Reassuring Trust In Church Leaders

Churches split and Christendom is seriously damaged when a church leader is found in contempt of the very Word of God they have preached and/or promoted for years, especially to the unsaved and the unchurched. In Paul’s effort to clarify his position to the Corinthian church, I believe He provided some real direction to churches today when there is reason to question their leaders. This is a sensitive issue , so stay with me as we discuss this in more detail.

DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-07-11
WRITTEN AT: O Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Corinthians 1:12-13; 17-19;
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 12 We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you. 13 Our letters have been straightforward, and there is nothing written between the lines and nothing you can’t understand. I hope someday you will fully understand us.
17 …. Do you think I am like people of the world who say “Yes” when they really mean “No”? 18 As surely as God is faithful, our word to you does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” 19 For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.”….

APPLICATION: The church that is considered ‘perfect’ in the eyes of its membership, is probably most successful when it keeps the struggles that embattle their leadership, behind the scenes. After all, church leadership is made up of human men and/or women. In many cases, church leadership is made up of the same men and women who are challenged with their kids, struggle in their marriages, and possibly written up for various reasons at work. Having been there and done that, I was stricken by the Holy Spirit to carefully read what Paul, a notable saint of God, shared with one of his churches. Let’s take a deep dive into the words of Paul, which we know were inspired by the Holy Spirit, for his words to be included in God’s book of Instruction to us:
~ A God-given holiness and sincerity in all dealings (vs 12) – Because we deal with mere humans in church leadership, we can understand why this may be hard for parishioners to believe. After all, we insist on audits of church financial records, because of the horror stories of theft at some churches. We insist on a buddy system for counseling, because we have heard horror stories of misappropriation between counselors and counselees. BUT I believe that Paul wanted his church to know that he is aiming for perfection as he follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. He therefore shared with the church the principles that he had chosen to live by, with God’s help. I pray that each leader will strive to live as Paul taught, and that each reader will find men and women of God-like character in their church leadership;
~ Depending on God’s grace and not on human wisdom (vs 12) – In each of us, I believe that we are so tainted by the world, that it is always challenging for others to see the grace of God at work in us. We will always try to clarify the process by which we have made decisions regarding the church. However, when we depend on God, it is easy to explain how He guided us through His Word and through His almighty power to the decision He wants made for His church. Which do you see most often by your church leadership;
~ Straightforward letters (vs 13) – There are times when we need an attorney to review certain documents, because we want to make sure that there are no hidden agendas included between the lines. It is interesting, but also conniving how we could place our words just right in a document that leaves the interpretation totally up to the recipient! Paul assured his church that this was not his style of writing. Do you feel the same way about correspondence from your church leadership?
– Let you “Yes” be yes, and your “No” be no (vs 17) – If asked a pointed question, will it depend on the response from the others as to how you might respond? If your church leadership is prayed up and honest in God’s sight, each of them will know how God wants them to individually respond, regardless of what the others might say.
Friends, in all honesty, church leadership is a very challenging thing. Because leaders must learn to put aside personal agendas and wait for the Lord to impress upon them what He wants. Let me encourage every reader and listener to pray diligently for your church leaders. Pray that they will learn to empty themselves of selfish pride and personal agendas, and wait on the Lord for His direction in His church.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Imitate Jesus in our lives and our dealings with others, so that God may bless our efforts and our dealings with others.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You were perfect in the sight of Your Father, yet You were criticized, judged and rejected by mankind. I should expect no less, but please direct my path and keep me on the straight and narrow path so that I may be pleasing to my all-knowing God. Please Lord, give wisdom to our church leaders and guide them in the very critical matters they govern. Trying to gently deal with mankind, while staying true to our perfect God is extremely challenging. Please Lord, always give contentment to our church leaders who strive to always please You, and intervene on their behalf as their church members seek to trust and obey their decisions. You alone are our ultimate Judge, so I pray that we would always strive to please You in all that we do and say. Please remove the desire to please mankind, less our churches become more like the world than their God they were designed to honor and obey. May we always be pleasing in your sight so that You may accomplish Your work through us and our churches. 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!

