You Are Not Exempt From God’s Judgement

In an earlier study we meditated on the way that God called Samuel into His service. In our study today we will see more of God’s plan for Samuel, for God chose Samuel to warn his mentor, Eli the High Priest, to prepare for his judgment from God. But I want us to really meditate on the reason for God bringing judgement on His temple laborer. Hopefully our eyes will be opened to realize that no one is exempt from God’s judgment, if it becomes necessary.

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2021-10-12
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Samuel 3:11-13
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 Then the Lord said to Samuel, “I am about to do a shocking thing in Israel. 12 I am going to carry out all my threats against Eli and his family, from beginning to end. 13 I have warned him that judgment is coming upon his family forever, because his sons are blaspheming God and he hasn’t disciplined them.

APPLICATION: I am troubled at times by the freedoms some feel as a child of the King. I am OK in knowing that, for those who are justified by faith, no one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. However, as a child held close to God’s bosom, and having the Holy Spirit residing inside of us, I feel constrained, and I respect my Father way too much, to turn my head and continue doing the things of the world, because I am ‘free’. God made it very clear to Eli, the High Priest, that He was unhappy with the sins being committed at the temple by his two sons Hophni and Phinehas, and that there would be severe action if they continued in their sin. I’m not sure if Eli chose to ignore the threat from God because of his position at the temple, or if Eli may have felt like surely God would not bring harm to His very own servants in the temple, but at the point of our Scripture today, God was issuing one last warning to Eli. Having worked in church leadership for many years, this story triggered deep reminders of being challenged with church members and/or church leaders at various times. I believe it is a sobering thought to imagine that church leaders today have to deal with issues of the ‘Eli’s’ of this world today. No matter how neat and proper some churches appear, we must remember that wherever mere men are involved in leadership, there is a chance of Satan easing his way in through the hearts of men that may have relaxed in their walk with the Lord. However, I believe that one of the great things that we could appreciate about the Bible is that it is very ‘black and white’, without shades of grey to confuse what God intended. If God had declared that the Jews would be treated differently to the Gentiles, or if one nationality is exempt from His commands, then that would leave room for confusion or for men to interpret the Book in a way pleasing to their own viewpoint. The very important news of the gospel is that man is invited to participate in the goodness of God in salvation and eternal life, period, and without exception. However the challenging part of the Scripture is that when man becomes defiant and sticks his heel in the sand for what he will or will not do, the Bible tells us that God will treat them just like He did with Eli and his two sons. They are not allowed in the kingdom, and they may not live to enjoy a long life here on earth, period, and no exception to whose son or daughter you are, or how much money you have in the bank, or if you gave generously to the church. Jesus came to earth to save sinners, as God ordained that sin will not enter heaven. Yes, there is a place for sinners, but we must all know and be reminded today that their eternal destination is Hell, where they will be tormented and mistreated for all eternity. Hophni and Phinehas were obligated to represent God in His temple, but they chose to live their old sinful lifestyle. Eli had an opportunity to correct his sons, or expel them from service at the temple. They all were dealt with severely, and so will you if you continue to live without Christ. The choice is yours dear one. Let me encourage you to accept Jesus as your personal Savior and stand ready to enjoy the joys of heaven for all eternity with Jesus and the Father. Please read my Footnote for helpful tips on how to become a Christian. Of course, you are also encouraged to meet with a local Bible-teaching pastor or teacher, or email me as well. I want to see each reader in Heaven as together we worship our King. Please don’t disappoint me.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Eli and his sons had a choice, and so do we have a choice today. With Christ as our Savior we can live eternally in heaven. Without Him, Hell is the only other alternative. Choose life my friends!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for the precious gift of salvation – an opportunity for Your children to live eternally in Heaven. Please tender the hearts of those who have stubbornly refused Your gift and opted for eternity with Satan and his demons in Hell. Please help Your children to stay in the Book, Your precious Word, so that we may follow Your teachings and obey Your commands that You put in place so that we may live aright. For those who acknowledge Jesus as Lord, may we live as children of the King and follow in the footsteps of our Master each and every day, so that we may be a bright and shining light to those who need Jesus. Be glorified in and through us oh Lord. AMEN!

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

Decide For Yourself – Innocent or Guilty?

I believe that mankind has found, what they believe to be, ways around this warning given by Jesus in our Scripture today. Way too often we comment ‘but that was only a joke’, or ‘I’m sorry’, even though in both cases the bitter words are out of our mouths and the hurt is stinging the other party severely. But in our Scripture today, God helps us to understand where those words come from. Brace yourself as we meditate on the criticality of saying bitter words, and also on how we might avoid them.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-02-09
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 12:34-37
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 34 …. How can you say anything good? What people say with their mouths comes from what fills their hearts. 35 Those who are good have good things saved in their hearts. That’s why they say good things. But those who are evil have hearts full of evil, and that’s why they say things that are evil. 36 I tell you that everyone will have to answer for all the careless things they have said. This will happen on the day of judgment. 37 Your words will be used to judge you. What you have said will show whether you are right or whether you are guilty.”

