Encourage One Another

I don’t know that there is any better timing for today’s Scripture than today. I believe with all of the ups and downs and challenges of this year, we are probably a more needy people than ever before in our lives. But notice that vs 24 does not suggest that we seek out encouragement, but rather look for ways to encourage others. May I suggest that you read these verses again, and meditate with me as we seek God’s direction for our lives.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-10-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 10:13-25
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 23 So now we must cling tightly to the hope that lives within us, knowing that God always keeps his promises![l] 24 Discover creative ways to encourage others[m] and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love. 25 This is not the time to pull away and neglect[n] meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.

OBSERVATION: I don’t know that there is any better timing for today’s Scripture than today. I believe with all of the ups and downs and challenges of this year, we are probably a more needy people than ever before in our lives. But notice that vs 24 does not suggest that we seek out encouragement, but rather look for ways to encourage others. May I suggest that you read these verses again, and meditate with me as we seek God’s direction for our lives.

APPLICATION: I believe that science will show that a person in hospital, or in a retirement facility, who never receive visitation from family or friends, will quickly wither up and die. I also believe that a worker who sits quietly in the corner of the office and works hard, will soon become discouraged and quit, if no one speaks to them or encourages them with praise and thankfulness. However, we have become such a sad bunch who tends to sit and sour in our own selfish attitudes, aches, and pains, and who badly needs support from others. So what if we followed the words of our Father through Paul? Here are some things that may benefit us, and also help us be of encouragement to the needy:
1. Take time to reflect on the hope that lives within us – What hope? How about the hope of one day being with our Lord and Savior? How about the comfort of knowing that part of the triune God lives within us – the Holy Spirit? How about reflecting on the fact that one day when everything is done on this earth, we have a heavenly kingdom to look forward to – where we will meet with royalty like we never dreamed possible here on earth?
2. Take time to reflect on the promises of God that apply to you – It is said that there are over 5,000 promises in the Bible! Why don’t we search out a few promises each day, and allow our minds to reflect on the goodness of God, instead of the many other things that distract us negatively?
3. Look for ways to motivate others towards compassion, love and good works – I believe this means that we not just follow what our neighbor, or our pastor does, but rather – look for unique ways to encourage someone else in the ways mentioned. I bet you’ll be surprised how innovative you can be! Remember, the Holy Spirit lives within you and will help you accomplish the will of God!
4. Plan to meet together – at church – I am convinced that this year of challenges brought on by the COVID virus, has drawn us away from this important aspect of our Christian walk. You see, we tend to encourage others when we see them, hug them and talk with them. They realize they are of value to someone! Yes, we can watch the church service virtually, but how many of us are calling to encourage one another?
Friends, I don’t believe it’s too late for us to still be the child of God that He expects of us. For as long as we have breath in our bodies, we could obediently follow the Word of God, if we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work. I am sharing this message today primarily to myself first, so please accept the devotional as a recommendation based on God’s Word, not from one who is filled with fault. Please pray for me as I work on these matters, and I will be happy to pray for you if you make your need known through a quick update on the blog. I believe that our God is waiting to help us be obedient to His commands!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, I’m sure that this will not catch you be surprise, but I believe that your children are hurting more today than perhaps any other time in their lives. We have become way too comfortable in the ways of the world, and caught up in technology, while many are hurting and need a Christian Brother or Sister to stand besides them and encourage them. Many may have even lost hope. Please speak intently to Your children today, especially everyone that reads as far as this in my devotional. May our souls be revived as we study Your Word and seek Your help so that we may be obedient to Your every command. Please help us to seek ways to provoke others towards love and good works. We all need the Lord, and we need each other for encouragement and reassurance so that our minds might be fixed on Jesus, our Author and Finisher of our faith! 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Encouragement Brings Refreshing Times

In this translation, verse 7 reads that Philemon was encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints. In the NLT, we are told that Paul was excited because Philemon refreshed the hearts of believers! Ever been guilty of that? Let’s meditate on how we might do that…

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-09-18
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Philemon 1:4-7
Translation: Voice Translation (Voice)

Bible Text: I am constantly thanking God for you in my prayers because I keep hearing about your love and faith toward our Lord Jesus and all those set apart for His purposes. Here’s what I’ve been praying on your behalf:
Thank You, Father, for Philemon. I pray that as he goes and tells his story of faith, he would tell everyone so that they will know for certain all the good that comes to those who put their trust in the Anointed One.
My brother, because you are out there encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints with such love, this brings great joy and comfort to me.