Remove The Evil One

Perhaps like me, your parents also warned you about which friends you would hang around with, and which ones were off limit! It seemed like our parents were cruel and hateful in their judgement of our friend’s character, but as adults we can reflect back and often see the trouble that developed in their lives. Our parents wanted the very best for us. I believe this Scripture is teaching us that it is equally important that we keep God’s church holy, just as He is holy, and not let the evil settle in among us. Let’s delve into this together.

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2022-05-01
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that.11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”

APPLICATION: I was in conversation yesterday with a few apartment tenants in a large city, and I overheard them talking about the warnings of eviction that were threatened by their landlord, and I believe it seems like an appropriate illustration, just as in the case of our upbringing, as they both open the door to discuss how God’s holy people are set apart unto Him. It is evident that in the case of our parents, they wanted no bad thing to distract from what they were teaching us at home, for parents try to help their children learn to always aim for what is best in life for their own good. It also goes to say that parents want to teach us that if we see behavior that is opposite to what we aim to live, then we should force ourselves away from that person or persons who lead that lifestyle. Similarly, landlords aim at finding the best tenants who will pay their rent on time and treat their building and fellow tenants with due respect. When either of these things become questionable, the landlord seeks to evict that questionable tenant, with hopes of finding one that better suites the desires of the landlord. Now, when Jesus gets a hold of our heart and invites us to let Him in, He teaches us in His Word how it is that He wants us to live so that He might be best represented, so that other non-repentant sinners may be wooed into the Kingdom. So we start to spend a lot of time around church, and with fellow believers, so that we may grow from each other’s strength and encouragement. But what happens when a ‘bad apple’ finds their way into our fellowship? I believe that our Scripture perfectly supports the very old proverb that says ‘one bad apple spoils the whole bunch’! You see, Christians have become so accustomed to ‘loving like Jesus’, that we tend to forget that an important part of loving is to also discipline those who are about to ‘spoil the whole bunch’. In our parents home, if they don’t discipline bad behavior or otherwise breaking their rules, then our siblings quickly catch on to the fact that the rules set by our parents are not really intended to be followed seriously. All of a sudden we see children grow into maturity and expect to view the rules established by police and community leaders in much the same, lax way. Dear friends, I am convinced that there is nothing more serious than us trying to please our Heavenly Father. In Deuteronomy 17:7, the Israelites were told by God that when they discover ‘one bad apple’, they are to rid themselves of that evil. Paul quoted that Scripture to the church in Corinth as he taught them how to rid themselves of the evil that may come in their midst. I believe that for those who have been around for a while, we can look around and see where many standards have been lowered compared to what our ancestors understood from the Scriptures and tolerated in the church. I can only wonder what God might have to say to us on Judgment Day. Is He pleased with the way that we are interpreting His commands, and the little twists we are making to them in the name of politically correctness, or in the name of ‘love’? I believe that if we find reason to question our decision on some of these ‘evil’, controversial, or otherwise borderline things, then perhaps we need more time with God – on our knees and in His Word, until we are convinced that we are obedient to His will. When we question evil in someone else, the whole church may look back at us as also being imperfect. So let’s begin with getting ourselves better aligned with God’s perfect law, design, and will. If we are pleasing in God’s sight, then the same should carry over as we assume leadership in our churches and strive to rid them of evil.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: In obedience to God, we are often called to love one another. But at times, it also means disciplining, as needed. I believe that God will bless us when we do both of these things for His glory, and for no gain of our own.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for the love that You extend to all your children – even during the times that You love us enough to discipline us. Please teach us daily to: love like You first loved us; judge honestly and fairly like we expect from You; always seek out the best in everyone; and to always present ourselves and Your church as holy in Your eyes, just as You are holy. Lord, You know how badly we fail in life, but thanks for Your forgiveness and strength to go on. May the people see Jesus evident in every fiber of our being, and therefore no condemnation for our failures already covered by Your precious blood. 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!

Build A Sanctuary Where God Abides

I would imagine that most readers go to a modern sanctuary to worship God, or they are contemplating building one soon. As we meditate on Exodus 25, let your minds wonder on the differences in the instructions given to the Israelites compared to the sanctuaries we build today. What are some of the differences, and might it matter to the God we worship in those sanctuaries?

