Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

God With Us

December 4, 2017

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-12-04
SCRIPTURE

From:

Isaiah 7:13-16 (TLB)

Text:

13 Then Isaiah said: O House of David, you aren’t satisfied to exhaust my patience; you exhaust the Lord’s as well! 14 All right then, the Lord himself will choose the sign—a child shall be born to a virgin! And she shall call him Immanuel (meaning, “God is with us”). 15-16 By the time this child is weaned and knows right from wrong, the two kings you fear so much—the kings of Israel and Syria — will both be dead.
OBSERVATION:
Isaiah prophesied, many years before the birth of Jesus, that God would send His Son, through miraculous means, and that He would be known as Immanuel, meaning God is With Us. In other words, this would be the same as God being with us. Not only is this building the case for the coming King of all kings, but also an awesome peace in knowing that no matter how lonely one is, God’s Son would be with them!
APPLICATION:
Probably one of the hardest things for anyone to handle is seeing someone without a home, or without food, or without family and friends. Destitute, lonely, forgotten, hungry, and living on the streets without anything at all. Compare that to those who appear to be happy and fulfilled, because they have enough money to buy whatever they want. Without the Lordship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, they both will face God in the same condition – lost and destined for eternal damnation in the pit of Hell. Friends, this ‘Child’ referenced in verse 14 that Isaiah prophesied about, is the same Jesus that we celebrate each Christmas. He came so that we, who trust in Him completely, might be rewarded with life eternally with He and the Father. So may I suggest that as you approach this Christmas season, that you search your heart carefully, and be sure that you have at some time in your life personally surrendered your heart to Jesus, and asked Him to take control of your life. Without Jesus, it wouldn’t matter if you lived under a bridge, in a mansion or anywhere in between, you will be given the same verdict on Judgment Day – away from me, for I never knew you. Heaven is reserved for those who have surrendered their hearts to Jesus. The only other option is Hell, where all others will be sent for eternal damnation by Satan. The difference in destination is decided and committed by you only, for yourself only. Because we are not assured of another day or moment, I would encourage you to make this very important decision right now friend.
PRAYER:
Thank You for the gift of salvation dear Jesus. Please tender, and prepare the hearts of those that will read this devotional, so that they may make a right decision to follow You for the rest of their earthly lives. A personal decision with a very personal Lord. Lord Jesus, to You I offer my praise and thanks today for accepting my plea for salvation. May today be filled with decisions in time for a Christmas where we all may celebrate You as the main reason for the season! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Joys and Applicability of Christmas!

December 25, 2016

To my awesome subscribers, followers and readers of this daily devotional, ‘Nuggets From God’s Word’:

May the anticipation that filled the hearts of Mary and Joseph as they learned of their involvement in Jesus’ birth, also fill your hearts today and throughout the coming year as you recognize, and agree to be used in the work of the Lord, just like Mary and Joseph did!

May you find an opportunity each and every day to rejoice, and praise God for His awesome mercy, and His choice in using even you to help in accomplishing His work, just as Mary did when she visited Elizabeth after finding that she was an instrument in God’s hand!

May you be willing and quick to obey the call on your life, and willing to go wherever instructed to go, just as the shepherds welcomed the announcement of the angels and then immediately left their posts and went on to Bethlehem to find baby Jesus to personally worship and welcome Him!

May you be reminded of the reason Jesus came, and be willing to follow His example in also being a carrier of the Good News of Jesus Christ to all those in need of a Savior! For Jesus will return again, this time to take His children home to glory with He and His Father! You will want to be ready for that day, and that could be today friend, but you will also want to ensure that all those in your realm of influence are also ready to meet Him on that day! Your involvement in their life and your reflection of Jesus Christ will either help them agree to accept Jesus, or if you are not careful to honestly live the life that you preach, you might totally confuse them and be a stumbling block for them. Seek Jesus as your Savior and allow Him to live in and through every aspect of your life, friend! Others’ lives might be depending on that!

Based on the Word of God, I believe I can safely assure you that Jesus loves you for who you are and just where you are in life right now. Trust in Him, friend, and allow Him to care for your every need! As a representative, or messenger of God, let me assure you that I love you also. Feel free to email me, and allow me to pray with you as we meditate on God’s Word through these devotionals every day, wont you?