OBSERVATION: In this translation, verse 7 reads that Philemon was encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints. In the NLT, we are told that Paul was excited because Philemon refreshed the hearts of believers! Ever been guilty of that? Let’s meditate on how we might do that…

APPLICATION: I don’t believe there is anything more satisfying than to walk in on someone speaking something complimentary about you! I suppose the next best thing is probably to read the compliments on our character in a letter, email or newspaper. Unfortunately this hardly ever occurs until the time of our memorial service! Now, I realize that we never do the work of the Lord for man’s applause, but I also know that we each need encouraging from time to time. Paul’s applause to Philemon was all about the feedback that Paul was receiving from the church members that met in Philemon’s home. Friends, we must remember that as we strive diligently to live as an example of our Master and Lord, if no one around us notices, then how do you suppose we are doing? Philemon lived such a life of love in the presence of his congregants, that Paul likened it to something that we do to our computer screens when we ‘refresh‘ the screen! It’s like something that we diligently pray for in our churches, when we pray for ‘revival‘, for we want our hearts to be ‘refreshed‘ in the love of Jesus, and our spirits refreshed to the state of when we first met Jesus, when we fell deeply in love with Him for saving our soul. Friends, I want to encourage us to not wait for our encouragement, before we refresh those around us that we have seen the love of Jesus in. For as we encourage them and see them rejuvenated in wanting to serve Christ even more fully, we too will be encouraged to reach out to Jesus and desire such a filling of His sweet Holy Spirit that it would electrify anyone’s spirit who happens to Come near to us. People who need the Lord are constantly looking at those who say they have a personal relationship with Him, so they could see what a Jesus filled life looks like. How are you doing with that friend? Can others see enough of Jesus in you that they want to be around you, hoping that some of the joy and love that you exude would rub off on them! Draw close to God friend, and He will draw close to you. In fact, He will overfill your joy and love, so that others will want to know the source of it all!

PRAYER: Thank you Jesus for allowing Paul to encourage his Brother Philemon, based on the great work that he saw from, and heard of, him. Thank You for speaking to our hearts through this Scripture today, so that our hearts might be overfilled and encouraged. May we be looking for avenues to encourage and share Your precious love with others. Please give us more love to share and many more opportunities in which to share that love with others. Draw the unsaved to Yourself Lord, and if I may be of service through some awesome act of love, then I beg You to please use even me. Please have the same impact on all those who will read this devotional today. AMEN!

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

Making One Another Stronger

While many of us wish that we could help others more than we feel like we have the ability, or capacity to, I believe that we are challenged with ideas on ways to accomplish this feat. Look again at verse 12 above. God gave each of His children important gifts – but notice that they are given so that we may serve others in order to make the body of Christ stronger. To help one another achieve their best in God. Wow!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-07-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Ephesians 4:11–13
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 11 ….. Christ gave these gifts to people: He made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to care for and teach God’s people. 12 Christ gave these gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger. 13 This work must continue until we are all joined together in what we believe and in what we know about the Son of God. Our goal is to become like a full-grown man—to look just like Christ and have all his perfection.

OBSERVATION: While many of us wish that we could help others more than we feel like we have the ability, or capacity to, I believe that we are challenged with ideas on ways to accomplish this feat. Look again at verse 12 above. God gave each of His children important gifts – but notice that they are given so that we may serve others in order to make the body of Christ stronger. To help one another achieve their best in God. Wow!