DATE POSTED Thursday, 2022-02-24
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Exodus 25:8-9
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: “Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them. You must build this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you.

APPLICATION: The Israelites had wandered in the wilderness, and even after seeing God’s mighty hand at work in protecting them, feeding them, and guiding them, yet they just could not accept the fact that He deserved their undivided devotion, honor, worship and praise. So God called Moses and his support leaders to a meeting and He relayed how everything will be, going forward. As I meditated on the instructions given to Moses, I was struck, and went into deep thought about what God might say to our leaders today regarding the Sanctuary of the Lord. Will His instructions today be more applicable to our times, or might He demand similar instructions to those that He gave to Moses? Here are some thoughts:
-o- Gold, Silver and Jewels – God demanded that the people build something extremely unique, expensive and something that required their very best and most precious belongings. Many parts of the Ark, and the sanctuary were to be lavished in gold. Can you imagine the security we would have to provide for a building adorned in gold today? But what are our concept of gold in a church environment today? Is it too much for the God of this universe? I remember visiting a Christian-based park, and the bathroom fixtures were gold (or at least gold plated). My first thoughts went on how much the owners must have ripped off from its visitors and followers. Isn’t that sad? Shouldn’t I have given glory to God for these owners who wanted to show the world that God deserves our very best? But don’t we sometimes tend to think that anything will do for our church buildings?
-o- A place for God to live – When leaders evaluate options for their church buildings, I wonder how much consideration is given to the building being the place where God resides, or where we meet with God, versus how lavish the offices should be, or the refreshment area, or the children’s play areas. Let me be quick to say that in ministering to the whole family, all of these things are undoubtably important, but we must always remember that they are secondary to us having a place conducive to meeting with God. Notice that God attributed no value to who else will make use of the sanctuary, for its sole purpose was for the Israelites to meet with God.
Notice that God called the leaders aside and gave the instructions about the sanctuary they should build for His glory. Is that the way it happens today, or do we become over zealous in have the biggest, greatest and most expensive buildings in town. Some leaders are finding the need to add a Bowling Alley to their church facilities. Do you imagine that God gave those instructions? Perhaps instead of gold ornaments and fixtures, they thought to spend that money on something to attract young men and women off the streets, right? I pray that God will not see me in a judgmental way in this blog today. I merely wanted to share my thoughts – perhaps God’s whisperings to me as I read this account today. I believe that God will speak to us individually through His Word, including today’s Scripture, if we welcome Him in. Perhaps He wants each believer to be intimate with Him about every need or concern, even our respective church facilities. There may be some that merely attend church for an hour on Sunday mornings, and they feel content that they have met this ‘religious’ tradition, or commitment for the week. God may be saying to you that He needs you involved in every aspect of His work, even down to His sanctuary – whether existing or in the process of upgrading to meet the needs of His people that want to have a closer walk with Him. God’s Word is one of the primary ways of you hearing His voice as he directs your path. It’s important to listen, and obey, dear friends!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God speaks to us through His Word! May our hearts be open to His direction and His leading today – even if that includes His Sanctuary.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, You are all-powerful and all-mighty in every way. You created us in Your image so that we might be like You, and that we might have a desire to please You in all walks of life. Thank You for opening our eyes today to the simple, but extravagant building of Your sanctuary. Please continue to remind us of the importance of meeting with You each day, and especially when we visit with You in Your sanctuary. Bless us O Lord as we seek to honor, serve and obey Your commands. 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!

Great Leaders Do This

Imagine a husband, a dad, a pastor, a senator, or a president being asked to follow the example of the Israelite’s new kings coming into power? No doubt our world will be a better place to live in, wouldn’t it? Read the Scripture again and meditate with me on how lax we have become in our leadership!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-07-31
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Deuteronomy 17:18-20
TRANSLATION:Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 18 The official copy of God’s laws will be kept by the priests of the Levi tribe. So, as soon as anyone becomes king, he must go to the priests and write out a copy of these laws while they watch. 19 Each day the king must read and obey these laws, so that he will learn to worship the Lord with fear and trembling 20 and not think that he’s better than everyone else.

