How To Test For The Genuine Spirit of God

Ever been questioned, or have you ever questioned whether a Brother is genuine, or a Sister is sincere in her faith and teaching? I was in awe this morning as I read the Word, for John gives us pointers about this very matter.

Tuesday, 2021-03-16

Bible Reference: 1 John 4:2–3
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: Here’s how you test for the genuine Spirit of God. Everyone who confesses openly his faith in Jesus Christ—the Son of God, who came as an actual flesh-and-blood person—comes from God and belongs to God. And everyone who refuses to confess faith in Jesus has nothing in common with God.

OBSERVATION: Ever been questioned, or have you ever questioned  whether a Brother is genuine, or a Sister is sincere in her faith and teaching? I was in awe this morning as I read the Word, for John gives us pointers about this very matter.

APPLICATION: Not only will this help us identify the Spirit of God in others, but I believe this also helps us to examine ourselves and the kind of witness we portray to others. Some of the key points we are to consider and/or portray to determine, or prove, the genuine Spirit of God are: (1) Confesses openly about his/her/my faith in Jesus Christ; (2) Acknowledges that Jesus is the genuine, only Son of God; (3) Believes and declares that Jesus came to this earth in human form; (4) Believes that Jesus Comes from God; Belongs to God; And, as verified in other scriptures, He is also God. Friends, we are well aware of the awful feelings we have when we discover that we’ve been given a fake check, or a fake currency note, or perhaps encounter a person claiming to be someone they truly are not. The latter is comparable to us bringing damnation on ourselves when we claim to be a messenger, or witness, or representative of God, without having a first-hand experience with His Son Jesus. Friends, others will see straight through our fake-ness. Our Christianity is evidenced on the outside from a heart experience on the inside. Have you given Your heart to Jesus? Has He been allowed to control Your innermost emotions, convictions and decisions? Have you invited Jesus to take charge and to speak and work through you wholeheartedly? Can others see and feel the Spirit of God working in and through you on the outside and confirm the points suggested by John? Will they know you are a child of the King, or do you need to tell them? Will you commit to speak to God about this? He deserves genuine believers, because He showed His genuine love for us on Calvary in that He offered Himself, in obedience to His Father, to be a sacrifice for those who despised and hated Him. He showed real, genuine, love beyond anything mankind has ever experienced. He loved us with wide, outstretched arms! Do you love and appreciate my Lord enough today to be bold in your witness and tell others of His great love, even if you are certain that they will make a mockery of you? Will they recognize the spirit of God residing inside of you?

PRAYER: Dear God, I am amazed at the genuine love shown for me on Calvary’s cross. You were miraculously born into this world, lived among men and in spite of Your love for them, they crucified You. This is the unfortunate evidence of Your human experience here on earth. Thank You for continuing to accept humans into Your kingdom, and I especially thank You for accepting me. Please forgive us when we allow our peers to distract our walk with You. Lord, I am seeking Your help to make me more like You in every way while here on earth, so that others will not be distracted by a sense of false identity. I desire for them to see the hands and feet of Jesus, so that they may be drawn to You oh Lord. Please deal deeply in the hearts of those who will meditate on this devotional today, so that we might not only know You as Lord and Savior, but that we may follow Your example in everything we say and do. To God be the glory, for all that our surrendered, and fully dedicated lives might yield for the Kingdom of God. 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. 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!

For Christ or Against Him?

This verse is taken from a section of the New Testament where Jesus was clarifying for the Pharisees that His miracles were not of the devil. However, Jesus challenged them to consider their actions and attitudes as something that might be tearing down the Kingdom, not building it up. Let’s apply this valuation to our lives today, are we doing something to build up the Kingdom, or are we causing deterioration in Kingdom strength in our families and in our churches? Unfortunately, it is very evident to our Lord, and to our lost community.

Tuesday, 2021-02-06

Bible Reference: Matthew 12:30
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 30 ……he who is not with Me is against Me, and he who is not doing the Father’s work of gathering up the flock may as well be scattering the flock.

OBSERVATION: This verse is taken from a section of the New Testament where Jesus was clarifying for the Pharisees that His miracles were not of the devil. However, Jesus challenged them to consider their actions and attitudes as something that might be tearing down the Kingdom, not building it up. Let’s apply this valuation to our lives today, are we doing something to build up the Kingdom, or are we causing deterioration in Kingdom strength in our families and in our churches? Unfortunately, it is very evident to our Lord, and to our lost community.