APPLICATION: Wow, how often do we receive a gift, told how to use it, and then rewarded for using it? I believe the part that really touches me, is that God would trust me enough to bless me with a gift from His precious hand. I believe it is awesome that God would then direct me to use that gift to enrich the life of one that I might come into contact with! Ever thought of the fact that God is constantly looking for ways to touch His children and make us stronger in the faith? Ever thought about the fact that when we accepted Jesus as Lord of our lives, we committed ourselves to be more like Him every day, and live to mirror His ways and His character before a lost world? So would it be impossible to think for a moment that God could actually prepare us to be a ‘holy people’ who will serve others for the benefit of making the church stronger? Friends, we might tend to think that we are nobodies and that we don’t count in God’s big scheme of saving the world, but did you also consider that the angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner who repents! Friends, we will find that a sinner repents after receiving convicting evidence that Jesus is alive and that He loves and cares for all who will call on His name in repentance. Often that conviction will come through you and I, as friends of the individual, or even as an acquaintance. God can and will use all means possible to reach the hearts of His lost children. I truly believe that you and I are a vital part of that team, fellow Christian! So when we read the Word and read the exciting news that God will strengthen and embolden us to serve His church and make it stronger, please don’t brush that aside as being the responsibility of the pastor, or the elder or deacon. Take it personally, as He can and will use all of us who are trying to be just like Him in every way to actively work in His service and strengthen the lost who are searching for the Savior of the world.

PRAYER: Lord I believe in You, so I take my role seriously that You could use even me to serve Your church and make it stronger. Lord, I can only imagine the awesome work that a ‘STRONG’ church can do in it’s community, and the impact it could have on the lost, who need a Savior. Please help us to take our role seriously. It may be as simple as sharing Your love with those who feel unlovable, or it may be as challenging as preaching or teaching Your Word, so that the world will know about You. Our abilities mean very little, but our availability to be used by the King of kings is the ultimate soul winner and encourager. May You be glorified in all that You accomplish through us, and may Your kingdom be enriched from every possible thing accomplished through 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Transformed Relationships

Often times we will read about ways to, and often we are encouraged to, transform our lives into one that aligns with the will of God and in obedience of the Holy Spirit. Paul encourages us to meditate also on how these transformed lives will look to those that we connect with and call our friends. Perhaps you might be willing to join me in looking deeply into our personal relationships with others, and whether there is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work within us as we fellowship with each other. Paul gives great guidance to us, so let’s dig in…

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-04-14
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 12:9-12
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: Let the inner movement of your heart always be to love one another, and never play the role of an actor wearing a mask. Despise evil and embrace everything that is good and virtuous. 10 Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another. 11 Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, keeping your passion toward him boiling hot! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement as you serve him.
12 Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble,[e] but commune with God at all times.

OBSERVATION: Often times we will read about ways to, and often we are encouraged to, transform our lives into one that aligns with the will of God and in obedience of the Holy Spirit. Paul encourages us to meditate also on how these transformed lives will look to those that we connect with and call our friends. Perhaps you might be willing to join me in looking deeply into our personal relationships with others, and whether there is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work within us as we fellowship with each other. Paul gives great guidance to us, so let’s dig in…