OBSERVATION: I believe that mankind has found, what they believe to be, ways around this warning given by Jesus in our Scripture today. Way too often we comment ‘but that was only a joke’, or ‘I’m sorry’, even though in both cases the bitter words are out of our mouths and the hurt is stinging the other party severely. But in our Scripture today, God helps us to understand where those words come from. Brace yourself as we meditate on the criticality of saying bitter words, and also on how we might avoid them.

APPLICATION: If while driving down the road our car began to sputter, we won’t head to the dealership and trade that car in, we will take it to the repair shop and ask them to determine what is causing the problem, and then fix it. Likewise, if we discover that we just said something that might hurt a Brother, we should immediately look for ways to correct that problem. The Bible speaks of the awful danger of the tongue and how it easily and quickly causes grief to others, and especially to God. But most critical today is the matter that God will use our words to judge us when we stand before Him. That’s a frightening thought, especially when we consider the number of vain words that we speak, and the off-color jokes that we share – usually at some else’s expense. But notice how quickly Jesus identified the root of the problem. We care capable of speaking: kind words – just as Jesus spoke when He was here on earth; challenging words – especially when we recognize the solution to a problem that a fellow believer is facing; encouraging words – when we hear of the discouragement someone is facing at home or at work; evangelistic words – when the Holy Spirit enlightens us to the spiritual needs of our friends or loved ones. But in each of these cases, our ‘good’ words originate from a heart touched by Jesus, and filled with the Holy Spirit. So what happens when we have rejected Jesus, when we have chosen to follow the wicked path of Satan and his evil followers here on earth? Isn’t it clear to see that evil begets evil? I don’t believe it is possible for a heart that is used to dishing out evil words and evil actions, to suddenly change its course and be kind and loving to others, unless that heart has been refreshed by the God of all love. Notice how angry people say angry words, not loving and caring words of affirmation. Friends, I believe that God is encouraging us today to fill our hearts with His love and His character. A heart of love will speak words of love and caring, just like Jesus did to all that He touched. Your decision today will determine how you react to life’s circumstances, and how you will be judged on that day you stand before the God of all creation. You have no choice in the meeting, only what will influence your output here on earth, and God’s ultimate decision on where you belong for all eternity. Please read my Footnote carefully, especially the link behind ‘To Know Jesus’. Today might be the day God sets your appointed meeting with Himself – are you ready?

PRAYER: Oh Lord our Lord, thank You for giving us this truth today. May all my readers be touched by Your Holy Spirit and may we seek Your face as we analyze what Your decision will be about our eternal destination. Yes, we can put aside all excuses and indeed examine the person we have become because of the decisions we make. We were reminded that this is influenced by all that we have filled our hearts with. Please cleanse us oh Lord, and make us white as snow. Fill us with Your love and Your character, so that our hearts will overflow with gladness, with love, with caring and with everything that You stand for. We desperately want to be where You are, oh Lord. Please help us to make decisions today that will help us to live the life Your taught us to in Your Word. AMEN!

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

God Will Give Us What We Deserve

A good worker is compensated and promoted in their job place, but for the one who cuts corners, shows no ambition, and constantly opposes every thing the boss asks of them, they may receive no extra remuneration, or be placed on probation. According to our Scripture, God will judge us in similar ways to that of our boss, but may not offer probation. Meditate with me and assess your own life. If you are honest with yourself, you will know exactly what to expect from God.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-03-19
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Romans 2:5-8
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: But no, you won’t listen; and so you are saving up terrible punishment for yourselves because of your stubbornness in refusing to turn from your sin; for there is going to come a day of wrath when God will be the just Judge of all the world. He will give each one whatever his deeds deserveHe will give eternal life to those who patiently do the will of God,[a] seeking for the unseen glory and honor and eternal life that he offers.* But he will terribly punish those who fight against the truth of God and walk in evil ways—God’s anger will be poured out upon them.

OBSERVATION: A good worker is compensated and promoted in their job place, but for the one who cuts corners, shows no ambition, and constantly opposes every thing the boss asks of them, they may receive no extra remuneration, or be placed on probation. According to our Scripture, God will judge us in similar ways to that of our boss, but may not offer probation. Meditate with me and assess your own life. If you are honest with yourself, you will know exactly what to expect from God.

