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!

Discouraged? Sad? Here’s Hope!

THE HOLY BIBLE New Living Translation (NLT) ~ Psalm 42:11 ~ Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again – my Savior and my God!

THOUGHTS: One of the translations I compared as I read this verse, used the word ‘depressed’ in lieu of ‘discouraged’. Friends, I come from the background of a quiet and quaint little town, and while there were challenges with gossip, there was little to get stressed over. It seems like today, we have become such a ‘worldly’ people where we desire everything that our neighbor shows off, and we have become a people who refuses to say ‘no’, so we place way more stress on ourselves than we could possible handle calmly, that all we seem to hear about is friends who are discouraged, depressed, sad and even suicidal. It appears to me that David felt himself leaning towards a low in his life, and he shares with us how he felt his Physiologist advised him to handle this! When discouraged, seek God. Not to ask for a handout of encouragement or special blessings, but to praise God! When you are feeling sad, remember that it is not God who is making you sad, so praise Him for His daily goodness, and the people and things that He places in our lives to bring us joy! Friends, let’s learn to praise God in all of our circumstances. Let’s learn to encourage one another in love and good works, for this will not only lift them up, but it will lift our spirits and give us more reason to worship our God! Think of His rich blessings friend, and I believe you will quickly conclude that the reasons you might feel depressed, is really insignificant in comparison. God has provided the means to our happiness and encouragement, may we be careful to be a thankful people that will break out in constant praise and worship for His goodness! Friends, please know that I am not underrating depression, because I realize that there are some folk receiving serious help for this ugly decease. I am merely pointing you to God and to sing His praises in the midst of your storm, so that He would be glorified for the awesome work that He performs each and every day for His dear children. I am hopeful that when you follow David’s (the Psalmist) prescription, you will fix your eyes on Jesus instead of your circumstances.

PRAYER: Lord, you are so good to us, and yet we seem to overlook that, and instead groan in self-pity to a state of depression, and/or deep sadness. ‘Low’ times were evident even in the heart of David, yet he found peace and revival in lifting up Your most worthy and awesome name. My deepest prayer is that You might remind Your children how important it is to look into Your eyes and praise You, way more than to seek You with outstretched hands asking for more of Your kindness and mercy. Lord, may we learn to personally worship You more, and may we incorporate the help of our Christian Brothers and Sisters by joining them in corporate worship at every opportunity. I love You Lord, and I look forward to observing Your goodness and Your greatness, so that I might worship You with all my mind, spirit and soul. Please touch the hearts of my readers, so that their spirits might be uplifted because of times of praise and worship. You are worthy, oh Lord, and we are so needy! Bless Your holy 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 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 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!

God Will Never Let You Down

THE HOLY BIBLE – 11-12 These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence. 13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 ~ The Message (MSG)

THOUGHTS: I believe that Paul was warning the Corinthian church to take note of what God had done in the past to help their ancestors, and know that He can do it again for them. Our message in this study today is to also help us realize that our God hasn’t changed, and that He can do it again for us – similar miracles as performed for Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness. I am always amazed how things in our everyday life changes – cars; technology; houses; churches; dress, etc. but when we read about the works of our God from the very beginning of time, and as we are reminded by Paul in our passage today, I can’t help being totally encouraged to know that our God – the One who spoke to Moses through a burning bush; the One who used a man who was afraid to speak in public, yet used Moses to lead his people – in huge numbers through the wilderness, I can only reassure myself and encourage you in the fact that Our God’s not Dead, and that He can do that, and any other miracle beyond anything we can imagine, with just a word, or just the touch of His powerful hand. That’s right Brothers and Sisters, He can Do It Again! I know that we feel overwhelmed with the challenges of life, and I know that we may often feel like we are fighting a very challenging battle in our normal day-to-day lives, but just as Paul encouraged the Corinthians, I must use his example and encourage my readers today to know that whatever you may be going through, rest on His promises, depend on His strong hand, and be confident in His Word, that HE WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN! That’s just the wonderful, miraculous, saving, loving, awesome God that you and I serve friend! Let me encourage you that should you be in a good place emotionally when you read this today, please take note of these words and be prepared to ‘Carry Your Candle‘ of encouragement with you today so that you might allow God to work through you to encourage someone who may be struggling to see that hope that’s offered by God alone. To the one who will read this today and wonder about who this awesome God is, may I encourage you to read my ‘Footnote’ for the ‘keys of knowledge’ on how to know my Savior, and how to contact me so that I might introduce you to my best Friend. I serve an awesome God and I want you to know Him like I do.

