are many more examples of faith in action friends. There is no need to doubt, just listen to God and ‘BELIEVE’! I believe that many of us are living an unfulfilled life without faith. Let me explain – if we are doubting in your faith in God, how could we possibly show others the true wisdom, love and faith of the God that we serve? We must be firm in our faith in order to convince others that our faith, and our God, is real. Having this kind of faith is not just happen-chance, we must draw close to God and allow Him to draw close to us. We must exhibit our faith in God and allow Him to prove Himself to us. Let’s be consistent in meditating on His Word, and speaking with Him regularly. Let’s build and maintain a relationship with God so that we may know Him and trust Him in a personal way. When witnessing to a friend, our testimony is more valuable than gold. They may doubt what we share with them from the Old Testament, but when we tell them about what God has done in our life, how could they possibly question or doubt? So let me encourage you to meditate on those times where you have seen God at work in your life, then use them as memorials that you can reflect back on any time Satan comes knocking with his evil and deceptive ways. Also use these memorials when you speak with a friend about accepting the Lord, for those are personal times you encountered with the Lord – as real as the testimonies spoken of in the Bible, they would be from a personal experience. This will strengthen your faith friend, and it will serve to strengthen the faith of your friends as you witness to them. As always, please ask God to miraculously work in and through you as you go out to be His witness.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, there is so much evidence of Your existence, and Your handiwork, and Your mighty power – yet we doubt. Please forgive us for our lack of faith. I believe that it is impossible to win others to the kingdom, if we have trouble believing, or have little faith, in the One whom we are promoting. So Father, I come before You not telling You anything that is new to You, but simply asking that You might fill me with the confidence of Your mighty power, Your awesome love and Your miraculous works. I pray that You may work on my most inner being to help me gain the faith that I need to be a better witness for You, especially to those in my circles who are dying and going to Hell because they may not have seen real evidence of a ‘real Christian’. Please help me to turn this around in my life, and as my friends meditate on this devotional today, I pray that You may invoke Your Holy Spirit to be very active in their minds so that they too may speak to You about the needs in their lives. Please bear with, and help, us to overcome the weaknesses in our lives. Give is strength to practice our faith and lean on You like never before. This is my humble and heartfelt prayer that I ask in Your precious name, Lord Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Heart In Which To Perform Your Job

In our Scripture today we read, with keen interest, the instructions that King Jehoshaphat gave to the judges that he appointed. I wonder if similar words are found in today’s induction ceremonies of our judges? But more than this, my heart was touched to think about those who serve in places of leadership in our churches. What about you fellow believer and leader in your own church, do you, or would you take an oath to serve under similar instruction to that offered by King Jehoshaphat? Take time to meditate on this today dear friends.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-03-04
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 19:9
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: These were his instructions to them: “You must always act in the fear of the Lord, with faithfulness and an undivided heart.

OBSERVATION: In our Scripture today we read, with keen interest, the instructions that King Jehoshaphat gave to the judges that he appointed. I wonder if similar words are found in today’s induction ceremonies of our judges? But more than this, my heart was touched to think about those who serve in places of leadership in our churches. What about you fellow believer and leader in your own church, do you, or would you take an oath to serve under similar instruction to that offered by King Jehoshaphat? Take time to meditate on this today dear friends.

