Your Choice – Life or Death?

I don’t believe that Paul wanted us to think of this as a morbid concern, so I would encourage you instead think of this as evaluating your real purpose here on earth, and also to think about what happens to you at death. If both of these options look exciting and purposeful to you, then you might be likened to Paul in really being challenged about which is best. Let me encourage you to allow your very honest minds to wander today and allow God to convince you of each option, as it applies to you.

DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-11-21
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Philippians 1:21-24
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible (AMP)

BIBLE TEXT: 21 For to me, to live is Christ [He is my source of joy, my reason to live] and to die is gain [for I will be with Him in eternity]. 22 If, however, it is to be life here and I am to go on living, this will mean useful and productive service for me; so I do not know which to choose [if I am given that choice]. 23 But I am hard-pressed between the two. I have the desire to leave [this world] and be with Christ, for that is far, far better; 24 yet to remain in my body is more necessary and essential for your sake.

APPLICATION: Having buried two relatives recently, I have become more keenly aware of life, as we know it today, and death, given the foreknowledge about our eternal destiny. Because of this, and in talking more freely about life, and life after death, I had a close relative tell me to get off the subject of death, for, he thought that I have way too much to look forward to in life! Of course, that advice probably came from a selfish thought about my relative’s future in life without me being present here on earth! Friends, today I want to remind you that even if we ignore life after death, so we could enjoy our life as we know it today, that doesn’t make our future float off into oblivion. Paul met the challenge of leaving a free life of ministry, family and friends, when he was admitted to prison. However, God showed him that ministry for the Kingdom of God exists wherever we find mankind in need of a Savior. I believe this made Paul think even more about other transitions, such as the one from life to eternity after death. The reason I believe it is so vital that my readers and listeners think about this today, is that very much like travelling domestically or internationally, our trip will be disastrous, and our life will be miserable, if we arrive at our destination without having made any plans for it before we left home. In fact, we may have even travelled to the wrong destination! And so it is with our transition, or travel, from planet earth as we know it today. Although the two relatives I mentioned were over 90 – an age that we might ‘expect’ someone to die, let me tell you that I have good friends who have recently also lost teenagers, young adults, and relatives that they least expected. My point is, do not wait to think about your transition from earth until later in life when people tend to die. Your pronouncement could be aligned with your reading of this devotional, you have no control over that. But what you do have control of, is your state of readiness to leave this world at any given moment. I want you to live as a current day traveler would live if they knew they would be traveling soon, their bags would be packed and probably waiting at the front door. Although you may not have given it any thought, let me remind you that for those without Jesus Christ, their bags are already packed, for they have assurance that their eternal destiny is with Satan and his many demons in Hell, for they have said ‘no thanks’ to the invitation from Jesus on more than one occasion. To change that destination, it really is very easy, for Jesus is holding His hand out inviting each reader/listener to accept His love, His compassion, His sacrifice, and the eternal hope He offers to be with He and His Father in Heaven when life here on earth is over. Friends, your ticket to Hell is by default because of your sinful state. Please consider upgrading your ticket to Heaven by accepting the free gift of salvation offered through the awesome sacrifice of Jesus Christ at Calvary. Jesus offered up His life, so that our lives can be acceptable for a transition into the glories of heaven. It’s you move, dear friend. Will it be Heaven, or Hell?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: I can barely think of the overwhelming joy that is ours, whether we remain on earth, or are taken up to glory to live eternally with our ternal Father and His Son Jesus! There is no greater joy!

PRAYER: What joy it is to rejoice together with Paul in glorifying You Lord Jesus, and for the assurance of being with You in glory some day! That makes living here on earth more tolerable, in spite of the many doubts, fears, disappointments, losses and strife of dealing with the sin that is so prevalent here. Lord, thank You for encouraging us through Your servant, Paul. This brings us eternal hope and a satisfying tomorrow. Please teach us to share that joy with those who have made no better plans than to accept their eternal destiny in Hell. We love our family and friends, and we want to see the very best for them. Please help us to be so overjoyed in our relationship with You that they will want nothing less. Use us Lord as Your instrument of love and encouragement while 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!

Trust God, Especially When ‘Death’ Seems Imminent

Some may forego this devotional, because the subject may seem too morbid, but suppose that I might not be talking about final physical death, only? What if you were facing the death of your job, marriage, or the death of your ministry seemed imminent? In the case of Paul and his co-laborers, their ministry in Asia had impacted lives so much that it caused people to avoid shops that sold idols. Retailers and haters organized themselves to rid their country of the instigator – Paul and his co-laborers. Paul’s go-to help for this situation is the basis of our study today. Join me as we meditate on the Word of God!

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2022-07-09
WRITTEN AT: O Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Corinthians 1:8-10
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT:  My friends, I want you to know what a hard time we had in Asia. Our sufferings were so horrible and so unbearable that death seemed certain. In fact, we felt sure we were going to die. But this made us stop trusting in ourselves and start trusting God, who raises the dead to life. 10 God saved us from the threat of death, and we are sure that he will do it again and again. 