APPLICATION: Often times we struggle in relationships, both with family members and with friends. For there is jealousy between one another and envy and hard feelings that could quickly result, in fact, to the extent that we can’t stand to be in each other’s presence. Coworkers tend to be so competitive to reach for the top, or earn more commissions and/or recognition, so they step right over another employee, and may even do certain things to prevent that coworker from doing their best. Church members want to be in charge, or favored by the pastor, or perhaps they just can’t have their own way, so we see churches split or families leave the church and move on to another. I wonder if the result would be any different if we were to follow the advice of Paul in these two verses? Friends, Christians are to be deep into the Word at every opportunity, but not less frequently than daily, looking over God’s instructions to be sure that we live and love like Him. You see, God’s Word contains our template for love, it tells us about our Role Model, Jesus Christ. Our responsibility according to the Word, is to go and minister to the world so that all may know Jesus. Don’t you know that we are actually teaching them our evil ways when we act like the world, or like the above examples? Remember, our actions speak so loud that others will rarely hear what we are saying to them. I believe Paul is saying that we are not to be hypocritical. If we claim Jesus as Lord, then we are to live like Him and seek to squash all evil thoughts that Satan will buffet us with. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we will seek to act like Jesus. and in no way follow the path of least resistance that are led by Satan – whose aim is to kill, steal and destroy the work of God. Friends, Jesus is coming soon and we must live with that in mind. Don’t dare live like the devil and think you’ll have time to seek forgiveness when you hear that Jesus is coming down the street. The Bible says that we must live in a state of readiness, because Jesus in no way needs our permission that the coast is clear for Him to come and gather His bride (the church – us). This means that we are to live and love like Jesus demands of us today. Don’t delay, please?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, the creator of love, the One who showed ultimate love, please forgive me for making a mockery of living and loving like You exampled for me. You showed me how to live, and I have totally blown it. Thank You for Your servant Paul, who has reminded us that we need to live and love in ways that others might recognize as an imitation of God. This is impossible to achieve, as long as we continue to give in to the ways of this world. Father, please give my readers and I strength to be true victors in living our lives according to the model You displayed. Please help us to stay so in tuned with Your Word that it will not only impact the words from our lips, but the desires of our heart and the actions of our whole being. Lord, sadly, we must confess that we have ‘Christian’ family and friends that are living in sin, because they are acting just like Satan, and in similar ways to the above examples given. Please use this devotional today to speak to the hearts of those claiming You as Lord. Please also speak to those who have not yet accepted You as Lord, for today is the day of salvation, and there is no better time than today for them to seek Your power and Your strength so that they too might live and love like You. Lord, this old world is getting in extremely poor shape morally, for folk are becoming more and more hardened to their sin. Please, I beg You, do a mighty work in Your people today. Begin with us, Christians. Get us straight first, so that we may be Your hands and Your feet on the ground seeking to impact the lives of those that don’t know You. These things I ask humbly in Your precious name and for Your sake, 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!

Right With God

No doubt, there are others who struggle with confidence in their faith, because God sure got my attention when I meditated on this scripture today! I believe it is evident that verse 24 simply states that we need to believe in God and His awesome, infinite power in much the same way that Abraham did. But we all know how challenging that is. When something happens that seem impossible to overcome, at least in our eyes, we go into distress mode and shut down, or we go ballistic. Let’s stop and really meditate on the love, power and grace of our awesome God. His Son put His life on the line for our righteousness. Let’s recognize that and savor the thought of such a sacrifice today.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-03-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 4:20-25
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.

OBSERVATION: No doubt, there are others who struggle with confidence in their faith, because God sure got my attention when I meditated on this scripture today! I believe it is evident that verse 24 simply states that we need to believe in God and His awesome, infinite power in much the same way that Abraham did. But we all know how challenging that is. When something happens that seem impossible to overcome, at least in our eyes, we go into distress mode and shut down, or we go ballistic. Let’s stop and really meditate on the love, power and grace of our awesome God. His Son put His life on the line for our righteousness. Let’s recognize that and savor the thought of such a sacrifice today.