APPLICATION: Especially since I started using the computer for almost everything that I do, I despise having to write anything out. I’m sure you are much more disciplined than that! But I believe that in writing something out, you tend to remember the content much better than just reading the text from already printed material. The first thing that caught my attention was the fact that the incoming king would have to sit down in front of the priests and write out for himself a copy of God’s laws. I would like for us to think for a moment how effective it would be today in the following cases:
~ A Husband – Imagine if a new husband had to only write out the laws surrounding being a godly husband. Wouldn’t he tend to be more careful how he loves, provides, protects, cares for, lead by example, teaches his new wife the ways of the Lord, etc? Wouldn’t he be an excellent choice when you vote in deacons or elders in your church the next time?
~ A Dad – Don’t you know that we would have much less crime and delinquency in our world today if dad’s got their training from the Word of God, instead of the local bar, or from their hunting/fishing buddies, or from the company executive who could only handle being home on weekends? Imagine, they will know how to train up a child in the way they should go, and when they enter adulthood they will also honor the ways of the Lord!
~ A Pastor and/or Church Leader – These individuals come into leadership depending on their training from outgoing leaders, or the ones that remain. Imagine, being trained by men who may, or may not have the above disciplines in their personal lives? What might be the result? The same mistakes that have always occurred! Imagine the great leader who takes time to study and understand God’s Word every day!
~ Political Leaders – It seems very evident that as long as leaders outdo the opposition, or make them look as badly as possible in man’s eyes, then they receive a great rating from their constituents. What if they were required to spend weeks, or months, reading the constitution for themselves and writing down what God instructed in His Word? Can’t you imagine that they will be less apt to go after the opposition, or seek revenge, all of which is at the expense of the constituents, but instead they will rule in accordance with the laws you have given them, and the commands of our ultimate ruler, Almighty God?
Oh, and whatever else they may, or may not, find time to do in their day, the above individuals must always read the law every day so that they will be sure to obey it consistently. What kind of home, church and country leaders might we wind up having, dear friends? Would you want to live in their country? My friend, God has the plans in place for our leaders and ourselves to be successful, if only we will honor Him, honor His Word, and live to please Him alone. Before you point fingers at anyone else, consider the degree to which you are living by God’s laws.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: In return for obeying God’s commands, He will make us successful and honor us with a long, happy and healthy life. God being our helper, may each reader and listener commit to this today!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, we admit that we are well aware why You felt the need for these commands for the Israelites. However, we have continued their bad habits, and in many cases we have become more entrenched in sin and evil. Please forgive us of our sin, and impress upon each one again today, the importance of living and ruling in accordance with the commands You have given to us. Things have gone so far, that it is virtually impossible for us to imagine a world like You first designed, and for which Your laws were designed. Lord, we need You in every part of our lives more today than ever before. Please invoke Your presence in our everyday lives so that the world might still see You at work here on earth. 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!

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!

Consequences for Criticizing God’s Servant

In today’s church environment, it seems like many will criticize the man of God for things like: his style of preaching; the volume he uses to deliver the Word of God; his dress code; if he looks at a particular section of the church while delivering his message; etc. Our Scripture today tells us that God questioned Miriam and Aaron about not being afraid to criticize His messenger, and He followed through by penalizing Miriam for her actions. As we meditate on this Scripture today, consider laying yourself honestly before God to examine you for similar actions as Miriam.

Wednesday, 2019-11-20

Bible Reference: Numbers 12:5-10
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  5 …the Lord descended in the pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle. “Aaron and Miriam!” he called, and they stepped forward. 6 And the Lord said to them, “Now listen to what I say: If there were prophets among you, I, the Lord, would reveal myself in visions. I would speak to them in dreams. 7 But not with my servant Moses. Of all my house, he is the one I trust. 8 I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the Lord as he is. So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses?” The Lord was very angry with them, and he departed. 10 As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin as white as snow from leprosy.