APPLICATION: A piece of advice given by my wife and I several times over the years is ‘be careful, blood is thicker than water’. This applied to situations where the individual was talking to a family member about one of their relatives. That family member might be upset with their relative, and they may gossip about it to another relative, but they refuse to hear an outsider say something derogatory about them! Jesus witnessed the spiritual leaders of the day (the Pharisees) looking for every opportunity to entrap Him and/or imprison Him. He heard them speak evil about the good that He was doing in their community, yet they walked around pretending to be more holy than anyone else. Aren’t you glad that with our advanced education system, and our many computers and smart people, that we have learned to overcome this weakness in the church today? Ha, hopefully I received no ‘Amens’ to that statement, because it was really meant to highlight that even after all these years; after having the Word of God to show us the errors of our past generations, yet churches today are torn apart by the same wickedness. Imagine with me for a moment what might happen if Jesus walked down the isles of our churches next weekend and pointed out the folk who are promoting Kingdom growth, and then asked those to leave who were destroying His work here on earth. How’s your confidence level on whether you will be allowed to stay and continue your work for the Kingdom? Will the church grow after such a separation, or will it dwindle in numbers? Friends, please allow me to remind each one reading this blog, that when God is working inside of us and using us for His purpose and the good of His kingdom, then no matter what position we hold in church, or in our community, we would work together with other believers to promote the awesome love, power, wisdom and saving grace of the one true God – our Lord, and our Savior. When you are for Him, you will pray for those who open their mouths to speak for Him; you will lift up and encourage those who sing His praises; you will renounce evil and promote the goodness of God. There will be no need to look around to see who’s nearby when you speak of, or to your neighbor, because your words will be intended to lift up, and not tear down. Friends, there are many in my community who need the Lord, and I bet your community is very similar. They may be looking at the proof of God’s work in our midst, before they listen to our teaching or our preaching, or even watch for the sincerity of our walk, before they show interest in knowing Christ personally. They are probably tired of hearing the talk, but not seeing the walk of a child of the Kingdom. I believe that our takeaway today is that if we are for God, then let’s be extremely dedicated to living like He taught us, and like He exampled for us while here on earth. Jesus made it clear that we live out our beliefs, because when we don’t, it becomes clear that we are against Him. Talk with God today and allow Him to open your spiritual eyes to discern whose side you’re really on, both in words and in your actions.

PRAYER: Lord, may others see so much of Jesus in my speech and in my actions, that there will be no reason to question who guides me, who teaches me, who directs my path, and the direction in which I am headed for eternity! May all those meditating on this blog today be of the same mind and spirit, and may our dedication and commitment to you be contagious for all to see and subsequently follow. May we say like Paul did, if you want to see Jesus, follow me! 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. 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!

Commit to Peace and Unity!

Paul, who went through a miraculous conversion into Christendom, had spent quality time with his friends at Corinth. He had also written several letters to them in between trips, just to encourage the new converts and help them stay strong in their faith, with their new-found Savior. At the conclusion of his letter, Paul gave some excellent advice, that I believe not only helped those believers in Corinth, but because churches today are still facing very similar challenges, I believe that this advice is still very applicable to us today.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-10-26
WRITTEN AT: Lillian, AL

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Corinthians 13:11-12 (TPT)

TEXT:  11 ….. beloved friends, be cheerful! Repair whatever is broken among you, as your hearts are being knit together in perfect unity. Live continually in peace, and God, the source of love and peace, will mingle with you. 12 Greet and embrace one another with the sacred kiss.

OBSERVATION:   Paul, who went through a miraculous conversion into Christendom, had spent quality time with his friends at Corinth. He had also written several letters to them in between trips, just to encourage the new converts and help them stay strong in their faith, with their new-found Savior. At the conclusion of his letter, Paul gave some excellent advice, that I believe not only helped those believers in Corinth, but because churches today are still facing very similar challenges, I believe that this advice is still very applicable to us today.  