APPLICATION: I believe that if you ask most folk on the street if they believe in God, they will say: ‘but of course – that’s the only explanation for all that we see around us’. So what is the difference between that kind of faith, and the kind referred to by Paul? This might explain – there was a gentleman who had confidence that he could easily walk a tight rope across the Niagara Falls, but one day he said that he would push a wheelbarrow across on the tight rope – with a person inside of it. There were a lot more people than normal who showed up to watch this new feat. A reporter walked around asking folk, who had seen him do similar feats in the past, if they believed the man was capable of this particular feat. Most of them reply positively, but when asked if they would volunteer to ride in the wheelbarrow, there were a lot fewer who would agree! So did they really have faith that the man could successfully accomplish his challenge? To a degree perhaps, but they weren’t willing to put their life on the line for it! We have so much in our favor to support our faith in God, for there are so many examples in the Bible on the evidence of faith and all that it produced. Read the story of Abraham and how, in spite of being a childless father, yet he became the father of many nations because of his ‘faith’. Moses stood at the edge of the Red Sea with thousands of followers behind him and when, through faith, he followed God’s instructions, he and his people saw a way paved for them where there was no other way. There are many more examples of faith in action friends. There is no need to doubt, just listen to God and ‘BELIEVE’! I believe that many of us are living an unfulfilled life without faith. Let me explain – if we are doubting in your faith in God, how could we possibly show others the true wisdom, love and faith of the God that we serve? We must be firm in our faith in order to convince others that our faith, and our God, is real. Having this kind of faith is not just happen-chance, we must draw close to God and allow Him to draw close to us. We must exhibit our faith in God and allow Him to prove Himself to us. Let’s be consistent in meditating on His Word, and speaking with Him regularly. Let’s build and maintain a relationship with God so that we may know Him and trust Him in a personal way. When witnessing to a friend, our testimony is more valuable than gold. They may doubt what we share with them from the Old Testament, but when we tell them about what God has done in our life, how could they possibly question or doubt? So let me encourage you to meditate on those times where you have seen God at work in your life, then use them as memorials that you can reflect back on any time Satan comes knocking with his evil and deceptive ways. Also use these memorials when you speak with a friend about accepting the Lord, for those are personal times you encountered with the Lord – as real as the testimonies spoken of in the Bible, they would be from a personal experience. This will strengthen your faith friend, and it will serve to strengthen the faith of your friends as you witness to them. As always, please ask God to miraculously work in and through you as you go out to be His witness.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, there is so much evidence of Your existence, and Your handiwork, and Your mighty power – yet we doubt. Please forgive us for our lack of faith. I believe that it is impossible to win others to the kingdom, if we have trouble believing, or have little faith, in the One whom we are promoting. So Father, I come before You not telling You anything that is new to You, but simply asking that You might fill me with the confidence of Your mighty power, Your awesome love and Your miraculous works. I pray that You may work on my most inner being to help me gain the faith that I need to be a better witness for You, especially to those in my circles who are dying and going to Hell because they may not have seen real evidence of a ‘real Christian’. Please help me to turn this around in my life, and as my friends meditate on this devotional today, I pray that You may invoke Your Holy Spirit to be very active in their minds so that they too may speak to You about the needs in their lives. Please bear with, and help, us to overcome the weaknesses in our lives. Give is strength to practice our faith and lean on You like never before. This is my humble and heartfelt prayer that I ask in Your precious name, Lord 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!

Tested, Tried and Proven

Psalm 18:30 (AMP): 30 As for God, His way is perfect! The word of the Lord is tested and tried; He is a shield to all those who take refuge and put their trust in Him.

So… you think that you’ve been tested, or perhaps you might feel that you are currently being tested beyond anything you could handle. How are you doing with that? Feeling really alone and overwhelmed about how you might overcome life’s circumstances that are hitting you real hard right now? Where do you turn to for help? Perhaps a spouse, or a brother or sister, perhaps a parent, or perhaps you are blessed with good friends who are willing to stand by your side. Are they more knowledgeable, wise or powerful than you, and therefore offers comfort to you? I have an acquaintance who just lost his wife, what words of wisdom might I offer him? My friend, let me share from my personal experience: you see, I’m human just like you, so I face all of the challenges that I just presented to you above. Yes, I depend on friends and family to help me through times of despair also, but one thing that I’ve discovered is that they are just as limited as I am in trying to explain the reasons why the events of this life occur as, and when they do. So while I’m comforted that they care, there is only ONE that I can turn to and say like The Psalmist – Your ways are perfect oh Lord, thank You for creating me and blessing me with wonderful folk who love and care for me. But Lord, You know my every breath, You know the reasons for every event in my life, You alone know what tomorrow holds and the reason why I must travel the road You’ve prepared just for me. Oh Lord, may You be honored, praised, magnified and lifted up through every word and action that You allow me to project here on earth. Life will be worth it all if You are glorified by all who are touched by Your reflection in my life. May they desire to know You personally and intimately so that they, in turn, may bless others for the kingdom.