God is With Us – Trust Him This Christmas

December 10, 2016

Saturday, 2016-12-10

Scripture

Bible Reference: Isaiah 7:9-16

Bible Text:  Samaria is the capital of Ephraim alone, and King Pekah’s power will not increase. You don’t believe me? If you want me to protect you, you must learn to believe what I say.” 10 Not long after this, the Lord sent this further message to King Ahaz: 11 “Ask me for a sign, Ahaz, to prove that I will indeed crush your enemies as I have said. Ask anything you like, in heaven or on earth.” 12 But the king refused. “No,” he said, “I’ll not bother the Lord with anything like that.” 13 Then Isaiah said: O House of David, you aren’t satisfied to exhaust my patience; you exhaust the Lord’s as well! 14 All right then, the Lord himself will choose the signa child shall be born to a virgin! And she shall call him Immanuel (meaning, “God is with us”). 15-16 By the time this child is weaned and knows right from wrong, the two kings you fear so much—the kings of Israel and Syria – will both be dead.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

Verse 14 is a verse that we hear used a lot around Christmas time in Christian circles, but as represented in other recent devotionals, I believe it is so important for us individually to take time and read the whole context from which these popular verses are found. Today’s scripture is a wonderful example. Like us, King Ahaz thought that some things were just too trivial to bother God with, even though it was God Himself who told Ahaz to test Him. I love what the Lord said to Ahaz in the latter part of verse 9, and I know that it very much applies to me and very possibly also applies to you. In my own words, and based on my understanding, I believe that God said to Ahaz, and is saying to us: How do you expect me to protect you, or, how do you expect me to heal you or bless you, if you don’t learn to believe in, and trust me? Friends, there is so much truth in those powerful words by the Master! Will our child ever trust us to catch them jumping from a high wall if they have not learned to trust us? I don’t think so! In my hyperlink to todays scripture, I included the whole chapter, because I want you to take time to read and understand that God had given Ahaz comfort in knowing that He would take care of the opposing leaders, and He even wanted to give him a timeline that it would occur. However, God knew that Ahaz doubted what he was told, so He told Ahaz to test Him just to gain trust in knowing that He is true to His word. The timing of this event then allowed God to elaborate on the miraculous birth of His Son, Jesus. Friends, once again we are assured that our Father has a plan for His children, just like He had for Ahaz. However, we must know Him so well that we are willing to trust Him and believe what He says to us through His Word; through visions; and through His mighty warriors who deliver His messages to us each week. Wouldn’t it be ‘MERRY’, if this Christmas this concept might ‘click’ in our minds and cause us to totally place our faith and our trust in our Savior? We can’t expect God to bless us and protect us if we don’t trust Him or believe fully in Him!

Prayer

Your Word never ceases to amaze me Oh God! To read the context from which we have traditionally heard parts of the Christmas story, and still find new truths that really speak to our hearts, we can only say ‘Wow’ what a Savior! What an awesome God! Lord Jesus, we just want to worship You, praise You and honor Your blessed name for the key role You have played in our plan of salvation. God had a plan to comfort king Ahaz, and I am convinced that His plan to comfort, protect and save us, is even more awesome! Thank you Heavenly Father! Please continue to open our hearts and fill us with Your grace and Your awesome love that You have shown to us, so that we may, in turn, be a blessing to others in every way possible this Christmas season and throughout each day of the upcoming New Year. With every fiber of our being, we again say ‘thank You Father’ for Your amazing love to us in so many ways! AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Who Done It?

November 26, 2016

Saturday, 2016-11-26

Scripture

Bible Reference: Genesis 3:6–8

Bible Text: 6 The woman stared at the fruit. It looked beautiful and tasty. She wanted the wisdom that it would give her, and she ate some of the fruit. Her husband was there with her, so she gave some to him, and he ate it too. 7 Right away they saw what they had done, and they realized they were naked. Then they sewed fig leaves together to make something to cover themselves.
8 Late in the afternoon a breeze began to blow, and the man and woman heard the LORD God walking in the garden. They were frightened and hid behind some trees.

Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

On reading the title, you might conclude that I am about to introduce an old TV show by the same title! That’s not my intention, so no need to close the blog without reading today’s devotional!!! This scripture got my attention though, because we see in the three examples in this story how each party, Adam, Eve and the serpent, all found excuses for the cause of this very first sin that we read about in the Bible. In each case they quickly threw the blame, or cause of their action, on someone or something else. Unfortunately, in spite of all that transpired in this story, added to the enormous blessings that God has showered on us, I am amazed how little mankind has changed. I wonder today how much of our prayer time is spent on explaining to God who may have caused us to sin, or how it was possible for the infraction? Look at how Adam even went to the extent of trying to pass the responsibility of this sin to God Himself, for had God not sent the woman to Adam in the first place, then Adam thinks that he would not have sinned! eeeennnk! I don’t believe so Adam! Think about our many excuses, men blame their distractions at work or even at church, on the pretty lady who wears very short dresses or very tight pants, for leading them to infidelity. I wonder when God looks at the deepest part of man’s heart what He must find is really happening, to cause such sin to erupt in a man’s heart? Yes friend, you read that right. God considers even our wicked thoughts when He judges us! Men, may I plead with you join me in fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith? May I suggest that we commit ourselves more to the idea of drawing closer to God and being obedient to His Word, then perhaps our minds would be more focused on eternal matters than on the sinful things of this world? Ladies, I know you are not exempt from this condition, so please consider the gist of what I just shared and apply it to the challenges you face. God in His mighty wisdom actually distracted me on to the thoughts I just shared, because my initial intent was to actually introduce the Advent season into my blog over the next 24 days. Friends, we are introduced in this scripture today, to the very first sin – also known as the fall of mankind. You will quickly recognize that it was from the very beginning of time that God saw the need to send a Savior into the world to save fallen man. This ‘Savior’ of which I am referring is God’s very own Son that He sent – Jesus. It is the miraculous birth of Jesus that we celebrate each and every Christmas. Perhaps this should be the season of Thanksgiving when we consider the precious gift given for our benefit, and because of our weakness to sin!

Prayer

Father, from the time of our very first ancestor, sin has been a problem – a challenge for us. We are weak, and very gullible to sin, then we are so quick to reflect the cause of that sin on anything, or anyone else that we could think of. Please open our hearts to the awesome reminder of how You not only saw our sin, but You did everything to help us seek forgiveness of that sin in preparation for standing before a holy, sinless God. You alone are God in heaven, and yet You loved us enough to make the way clear for us to be with You! Thank You Heavenly Father, thank You Jesus, and thank You Holy Spirit. We are truly a blessed people. May Your kingdom come oh Lord, and may each person meditating on this thought today be ready to see You face-to-face on resurrection morning, all because of Jesus! AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Gift That Started All Christmas Celebrations

December 25, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE ~ NLT and CEV ~ 2 Corinthians 5  ~ 11 Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. (NLT)

17 Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. 18 God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between himself and us, and he has given us the work of making peace between himself and others. (CEV)

20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (NLT)