APPLICATION:   So often we look for Christian advice in the Bible, but then question every other resource for ways to do better in our family, friends and work life. I believe that you will find this Scripture helpful to you in general, so listen closely to the word of God. In earlier days of the church, some Might recall days, and sometimes weeks of revival services and/or evangelistic services, where there was a strong emphasis on reviving the saints and evangelizing the lost of the community. Because of the strong emphasis on prayer leading up to and during the times of these special services, there was usually a very strong presence of the Holy Spirit and many lives were impacted. Often at the end of the services, there was a sense of sadness to see the services end, so at the parting service there would be very similar sentiments, and challenges offered like these that Paul shared with his followers. Why was revival services needed? I believe that the answer is summed up in a phrase that I heard an old pastor say: “because, as Christians, we tend to leak!” Friends, it is very challenging to keep a good healthy church surviving as such, for there are many personalities working together – or at times against one another. There are so many who feel like they have all the right answers and therefore they should be the boss in most areas of the church. There are so many with chips on their shoulder, and if you only look at them seriously they may become very upset and threaten to leave the church, because they figured out exactly what that look meant! Aren’t most of these things very, very silly? Think about the one true God, whose Son we endeavor to exemplify. Jesus came into an imperfect world, as the perfect Son of God, filled with godly wisdom, and with love for everyone, as only God Himself could do. And this perfect Savior, He taught among the elite of society, as well as carefully and lovingly attending to those in need along the street and in the crowds that followed Him. He healed those that we may have considered ‘worthy’ and some who we tend to disassociate with, because they may not be ‘just like us’. He ate with sinners, and He chose some to follow Him that many would have turned up their noses at. However, for those of us that have accepted Jesus as Lord, and are committed to His teachings and commands, we strive to be just like Him. Why then do we tend to be so much unlike Him in so many ways? Are we still that needy, or is it that we have not totally turned away from our earthly master yet? In verse 11 of today’s Scripture, Paul warns us that we should repair whatever is broken among us. I believe this starts with our relationship with our Lord, for if we have a healthy relationship with Him, He will direct our paths, if we let Him, and that includes relationships with one another. Friends, here’s how important I believe this is: If we expect to be instrumental in our family and friends’ lives, to encourage them into a relationship with our Lord, then we must be living like Jesus. We could ‘tell’ them all we want, but unless they see it evident in our lives, they won’t listen to, or follow us. How much is a soul worth to you? There is absolutely nothing more important to me than to see my family and friends make a decision to follow Christ. When they, and me, leave this world, I want us all to be ready to meet Jesus in the air! I hope that you feel the same way!

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, we need You more today than ever before. I believe that Paul realized how much impact Satan was having on Your children in his day, and I’m sure Satan is still impacting the lives of our people today. Lord, I know that You are such a strong and awesome God and that there is nothing that You can’t handle, so I beg You to work miracles in the lives of Your children – embolden us to be more like you in our character, our words and our actions. Humble the hearts of the proud into total surrender to You. I know that we don’t have a perfect world, but I am convinced that we have a perfect God, so I beg with You to work on us imperfect beings, all for benefit of Your kingdom, 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!

The Things That Distract Us

As I meditated on this chapter, my mind went on to ponder what type things distract us today from our walk with the Lord. What tends to distract us from the work of the Lord? How does this leave the people who Give in to these distractions? Are they still good witnesses for the Lord, and dependable workers for the church? Many of these things that distract God’s people are ‘evil’, as Paul referred to them in verse 11. Meditate with me as we delve into the Scriptures!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-09-04
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Timothy 6:9-11
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: People who want to be rich fall into all sorts of temptations and traps. They are caught by foolish and harmful desires that drag them down and destroy them. 10 The love of money causes all kinds of trouble. Some people want money so much that they have given up their faith and caused themselves a lot of pain.
11 Timothy, you belong to God, so keep away from all these evil things. Try your best to please God and to be like him. Be faithful, loving, dependable, and gentle. 

OBSERVATION: As I meditated on this chapter, my mind went on to ponder what type things distract us today from our walk with the Lord. What tends to distract us from the work of the Lord? How does this leave the people who Give in to these distractions? Are they still good witnesses for the Lord, and dependable workers for the church? Many of these things that distract God’s people are ‘evil’, as Paul referred to them in verse 11. Meditate with me as we delve into the Scriptures!