APPLICATION: I often print out the content of verses where God speaks to my soul, and I would pin those verses at places where I’m bound to look on them several times a day. This is one of those verses that would be an ideal to have stuck to your home PC monitor and/or at work, as a constant reminder from God about how to best complete your job, while honoring Him in the process. Friends, with God directing us and leading the way for us, how can we go wrong? How can we not be in His perfect will? Will this always be easy? No, but in verse 11 the king instructed the Levites to ‘Take courage as you fulfill your duties, and may the Lord be with those who do what is right.’ I am convinced that when we do right and always seek God’s direction for our decisions, we can know that God is by our side, giving us full support, encouragement and ultimate confidence. My greatest desire is to see our church leaders always look to God, and seek His heart for the ministry to which He has called them. I believe that when church leaders make their decisions and perform their responsibilities, they will have a greater desire to do God’s work without hesitation, knowing that they are pleasing Him, and that they are in the center of His perfect will for His church. When we do that, I believe that individually we will be blessed beyond comprehension or anything we could imagine. Let’s always remember, it’s God’s work; it’s His kingdom that we aim to attain; and it’s His blessings that we desire more than anything else. So let us learn to seek Him, obey Him and always praise Him for His love and His perfect will for our lives and the life of His church. God being my helper, I will always do the best job that I can do in everything assigned or attempted, for His ultimate glory, honor and praise! Consider joining me in this vow, so the world can see what its like to have ‘real’ Christian leaders in authority over them, and consequently find every reason to praise God for it!

PRAYER: Lord, thank You for Your precious Word. Our world is so filled with hatred, greed and selfishness, that I believe Your followers want to see in their church leaders, those who are chosen by You, ordained by You and blessed by You to fulfill the honest work of Your kingdom, in the fear of the Lord. Oh that Your church might become the place where troubled souls run to for refuge, and where leaders are wholeheartedly seeking and following Your will. Please protect Your church from the harm of being a stumbling block to those feeling led to be Your follower. May it always be obvious that Your house is a place of prayer, a place of worship, and a place where love abounds. May this encourage attendees to want this type of characteristic in their own homes and families. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

What We Deserve

I know it would be easy to pray that God would give a Brother or Sister what they deserve, but would you dare pray that about yourself? We ask God for a lot of things, but as we meditate today, let us consider what things would be like, if God truly gave to us what we deserve.

Sunday, 2020-02-23

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 6:29-31
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 29 … if your people Israel pray about their troubles or sorrow, raising their hands toward this Temple, 30 then hear from heaven where you live, and forgive. Give your people what their actions deserve, for you alone know each human heart. 31 Then they will fear you and walk in your ways as long as they live in the land you gave to our ancestors.

OBSERVATION: I know it would be easy to pray that God would give a Brother or Sister what they deserve, but would you dare pray that about yourself? We ask God for a lot of things, but as we meditate today, let us consider what things would be like, if God truly gave to us what we deserve.

APPLICATION: I have a friend who, when asked how he’s doing, will always respond ‘better than I deserve’. That in itself is a very sobering statement, as the individual realizes that should God bless in accordance with what he may have done or said, he would be in big trouble. You know, similar to what we do as parents for our children, for we spoil them with way more than they deserve. Another example that might help us bring this idea to the forefront of our minds is: I have friends that will often make reference to the pastor and how he is not ‘feeding’ them richly from the Word of God. My first question is to ask how much did they pray for the pastor before the service? I will often receive a blank steer, to which I would respond ‘then you got as much from the sermon as you prayed for’. In our Scripture, Solomon prayed that his people would receive forgiveness when they prayed, but he also prayed that, in order for his people to be awaken and actually walk in the ways of the Lord, that they should receive what they deserve. Be reminded dear friends, that you might fool some of the people some of the time, but God knows your heart, and if He decides to bless in response to what He knows, that will not only include the good things that other friends see us do, but God could also reach into our thoughts and actions that others will never see. A real scenario in too many churches revolve around members who stop giving because a decision was made by the church leaders to go down a line of work that the giver disagreed with. I have good friends who will not attend certain services at church, because they are not in agreement with the servant sent to them by God, to minister to his people in our community. What if God blessed these friends in response to their actions against God? Friends, please don’t misunderstand me. I believe that what God did at Calvary, and what He continues to bless us with, is from a heart filled with love like we could never imagine. Do we always deserve it? Absolutely not. But our God is one who not only see our actions, hears our words spoken in love and in anger, but He also knows our very thoughts. Please join me in desiring to worship Him; honor Him in our praises and thanksgiving; and loving those that He created who could sometimes be just as evil-minded as we are. I believe that when we decide to depend on God alone, love Him with all our heart, and look forward in great anticipation to His return, then perhaps we could look beyond the pettiness of everyday strife, envy, revenge and hatred, so that we might fix our eyes on Jesus, our true and everlasting deliverer and author of our faith. Wouldn’t it be awesome for our Father to look at His creation in love, and see that we seek nothing more than to return our love to Him in all that we are and all that we say? God has prepared a home for us. Let us live like children of that heavenly kingdom, and not as its greatest adversary.