THOUGHTS: I want to share a gift with you on this day that is noted for gift-giving – Christmas! The gift is the wonderful Word of God! Notice in vs 11 above, where Paul said that he and his team were working hard to persuade the Corinthians about the ‘gift’ of Jesus – the One who reconciles us with God, and Paul and his team were doing this because of their fearful responsibility to God. Oops, we have a ‘responsibility’ as Christians? I believe most of us consider the ‘gift’ of Jesus as a blessing, perhaps as a privilege, or perhaps a calling from God, but I bet we rarely think about the ‘gift’ of Jesus as a responsibility. Let me explain where I believe God took me on this, to help me understand. Let’s assume for a moment that a crowd of your friends were in a large hotel room for a meeting or celebration of some sort, and you saw where a fire had started at the other end of the hotel. Would it be your privilege to know that information, or would you feel an urgent responsibility to run and tell your friends that they must leave their celebration and get far away from that hotel which may soon burn to the ground? May I suggest that our responsibility to God is very similar, for we see friends walking in the danger of eternal death every day, while we keep bottled up inside the ‘GIFT’ of Jesus Christ, that God sent to this world on that very first day – whose anniversary we celebrate as ‘Christmas’. However, this highlights how way too often we miss our God-given responsibility of sharing that reconciliation, that joy, that hope and that peace with our family and friends, who could very easily be walking into the fires of Hell, because of their lack of knowledge, lack of convincing by us, or just plain lack of concern for themselves, because they are too busy enjoying the ‘fun’ things of life. Not a fun thing for you to consider on the biggest day of gift-giving, but may I remind you that this is the greatest ‘gift’ that we have ever been given, and it is so important that we share this with others around the tree with us today! For this will give family and friends the kind of ‘gift’ mentioned in vs 17 & 18 – a new take on life; forgetting the ugliness of the past, and discovering the gift of newness in Christ so that our conscience will be clear between us and God – a brand new lease on life! For those of us who have the ‘gift’ already, remember that this is quite different to any other ‘gift’ we will receive under the tree – it is one given to us so that we might share it with others and convince them to accept the ‘Gift’ personally. We become ‘Gift’ demonstrators and imitators, not ‘Gift’ users or destroyers, because we become ambassadors for Jesus Christ – the ‘GIFT’ send to us by His Father. The ‘Gift’ that started this whole Christmas celebration. So if you are feeling down and out about the financial burdens of gift-giving this Christmas, please consider accepting the greatest ‘Gift’ ever given. What will it cost you? The total surrender of all your sins, your regrets, your past for which you may not be very proud. The ‘Gift’ of which I am referring, was totally paid for in blood, by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He paid in full, so that through His ultimate ‘Gift’ we might live with the assurance of eternal life with Him one day! Wow, what a ‘Gift’, and this can be ours today! And can by yours today also dear friend!

PRAYER: Thank you precious Father for the ‘Gift’ of Your Son that You sent as a baby in Bethlehem. An occasion that we celebrate as ‘Christmas’. As we celebrate that significant occasion today, may we reflect on the reason for the gift, the joy of the gift, the everlasting value of the gift, and the ultimate cost of that ‘Gift’ in order that His purpose would be fulfilled. Thank You for the ‘Gift’ in the manger at Bethlehem, and thank You for the ultimate cost of that ‘Gift’ so that we might one day see You in glory! Make Yourself very present today as we open our presents, and may we receive You as quickly as we receive our presents from under the tree today. Thank You Lord Jesus for touching us in such a way that we enjoy a worldwide celebration of Your birth each year – today! May we truly understand the significance of that gift, is my humble prayer that I offer up to You in total thanksgiving and praise, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! 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!

Christmas Love

December 22, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE – New International Version (NIV) ~ Psalm 36:5-7 Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

THOUGHTS: I have a nephew who told my wife that he loved her “to the moon”! The Psalmist also resorted to sharing his love for God in similar measures. This is really amazing when you consider that most people will describe their love in terms of an arm’s length, or similar. I believe there are many times that we are so overwhelmed with God’s love that it may be challenging to describe the extent of our love. Challenging because we live in a world where children become fed up with the arguing and lack of love at home, so they leave with every intent never to return. Think about the broken marriages where one or both of the parties may have felt like the measurement of love for each other had dwindled past zero and gone into a negative measurement. A desperate feeling of hopelessness in consideration of love for each other. Now to the contrary, ponder with me about the love of God. The One who made everything, including you and I, yet when He saw that we were drifting away from Him (in sin), He decided to create the scene that we try to duplicate every year at Christmastime. Through the purity of a virgin girl, God caused His Son Jesus to be born for the purpose of being the ultimate sacrifice that would clear the veil that separates sin from purity; righteousness; faithfulness; justice and unfailing love – God Himself. In fact, this is what our Christmas celebration should be all about! Celebrating the greatest gift ever given for the greatest sacrifice ever imagined. Love beyond any possible measurement or description. Love for the undeserving – you and me. Wouldn’t it be great for us to say in our Christmas card this year that: following in the example of Jesus Christ, we are sending our sacrificial love so that the recipient might enjoy life to the fullest at Christmas time and throughout the New year? I trust that this year we might be able to step back and ponder, like David, how immeasurable the love, faithfulness, righteousness and justice of Jesus has really been to us, and in doing so, look for new ways to appreciate the love of our awesome God that created the Christ of Christmas!