APPLICATION: As a working supervisor who used self-appraisals during my employee’s annual review process, I was intrigued to discover how employees rated themselves less than I would in almost all areas of their appraisal! I believe that their good deeds had such an impression on me, that I rated them high in recognition of those times. However, I believe that deep inside they knew that they had a lot more to offer at times, and therefore rated themselves lower. In His Word, God shares with us that He knows more than any supervisor we ever had, and whether we are a favorite or not, He will judge us based on how well we did with the gifts and blessings that He gave to us. Not sure about you, but I believe that I could beat up on myself pretty bad when I consider the times that I failed my Lord in so many areas of my life. But I believe that God, knowing our hearts, will look at our intent. For example: if we are children of the King, we will give of ourselves just as He gave; we will love others unconditionally, just as He loved even us; we will always be conscious of the things we do and the places we visit, because we know that we are children of the King who wants nothing but the best from His children so that others might be drawn to Him. I don’t believe that this is something we need to be paranoid about, because just as we walk in the footsteps of our parents and try to never let them down, so shall we do with our Lord who hung on Calvary’s cross with outstretched arms to show us how much He truly loves us. If we are followers of Christ, others will often see that, feel that, and know that they are safe in following our footsteps straight to the cross. Friends, we dodge the troopers with our fuzz-busters; we hide or disguise our cell phones when we don’t want the boss/teacher/preacher to know that we are checking on a personal email we were expecting; but notice that our Scripture didn’t say that God would have to check His ‘little black book’ where He wrote down our good and bad deeds, it said that He will judge us based on who we truly were as His ambassadors. How do you think you will do? I know that we are not perfect, friends, but because we serve One who is, then we should always seek to honor Him by following His commands and His example, so that we might be recognized as ‘His’ child and therefore increase the desire for others to know our King also. Please pray for me as I ambitiously seek to honor my Lord in all that I do or say, and I will do the same for you, Gob being our Helper and our Guide.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, I am weak but You are strong; I fail, but you have never failed, nor is it possible for You to fail. You know the hearts of my readers and myself, our desires and our weaknesses. We are incapable of living this life in the same way You did, but praise to our Almighty God, all things are possible with You. So today I pray that every reader of this devotional will stop, and seek Your holy and righteousness name as we ask You once again to be our strength and our guide through this old sinful world. Oh that we may represent You and follow Your commands, so that others may desire a relationship with You, so that one day soon when we bow at Your feet, it will be easy to commend us for being Your good and faithful servant. AMEN!

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

No Fear of The Day of Judgment

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – 1 John 4:16-19): 16 ….God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first.

THOUGHTS: If we are faced with a court case, we will no doubt live in fear of the outcome, especially on the day that the Judge concludes the case and issues the sentence. If we are summoned to the boss’s office at work, our natural tendency is to well up in fear, as our first reaction is to question in our minds if we have done anything wrong. In our daily walk here on earth, whether we know Jesus personally or not, we live in hopes that our lives would not be in vain, but instead, a blessing to someone else. For those who have invited Jesus into their heart, we live each day praying that we would please God in the way that we live, in total harmony with Him, and in total obedience to all that He has commanded in His Word. John summarizes this for us in these verses today, by saying that we must live in love, for as we do, we will live in the image of God, who loved us sacrificially and unconditionally, in spite of who we were in character and entrenched in sin. When we make it our mission to live like Jesus taught us, our love becomes more perfect (more like the love expressed by Jesus, and expected by Him of us). And when this occurs, we live with a clear conscience and without fear of the Day of Judgment when we stand before Jesus. You see, ‘Judgment’ can result in one of two types of emotion for us: Gladness/happiness/joy as we are declared ‘not guilty of the crime, or sin; or sadness/disappointment/rejection/fear as we are found guilty of the crime, or sinful and without a Savior. So friends, we do have a choice – do nothing about your eternal salvation and be found guilty of sin – without a Savior – with the advanced knowledge that our sentence is eternity in Hell with Satan; OR we can say ‘Yes’ to Jesus, live in obedience to His Word, expressing love to all those we come into contact with and representing the King of all kings in everything we do and say – with a known sentence of eternity in Heaven with Jesus where we will worship and adore Him and His Father (God) forever and forever, amen!! The choice seems obvious to me, but my sole reason in sharing these devotionals each day is in hopes that Jesus will touch the heart of my readers so that you also might come to know Him intimately/personally and therefore live the rest of your life in Hope! In a state of constant celebration and in joyous anticipation of our Judgment Day when we stand for the King. Make it right friend, and make it today, while you are still able to.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, Your Word is very powerful! As You have touched my heart today and spoken to me through Your written Word, please also impact the lives of those that will be led to this devotional that I have shared under Your direction. May Your children be Your children – a splitting image of You in every way – especially in our love for others. However, there will be some who will read this who may be trying to live life on their own and love others as just the right humanly thing to do. Please tender their hearts today oh Lord and help them to see You – the originator of perfect love. May they realize that they too can become Your child if they choose to surrender themselves wholeheartedly to You. May this be the day of great decisions oh Lord, and may all glory be offered up to You for the great work that You will accomplish, because of Your Word being shared. I ask all this in perfect faith and in the name of Jesus, my Savior, 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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 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!