APPLICATION: Thank God for messengers such as Paul, who saw the complexity of things that his new son in the ministry would be faced with, and then went on to coach him on staying righteous, even when the situation around him was tough. Seasoned pastors would be challenged when faced with these issues, but Paul had gone through a lot with the churches that he started and also in dealing with many of the individuals in those churches. Why do you suppose Paul forged ahead with giving this difficult advice to Timothy? Often times these problems will fester and create a monster problem real quick, unless the issue is dealt with timely. As with many of our churches today, there were at least a few of the folk who were rich, or at least distracted by the idea of getting rich. This becomes a huge issue for pastors today, for soon these folk feel like they sent their money, so they don’t need to be there every time the doors open. Often these same ones will withhold tithes and offering until the church leadership becomes attuned to their likes and dislikes. This creates jealousy, envy and strife among the membership of the church, because they soon see favoritism, and the workers work harder to fill the gap for those who can’t be bothered to attend. As Paul taught this to Timothy, I’m so happy that he also went a step further to tell him what he should do differently, and this is still very applicable to us today. You’re a man of God Timothy, so stay away from these evil things. In other words, yes the church could really benefit from the finances of the rich, but you should never allow their influence to cause you to depend on them instead of God. Know that the ministry is about winning souls for Christ and edifying the saved among you, so that together you may lift up holy hands in worship to the King of all kings. Remember that if He (God) be lifted up, He will draw all men unto Himself. Never allow anything to hinder your praise to the Almighty. Paul reminded us of godly characteristics that are super important as we strive to represent Christ. These are the important qualities we should concentrate on, as opposed to the things that really distract our dedication to, and love for, the Lord. Today I’m sure that our distractions are numerous, but the truth remains – be faithful, loving, dependable, and gentle. Most of all dear friends, love God more than anything else in this world, and seek to show Him your love with every fiber of your being.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for giving Your very life on Calvary so that we might have life eternal. Please help us to never hesitate giving of ourselves as we dedicate ourselves to You and as we seek to share our witness with a broken and lost world. Please give us boldness to withstand the distractions that come our way, so that we may represent You well. Please soften the hearts of those who feel like it’s enough to give financially to Your work, or to just have financial worth and filled with worldly advantages. There is nothing more important that serving You and showing our love for You. We need You every hour of every day Lord, to be by our side and fill us with more of Your love. 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. 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!

Make Room For God

While I believe there was a lot of value in these verses for Israel and the people of Jerusalem and Judah, I believe that this passage of scripture was included in God’s Word to us for self-application also.

Monday, 2020-02-17

Bible Reference: Jeremiah 4:1-3
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text: The Lord said: Israel, if you really want to come back to me, get rid of those disgusting idols.     2 Make promises only in my name, and do what you promise! Then all nations will praise me, and I will bless them. 3 People of Jerusalem and Judah, don’t be so stubborn! Your hearts have become hard, like unplowed ground where thornbushes grow.

OBSERVATION: While I believe there was a lot of value in these verses for Israel and the people of Jerusalem and Judah, I believe that this passage of scripture was included in God’s Word to us for self-application also.

APPLICATION:  I believe that God spoke to me as I read this, and had me substitute ‘Israel’ with the family and friends that I am praying for. At times when I feel distant from God, I believe that this passage also applies to me. Friends, I want you to read this carefully to make sure that you too understand that when God seems far away from you, it may be time to examine your lives and see what idols (priorities; things) you may have allowed to step in the way of your open communication and dependence on God. The kinds of things that get in our way might be:
* Work – for we can become so absorbed in our job that we have no quality time to spend with God;
* Church – yes, even church. We can become a slave to the work of the church and exclude our study and worship time with the Lord, for whom we are presumably working;
* Family – even though this item is of super importance, if we’re not careful, Satan can use this as a tool to keep us away from God. Let’s learn to take our family to church, instead of feeling an obligation to spend quality time with them on our Sabbath. After all, we had other opportunities during the week to spend time with them, but with Satan’s help, we chose not to. Men/dads this is our responsibility as God’s leader in our homes;
* Activities – we all know that the beach is always better on our Sabbath day than any other day of the week, right? But does it fit with God’s command of what we should be doing on our Sabbath?!!;
* Sports – why would we consider giving our time to sports on our Sabbath day rather than assembling ourselves together to worship God and to encourage one another?;
* Weariness – the toils of the week have left us so worn out that giving one hour of our time to refuel spiritually, and to give God thanks for our jobs, and the good health to do our jobs, seems to be challenging for us – at least until we lose our job or some other crisis comes up;

Friends, I’m not judging, for that is God’s job. I merely listed a few things that may cause us to think about the possible idols that stand in our way of communion with God. May I encourage you to examine your own life and see if there is anything that distracts you in your walk with the Lord? Be honest with God as you consider this, for He knows your heart and your very circumstances, and He is willing to help you tear down those idols, so that you may be drawn closer to Him. Remember, sin must be removed from our heart, before our hearts will be opened for God’s mighty hand. The good news with this whole thing is that others will follow us, and God will bless us! Read verse 2 again! Imagine, your actions might actually revolutionize the world!!