APPLICATION: Random shootings occur because of the sting of one finding themselves out of a job, and the hopelessness of how their family will survive the new financial woes. Homes are destroyed because of broken marriages, and often partners will resort to criminal acts against each other in the name of revenge. The onset of Covid, cancer, or any other deadly disease may stretch the imagination of individuals and cause them to try very extreme actions as they fight for earthly ways to save their opportunity for continued life as they once knew it. So what does the Christian do in this regard that’s any different to what the unbeliever might do? Let’s believe that God will reveal great truths though His Word that helps direct us in our times of desperation. We will see that in Paul’s scenario, they quickly ran out of personal options and ran to God – the same God who opened the eyes of Saul who once persecuted Christians and the work of Jesus Christ. As a changed man, Paul, as he was later known, had witnessed miracle upon miracle. He had seen the awesome handiwork of God who rescued His people from imminent death and from obvious dire situations. Paul quickly realized that this new danger they faced was much more than he and his men could do anything about. As a man of God, I can only say that for the point at which Paul found himself, he knew that God was showing him that there was only one way out of this, and it was not for Paul to think of more earthly weaponry to use against his enemy. I have often heard the old adage that desperate people will often avoid looking up and calling on God, until they are flat on their back and have no other choice but to ‘look up’! Paul had seen the powerful works of the God he served, and although he couldn’t see any humanly way to fight the enemy in his current situation, he knew a God who could. I looked at many Bible translations and one thing that read the same across the board was ‘this made us stop trusting ourselves and start trusting in Almighty God’! Friends, so many of us have heard of too many family and friends who have lost their fight to Covid, cancer or heart attack over recent months and years. Are you at the point yet where Paul found himself in our text today? Have your surrendered your all to Almighty God and called on Him in desperation to protect you and your family, and to recuse you from the evil forces that surround you in all of this earthly violence in our world, for there is so little respect for life itself? Perhaps death seems imminent for you in one of the other scenarios mentioned above. Please don’t wait to see if this will affect you, just know that it will. Trust in God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Do not lean on the enemies ‘wait and see’ option, for your circumstances might very well be way beyond your ability to overcome. Never think that you will have time later to start seeking God, for no man knows the day or the hour when our Lord will return to take His saints home to glory! Trust God today, even while things appear ‘peachy’! Notice that in times of war people will turn to the world’s super-powers for help. In the case of Covid, this philosophy didn’t work, because the whole world was in a dilemma for a resolution. Hopefully God got our attention and made us realize that He alone holds the keys to life and death. He was the only One for our family and friends to turn to in their desperation. Forget about self, and start trusting God today, dear one.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Praise God, I know this Jesus that Paul decided to trust in when he realized the hopelessness of trusting himself for answers to his dilemma! We must still learn to call on God today, for He alone can fight off the vices of Satan and his army of evildoers.

PRAYER: ‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word. Oh for grace to trust Him more’! Lord Jesus, You know Your children better than anyone knows. No doubt You see us in our daily struggles and it makes You want to stretch out Your hand and guide us through life’s temptation, struggles, trials and dangers. Please help us to acknowledge our weaknesses and inabilities, and to often be reminded of Your awesome power, strength and power. Please Lord, be our God today in all of life’s situations and in every walk of life that seem so impossible to us. You are our Rock and our eternal salvation! In You alone I place my faith and trust oh Lord. Please help each reader and listener to catch a new glimpse of this, and to sooner do what Paul did – forget about self abilities, and trust God in everything instead! 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!

Life or Death? Your Choice

What if God asked you today whether you would prefer to stay alive, or die? Some say that they want a lot more time here on earth, while those who are hurting, often wish that they would be taken out of their misery immediately. However, if God gave you certain conditions to uphold so that you could remain on earth, then you may be aligned with the Israelites, for they knew what their outcome would be, depending on their response to God’s commands. Decide today who you will serve!

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2022-04-19
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Deuteronomy 30:19-20
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long…..

APPLICATION: I remember the warnings given by my dad when I left home for high school in another city. There wasn’t much room for negotiation, for my dad gave me more of an ultimatum. If you get in any kind of trouble, you’re coming back home son! For those who are curious, I succeeded in graduating High School!! I’m of the impression that Moses also gave the Israelites an ultimatum, for he clearly gave them the conditions necessary for a life filled with God’s blessing, vs a life destined for Hell and destruction. I have no doubt that no one would chose the latter, for we all want the very best out of life, and we want to leave a legacy for those who will follow in our footsteps. I believe that God continues to care for us in the same way, and under the same conditions that He did with the Israelites. In vs 16 God said through His servant Moses: if you love the Lord your God and keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways, then His people would live a great life. I believe that means that God would love, protect, guide and keep us as long as we remain on earth but, since He has also prepared a place for us to spend eternity, then I believe that we can live expecting heaven on earth, and for all eternity! But God didn’t just leave it up to the unsaved to assume what might happen to them, for He told the Israelites in vs 17 that if their heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life. Friends, I believe that God is similarly saying to the one who has chosen to live their life without the Savior, that you can’t live like the devil and expect to be treated like a child of God. It just don’t work that way! So to all my readers and listeners, I believe that you are faced with the same decision as the Israelites – heaven, or hell? What’s your choice? If you refuse the call of God on your life, then you are destined for a life of hell here on earth, and eternal damnation after life here below. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy, so may I encourage you to please choose ‘life’, my friend? To my Christian Brothers and Sisters, let me implore you to be steadfast in prayer for, and encouragement to, your unsaved family and friends, for I believe that Jesus will return at any time now to take His bride home to glory, and we all want to be ready for that day!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: We’ve been given a present – today! So let’s ready ourselves, and encourage our friends, for that great Judgment Day. A final verdict will be announced on that day – heaven, or hell. Oh that we all will be prepared and ready for eternity with Jesus and His Father.

