Promises vs Threats – Both From God

In growing up, we always knew when we did something that pleased our parents! But when we had that bad feeling in our gut, we knew that we did something contrary to their rules or teachings! In our Scripture, Joshua gave a final warning to the tribe of Manasseh as they prepared to enter their new home country prepared by God. He told them of blessings for their obedience, otherwise curses for their disobedience. Today, the Holy Spirit is our guide in helping us understand the warning signs in God’s Word – ones that reveal blessings, and/or possible curses.

DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-05-16
WRITTEN AT: Jupiter, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Joshua 23:14-16
TRANSLATION: Good News Translation (GNT)

BIBLE TEXT: 14 “…… Every one of you knows in his heart and soul that the Lord your God has given you all the good things that he promised. Every promise he made has been kept; not one has failed. 15 But just as he kept every promise that he made to you, so he will carry out every threat. 16 If you do not keep the covenant which the Lord your God commanded you to keep and if you serve and worship other gods, then in his anger he will punish you, and soon none of you will be left in this good land that he has given you.”

APPLICATION: Those who tend to be rebellious really struggle in this life, because there are laws and rules in every aspect of life. Many are challenged by God’s Word because they are opposed to the laws, commands and rules set by God. But aren’t we always ready to celebrate and worship the Lord when we are blessed by the mercies of God and His undeserving, amazing goodness towards us? So if it was left up to us, what would you do for those who go their own stubborn way? Would you give them more rope to hang themselves, or would you strive in your efforts to correct them and try to turn them towards the teachings of the Master? I believe that we all know what should be done, even though in today’s world we tend to think of ‘doing it our way’, as that old song is titled! For a moment, think about the huge investment of time and self sacrifice that Joshua had with the Israelites. Think about His commitment to the Almighty God? I believe that when he spoke to the tribes in our Scripture today, he spoke from the heart of a father. Yes, he had a sincere commitment to God and he wanted to make sure that everything was done according to God’s perfect plan, but because he had invested so much of his life into a much brighter future for His fellow Israelites, everything he did or said came from a heart just like the heart of God. Wouldn’t it be awesome to reflect on a sermon, teaching, or advice from your pastor and just stand in awe at what he shared from God that’s all for your very best interest, even though some of it really ‘stepped on your toes’? My friends, let’s be reminded that when discipline is necessary, or when God has correction in store for us, it will be uncomfortable because it’s aim is to get us on the right track to do the things that are pleasing to God. Only one is perfect, Jesus our Lord. So when the Word of God is preached or taught, it will probably work at the rough edges in our lives – those scars caused by disobedience and/or our kicking against the principles of God. Because Joshua loved his people so much, he didn’t want to see them have to face the correction/discipline of God, so he warned them right at the very beginning of their new life in their new land. Our pastors are much the same way. As messengers of God, and with deep love for their parishioners, they stand in front of us each week and warn us about the consequences of disobedience to the Word and will of God. Some refuse to attend church for this very reason, for they would prefer a ‘pat on the back’ and only hear about the blessings of God. However, I believe that we all must remember one thing about God’s Word, it is designed to steer us in the direction that God has chosen for us. To redirect us at times, God may need to create a bump in our road to steer us to the right, or to the left. Without that, we will continue straight – along the wrong path. So let me encourage you to not just be thankful for the wise words of Joshua, but also for the Word of God as you read it, and for pastor and teachers as they merely help us to understand what God is saying to us. God has promised us a lot – right down to a heavenly home where we will spend eternity. However, He has threatened to discipline us when we allow our stubborn actions to overrule His perfect will for us. I want to enjoy the many promises of God in every aspect of my life! I pray that every reader/listener is very much aligned with my desire – God being our helper!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Every promise God has made, has been kept!

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, for the blessings and the good times we enjoy, we say thank You. For correction and discipline, we also say thank You, because You love us way too much to see us floundering along the wrong path, or doing those things that You disapprove of. Thank You for all You did for the Israelites, and we celebrate with them the rich mercies and gifts that You bestowed on them. Thank You for the challenging times mentioned by Joshua and about the disciplines You may found necessary to impose on our ancestors to get them back on track. We are well aware of our weaknesses and the many temptations that come to distract us from our persistent walk with You. Thank God that out of sincere love, You have decided to even use discipline to keep us straight as we walk towards You in a sinful and destructive world. May we always be gracious in accepting our discipline, and always loving and respectful of the God who loves us. AMEN!