PRAYER: To the God of immeasurable love, we say thank You, for Your love reaches way into the heavens. Lord, may we catch a glimpse of the baby in the manger this Christmas way more than the gifts around the Christmas tree. Gifts come and go, but the baby born to Mary was sent out of love for each of us. I pray that we may not only concentrate on the core reason for our celebration, but that we may express our thanksgiving from the depths of our heart. Lord, I pray that each home celebrating this Christmas will also find ways to return their love to God in appreciations for all that His Son went through for our benefit. Thank You for Your incredible love for us Lord Jesus. May we love and appreciate You in return, is my humble prayer this Christmas, that I ask in the name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! 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!

Our Response to the Christmas Child – Jesus

December 19, 2015

THE HOLY BIBLE – The Good News Translation (GNT) ~ Deuteronomy 10:20-21 Obey the Lord your God and worship only him. Be faithful to him and make your promises in his name alone. Praise him—he is your God, and you have seen with your own eyes the great and astounding things that he has done for you.

THOUGHTS: If you have not discovered this already, I believe that as you read the Word of God, you will recognize that mankind has not changed a whole lot. Yes, in spite of all that we read about that happened in the days of Moses, you and I are still just a stubborn and sinful as our ancestors were. The Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness, which you would have thought was plenty enough time for God to work on them. Plenty enough time for them to see God at work, in how He provided for their every need, and how He fought their battles for them, protected them from harm, and loved them enough to see them rise from the life of slavery they were subject to in Egypt. Now that they are in sight of the luscious, fruitful, beautiful land to which God had led them, wouldn’t you think that they would probably be flat on their faces before God in praise and thanksgiving? But wait just a moment, we have learned about the great works of God all of our lives; we have the added knowledge about Jesus and how he came miraculously as a child, then 33 short years later was murdered at the hands of folk just like you and I – all for the forgiveness of our sin. In fact, during His short life, and even still today, He has performed mighty miracles in many forms. If we had done a better job than the Israelites in learning from our past, I believe that one would conclude that we must be building churches every time you look around to accommodate appreciative Christians. You know, the ones who can’t wait on church doors to open for corporate praise and worship services; and who are so anxious to attend midweek corporate prayer services, if only to lift up holy hands and hearts in an attitude of thanksgiving. Friends, I don’t know about your church, but this is not what I am seeing at my church. I don’t know what conclusion you have come to, based on the excuses you hear why our friends and/or family see no need to prioritize this important act of worship, but in most cases it’s very similar to the Israelites: “it’s the only time I have for myself”; “my husband has a cold and I needed to stay with him”; “my kids had a sleepover”; “this is the only day of the year that I could possibly make it to the beach”; “my favorite sports team is playing this afternoon and I had to prepare for friends coming to watch the game with me”, etc, etc. Would you please remind me again why we are so tough on the Israelites who messed up time and time again in the wilderness? What do you suppose God is comforting His Son with when He hears some of our excuses? Might He be wondering again why it was necessary to die for such an ungrateful bunch? We are in the Christmas season, and you would think that we are on our way to the manger to worship the new born King, but where again are the majority of folk you know? Can’t you hear the many, many excuses much louder than the carols of Christmas or the message that the angels first proclaimed? Isn’t it unfortunate that we hear the cash register dings, much louder than the Christmas bells proclaiming the birth of our Savior? Moses pleaded with his people who were about to make some important choices as they left him, to be faithful to the God who brought them through. I would humbly plead with all those reading this devotional, to be faithful to the God that loves you so much that He gave you everything He had, and it wasn’t even Christmas! How do you plan to react to that kind of love?

PRAYER: Lord God, thank You for taking such awesome care of our ancestors while traveling to the land You had promised them. May I humbly ask that You tender our hearts today and help us to recognize the outstanding God that You are to us each and every day? Please help us to ‘Think God First’ so that nothing else will come between us and our times for praise and worship to Your powerful name. Lord, You are good and Your mercies endures forever! Thank You for having loved us when we were unlovable. Thank You for loving us in our current state, and praise to Your wonderful name Heavenly Father. Thank You for loving us enough to provide a promised land for us – heaven, where we will one day soon united with You and worship You through all time and eternity. We are so needy, but praise God You are so worthy! Blessed be Your wonderful and powerful name! AMEN and AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! 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 Most Intimate part of our Life!