PRAYER: Father, You know our hearts and You know our thoughts and our schemes. It is so unfortunate that in spite of Your goodness to us, we allow Satan to feed our thoughts, that often leads us to scheme and find reasons to not find time in the Word, in prayer and even church attendance. Please forgive us for our ingratitude and our unfaithfulness. You sacrificed Your very Son for our salvation, yet we find it challenging to make time to spend with You and/or Your people in corporate worship. Often this is just not a priority in our lives. Please forgive us oh Lord. Please touch the hearts of Your children who will read this devotional today, may they also be made aware of ‘idols’ that have become obstacles in their walk with You. Lord Jesus, we respect You and all that You stand for, however if we are to be true and honest representatives of Yours, we too must imitate you in every aspect of our lives. We can only do this with Your help, direction and wisdom oh Lord, and we humbly seek that today. For this is my humble and gracious plea before You oh God, in the name of Your Son Jesus, AMEN!

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

What If God’s Message Hinders our Livelihood?

When the Holy Spirit enters into us after we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, I believe His primary function is to make us talk, walk, pray, act and look like Jesus. To do this, often involves make a 180-degree turn on all that we were, to become all that we should be, as followers of Christ. Let’s keep this in mind as we meditate on this Scripture today.

Sunday, 2020-02-16

Bible Reference: Acts 19:25-27
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 25–26 Demetrius called a meeting of his employees, along with all the various tradespeople of Ephesus, and said, “You know that our prosperous livelihood is being threatened by this Paul, who is persuading crowds of people to turn away from our gods.[y] We make a good living by doing what we do, but everywhere Paul goes, not only here in Ephesus but throughout western Turkey,[z] he convinces people that there’s no such thing as a god made with hands. 27 Our businesses are in danger of being discredited. And not only that, but the temple of our great goddess Artemis is being dishonored and seen as worthless.[aa] She is the goddess of all of western Turkey and is worshiped in all the world. But if this outrage continues, everyone everywhere will suffer the loss of her magnificent greatness.”

OBSERVATION: When the Holy Spirit enters into us after we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, I believe His primary function is to make us talk, walk, pray, act and look like Jesus. To do this, often involves make a 180-degree turn on all that we were, to become all that we should be, as followers of Christ. Let’s keep this in mind as we meditate on this Scripture today.

APPLICATION: It is unfortunate, but humans find it easy to tear one another up when we are doing, talking or generally acting differently than they expect us to. For example, it is so easy for me to tear down an individual who says they are a Christian, yet they act or talk differently than I do, and they attract a different crowd than I do. But as I stop and ponder this Scripture today, I am forced to think about how I would act, if my very likelihood depended solely on a business other than the world considers ‘Christian’ based. I’m not saying that Demetrius was a Christian, but we should try to understand why he acted the way he did. I’m a firm believer in looking inward before we attempt to judge, or correct others. It is obvious that Demetrius tried to incite those who depended on him for their livelihood, hoping that together they could work to get Paul out of town before he convinced everyone of their need for Christ. So try putting yourself in the shoes of Demetrius. But also stop to consider, what would you do if you saw business declining since revival services began down the street at that old church on the corner? What would you do if you were convinced to accept Jesus as Lord of your life, and you owned a business that sold items spoken against in the Word of God? I know of a business where the Christian owner was face with boat captains checking out on a Sunday from his marina, to return home for work the next day. His policy was that he would be in church every Sunday, and that since it was the ‘Lord’s Day’ he would transact no financial business on that day. So he told his guests that chose to leave on a Sunday that they would have to either visit the office on Saturday, or mail him a check when they arrived home. From what I understand, that business owner never lost a dime because of his stand for keeping the Lord’s Day holy, and dedicated that day to Christ alone. Friends, when a young man becomes a husband, he stops the nightly trips to the bar to meet other ladies, and he stops the weekly parties with the boys, for he has dedicated himself to the woman of his dreams, and he has made a 180-degree turn in what he does with his life. Similarly, when a child enters a home, that mother will make a 180-degree turn from her lifestyle, wants and desires, so that she could devote herself wholeheartedly to her newborn. I pray that we have been reminded today that Christians should have a deep desire to be more like Jesus Christ in every way possible. This will involve making a 180-degree turn from the things of this world, to all that Jesus might lead us into as His precious child. Like Demetrius, the world will be giving us every excuse why we should not follow Christ, however they will have no suggestions for you when Jesus asks why should He allow you into His heaven. Let me encourage you to totally dedicate yourself to the One that You have committed yourself to serve.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for rescuing us from the sin that attracted us to this world. Thank You for the promise of Heaven and the love and majesty of the King of Glory! Because of our commitment to You, we have a deep desire to follow You and You alone. This means that we have made a 180-degree turn on the ways of this world, but because we still live here, we need Your special touch to overcome the things of the world, and live fully dedicated lives to You. Please be our guide, our help and our deliverer in times of weakness. Help us to make smart decisions, even if it involves changing jobs or other such things that might pull us away form You. May we be faithful followers until the day You call us home to glory. 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!