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

Remove The Evil One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s Discipline

I am reminded that discipline comes in many forms, and from almost every person in authority over us. Jesus (the Amen, as referenced in several translations) saw the need to say this to the church at Ladocia because they ‘sat on the fence’ – they were not hot, or cold. For they said they were servants of God, but they didn’t allow Him to be God in their own lives. Could God be bringing this to our attention today so that we may closely examine our own lives, and that of our own churches?

Thursday, 2018-11-29

Bible Reference: Revelation 3:19
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 19 I continually discipline and punish everyone I love; so I must punish you unless you turn from your indifference and become enthusiastic about the things of God.

OBSERVATION: I am reminded that discipline comes in many forms, and from almost every person in authority over us. Jesus (the Amen, as referenced in several translations) saw the need to say this to the church at Ladocia because they ‘sat on the fence’ – they were not hot, or cold. For they said they were servants of God, but they didn’t allow Him to be God in their own lives. Could God be bringing this to our attention today so that we may closely examine our own lives, and that of our own churches? 

APPLICATION: From a very early age, good parents will discipline their children, as a way of stopping wrong doing, and guiding children towards the right way to act and do things. As children mature, they go to school and teachers are forced to instill discipline in their lives also. As young adults, they then find the need to test the systems outside of the home and school systems. So law enforcement and the courts come into play. Then they enter the work environment, where supervisors or managers take responsibility for guiding them as adults, and holding them accountable for their actions. Imagine what a parent will do if the young man who just landed a job, went home one evening and ignored everything his parents asked him to do around the home? In fact, all that he learned in growing up seemed to have drained out of the young man, for he is also ignoring his manners, respect and chores that were assigned to him. So the parents are looking at their son from birth, yet his attitude has changed into something they just can’t identify with. They want to love him, because of his ‘sonship’, yet they don’t want to reward unappreciated, rotten  behavior with their precious love. In our Scripture, Jesus is looking at a church that He gave up His very life for, yet He is disappointed at their disregard for His teachings; their refusal to participate in a number of church meetings that were designed to grow Christians; their withdrawing from certain activities that particular families are a part of, because they just don’t like them. Imagine the lack of appreciation Jesus must feel, knowing that He loved the church so much that He freely gave up His life for their good, and for their victory in overcoming the world’s weaknesses, and living with the promise of eternal life in heaven with Jesus and His Father? Do you suppose that He would be tempted to spew them out of His mouth, and possibly start over with a new group that may show signs of hope? What kind of discipline do you feel might be most appropriate for a church such as I described? Do you feel that you would be one who is caught up in the worldly actions described, or one of the few that may be praying for God to help them clean up their mess and live righteously before a holy God? Friends, I would encourage you to look inward before criticizing the church at Laodicea, or trying to pin the actions I raised on certain individuals. Does Jesus see an individual with a clean and contrite heart, filled with His righteousness, and appreciative for all that Jesus did for the church, when He looks intently into your heart? Precious Lord, may it be so for myself, and for many who will read this devotional. Please teach us to alway seek the truths of Your Word, and to humbly obey Your teachings.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for giving wholeheartedly of Yourself so that we might be saved from the attractions of this world. Thank You for helping us to look with joy at the realization of heaven and the wonder of the King of all kings and Lord of all lords, welcoming us home as a ‘son’ or a ‘daughter’! Our hearts are overwhelmed with joy over the promise and expectation of this, as we patiently await Your return to take us home with You precious Lord. Please ‘jerk our chain’ as we lose sight of whose we are, so that we would never be tempted to stray away from the commands of our General – our Lord and Savior. Thank You Lord for loving us enough to bring us through this challenging world with our eyes fixed on You. Please help us to maintain ‘tunnel vision’, so that the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of Your glory and grace! AMEN!