OBSERVATION: In today’s church environment, it seems like many will criticize the man of God for things like: his style of preaching; the volume he uses to deliver the Word of God; his dress code; if he looks at a particular section of the church while delivering his message; etc. Our Scripture today tells us that God questioned Miriam and Aaron about not being afraid to criticize His messenger, and He followed through by penalizing Miriam for her actions. As we meditate on this Scripture today, consider laying yourself honestly before God to examine you for similar actions as Miriam.

APPLICATION:  I would strongly encourage you to read the short chapter from which this scripture reference was taken, for it had a profound impact on me. Click on the scripture reference above and you will be taken to a place where you could read all 16 verses. You will get a better understanding in verse 3 why God took such a fierce stand against the sister and brother of Moses, for the Word declares that Moses was the most humble man on earth at the time. I believe this was included to help us understand that Moses would probably have loved his siblings regardless of what they may have said about him. What a humbling honor to be considered as the humblest man on earth, wow! Does that not automatically cause us to question ourselves and what we might do to be more humble in God’s eyes? However, this criticizing of God’s servant, truly angered God, and He dealt with it severely. He had Moses and his siblings go to the tabernacle, and there He called Miriam and Aaron to step forward as He was about to speak directly to them, and He wanted Moses to witness this. Friends, I want you to read verses 6 through 8 and imagine yourself in place of Miriam and Aaron for anything derogatory you may have spoken or thought about your Pastor or other called church leader. Don’t you know that these men have sacrificed their entire lives to Christ, instead of any possible worldly success? They have submitted themselves to God, and surrendered to the call of Christ to serve Him in the positions He has prepared just for them? Are we then not like Miriam and Aaron, where we are criticizing God for the man He has placed as His leader in our local assemblies? I would strongly caution you that we had better be very careful to pray for our leaders and their humbleness to closely obey God’s commands for His local church. Notice that there is no indication that Moses complained to God about the bad things his siblings were saying. God knew their hearts, He heard their words and saw their actions, and He subsequently reacted very harshly – not just with a tongue lashing, but actually imposed on the ringleader (Miriam) the horrible decease of leprosy. This caused her to be placed outside of the camp (city) for 7 days, even in spite of Moses’ plea with God to heal her. Friends, we must learn from this that we must respect God first of all and, in turn, those whom He chooses as His representatives among us – our pastors and church leaders. We must also learn that God loves His humble servants so much that He will stand in the gap for them. So if you are a called person of God and reading this devotional, please know that God has your back. Be committed to Him and serve Him faithfully, knowing that He will take care of the back-biting, gossip and ridicule. If God has truly placed you as His leader to His people, it is He who is more hurt by the backlash from His people, as they are really questioning His authority. Child of God, pray, pray, pray for the men of God that He places to serve you at your church. May we all be found faithful and true to our Master, until the day He calls us home to glory!

PRAYER: Lord God, Almighty Father, thank You for the picture of love for Your humble servant, and the reassurance that there is no reason why You would still not protect Your servants even today. It is so easy to get caught up in complaining or whining about our leaders, especially when they don’t pat our backs just right, or say the things that we like to hear. Please help us to stay focused on Your Word, for I believe that as we do, then we will appreciate the words from the leaders You have placed in charge of ministering to us. Please teach us to be humble like Your servant Moses, and also teach us to follow Your pattern of obedience when it comes to our spiritual leaders. As church leaders, we badly need encouragement for boldness before Your people, yet humbleness to always seek Your face so that we can seek Your favor for Your people. As followers of Christ, please help us to always pray for, and encourage our church leaders as they seek to obey You and follow Your commands for our respective churches. You are holy and deserving of our praise, worship and honor, and when we do this, perhaps we won’t have time to ridicule and/or gossip about our Brothers and Sisters! I love You lord for who You are, and I ask these things in faith and in the name of Jesus my Savior, AMEN!

God Knows Your Heart ……… And your Love for Him

In this book of Revelation, God is speaking to the seven churches about their condition, and the subsequent result of their condition. For the church at Ephesus, God was pleased with some aspects of their ministry, but in these two verses we can see where God is getting to the root of their ineffectiveness. Let’s pay close attention to this, because I believe we will find God speaking to us about our own respective churches as we study this Book.