PRAYER:
Dear God, You are so good! Thank You for Your love that You showed evidence of at Calvary, when You made the ultimate step of providing the means for us to know You personally. Lord, there are many that will read this devotional today who are taking very lightly the great sacrifice You made for us. There will also be some who read this as a total stranger, because they have yet to surrender their life to You and accept You as Lord and Savior. Please Do It Again – by melting hearts, convicting Your children of sin and loving them into a relationship with Yourself. Especially at this busy time of the year, there are many who are overwhelmed with all that they feel is necessary to bring happiness into their lives, and those of their families. Please Help us to celebrate the One who came into this world to be our Savior and Lord. A most treasured gift that could never be replicated by anything we buy from the stores. So please help us to give, and share the greatest, most meaningful gift imaginable, the gift of Jesus Christ. Thank You Jesus for accepting me into Your family and treating me as Your very own son. Bless all who reads this devotional today, for I ask all these things in the wonderful name of Jesus – Emanuel, 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! 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!

Keep On Keeping On!

THE HOLY BIBLE (The New Living Translation – Hebrews 10:23-25): 23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

THOUGHTS: These verses follow a teaching where Christians were being warned about the impact of ignoring the faith, in which they once believed. This was also covered in a devotional shared yesterday, so we see where this was really a concern in the early church, as I am confident it is today. It seems like we are very spoiled, and when things are not going our way, or the way that we have instructed God, we pack up our toys and move on to more fun that, hopefully, will be more appealing to us. This is very unfortunate in so many ways friends. Jesus went to the cross for us, not because it was the most fun thing for Him to do at the time, but in obedience to His Father and because of pure love for us. There is evidence after evidence where Jesus kept His promises throughout the Bible. This was not only to show us that He could be trusted, but also to show us the love and commitment He had towards us. So what about us? What makes us waiver in our commitment? What makes us so determined to please self rather than holding true to our commitment with Jesus Christ? We are like spoiled brats, aren’t we? Direction is given to us in these verses that would serve to help us overcome this weakness. First of all we are reminded that our faith and trust is in the strong hands of the Almighty God. What have we to fear when we know who is at the helm of our ship? When it is the One who has designed and created us; sacrificed His own life for our benefit; and the One who has promised to prepare a wonderful place for us to spend eternity with He and the Father, what have we to fear? Secondly, we are to meet together with like believers, and not neglect doing that at every opportunity possible. This helps us to receive encouragement from others traveling this same road that we are on, and it helps us to get our minds off our own struggles while we look to help and encourage others who are probably facing things a whole lot worse than we are. Friends, when we follow this advice, we regain strength and encouragement from, and see extreme value in, the Savior in whom we first believed. We identify with other Christians who we find are just as needy as we are, or many times they are a lot more needy. And we appreciate ourselves more, as we will quickly realize that there is no case where we would trade our sorrows and our struggles for anyone else’s that we come into contact with. We will quickly realize that we truly are blessed beyond anything we deserve, and become more determined to keep on keeping on!

PRAYER: Lord God, You are good and Your loving mercies endures each and every day and in every way. Please help us to get over ourselves and gain a deep understanding of how blessed we truly are. Help us to look for ways to help others with more intensity than the effort we put towards pulling ourselves down. We are a child of the King! Created by You, loved by You, cared for by You and thought of in advance by You regarding our eternally destiny. Thank You Lord Jesus for loving even me! Please intervene in the lives of all those that You will lead to this devotional today. May the redeemed gain strength and encouragement to keep on keeping on, and may the stubborn and unsaved be reminded that it is in You that we have hope for tomorrow and can therefore live today as a people who are blessed and lifted up! I ask these things in faith and in the strong 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 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 www.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!