Proof of Sonship

In our Scripture today we are reminded of one of the finest aspects of sonship with our heavenly Father. Unfortunately, it is an aspect that most Christians would probably prefer didn’t exist, because no one likes to be ‘disciplined’. However, it is vitally important that we especially meditate on this while considering verse 8 – that an earthly father will discipline his children, and if he doesn’t, it’s probably because we are not his child. The same applies to our Heavenly Father, so let’s consider what evidence of sonship might become evident to us today.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Hebrews 12:5-8 (TPT)

TEXT: …. “My child, don’t underestimate the value of the discipline and training of the Lord God, or get depressed when he has to correct you. For the Lord’s training of your life is the evidence of his faithful love. And when he draws you to himself, it proves you are his delightful child.” Fully embrace God’s correction as part of your training, for he is doing what any loving father does for his children. For who has ever heard of a child who never had to be corrected? We all should welcome God’s discipline as the validation of authentic sonship. For if we have never once endured his correction it only proves we are strangers and not sons.

OBSERVATION:   In our Scripture today we are reminded of one of the finest aspects of sonship with our heavenly Father. Unfortunately, it is an aspect that most Christians would probably prefer didn’t exist, because no one likes to be ‘disciplined’. However, it is vitally important that we especially meditate on this while considering verse 8 – that an earthly father will discipline his children, and if he doesn’t, it’s probably because we are not his child. The same applies to our Heavenly Father, so let’s consider what evidence of sonship might become evident to us today.

APPLICATION:   Anytime that we think of our parents, we probably think about the love that they have for us. Anytime we think of the reason one accepts Jesus as Lord, we probably think about the great love that Jesus has for us, and them. However, part of the reason we remember the love of our parents, is because we may recall the times of discipline given, because of their deep love for us and how they wanted the very best for us. However, seldom do we promote the idea of God also disciplining us. But think about it friends, if there is not a point of discipline by God, and He allowed us to do whatever our earthly desires are, would that truly indicate a God who loves us and wants His very best for us? Absolutely not. So I would recommend that we look at God’s discipline just like a business person who looks at complaints coming into their business as a ‘gift’. Without the complaint, a customer will try another business establishment to see if they could get it right. Through the complaint, the customer is saying to a business, here’s what you are not doing well at, correct it for success because I want to continue doing business with you. God’s discipline is showing us that He cares enough about us that He wants His very best for us But to accomplish that we may need an attitude adjustment, or we may need to look at others with respect and not look down on them because their gifts are different to ours. I believe that you will find where it is challenging to accept discipline, and often you could see no good reason for it. May I remind you that God is the only One who knows about tomorrow, and the needs and opportunities that will exist when that time comes? Trusting God means that you understand that previous statement and that to be aligned with God’s perfect will for your life, you are at His disposal and direction for everything that He has planned for your good, and His glory. Are you there yet? I believe this requires daily communication with God, asking for strength to endure and be obedient to whatever He desires of you that day. We are far from perfect, but with a perfect God as our Master and our Guide, He will lead us into opportunities that we would never dream of, or think possible. Let go of selfish desires and ask God to direct your path, my friend. He may have a soul to save, a saint to heal, a discouraged warrior to cheer up or much more than we could imagine, and He may have you or I taking part, as His physical hands or feet on the ground! Oh to be His ambassador, and to be a part of God’s miraculous plan for us!

PRAYER:   Father, we all love the idea of being Your precious Son or Daughter, but there is a total negative connotation when we think of You having to discipline us into full obedience to Your will. Lord, may Your Word speak to the hearts of many who will read this devotional today, and may we all be reminded of the love that is transmitted through Your discipline. For we may look at discipline as changing or stopping a behavior that we love, but I truly believe that You intend it for our good and for the benefit of Your kingdom. Oh that we may be used of You in some way today, and I know that it will take Your ‘discipline’ for many of us to redirect from the plans we have in place already for this day. Our desire is for You to be glorified oh Lord, and that You might use even us to bring glory to Your name. 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!