PRAYER: Thank You Father for creating us just like You. Thank You for giving us the freedom to live like You intended, even among a people who will try in every way to distract us from that perfect path. Lord, today many of us will decide whether to attend church or not. Many of us will be strong enough to respond in love to those that may deceitfully use us, while many will strike back in revenge and with intent to harm. While I want to pray like David that you might respond to us as we deserve, I also realize how serious that might be. Please open our eyes Lord, so that we might once again be reminded of Your love, Your power to forgive, and Your desire to bless us beyond anything we deserve. Please help us to desire that kind of love, and grant us the power to forgive and be strong in our faith. May others see Jesus in our character, our will, our words and especially in the way that we love others. May You be glorified in and through us today oh Lord. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to attend my home church. Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

We Are Worth Dying For!

Paul tried to tell the church leaders at Ephesus how important their job was, and he not only based that importance on his dedication and hard work, but he also explained that the value of the church to God was such that He was willing to have His Son die for it. Many of my readers are probably workers in the church, or involved in ministry in one way or another. How seriously are you taking that work? Ever have to sacrifice for those whom you are serving in God’s church?

Wednesday, 2020-02-19

Bible Reference: Acts 20:28
Translation:  Amplified Bible (AMP)

Bible Text: 28 Take care and be on guard for yourselves and for the whole flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd (tend, feed, guide) the church of God which He bought with His own blood.

OBSERVATION: Paul tried to tell the church leaders at Ephesus how important their job was, and he not only based that importance on his dedication and hard work, but he also explained that the value of the church to God was such that He was willing to have His Son die for it. Many of my readers are probably workers in the church, or involved in ministry in one way or another. How seriously are you taking that work? Ever have to sacrifice for those whom you are serving in God’s church?

APPLICATION: Paul was passionate about the ministry and had traveled to many places sharing the story of Jesus with all who would listen. It is apparent from this Scripture that Paul felt very responsible for the work that he started, and as he shared with the leaders being charged with continuing the work, we could easily tell that it was difficult for Paul to pass along this responsibility. However, I was reminded of a current day parallel to what Paul faced. Think about a new mom who is about to leave her child at the daycare for the first time. There is usually a lot of concern that the daycare workers would know what to expect from this new infant, and there would be detailed steps for them to follow, to make sure that the child is well taken care of after the mother goes on to work. The mother is looking for very caring attention, with responses that would assure her that her child is being left with professionals who would take the same care with the newborn as the mother would do. I love the extra commentary added by the Amplified Bible, for it helps us to really understand the heart of Paul for the church. So of course this made me think about the church today. God uses the foolishness of preaching and the worship of His people to draw men to Himself. Then He turns to His caretakers in the church – the pastor, elders and other church leaders and teachers, and He says like He did through Paul: Now take care of these dear children. Love on them; meet their needs; teach them my Word; correct them spiritually and lovingly, as needed; and don’t think twice about it, because I want you to remember how much I loved the church. And if you want to live just like me, then I believe you will want to love the church and do everything you can for it, just like I did. How obligated are you feeling about all that you do for the church? Don’t we often feel that way? But if we loved the church like Jesus did/does, should there be a feeling of obligation; stress; ungratefulness; with no return to us for all we do and/or give? I believe that this Scripture should open our eyes to do all that we could for the church – all of it’s members, because we love the church just like Jesus does. We’re His followers, His imitators, and undeserved recipients of His love. Why shouldn’t we love the church unconditionally? This will result in Christ-Followers having a desire to be just like their Master. Is He your Master and Lord dear friend? Please read through my Footnote and visit the links that I have included, perhaps the information will be helpful for you as you seek to respond to Jesus after reading this Scripture and my blog today.