How Christians Avoid Heartaches

What occupies your time? What do you tend to become worried about? Do you feel like your mind, and your life is properly aligned with the Creator of heaven and earth? Jesus displayed an incredible love for you, and He wants His very best for your life, but He needs your undivided attention. So STOP and meditate with me for just a short while today! It may be the most meaningful out of anything else you do today!

Monday, 2019-08-05

Bible Reference: Colossians 3:1-3
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:  Since you became alive again, so to speak, when Christ arose from the dead, now set your sights on the rich treasures and joys of heaven where he sits beside God in the place of honor and power. 2 Let heaven fill your thoughts; don’t spend your time worrying about things down here. 3 You should have as little desire for this world as a dead person does. Your real life is in heaven with Christ and God.

OBSERVATION: What occupies your time? What do you tend to become worried about? Do you feel like your mind, and your life is properly aligned with the Creator of heaven and earth? Jesus displayed an incredible love for you, and He wants His very best for your life, but He needs your undivided attention. So STOP and meditate with me for just a short while today! It may be the most meaningful out of anything else you do today!

APPLICATION:  When Christians worry, do you suppose it’s because we are worried that God will not do what He promised? When we doubt and stress out to the limit, do you suppose that we are concerned that God is unfaithful? When we feel unloved and like no one cares, do you suppose that we allow ourselves to ponder why God must have left us alone and no longer care about us? Friends, I believe that when we allow these types of feelings and/or thoughts to enter our minds, it’s because we have taken our eyes off Jesus and becoming overwhelmed by the the things of this world, and perhaps looking for the attention of earthly friends or loved ones. I believe it is times like these that Satan moves in for the attack, for he sees that we have taken our eyes off Jesus and allowing the distractions of this world to take hold in our lives. I would highly recommend these verses to all Christians today, for if we follow the advice in verse 2 and fill our thoughts with heaven – our future home, then we will be reminded that it is a place prepared just for us. A place where we will unite with Jesus at the foot of His throne and worship Him with unending praises. A place where we will hear the voice of the Father who will encourage us with words such as “well done good and faithful servant”! A place where the creator of love, the One who loved us enough to die on a cross so that we might have everlasting hope and assurance of heaven. A place where there will be no distractions, but instead where our full undivided attention is attracted towards the Savior of the world! Try getting away where you are totally disconnected from cell phones and devices for a week. Wow, what a release! Oh how our attention is quickly drawn to the things and people who are truly important to us! Friends, I must remind you that we have allowed so much interference in our day that we not only lose sight of our one-on-one time with the Lord, but we also have lost sight of one-on-one time with our spouses, our children, our friends, our coworkers and all others. Is it any wonder that we have trouble evangelizing to them? If we can all agree that verse 3 is totally spot on and accurate, then we will agree that our real life is in heaven! I would dare say that our minds, our attention, our aim and our devotion should be there today and everyday also. Do these thoughts apply to you, friend? If not, why not? Is this something you need to take time to talk with God about?

PRAYER: Lord God, we are such worry warts, but it’s always over things that really don’t matter – things of this world. Being reminded in this scripture that our minds are to be set on our heavenly home, and our time with You, we humbly come before You today asking for forgiveness for our misguided thoughts and worries. We realize that all these things do is to distract us in our walk with You and our witness of You. For when we become solid in our faith and demonstrate it in our walk with You, we will influence those who follow in our steps. Lord I pray that You will do an awesome work in my life and in the lives of my readers, so that we might become healthy Christians focused on the ‘main thing’ – our heavenly home. I further pray that this new focus will have such an impact on others that Your name might be lifted high as Your children become better aligned with Your perfect will for us. I ask these things in the strong, mighty and holy name of Jesus – your Son, and my Redeemer, AMEN!

Blessed is the One Who…

I believe that everyone alive might have a desire to know what it takes for them to live a happy and fulfilled life. In fact, I believe there are times that we clip reminders on our refrigerator to help remind us of what’s best for us, and what should we try to avoid that day. God does exactly that through the Psalmist, so let’s meditate on this Scripture and see how it applies to our individual lives.