Monday, 2018-11-26

Bible Reference: Revelation 2:4-5
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.

OBSERVATION: In this book of Revelation, God is speaking to the seven churches about their condition, and the subsequent result of their condition. For the church at Ephesus, God was pleased with some aspects of their ministry, but in these two verses we can see where God is getting to the root of their ineffectiveness. Let’s pay close attention to this, because I believe we will find God speaking to us about our own respective churches as we study this Book.

APPLICATION: From time to time we hear of many churches that fail for various reasons. Often we will hear of churches declining at such a rate, that it will only be the matter of time before they are forced to close their doors. Friends, churches are made up of folk like you and I, so when we say that our church is failing, I believe that we are really saying that we have become a sorry people. I know, that sounds really harsh. But allow me to challenge myself and you with a few sobering questions: When last have you prayed for your pastor? When last have you attended prayer meetings, to join hearts and souls in prayer about the needs of God’s people? Do you tithe and give generously to the work of the local church? Just like you need money to run your home, so the church needs money to pay salaries, and other operational expenses, plus support worldwide missions. When last have you visited the sick or helped the widow in need? No, that’s not the responsibility of the pastor, for we all should be obedient to the Word of God. Friends, I believe that when the church – you and I, becomes ‘the church’ and we follow the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ, then it will be evident who rules and reigns over us. People still need the Lord, and when they see God at work through His people, then perhaps they will be convinced of His existence and their need to accept Him as Lord. Looking back at our focal verses, we will see that God accused the church at Ephesus of losing their first love. Please take a moment and meditate on the days and weeks following your conversion. Remember how ‘in love’ you were with Jesus? I know, you still love Him, right? But I want you and I to think of the differences that are evident in our love now, compared to our love for Jesus at the time I referred to. What happened? I believe that such an influence of this old world has found its way into our lives, that our actions now portray more of the world than that of the One who saved us. Will the church – we the body, survive and flourish like this? Do people that we touch see more of Christ, or the world? Unless they unmistakably see Christ, let’s not think for a moment that we have a flourishing church. Examine yourselves and draw close to the One who gave up everything for you my friend. Only what’s done for Jesus will truly last!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for not giving up on us. Your Word is a light to our path, because It illuminates our earthly condition, that is often far from the path that You have laid out for Your people. Lord, we want our family and friends to know the Lord, so we want to look and sound more like You in everything we do and say every day. Please touch us once again and draw us close to You. May we become Your hands and feet on the ground, so that our people can see You and experience You when they come into contact with us. AMEN!

The Impact of Sin by Our Leaders

It is terrifying for God’s people to sit and watch while their leaders worship idols and foreign gods, because we know that our God is a jealous God and that He deserves all of our praise. However it is an awful thing when our leaders ignore God’s warnings and continue in sin to the point that God demands the punishment of all people under their rule. In our Scripture today, God was very angry with the people under the reign of these leaders, and I believe that it’s because they sat idly by while the leaders took the whole country to Hell with them. Don’t we feel the same way even today? Let’s look to the Scriptures!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Chronicles 24:18 (NLT)

TEXT: 18 The king and these leaders stopped worshiping in the Temple of the LORD, the God of their ancestors. Instead, they began to worship the Asherah idols and other idols. Because they did wrong, God was angry with the people of Judah and Jerusalem.

OBSERVATION:   It is terrifying for God’s people to sit and watch while their leaders worship idols and foreign gods, because we know that our God is a jealous God and that He deserves all of our praise. However it is an awful thing when our leaders ignore God’s warnings and continue in sin to the point that God demands the punishment of all people under their rule. In our Scripture today, God was very angry with the people under the reign of these leaders, and I believe that it’s because they sat idly by while the leaders took the whole country to Hell with them. Don’t we feel the same way even today? Let’s look to the Scriptures!