PRAYER: Oh to be like Jesus, is all that I ask of Him. To do His will, as reminded by Paul in this Scripture today, will not only bless my readers and myself, but as we react from the impact of God’s Word in our lives, others will come to know Him and want to serve Him faithfully in all that they do. Please speak to the hearts of Your children again today dear Lord. May we shine forth in our work for You without any feeling of obligation or remorse. May You be glorified in Your church today Lord, and may we complete the work You have assigned for us to do. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to attend my home church. Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Confident In Prayer

David went before the Lord in prayer, not as a stranger, but as one who had already aligned himself with the laws and will of God. Because of this, he went confidently before God, KNOWING that God would answer his prayers. As we turn our thoughts towards the encouraging words by David, let’s meditate on our own personal relationship with the Almighty. We need Him to listen to our heart’s cry every day.

Wednesday, 2020-01-29

Bible Reference: Psalm 17:3-6
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.
    You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong.
    I am determined not to sin in what I say.
I have followed your commands,
    which keep me from following cruel and evil people.
My steps have stayed on your path;
    I have not wavered from following you.
I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
    Bend down and listen as I pray.

OBSERVATION: David went before the Lord in prayer, not as a stranger, but as one who had already aligned himself with the laws and will of God. Because of this, he went confidently before God, KNOWING that God would answer his prayers. As we turn our thoughts towards the encouraging words by David, let’s meditate on our own personal relationship with the Almighty. We need Him to listen to our heart’s cry every day.

APPLICATION: Oh to have the heart, determination and will of David! Too often we barge into conversations with God, demanding our own way and expecting God to respond like a puppet would, to all of our wishes and demands. But what if God truly responded to us exactly in the same way that we think things should go? What an awful mess that would be, friends! I believe our attitude for prayer must be one of honor and gratitude for who God truly is. Then there is Scripture that guides us into the remaining attributes of prayer, for in 2 Chronicles 7:14 we are told that if we are truly known as His children, in fact, if we are called by His name, and if we get off our ‘high horses’ and humble ourselves and pray with every intention and determination to turn from our wicked and sinful ways, then He would hear from the Father and heal us and all those around us (our land). Friends, this is not rocket science, nor is it unreasonable, for which of you will walk up to a total stranger and ask for anything substantial with full confidence that they would reach into their treasury of physical assets and just start handing them over to you? May I suggest to you that although my Savior knows each of us intimately and, while I am convinced that He will hear our cry, I believe that He is wanting most of all to know that our heart is totally in tuned with Him, and that He has the liberty to work freely in our lives. Friends, if you are not seeking God’s face as your own personal Savior and Lord, then no matter what your other needs are today, you must settle the ownership question first – you must be born again – new birth in Jesus Christ. This requires a conversation (prayer) with the Master, where you would surrender yourself to Him, and invite Him to rule and reign in Your life. There is no greater need of mankind today friend, and there is nothing more important, for what if you gained the whole world through your own efforts and finances, but yet have no hope of tomorrow, or a Savior who loves you more than anyone else in this world, and who is looking forward to your arrival in heaven one day. Jesus is the key to heaven friend, know Him and know total peace for today and always. I would be tickled to death to introduce my Lord to you! Drop me a note using the contact information below. I might also suggest that you click on the link below ‘To Know Jesus’ and there you will find scriptural references on what you might do to have eternal life. I look forward to meeting you in the most exciting worship service ever – at the feet of Jesus when we graduate to heaven!! Oh, what a day that will be!!