Friday, 2019-06-21

Bible Reference: Psalm 1:1-3
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: 1 Happy are those who don’t listen to the wicked, who don’t go where sinners go, who don’t do what evil people do. 2 They love the Lord’s teachings, and they think about those teachings day and night. 3 They are strong, like a tree planted by a river. The tree produces fruit in season, and its leaves don’t die. Everything they do will succeed.

OBSERVATION: I believe that everyone alive might have a desire to know what it takes for them to live a happy and fulfilled life. In fact, I believe there are times that we clip reminders on our refrigerator to help remind us of what’s best for us, and what should we try to avoid that day. God does exactly that through the Psalmist, so let’s meditate on this Scripture and see how it applies to our individual lives.

APPLICATION: In the Word of God, we are told that God himself called David a man after His own heart. In other words, David’s life imitated what God expected from His creation. I believe this should be every Believer’s goal, for we know that when we follow God’s commands and His teachings to us in His Word, then it must be pleasing to God! In this very first Psalm, David gives us some attributes, or indicators of a blessed person, and I wanted to draw attention to these qualities so that today we may strive to achieve these qualities ourselves:
1).  They don’t listen to the wicked – this might happen when we listen to what the world is directing us to for happiness. Unfortunately, every time we turn the TV on we are given these options;
2).  They don’t go where sinners go – don’t go to a place where you would be embarrassed to take Jesus with you. Remember, you invited Him into your heart. Remember He lives and reigns in us, through His Holy Spirit. Will you really take Him into a questionable place?
3).  They don’t do what evil people do – these are folk that don’t know Jesus and have no concern for Jesus in the things that they do. Our actions are to be compared to what Jesus did or what He taught us to do. Pilots and doctors follow their text book for obvious reasons. We should be doing the same thing – those things that God has taught us to do or that His Holy Spirit is directing us to do. These will be totally opposite to what the evil person might lead us to do;
4).  They meditate on the Word of God, love His teachings and continually think about them – God’s Word is our textbook. It is our guide to living like Jesus expects of us. To keep it fresh in our minds and to follow its directives, we must make it a priority to read it and meditate on it regularly.
When we follow the above, we become strong in our faith and committed to God’s commands. We will not be easily eroded away like a tree beside the water’s edge, but we will stand firm so that others might catch a glimpse of what Jesus actually looks like, and how, through faith, our lives are living examples to the unsaved.
Let me encourage you to reflect back on your life over the past few days, who have you imitated? Does your life reflect the ways of Christ, or just the general public (this world)? Did your life show enough of the qualities of Jesus that you were accused of being a Christian? Friend, you shouldn’t have to tell someone you are a Christian, they should know you are by your actions, your speech and your demeanor. Let us all commit to live our lives with the teachings of the Psalmist very prominent in our character and our actions. Then, perhaps, others will see Jesus and want to know Him personally.

PRAYER: Lord, we your children need You, and we need you desperately. To live in this world, yet to not live like the world, is very challenging. It’s like swimming upstream. It’s like doing just the opposite of what the rest of the world does. And this has become quite a chore for us. Please mold us into the person that You need here and now to touch the hearts of the folk that are still in need of you. We need the same power that gave David the strength to be called a man after Your own heart; that gave Moses the fortitude to stand firm for You, even when his people were plotting to kill him. I know that You can still give that kind of strength to me and also to my friends that are committed to serving you today. Please have Your will and way in our lives today, I humbly plead in Your precious and holy name, AMEN!

It’s Not You They’re Rejecting

Way too often we take the weight of the world on our shoulders and assume that everyone is out to get us. For they are rejecting our message and our lifestyle. In fact, they just don’t like us, and won’t listen to us! Be encouraged today, for our Scripture gives an example of where God helped His servant realize that it was really Him that they were rejecting. As we become more like Christ, this will happen to us also. Here’s how we should handle that…

Monday, 2019-06-17

Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 8:6-8
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  6 Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the LORD for guidance.
7 “Do everything they say to you,” the LORD replied, “for it is me (God) they are rejecting, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. 8 Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment.