Prayer: Lord, May You be glorified through every act of love and every blessing that You continue to shower on me today. Please humble my friends who need You, and if one word expressed in this devotional can be used to draw others unto You, I pray that the glory will be all Yours and may the kingdom increase as a result of sharing Your Word and my humble thoughts. AMEN!

A Prayer for Each Other

The Bible teaches us everything we need for right living, and in line with God’s commands for us. In this last chapter of Hebrews, we are taught what’s really important in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ, and we are therefore given great direction on how best to pray for our Brother and/or our Sister. Let’s examine this guidance so that we might pray scripturally for others.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Hebrews 13:20-21 (ERV)

TEXT:  20-21 I pray that the God of peace will give you every good thing you need so that you can do what he wants. God is the one who raised from death our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of his sheep. He raised him because Jesus sacrificed his blood to begin the new agreement that never ends. I pray that God will work through Jesus Christ to do the things in us that please him. To him be glory forever. Amen.

OBSERVATION:   The Bible teaches us everything we need for right living, and in line with God’s commands for us. In this last chapter of Hebrews, we are taught what’s really important in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ, and we are therefore given great direction on how best to pray for our Brother and/or our Sister. Let’s examine this guidance so that we might pray scripturally for others.

APPLICATION:   What I found extremely interesting in these verses is that we are taught to really pray great blessings on each other, but as we look closely at the ‘so that’ we will see that these prayers are not just to make us look righteous to the church, or in our community, but rather to glorify Christ. I had a pastor who wore a handsome looking suit for the first time, on a Sunday morning. After his sermon, he received so many compliments on his new suit that he promised never to do that again, because it was obvious that his congregants paid more attention to his new suit than they did to the message God gave him to deliver! Sounds funny, but anytime we do, or say, something that glorifies or promotes our own self worth, we have totally missed the point of promoting Christ. I love the beginning of these verses, for it demands that we pray that our Brother or Sister would have every good thing they need. Isn’t that about the best thing you could pray for someone? But notice that there is not a period after that phrase, but instead goes on to give the ‘so that’, and that the purpose of such a prayer is not for the benefit of making your object of prayer the best person in the congregation, community or workplace, but rather for the benefit of doing what God wants. So an example of this might be that you may very well pray that someone be enriched with wisdom, or perfect discernment, but for the one who loves God and seeks to please Him in everything, that may not be for the sake of choosing the right numbers and winning the lotto, but rather, it may bless them with the aptitude to serve on an important team at church in which God is looking to draw people unto Himself in an unusual and miraculous way. You have no idea how God will use that person for His glory, but as you pray in accordance with what God has laid on your heart, be content in knowing that God will bless so that His perfect will might be achieved. The other part of that wonderful prayer is that you will find reason to glorify your heavenly Father for listening to the prayer of His humble servant to achieve His greatness! The last part of verse 21 is also achieved in my example, for God used His blessing to you, to accomplish His work, for His glory. I believe that the awe in these verses for us, is that when we pray for the benefit of God’s glory, we will see our prayers answered, but we will also see gratified hearts through the blessings of God on us and those we pray for. So pray to the Father, through His Son, for His ultimate glory, and for the uplifting and blessings of the one we are praying for.

PRAYER:   Dear God, thank You for the many friends You have blessed me with, and for those You have placed in a position to guide me, manage me, and encourage me. Please bless each of these richly today, so that Your glory might shine through them and bring even more praise to You by multiple others. Please help us to live holy and upright lives, so that Your presence in our lives will shine through every word and every action. People need the Lord more today than ever before. Use us Lord to be You light and Your encouragement to them. 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!

How To Make One Another Stronger

While many of us wish that we could help others more than we feel like we have the ability, or capacity to, I believe that we are challenged with ideas on ways to accomplish this feat. Look again at verse 12 above. God gave each of His children important gifts – but notice that they are given so that we may serve others in order to make the body of Christ stronger. To help one another achieve their best in God. Wow!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Ephesians 4:11–13 (ERV)

TEXT:  11 ….. Christ gave these gifts to people: He made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to care for and teach God’s people. 12 Christ gave these gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger. 13 This work must continue until we are all joined together in what we believe and in what we know about the Son of God. Our goal is to become like a full-grown man—to look just like Christ and have all his perfection.