PRAYER: Lord You are good, and Your mercies are everlasting. You have opened the means of us communicating with You and seeking Your face. You have shown us the way to Your throne and ultimately to the glories of heaven with You and Your Father! What a blessed people we are! Lord, I am concerned about my friends that might read this devotional and brush off the truths of Your Word. There may be some that will seek Your hand for all they may need or want, but who may ignore the fact of first knowing You intimately. Please soften the hearts of the hardened, and please touch the hearts that simply read and choose to ignore a relationship with You. Thank You Lord for being available to us, and for loving us enough to demonstrate it through the sacrifice You made on Calvary. I am eternally thankful, and I desperately want to see all my readers, friends and family accept You as Lord, so that we may one day rejoice together around Your eternal throne. I commend them to You Lord. Thank You dear Lord Jesus! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Reason I Live

Thursday, 2020-01-23

Bible Reference: Philippians 1:20-24
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 20 For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that will cause me to be ashamed of myself but that I will always be ready to speak out boldly for Christ while I am going through all these trials here, just as I have in the past; and that I will always be an honor to Christ, whether I live or whether I must die. 21 For to me, living means opportunities for Christ, and dying—well, that’s better yet! 22 But if living will give me more opportunities to win people to Christ, then I really don’t know which is better, to live or die! 23 Sometimes I want to live, and at other times I don’t, for I long to go and be with Christ. How much happier for me than being here! 24 But the fact is that I can be of more help to you by staying!

OBSERVATION: We are often so sad over the death of a loved one, and rightfully so, for we worry about how we will survive everyday life without them. But in our Scripture today, Paul directs us to consider our value while alive and also after we move from this life to the next. Paul found it very challenging to determine if his life was more valuable here on earth, or with His heavenly Father. As we meditate, let’s not be concerned about what we could get out of either side of heaven, but rather, what we might give – for the sake of the Master.

APPLICATION: Of special note regarding this scripture: Paul is in prison at the time of this writing! So if Paul has the fortitude and determination to live so that He could do more of the Master’s work, even from within four prison walls, how much more those of us who are ‘free’ should be striving to do the Master’s work? Friends, we whine and we complain about so much, but do we should really have the heart of Jesus, or of Paul, in wanting to see as many won to the Lord as possible? In the above scripture, I bolded a few sentences that, I believe, is worthy of note:
* Living means opportunities for Christ – it is only while we have breath in our bodies that we can be witnesses for the Lord, or care about sinners. Let’s not wait any longer friends, we’re on the winning side and it is our privilege, our honor, and our responsibility to share the Good News of our Savior and Lord;
* Living will give more opportunities to win people to Christ – Often we will find that it’s the threat of impending death that gives us incentive to share the love of Christ that lives inside of us. Please allow me to awaken  you to the fact that we have no assurances about the next minute. The moment of opportunity is the present. Please share the love of Christ who lives inside of you with all that you care about and/or come into contact with today!
* I can be of more help to you by staying – Only Jesus Christ has power beyond the grave. He is allowing us to remain here on earth so that we can glorify Him and spread the Good News about the Savior who loved us enough to die for us. In a nutshell friend, this is our mission!
Friends, we remain on this earth to be shining examples of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It’s not about politics, gossip, sports, the lotto or any other purpose, so use every opportunity with everyone you know, that the reason you live is to represent Jesus, and try to evangelize the lost, before it is eternally too late.

PRAYER: The reason that I live is …….. Lord, as we complete that sentence today in humility and prayer before You, I ask that You will take those completed sentences and correct any misgivings about our mission, compared to the one You have assigned to us. I am pretty convinced that our mission is similar in nature to what Paul shared with the Philippians, because throughout Your Word we are told the importance of surrendering our lives to You, so that we, in turn, may be a blessing to others and convince them of their need for our Savior. Please work on us today and guide us to do Your perfect will, for this is my sincere and humble plea. It’s in Your beautiful and bountiful name that I ask all this, dear Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Known as a ‘Christ-Follower’?

Suffering for something that we’re in trouble for, is very understandable. But when we suffer because we believe differently to the rest of the world, and we act more loving, kind, respectful, and truly love the God and Creator of this universe, we tend to feel like our world is very wrong. However, our Scripture today, forewarns us about impending punishment and ridicule from this world’s rulers. As we meditate, let us evaluate whether the authorities will see sufficient evidence of our being a Christ-Follower to arrest us.