OBSERVATION: Way too often we take the weight of the world on our shoulders and assume that everyone is out to get us. For they are rejecting our message and our lifestyle. In fact, they just don’t like us, and won’t listen to us! Be encouraged today, for our Scripture gives an example of where God helped His servant realize that it was really Him that they were rejecting. As we become more like Christ, this will happen to us also. Here’s how we should handle that…

APPLICATION:  Times have not changed very much, for when we consider how churches treat their pastors when they really preach the Word, without regards to whose toes they might step on, then I believe that we could easily identify with Samuel and the Israelites. Friends, it is so unfortunate that we tend to blame someone else for issues that we have caused. It is likewise unfortunate when we look beyond the issues in our own lives, or the condition of our family, or our church or our group, and see so much wrong with others. Let’s think for a moment about issues with a church. Of course, we all know that it’s not the building where the church meets that is the problem, it’s folk like you and I that attend the church that causes the challenges. So look no further than inside yourself when issues arise. Changing pastors will have a similar effect as it was when God told Samuel to go ahead and give them what they want. In most cases things will only get worse. Friends, unless we commit and dedicate ourselves to becoming more like Jesus in every aspect of our lives, then anything we become a part of will suffer from the sin brought into our lives by the world. Becoming one with Jesus, means a perfect life, a life without sin – and that should be our aim everyday friends. Only then will we contribute positively to our churches and the groups that we become involved in. Remember, the world hates Jesus. Always have, and always will. So if we look enough like Jesus, they will hate us also, just like God told Samuel. So what shall we do? Determine this day who you will serve, and give it all you have. Be determined to serve only God and His righteousness, so that He might be glorified in everything we do and say!

PRAYER: Lord we so desperately need You in our lives. We want to add positively to groups that we become involved in, because of Your love that is steeped in everything we do and say. Anything else would only add to the confusion and the hatred that normally results. Unfortunately, this also happens in church groups we join, so we are seeing churches that are marred terribly by the impact of this evil world, instead of seeing a church that is always ready to forgive, always looking out for the best in the other person, always contributing to the best in others, always praying for and supporting their pastor/shepherd/leader. Lord, it is very obvious that we need more of You in our lives individually so that we can see more of You in our churches, so that we can see Your church effectively reaching out to the lost community that we serve. We need You in our lives personally Lord, please humble us to earnestly seek Your face and allow You to rule in our lives.

The Danger Of Not Surrendering ALL

I believe there will be great opportunities for worship, and for winning the hearts of the lost for Jesus, if they saw into the depths of a totally surrendered heart, when they looked at us!

Thursday, 2019-04-25

Bible Reference: 2 Kings 15:1–5
Translation: The Good news Translation (GNT)

Bible Text: In the 27th year of the reign of King Jeroboam II of Israel, Uzziah son of Amaziah became king of Judah at the age of sixteen, and he ruled in Jerusalem for 52 years. His mother was Jecoliah from Jerusalem. Following the example of his father, he did what was pleasing to the LORD. But the pagan places of worship were not destroyed, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. The LORD struck Uzziah with a dreaded skin disease that stayed with him the rest of his life. He lived in a house on his own, relieved of all duties, while his son Jotham governed the country.

OBSERVATION: I believe there will be great opportunities for worship, and for winning the hearts of the lost for Jesus, if they saw into the depths of a totally surrendered heart, when they looked at us!

APPLICATION: It seems like there is always one aspect of our lives that we don’t fully turn over to God. In this king’s life, he came short of cleaning up his country for the Lord by leaving the pagan places of worship. I wonder what all we leave behind when we, supposedly, surrender it ‘ALL‘ to Jesus? Perhaps ‘ALL‘ that we feel is necessary to surrender to Him? God brought great condemnation on the kings that did this. I wonder how much is really brought upon us because of our lack of commitment and total surrender. I bet we could not imagine how much sweeter our relationship with Christ would really be if we totally surrendered ALL of ourselves to Him. Not only was a dreadful disease (punishment) brought on King Uzziah, but the people continued to worship their pagan gods. The un-surrendered parts of our lives will be heavily attacked by Satan, because he sees that as an inroad into the life of a believer in Christ. What stops us from surrendering all to Jesus? I believe there will be great opportunities for worship, and for winning the hearts of the lost for Jesus, if they saw into the depths of a totally surrendered heart. Let’s seek His face and ask Him for the help we need to do this, friends.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please help us to search deep within our hearts and analyze those parts of our lives that we have not totally surrendered to You. After meditating on Your Word this morning, I feel like I must do this, because I likened it to me making a long trip in a nice RV, but leaving the air-conditioners at home. The trip would be a lot more tolerable and comfortable if I had the units with me. When my life is not totally surrendered to You, I live life similar to my RV trip, missing some very important pieces that could drastically improve the quality of life on earth for me. Furthermore, my joy while serving You down here would be so rich, that I couldn’t even imagine how much sweeter it would be when I see You face to face in heaven! Satan is after us with such intensity already, please help us to not leave any parts of our lives even more vulnerable to Him. May Satan, and all of those that my friends and I come into contact with see Jesus in all of His fullness and glory! AMEN!