APPLICATION:   Growing up we were warned about staying away from certain kids, because we are known in our community based on those we hang around with. There are many other things that parents wisely share with their children about our relationship with the wrong crowd: guilty by association; you will quickly become like those you hang around with; their evil intentions will rub off on you a lot quicker than your good intentions will impact them. So how then do we have any control over our leaders? Good question, right? Because we can disassociate from our friends, but we can’t as easily disassociate from our country, or our state, or city or church. Friends, I believe that it all comes back to the level of commitment we have with our Father. A ‘Christian’ who accepted Jesus because of peer or family pressure, will probably struggle with standing firm in their faith that they have supposedly committed their lives to. Compared to a saint that was called by God, and they accepted His call to be Master and Lord of their life. However friends, there are many times in the Bible where Jesus stood up for what was right, and publicly denounced what was wrong. Does congress have a clue that there are Christians out there that disagrees with a law they are about to enact? If your senator came to your city and stood on a street corner where there was open opposition to something you joined other believers in asking him/her to promote in congress, can you speak the truth in love at that public meeting? Because of the way our Scripture is worded, I really believe that God punished the two nations because they sat back and allowed these two leaders to do whatever they pleased, knowing full well that their actions would impact each citizen. When last have you prayed for the leaders of your respective country, state, city or church? If you haven’t, then God is answering your desire to care less about what these leaders do, or how it may impact you. If we don’t pray for our leaders, then we show that we don’t care about them or about how their actions may impact each of us. Friends, I believe it is clear that no matter how much we want to stay out of politics, we are obligated by Scripture to pray for those who rule over us. I believe it is also clear from today’s Scripture that there are consequences when we disobey God’s commands. 

PRAYER:   Lord, thank You again today for Your Word. May our minds always be opened to sharing our faith and praying for our leaders, so that the decisions they make may be influenced by You, and that they may ultimately serve to bless Your children while living here on earth. Give us boldness oh Lord. For I ask all this in the precious and strong name of 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 could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

Your Purpose in the local Church

The apostles were working hard in the ministry of the Word – teaching and preaching, but they heard rumblings that the poor were not being attended to. Instead of them distracting themselves from their convictions about the ministry they were responsible for, they set out to choose seven additional men for that purpose. I want us to think about the purpose that God has placed us in His church? We are about to start a New Year, Lord willing. What does God have in store for you to do in His ministry next year?

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-12-30
SCRIPTURE

From:

Acts 6:2-4 (AMP)

Text:

So the Twelve called the disciples together and said, “It is not appropriate for us to neglect [teaching] the word of God in order to serve tables and manage the distribution of food. Therefore, brothers, choose from among you seven men with good reputations [men of godly character and moral integrity], full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. But we will [continue to] devote ourselves [steadfastly] to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
OBSERVATION:
The apostles were working hard in the ministry of the Word – teaching and preaching, but they heard rumblings that the poor were not being attended to. Instead of them distracting themselves from their convictions about the ministry they were responsible for, they set out to choose seven additional men for that purpose. I want us to think about the purpose that God has placed us in His church? We are about to start a New Year, Lord willing. What does God have in store for you to do in His ministry next year?
APPLICATION:
In just the first few verses of this chapter in Acts we see a few different categories of church attendees. I believe that it would behoove us to examine ourselves before God and identify which group we belong to – or should be striving to achieve. Here are the groups I see, and I will call them what most churches seem to use today:

  1. Pastors and Elders: I believe that these are what this Scripture referred to as ‘Apostles’. It was clear from the Scripture that these men took the serious responsibility of prayer and ministry of the word – teaching and preaching.
  2. Deacons: I believe that our deacons today are the equivalent of the servants chosen and ordained to help with the serving and administering of the church affairs. These men had to fit the parameters outlined by the apostles. I believe this is important for the church today also, because these men are not just representing the church as they go out to help the poor, but they are also representing God.
  3. The Support Team: This would be the congregation who is a part of the church with a very warm and sincere heart. A heart that is in constant prayer for the ministry, and supports the decisions made by their leaders, knowing that those godly men serve as a result of their faithful, personal prayers. As in the case of Moses’ arms being lifted up as he led the battle, so are these folk lifting up their Pastors, Elders and Deacons. These great folk consists of the men and women who will serve as lay leaders and a group from whom the next set of ordained leaders will be chosen.
  4. The whiners and complainers: You might say that this group is good for the church as they alert Pastors, Elders and Deacons to things that others may not see. While this could be true, I want you to remember what it feels like to have a thorn stuck in your side all day! Where this group could become helpful, is if they become Positively Critical. This happens when they pray for the success of their leaders and the strength, maturity and growth of the church body. You will always be very positive for those you pray favorably for, and your whining and complaints will become concerns that you want to help resolve and/or pray for!
  5. The uncommitted: Unfortunately there are many who are uncommitted in their marriage, their workplace and in their church.  Some are known in church circles as Christmas and Easter Christians, because that’s the only time they make an effort to attend church. Some are hit and miss on attending church at all, but since they were raised and baptized in that church, they consider that their church home. Unfortunately these folk tend to be undependable about attending classes or learning more about God, because they are uncommitted to Him and His church.