Thursday, 2019-11-07

Bible Reference: 1 Peter 4:12-16
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text:  12 My friends, don’t be surprised at the painful things that you are now suffering, which are testing your faith. Don’t think that something strange is happening to you. 13 But you should be happy that you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings. You will be happy and full of joy when Christ shows his glory. 14 When people say bad things to you because you follow Christ, consider it a blessing. When that happens, it shows that God’s Spirit, the Spirit of glory, is with you. 15 You may suffer, but don’t let it be because you murder, steal, make trouble, or try to control other people’s lives. 16 But if you suffer because you are a “Christ-follower,” don’t be ashamed. You should praise God for that name.

OBSERVATION: Suffering for something that we’re in trouble for, is very understandable. But when we suffer because we believe differently to the rest of the world, and we act more loving, kind, respectful, and truly love the God and Creator of this universe, we tend to feel like our world is very wrong. However, our Scripture today, forewarns us about impending punishment and ridicule from this world’s rulers. As we meditate, let us evaluate whether the authorities will see sufficient evidence of our being a Christ-Follower to arrest us.

APPLICATION:  I believe that when we accept Jesus as Lord, we tend to think more about what the benefits might be, than thinking about what additional controversy our decision might create, or what additional persecution might arise in our lives. Think about it, when folk are really struggling, we tend to convince them that they need Jesus. What if we told them that what they are presently going through is only a ‘drop-in-the-bucket’ compared to what will be brought on them after conversion? Do you suppose that anyone would agree to surrender their lives to Christ? However friends, we must be honest in evaluating what happened to Jesus, for He healed the sick, raised the dead and caused the blind to see, yet He was sought after like a criminal. This same Jesus is to be our role model. I feel like what we are taught here is that we are to do good, and be a shining example of Jesus, even if we know that controversy will arise. On the way to a business party one time I was asked by an executive why Christians abstain from drinking alcohol. I believe that it was asked to embarrass me because it was asked in a jeering way hoping to get laughter from the other executives present. I responded honestly as I believe God would have me do, and although I waited for the repercussion, it seemed like my honest response was well accepted. I recently heard a request for prayer about persecution on the job at a local company. It really surprised me, but after reading this scripture this morning, I am convinced that although we are not expected to go out and be deliberate rebels in our workplace or at local diners, or any other place that we go, we are expected to let our lights shine for Jesus and not hide that light for the sake of popularity or because of possible persecution. In fact, I love the suggested attitude in verse 14 – when we feel persecuted, or picked on, or laughed at, or made fun of, because of our faith, it is a great time to praise God knowing that others are impacted by the Christian stance we just took on a matter or the Christ-likeness that our audience just witnessed. It’s not a show-off thing, it’s our every-day Christian life being displayed in all aspects of our life. Is this always easy for us? Absolutely not, but when done in sincerity and under the direction and power of the Holy Spirit, we will see great things accomplished for God. In fact, I would go as far as saying that if we feel forced into making a stand, then we need to question if it truly is a ‘God thing’, or are we doing it to impress someone about us and our strengths and abilities.

PRAYER: Dear God, You gave everything You had so that we might have eternal life in glory with You and Your Son. Thank You Lord for Your goodness to me and Your invaluable gift! Lord, I pray that Your children who will meditate on this devotional today, might catch a glimpse, as I did, to the value of living our faith and making our witness known to all mankind, so that they might be convinced of our relationship with You. This witness will sometimes convince mankind of their need for a Savior, but it will sometimes offend those who are led by Satan and his demons. May we be strong in all circumstances, so that the world might know to whom we belong, and that we might be convinced in our heart that we are truly Yours, without a shadow of doubt. Lord, please have Your will and way in our lives today, and may Your glory shine through us as we stand firm in our faith in You. I ask these things in the powerful and awesome name of Jesus, and for your sake, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!