PRAYER: Through Your servant Moses, You made it clear to Your people the benefits of following Your commands and obeying Your Word. You also warned them of the dire consequences if they failed to obey You. I am convinced that You had this particular warning placed in Your Word to also get our attention today, for the same logic applies to us. Lord, I pray that we’ll all be ready. That we’ll all choose ‘life’ over eternal death and damnation. Please encourage many to read this devotional today, Lord, and open their hearts and minds to fully comprehend the consequences of the decisions they make today. May they commit fully to Your saving grace, and may they follow through in accepting You as Lord of their life – 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 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!

Comfort and Encourage Each Other With This

While some might consider this a morbid subject, I can assure you that each of us will travel this road some day! Having just lost a friend, and seeing the awesome strength in his wife, I thought it is perfect timing that God would have this Scripture come up as part of my daily Bible reading plan, because I want us all to be as prepared for the inevitable – death of a loved one, as this dear wife has been. Prepare your hearts for the Word of God and meditate with me, dear friends.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-08-18
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a mighty shout and with the soul-stirring cry of the archangel and the great trumpet-call of God. And the believers who are dead will be the first to rise to meet the Lord. 17 Then we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever. 18 So comfort and encourage each other with this news.

OBSERVATION: While some might consider this a morbid subject, I can assure you that each of us will travel this road some day! Having just lost a friend, and seeing the awesome strength in his wife, I thought it is perfect timing that God would have this Scripture come up as part of my daily Bible reading plan, because I want us all to be as prepared for the inevitable – death of a loved one, as this dear wife has been. Prepare your hearts for the Word of God and meditate with me, dear friends.

APPLICATION: Many folk struggle to survive the loss of a loved one, especially where there was a great relationship enjoyed. In fact, we often hear of surviving spouses following in death very soon after losing their mate. But why is this? Often we live in such a manner that it may sometimes appear to a loved one that you could care less if they were there or not. But, there are many, many relationships where one partner could easily speak for the other, because they are so closely knit and their minds are so intertwined after happily living together. For the Christian, I firmly believe that the awesome God we serve, knows all about our relationships, and He knows what an awful time we will go through when we lose that favorite person in our lives. At times He prepares us for that, by providing a new baby, or grand baby as a distraction. My wife witnessed this when she lost her mom just a few short years after we got our first and only child. At other times, God might bless us with rich moments together, where the memories of that loved one will last a lifetime. He might also bless us with such assurance about what might be a very short separation, or about the relief from medical issues for the one about to leave us. Whatever the circumstances, please know that we serve a God who knows all things, both past and present. He knows what we will need to go on without a parent, friend or spouse that we have been attached to at the hips. Notice in our Scripture that God wanted Paul to encourage his church at Thessalonica, and He wanted these words penned so that we who are alive today could also benefit from them. So pay close attention to how this will all play out friends. Although we are forced to bid farewell to our loved ones here on earth, there will come a day that Jesus will return for us, and God has outlined in granular form how this will all happen. When He appears, those in the graves, who died knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior, will rise first and meet with Jesus in the heavens! Then those of us who are still alive, and have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior will then rise to meet Jesus and our loved ones who went on before us, and we will remain with the Lord forever! So God wants us to encourage each other with these words, so that sorrow will not overcome us when a loved one goes on before us, for we know that one day we will see them again, and together meet our Savior and Lord! To my readers that will happen across this blog and you have not met this Jesus of whom I have spoken, please carefully notice that you will not be in that collective meeting with Jesus – for that is reserved for those who have already said ‘YES’ to Jesus. However, as long as there is breath in your lungs, and the Master has not yet returned, you still have an open option. May I introduce you to my Lord and Savior? I went into detail in my Footnote so that you might see from Scripture how to do this. Please take time to understand the Word of God and accept Jesus as Your Lord today. Without Him, you will not hear the voice of God on that day when Jesus returns. Please, please, please, accept Jesus today!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for the reminder today that our hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and sacrifice. Thank You that we can know today that should I go first, or should I remain, one day soon we will all be together around Your throne singing Your praises and glorifying You for ever and for ever! As related by the surviving spouse of my friend, What a Day that Will Be, When my Jesus I shall See, When I look Upon His Face, the One who saved me by His grace….. Come Lord Jesus, come, for Your servant awaits Your call! 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!