OBSERVATION:   While many of us wish that we could help others more than we feel like we have the ability, or capacity to, I believe that we are challenged with ideas on ways to accomplish this feat. Look again at verse 12 above. God gave each of His children important gifts – but notice that they are given so that we may serve others in order to make the body of Christ stronger. To help one another achieve their best in God. Wow!

APPLICATION:   Wow, how often do we receive a gift, told how to use it, and then rewarded for using it? I believe the part that really touches me, is that God would trust me enough to bless me with a gift from His precious hand. I believe it is awesome that God would then direct me to use that gift to enrich the life of one that I might come into contact with! Ever thought of the fact that God is constantly looking for ways to touch His children and make us stronger in the faith? Ever thought about the fact that when we accepted Jesus as Lord of our lives, we committed ourselves to be more like Him every day, and live to mirror His ways and His character before a lost world? So would it be impossible to think for a moment that God could actually prepare us to be a ‘holy people’ who will serve others for the benefit of making the church stronger? Friends, we might tend to think that we are nobodies and that we don’t count in God’s big scheme of saving the world, but did you also consider that the angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner who repents! Friends, we will find that a sinner repents after receiving convicting evidence that Jesus is alive and that He loves and cares for all who will call on His name in repentance. Often that conviction will come through you and I, as friends of the individual, or even as an acquaintance. God can and will use all means possible to reach the hearts of His lost children. I truly believe that you and I are a vital part of that team, fellow Christian! So when we read the Word and read the exciting news that God will strengthen and embolden us to serve His church and make it stronger, please don’t brush that aside as being the responsibility of the pastor, or the elder or deacon. Take it personally, as He can and will use all of us who are trying to be just like Him in every way to actively work in His service and strengthen the lost who are searching for the Savior of the world.

PRAYER:   Lord I believe in You, so I take my role seriously that You could use even me to serve Your church and make it stronger. Lord, I can only imagine the awesome work that a ‘STRONG’ church can do in it’s community, and the impact it could have on the lost, who need a Savior. Please help us to take our role seriously. It may be as simple as sharing Your love with those who feel unlovable, or it may be as extreme as preaching or teaching Your Word, so that the world will know about You. Our abilities mean very little, but our availability to be used by the King of kings is the ultimate soul winner and encourager. May You be glorified in all that You accomplish through us, and may Your kingdom be enriched from every possible thing accomplished through 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 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!

 

Confidence in the God Who Cares for You

Job just had an awful lot happen to him in Satan’s attempt to destroy his confidence in God. In spite of the many friends that he had helped along the way, he was now discouraged, even in the presence of the same God that he called on for others. I believe this often happens to us, so I want to meditate on this today before our God.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Job 4:3-6 (TLB)

TEXT:   3-4 In the past you have told many a troubled soul to trust in God and have encouraged those who are weak or falling, or lie crushed upon the ground or are tempted to despair. 5 But now when trouble strikes, you faint and are broken.
6 “At such a time as this should not trust in God still be your confidence? Shouldn’t you believe that God will care for those who are good?

OBSERVATION:   Job just had an awful lot happen to him in Satan’s attempt to destroy his confidence in God. In spite of the many friends that he had helped along the way, he was now discouraged, even in the presence of the same God that he called on for others. I believe this often happens to us, so I want to meditate on this today before our God.