Friends, I believe that you will fit into one of the above groups. But I hope that you are always striving to grow and mature into the next group up. Jesus was perfect, and I believe it would thrill His heart to see us grow and mature into a perfect church under His leadership and development.

PRAYER:
Lord You are faithful to us, even when we are sometimes unworthy and unusable in Your ministry here on earth. Thank You for reaching into our hearts and awakening us from the grip of Satan, and the evil so prevalent in this world. As in any army battling evil and wrong doing, we continually need a few more good men and women to work in Your ministry to try and reach the lost and needy of our community. Please touch us Lord, help us to be Your arms extended and outreached to show the love of Jesus in every way and in everything we do. May our commitment and willingness to serve reach way beyond the four walls of our churches, and wherever man is found. I am so looking forward to the day that we will all look full into the eyes of our blessed Savior and sing Your praises throughout all eternity. Come Lord Jesus, come! 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!

How To Become A Great Leader

God used David to declare to him, and through him to all of us, that when we rule over others in righteousness, or in a manner obedient and pleasing to God, then the result will be as satisfying, as peaceful and as beautiful as a clear cloudless morning. Does this affect all of us? You bet….

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-11-15
SCRIPTURE

From:

2 Samuel 23:3-4 (NIV)

Text:

 The God of Israel spoke,
    the Rock of Israel said to me:
‘When one rules over people in righteousness,
    when he rules in the fear of God,
he is like the light of morning at sunrise
    on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain
    that brings grass from the earth.’
OBSERVATION:
God used David to declare to him, and through him to all of us, that when we rule over others in righteousness, or in a manner obedient and pleasing to God, then the result will be as satisfying, as peaceful and as beautiful as a clear cloudless morning. Does this affect all of us? You bet….
APPLICATION:
Many of you might have almost skipped reading the application today, because you concluded that you are not a leader or a ruler. This is exactly what caught my attention to this Scripture, for most of us are leaders in some sense, so we can really try to apply this. As an example, what would our workplaces look like, if there was no leadership in the homes of those that work for us? What would our county leaders do, or any other leaders of our nation for that matter, if they had no sense of righteousness or fear of God? I believe that this drills down to the fact that what comes out of us in speech or leadership, can only be based on what’s inside of us. If we have filled ourselves with hatred and ill will towards our neighbors and everyone else along our path to ‘success’, then we will lead with that same sort of attitude. It will become evident in the decisions we make and the choices we make. It will also reflect in any voting that we are a part of. So pastors, church leaders and fellow Christians, it is truly incumbent upon us to reach our families for Christ. We have to encourage righteousness right at the very beginning of a child’s development. For it’s only then that our young ones will become good leaders in their homes, workplaces, churches and in government. David was called a ‘man after God’s own heart’. With a heart like that, is it any wonder why he was also a great king/leader? We have a great example to follow in what Jesus taught, but we also have evidence that we can follow His teachings and become great leaders!
PRAYER:
Lord God, thank You for including so much direction in Your Word for us. There are so many leadership conferences we could attend, yet You have all of the direction for leaders that we could ever need or use. Thank You for raising up saints to prove that Your plan works, otherwise we would be so very skeptical. Please continue to work on us, so that Your light might shine through us, even in our leadership. May You have the victory in everything that we do and say today. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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!