December 25, 2014

The Holy Bible

29 Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

30 Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted. 31–32Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

(Bible Translation and Location: The Message – Ephesians 4:29-32)

Thoughts:

No doubt Paul was facing challenges at the churches he was ministering at much like we experience today. However, what was made abundantly clear to me this morning as I read these verses is that we not only hurt our Brothers and Sisters by the things we say and do, but the Holy Spirit is very hurt by our harsh words and our unloving actions. The reason I believe that the Holy Spirit is grieved and disappointed in us, is that God the Father sacrificed His one and only Son in order that we might have a new life in Him, one that is free from the filth and dirt of a world stained by Satan. It just crushes the heart of my Savior when, from all appearances, we have disregarded this precious gift of God, and still continue to live like the devil. Worse still, God expects this type behavior out of those who know no better, because they don’t know Him nor His expectation for their life. However, the real disappointment comes when a person says ‘yes’ to Jesus and then continue on with their old lifestyle. It’s like saying to God, this is my life and I will live it as I please. Friends, as children of God, we not only have His assurance of being always present in us and with us through every circumstance in life, but we are also endowed with:

  • His love – to love others in the same way that He first loved us;
  • His power – to overcome the Evil one and all the distractions and attractions of this world;
  • His humility – to love even the person that may have hurt us or tried to humiliate us; and
  • His understanding – that opens our eyes to right vs wrong; love vs hatred; peace vs war/envy/strife.

Friends, I believe it is suffice to say that with God’s Holy Spirit residing inside of us, there is nothing that we can’t overcome and nothing that prevents us from showing the love of Christ to all that we come into contact with. We celebrate Christmas because of the precious gift given to us through the Lord Jesus, so that we might be overcomers; children of God and one with Him. Let’s choose to die to our old selves and allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with His qualities, so that we may represent Him before a lost and dying world, won’t you?

Prayer:

Lord, You gave us the greatest gift possible when You sent Your Son as a child in Bethlehem. For at that time You purposed in Your heart that Jesus would be our SAVIOR. You did this in spite of our sin, our unworthiness and our nature. It was mere love for a race that You created to love, honor and worship You, however a race but still chose to do otherwise. With this type love as a backdrop in our lives, please help us to always strive towards imitating that type love. Your ultimate love was shown on the cross, where You allowed the ugliness of sin and darkness to win, so that Your life might be sacrificed for mankind. Please help us to sacrifice all that we feel is important to us, and instead allow Your love to envelope us and express itself through us, so that others will see Jesus in us and want to know Him personally! Jesus, thank You for coming to earth, so that we may one day come to heaven to live with You forever! I love You Lord, and I ask all these things believing in You, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! 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!

Know Jesus, Know Peace Forevermore

December 24, 2014

The Holy Bible

6 A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, “Wonderful Counsellor”, “Mighty God”, “Eternal Father”, “Prince of Peace”. His royal power will continue to grow; his kingdom will always be at peace. He will rule as King David’s successor, basing his power on right and justice, from now until the end of time. The Lord Almighty is determined to do all this.

(Bible Translation and Location: Good News Translation – Isaiah 9:6-7)

Thoughts:

There is no coincidence in my reading plan taking me precisely to this passage on Christmas Eve! For I believe that although the story is told over and over each year, we should never tire of hearing the Good News of our Savior’s birth, for it reminds us that there was a long term reason for His birth and that it would not just impact the lives of the Jews and Gentiles spoken to in the days that the Bible was written, but this news is still very applicable to us today. You see, much like the Jews and Gentiles, where they were not sure how much more they could handle from the society in which they lived, so it is with us today when we stop and ponder over the atrocities of our day. Isaiah, through his prophesies, told his people that there was light at the end of the tunnel, for a Son would be born who would free them from their bondage. God, through His written Word is also reminding us, friends, that there is Light for us also, there is eternal peace, love and hope for those who would accept this same Jesus, of whom Isaiah spoke, as our Lord and Savior. Allow me to share a few words from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on this passage: This Child was born for the benefit of us men, of us sinners, of all believers, from the beginning to the end of the world. Justly is he called Wonderful, for he is both God and man. His love is the wonder of angels and glorified saints. He is the Counsellor, for he knew the counsels of God from eternity; and he gives counsel to men, in which he consults our welfare. He is the Wonderful Counsellor; none teaches like him. He is God, the mighty One. Such is the work of the Mediator, that no less power than that of the mighty God could bring it to pass. He is God, one with the Father. As the Prince of Peace, he reconciles us to God; he is the Giver of peace in the heart and conscience; and when his kingdom is fully established, men shall learn war no more. The government shall be upon him; he shall bear the burden of it. Glorious things are spoken of Christ’s government. There is no end to the increase of its peace, for the happiness of its subjects shall last for ever.
I pray that our celebration of ‘Christmas’ this year will bring a fresh new meaning to the Peace, Love and Hope that is ours who belong to Jesus. He has offered this to all who would believe in Him, per John 3:16. For those who are in for the gifts this Christmas, I pray that you would accept the true gift of Christmas and surrender your life to His control from this Christmas forward! Know Jesus, and Know Peace for evermore friend!