APPLICATION:   We might often visit friends in hospital or on sick beds at home, or even in a Nursing Home. We might often chat, and pray with friends at church about troubled times they are going through. We might seek to encourage friends at work, or elsewhere in our realm of influence, praying for them and knowing that God could supply their every need. But what happens when troubles come our way, does that same faith, that same confidence and that same attitude of positivity sustain us? I believe that we must be extremely careful to not fall into the trap of believing that a believer who does all of the above, also stands firm during their time loss, discouragement or weakness. I would hope that for those who minister and/or seeks out others to encourage, that they would be very open to allowing others into their world when they go through tough times. I remember the day I got word of my dad’s death, my church Brothers gathered around me and not only prayed with me but sat and chatted with me and helped me financially to make the trip to be with my mom and siblings while we said our goodbyes. An outpouring of love like that, softened the load for me and helped me see that God was working through His church to help me shoulder the pain of loss and discouragement. I was convinced that God was right there helping me in much the same way that I tried to help others in similar circumstances in the past. Friends, we have no way of knowing whether others will come to help in our times of distress, but we do know that God loves us beyond anything we could even imagine, and that He will take care of His own. Look for those ways that He shows His love towards you, and be ready to praise Him as you see His hand at work in your life.

PRAYER:   Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me home…. Father, You created us with a void in our lives, but You clearly showed us the only One who can fill that void – Your Son, Jesus Christ. You know about the very intimate parts of our lives, and You provide for us like no other can do. Lord, help us to continue giving to others, knowing that one day, You will return gift to us a hundred fold. We don’t give because of what we expect to receive, but thank You for meeting our emotional needs when we need someone most. There is no other like You Lord, and we need You more each and every day. Your love and power is our incentive and encouragement each and every day. Thank You Heavenly Father! 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!

 

Encourage One Another

Saturday, 2016-10-01

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 1:11-12

Bible Text:   11-12 For I long to visit you so that I can impart to you the faith that will help your church grow strong in the Lord. Then, too, I need your help, for I want not only to share my faith with you but to be encouraged by yours: Each of us will be a blessing to the other.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

I believe that way too often we ignore the needs of the person who comes to our rescue and helps us through life’s hardest challenges. Like any good pastor today, Paul was anxious to go and deliver the Word to the Roman church, because he wanted to encourage them in their faith and their ongoing ministry. To ensure that we get the right picture, let me suggest that this may mean our local pastors being so fired up about the Word God has given them to share with us in weekend services, that they can hardly wait for the moment that they stand in our pulpit to preach the Word. Now back to the story – Paul told the people that in spite of the spiritual gift he had for them, he was expecting to also be blessed by their spiritual gift to him. Friends, for the man standing in our pulpit, preaching his heart out and speaking exactly what he feels led by God to share with us, have you ever thought about how you might minister back to him? I believe that after many corporate services, we are in so much of a rush to get to the local restaurant that we never stop to think about patting the pastor on the back to encourage him, or ask him how you might pray for him, or share with him how God is blessing you, and your hope that God would do the same for your pastor. There may be some who show little concern for their pastor, because you look at him as a paid employee who is simply doing what he is paid to do. Friends, I believe that a pastor’s job is very similar to that of a teacher, where it’s more of a heart-for-the-job attitude, than any amount of money they may be paid to do the job. I believe that pastors spend limitless hours ministering to the needs of the sheep, that most parishioners never have a clue about. I believe that most pastors are so underpaid, that they face financial challenges far worst than most of their parishioners. I believe that God is speaking to us through these verses today by simply encouraging us to not settle for what we might receive from His servants, but be constantly thinking about what we might give, or how we may encourage God’s servants – our pastors. This weekend, let’s remember what Paul was asking for, and be encouraged to respond to our pastors with encouragement before they have to ask us for it. I believe that God will especially bless us for encouraging His messengers/servants to continue on in the teaching and preaching of His Word!

Prayer

Thank You Lord Jesus for Your grace, and for Your mercy on even us. Thank You for blessing us with shepherds who have chosen to serve You by serving us and encouraging us. Lord, please touch each and every church attendee this weekend with a spirit of encouragement for our pastors. As they pour their hearts out to us, may we in turn be grateful and encourage them in return. Lord, we want to please You in every thing we do. I believe that by placing Paul’s desire for encouragement in Your Word, You wanted to remind us of the human needs of our pastors also. May we be alert to their needs, so that together we may receive every blessing that You have in store for us. May You be glorified in all that Your churches attempt to achieve this weekend, for I ask these things in the precious name of Jesus, 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. 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org 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!