Our God – Loving, But Also Just

We can see right at the beginning how God showed His love in trying to do everything possible in order to get to the hearts of His children who were disobeying His commands. However, in verse 17 it is clear that God may have to punish at times, in order to get our attention. I know that we don’t like to concentrate on the bad, or the corrections, but that makes it no less real or effective in our lives. God knew what it took to get the attention of the Israelites, and He also knows what it takes for Him to work on you also, child of God.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Chronicles 36:15-17 (NCV)

TEXT:  15 The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent prophets again and again to warn his people, because he had pity on them and on his Temple. 16 But they made fun of God’s prophets and hated God’s messages. They refused to listen to the prophets until, finally, the Lord became so angry with his people that he could not be stopped. 17 So God brought the king of Babylon to attack them. The king killed the young men even when they were in the Temple. He had no mercy on the young men or women, the old men or those who were sick. God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar. 

OBSERVATION:   We can see right at the beginning how God showed His love in trying to do everything possible in order to get to the hearts of His children who were disobeying His commands. However, in verse 17 it is clear that God may have to punish at times, in order to get our attention. I know that we don’t like to concentrate on the bad, or the corrections, but that makes it no less real or effective in our lives. God knew what it took to get the attention of the Israelites, and He also knows what it takes for Him to work on you also, child of God.

APPLICATION:   While at your favorite restaurant, you might look across the room and see a dad cuddling with his young son and enjoying some quality time with this child that he loves so much. Later during your visit, you hear a child screaming, and you look around only to see a mom taking her son outside, and you can only imagine what’s in store for that boy when he gets outside! Is that a representation of how a dad loves his child vs how a mom shows love to her child? I believe that most of you reading this devotional will understand that both the mom and dad showed equal love towards their children in the above scenario. However, most of the time that we hear about God, it is mostly about His awesome love and how good He is, which I totally endorse. However, let’s also remember that God established His Word to teach us about His commands and His teachings. He tells in His Word of the ways that He shows His love for us and, as in these verses chosen today, He also tells us what action He may bring on us if we are persistent in disobeying Him, or if we decide to follow our own desires and rules and ignore His. Friends, please know that God is known as a loving and just God. He showed His love for mankind by sending His very own Son to die on a cruel cross, just to display the extreme love that He has for us. However, please know that God also loves us enough to correct us. To draw our attention to the wrong we may be involved in. And He may use anyone or anything within His reach to effect our attitude, our obedience, or our love for Him and our fellow man. May I suggest that you speak with God when things are happening that may impact you and/or your world? See if He is trying to get your attention about something that you thought no one else knew about besides you. Remember, He brought in the king of Babylon to attack the Israelites and even kill off some of the people in the temple. Do you suppose there is a limit to what He might do to get your attention?

PRAYER:   Lord, I believe that You show Your love for us in many, many ways. Often this may be through blessings that we enjoy every day. However, that will never get our attention to correct the wrongs that we do, so You are forced to discipline us in order to effectively change our course of action, and in order to draw us closer to You. Lord, may we be grateful in the good things that we are quick to acknowledge and give You praise for. However, please help us to recognize the steering currents that You use to change our course of direction that was leading us to disobedience or disrespect. Lord, may You be glorified in every way through us, and may God receive honor and glory from all things. 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!

 

God Wants Us To Be Holy

Our Scripture today confirms the love of God for His children, and confirms that it’s because of that deep love for us that God disciplines us. However, when we understand the purpose for that discipline then we appreciate the discipline.

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-03-08
SCRIPTURE

From:

Hebrews 12:8-11 (CEV)

Text:

God corrects all of his children, and if he doesn’t correct you, then you don’t really belong to him. Our earthly fathers correct us, and we still respect them. Isn’t it even better to be given true life by letting our spiritual Father correct us?

10 Our human fathers correct us for a short time, and they do it as they think best. But God corrects us for our own good, because he wants us to be holy, as he is. 11 It is never fun to be corrected. In fact, at the time it is always painful. But if we learn to obey by being corrected, we will do right and live at peace.