Prayer:

Happy Birthday Jesus! Thank You for opening Your kingdom to humble, undeserving man! As we celebrate Your birth this Christmas, please make us keenly aware of Your life, death and resurrection so that we may truly be made aware of Your purpose for coming to this earth. Probably worse than the Jews and Gentiles ever imagined back in the day of Isaiah, we need You even more today. Satan is rampant in our world and there are very evil things occurring all around us. You have promised in your Word that You will come back and collect Your own. Come Lord Jesus, even today come Lord Jesus! May we truly concentrate on the ‘Christ‘ in CHRISTmas tomorrow and not the ‘Material things that Always Spoil’ as in christMAS! I love You Lord and pledge to worship only You this Christmas! My requests are presented in the only name worthy of praise, Jesus my King, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! 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!

Qualities for a Perfect Christmas!

December 22, 2014

The Holy Bible

1 Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – Ephesians 4:1-3)

Thoughts:

At this time of the church year I was very tempted to share a few verses with you from Isaiah 7 where the birth of Jesus was prophesied, and which was my Old Testament reading for today. However, when I came to my New Testament reading and meditated on the chosen verses, I believe God revealed to me that there would really be no Christmas celebration this year without the peace and love that this new born King brings to our lives. Friends, in my upbringing I was taught to represent my ancestry well, and to not bring shame on the family. In my work life I was taught to represent my profession well, whether inside the four walls of my institution or out, for I am always representing my profession. Our challenge in today’s scripture is that many of you reading this devotional, like me, probably know the same Savior that I do, and we are being challenged to represent Him well. In fact, to be considered worthy of the calling He has made on our lives, we are reminded in these verses to always be humble, gentle, patient with each other and to make allowances for the faults of each other, because of God’s perfect love in us. Because of the pressures brought upon us through the commercialization of Christmas, this time of the year often tends to bring out the worst in us, instead of the godly qualities mentioned. How might we overcome and be the people that God ordained for His work? Let’s remember that Christmas is all about Jesus, not the gifts we put under the tree or the stresses of insufficient money to buy all that we might want to buy. Succeeding in being a child of the King in every way is far more important than anything our TV advertising might tell us. Humility, gentleness, patience and our love for Jesus is not something we can purchase at the store, yet with Jesus as King of our lives, we can offer lots of these qualities to all that we might wish a Merry Christmas to this year! Let’s pray for each other because of Jesus, instead of getting under each others skin because of the world’s idea of Christmas!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I am reminded that there was no money needed for Your birth – not for a hospital, nor a hotel, nor a crib, nor a car to take you home in. Please help us to return the simplicity shown at Your birth to the celebration of Your birth this Christmas. Let us concentrate more on the Christ child that makes up Christmas and the qualities that You brought to our lives when we claimed You as our King. As we enjoy the richness of fellowship one with another and the warmth of remembering the Christ child born to not only rescue Israel (as in Isaiah 7), but to also save mankind for a future and everlasting life with You in glory, may we then truly celebrate ‘CHRISTMAS’ and be filled with Your presence so that we may go on impacting lives for You in our everyday walk and talk. It’s all about You Jesus, may we keep it that way this Christmas! Happy Birthday Jesus! I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! 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!