OBSERVATION:
Our Scripture today confirms the love of God for His children, and confirms that it’s because of that deep love for us that God disciplines us. However, when we understand the purpose for that discipline then we appreciate the discipline.
APPLICATION:
Some may struggle with the idea of God disciplining His children because we have always been taught that He loves us enough to die for us. In parenting, or adult life overall, I believe we all can agree that where there is no discipline, there is good indication of a disconnect between the adult and the child. Either the child doesn’t belong to the adult on the scene and therefore a lack of duty, or love, or responsibility to correct the child, or a lack of love and concern for the upbringing of that child. I want you to stop and think about yourself as a parent, or if you’re not a parent then think about your parents, and consider all the reasons why a child is probably loved by their earthly parents. Next, I want you to think of the God who created us, then recognized that we are selfish and would never follow rules, commands and rituals in order to right ourselves with Him because of our sins. So in order to help us out, God sent His one and only Son to die a cruel death through crucifixion to prove His love for us. Now, for a God like that, don’t you know that He would very much desire that we be steered into oneness with Himself? Steering us is the same as disciplining us. When we are reminded of wrong things through reading God’s Word, or hearing a message from God via our pastor or Godly teacher, we are being steered away from that wrong. Likewise when we can honestly say ‘amen’ to a sermon or Bible reading, it probably means that we agree, and that we are honestly following that command of God. Now here are the words that I really loved from our Scripture today, because God said that the reason He steers us, or disciplines us, is not just because He loves us, but because “He wants us to be holy, as He is”! I don’t know about you friend, but that sends chills up and down my spine, to think that the God of this universe loves me enough that He will do whatever it takes to get us in line with His commands so that we may be holy, just as He is! Wow!
PRAYER:
It is so hard for us to believe that we could ever be considered ‘Holy’, much less to be consider ‘holy’ as God Himself. Yet God said it, so I believe it. Thank You for never giving up on us Jesus! Thank You for loving us so much – more than we could ever comprehend. Please forgive us for being so stubborn, disobedient, and straying so often from the path You have set for us. Lord I can only imagine that this is a daily chore for You to deal with, so I beg You to touch Your children once again today. We want to be like You, and we want to be ‘holy’ in Your eyes. Please steer us aright again today as we face the trials and temptations of this day. Thank You heavenly Father for loving us so deeply and unconditionally! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Purpose of Discipline By God

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Century Version – Hebrews 12:7-10): 7 So hold on through your sufferings, because they are like a father’s discipline. God is treating you as children. All children are disciplined by their fathers. 8 If you are never disciplined (and every child must be disciplined), you are not true children. 9 We have all had fathers here on earth who disciplined us, and we respected them. So it is even more important that we accept discipline from the Father of our spirits so we will have life. 10 Our fathers on earth disciplined us for a short time in the way they thought was best. But God disciplines us to help us, so we can become holy as he is.

THOUGHTS: I believe that we can endure many things if we know why they are happening to us. This is the reason that we often complain, ‘why me Lord?’ However it is often difficult, and perhaps very ‘human’ to limit our sight to our current circumstances instead of looking for the possible good that God could achieve through our suffering or challenge. Friends if we are ever involved in making something – perhaps a piece of pottery or building something out of wood, we may have to smash it at times and start over. Similarly, God made us perfect, but He gave us free-will to do our own thing, so our sin nature often gets the better part of us and leads us down a path that could be destructive. Without having to smash us and destroy us, God, in His infinite wisdom and love, gets our attention, and brings us back on the road where we look more like Him again. This is called ‘discipline’. So if you get nothing more out of this devotional today, please memorize the words that are bolded at the end of the highlighted verses: “God disciplines to help us become holy, just as He is“. Why do we deserve such love, you might ask. I believe that the words that I first quoted as our main gripe, were also used in the title of a song that helps us voice our opinion to God but yet understand the great love shown to us by the Father. Listen to ‘Why Me Lord‘ as you ponder why God would love even you so much that He would send His one and only Son as a sacrifice for all your bad – your sin. Remember, He wants us to look just like Him and to be good representatives of His while on our path of life here on planet earth. His discipline serves an eternal purpose that only God knows, and that we may or may not ever see or understand. Just trust Him friend! I have been struggling with one challenge, or trial, after another recently, and yesterday while really feeling burdened, God sent a messenger to tell me that my trials are not to burden me or hurt me, but to strengthen me for greater and bigger things that will benefit His kingdom! Wow, what an inspiration! Our road to holiness is a challenging one while living in a challenging world filled with greed and sin, but our God can do all things in the lives of those who place their faith and trust in Him. Draw close to God, friend, so that He may draw close to you and help you on this challenging road of life.

PRAYER: What have I done to deserve God’s only Son? As I hear those words sung in the video reference above, I am reminded of all the love You have shown, both at Calvary, and through all phases of my Christian life, and I can only sit back and ask Why? Why me Lord? I may never know why You love me so much Heavenly Father, but I am compelled to say yet again today how much I appreciate all that You have done to make me more like You every day. I stand amazed in the presence of the King and Creator of this universe and humbly call You my Lord, my Savior, my Friend and my soon coming King! Please soften the hearts of the rebellious today. Please pour out Your love on those that may question why they are going through challenges. Draw them to Yourself in such a way that their rebellion will turn to pure love and submission, knowing that You only want us to be more holy, as You are. I love You Lord Jesus, and I thank You for first loving me! I ask all this in Your precious name, 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Things to Do While We Wait

The Holy Bible

The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.

(Bible Translation and Location: The New Living Translation – 1 Peter 4:7-9)

Thoughts:

Living in a hurricane prone area of the world, we know how to be prepared for the often short notice about an approaching hurricane. However, when warned, we quickly hit the streets and pay a visit to our grocery stores and possibly to hardware stores for last minute items to make sure we are fully ready for eventual power cuts or breaks in deliveries to our local stores. Similarly, living in this world and having taken the first step of readiness for God’s eminent return, God, through Peter, is warning us of some last minute things we should really be doing to avoid any regrets when we stand before Him. Here are some things that we should be doing right now friends:

  • Be earnest and disciplined in our prayers – A Christian living in a world stained by sin, and where sin abounds, must stay close to God and constantly seek His guiding and protective hand to help us to stay on track and not be distracted by the sin that initially entrapped us and kept us at bay from God. “Being earnest and disciplined at it” gives me the impression that we are to make this a priority even when we don’t feel like it, but like vitamins and food itself, do it because we are told to, and because we know that we need it;
  • Show deep love one for another – Generally we will exude what’s inside of us. If God has filled us with His love, then we should have no trouble showing love for one another. However, I believe that just how a perfect God chose to love imperfect people like us, God wants us to love even those who might otherwise be unlovable. Ones we despise because they believe different to us, or act in ways that we have overcome (with God’s help). Ones that have hurt us, or who we may have hurt, because the Word says that this kind of love will be greater than the hurt, and also help us to overcome the hurt. Loving those who are different to us is much like what God was faced with when He looked down on us – sinners, yet He loved us anyway. Praise the name of the Lord!
  • Freely share your home and your food – Who blessed us with what we have, friends? Therefore, because all that we have, became possible because of our loving God, we should therefore pass the blessing along and bless others with it! Let’s truly be an example of the Savior that we worship and adore!

Friends, we are God’s very own and He has blessed us way more than we could ever imagine or deserve. As He has blessed us, let us therefore bless others! Let’s learn to pass along the blessings and not just hog them up to ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, I thank you for giving me Your Word to plainly tell me what I should be doing right now. As I was obedient in Your call upon my life to accept You as my Lord and Savior, please continue to nudge me along with reminders to live according to Your book of instructions so that I might do what You require of me on a daily basis. These verses today are excellent reminders of what I should be doing as I wait for Your return. Please give me strength today, and a willing and obedient heart as I strive to obey You and do Your will. Please allow Your Word to make an indelible imprint on the minds of Christians that read this today so that they also might be realigned to obedience. For others that You may point to this devotional today, please work a miracle in their life so that as they see the need to surrender their life to You, they may also catch a glimpse of Your expectations after their initial decision. Thank You for being so gracious to even me dear Lord. May I now be gracious and obedient in response to You. I am asking this in Your awesome, powerful and loving name, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!

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