A Lifestyle Change

John the Baptist addressed the crowds that came to be baptized by him. However, when he saw the religious leaders and the onlookers, he realized that they may have had ulterior motives. So in a plea to help them understand that he was not promoting a ‘spectator sport’, but rather a lifestyle change, he told them what their lives should look like if they truly want to demonstrate a committed stand for Jesus. This is still very applicable today, so let us meditate on this for a few moments.

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2022-06-22
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 3:7-9 
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: John the Baptist: You bunch of venomous snakes! Who told you that you could escape God’s coming wrath? Don’t just talk of turning to God; you’d better bear the authentic fruit of a changed life. Don’t take pride in your religious heritage, saying, “We have Abraham for our father!” Listen—God could turn these rocks into children of Abraham! God wants you to bear fruit! If you don’t produce good fruit, then you’ll be chopped down like a fruitless tree and made into firewood. God’s ax is taking aim and ready to swing!

APPLICATION: Have you ever been in a store, or at work, or at the mall, and found yourself near enough to overhear an individual tearing another employee apart verbally? Then, as you drew near enough to the heated conversation, you saw that it was someone from your church? I know, church attendees are human, and they could still become agitated, frustrated, unhappy and upset over certain circumstances just like everyone else, right? So why then do you suppose that John addressed this problem, and why would God have instilled this in the heart of Dr. Luke to present this as part of the Gospel? I believe it all goes back to a phrase that became very popular some years ago ‘what would Jesus do’ (WWJD). For circumstances will present itself as a test so the world could see what we are made of. In this teaching today, we could see that Luke used a similar tactic to that of Jesus, where he demonstrated a truth to the religious leaders through a parable. He likened their lives to that of a tree that bears fruit. For a farmer will cut down a tree that bears no fruit, so that the fruit bearing trees might flourish. But how would this apply to people, you might ask. I believe that you would be upset if a child for whom you paid years and years of tuition fees to gain their medical degree, finished school, and did nothing more than hang around the house without a desire to work in his/her profession. They may have a medical degree, but if they refuse to work in that profession and keep up with their trade, are they really a doctor? The same example holds true when looking at a married person who refuses to sleep at home, take care of their spouse, and continue to flirt with everyone walking into a nightclub. So what about one who felt a nudge from the Master, and surrenders their life to the lordship of Jesus Christ? The Bible says that the Holy Spirit then resides inside that individual and leads them in a life dedicated to God’s commands, His teachings, His example as told in the Bible, and they will therefore operate in accordance with God’s will, and His direction for their life. When all of this is in place and the individual decides to ignore the Holy Spirit’s leadership and do his/her own thing, how do you think God must feel? Don’t you know that these Pharisee Leaders showed up for no other reason but to trap John, poke fun of his teaching and baptism, and retain the allegiance of their people? Don’t you think that John was probably spot on with his accusation of them being a brood of vipers? Friends, I believe that our take away today is that we must be true to what we claim as our life’s influencer. If this is Jesus Christ, then others will see ‘fruit’ in our actions, our priorities, our words of encouragement, our prayers, the books we read, the places we frequent, and the results of all these things will impact our outlook on life and the love we show towards others. At the time of conversion to our new Master, we will learn to stay in tune with Him through reading His Word; communicating with Him through conversation (prayer); and through a solid commitment to honor Him through our words and actions. If there is no lifestyle change, can we truly prove to Jesus and to our family and friends that there has been a change in our lives? These new changes are displayed as proof, or ‘fruit’, of our lifestyle change. In our new relationship with Jesus Christ, we have chosen to imitate Him! When this happens, the world will know that we are authentic in our Christianity, and John sensed that this was not the case with the Pharisees. If God is your Lord, your Savior, and your Master my friend, seek His help and He will also be your Guide and your Deliverer in every circumstance of life! And there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that you and God can’t do!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, please touch Your children today and help us to never take for granted all that You did so that we might have life everlasting. Oh that we may take our commitment seriously to give you FULL control of our lives, and that we may be obedient in every way to Your Word – Your Book of Instructions for the Christian. As we follow You, I believe that our lives will reflect the very image of Jesus – fruit (evidence) that the world will see, know and appreciate in our lifestyle change. But we need You to do this in our lives Lord, for in and of ourselves we are helpless in overcoming the evil that’s all around us. I know You can, and I believe You will, so I thank You in advance dear Jesus. Be glorified today because of Your committed children being obedient to You, Your Word and the Holy Spirit.  AMEN!

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

Life or Death? Your Choice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choose Life!

Interesting how God, through Moses, gave the Israelites a choice of a life of blessings, or a life of curses that would lead to death. Then through His Son, Jesus, God offers us still today eternal life filled with eternal blessings, or life without Jesus that leads to eternal death filled with eternal curses and damnation. As we ponder the word given to the Israelites, I believe we could very easily tell them what’s best for them, so I’m hoping this will lead to us making important choices for ourselves today also.

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2021-08-14
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

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

BIBLE TEXT: 1“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long….

APPLICATION: Some may take my subject for today’s devotional as a pro-life theme, while others may ask ‘who wouldn’t want to choose life over death?’ But I would encourage you to look beyond your assumptions today and consider the message that Moses gave to his people. He not only gave them the choice of life over death, but he clearly showed them what they needed to do in order to have life, and have life more abundantly. Since these things still apply to us today, I believe that it is worth our while to spend some time to understand them and to seek ways that we might apply them in our lives:
——> Loving the Lord – In other Scriptures, Jesus admonishes us that if we love Him: We will serve Him; We will worship Him; We will tell others about Him; We will desire to be with Him. These words are not strange to us, for our spouse will frequently tell us that if we love them, we would…. You see, there is always evidence of our love for God, and for each other. So love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind, and all these things will be given to you!
——> Obeying the Lord – To disobey your God, your spouse, your boss or your friend, shows that you have no respect for them or their authority over you. To obey what they ask or tell you to do, shows that you love, respect and honor them, so you will do whatever they ask. So show you love for the Lord by obeying His commands!
——> Committing yourself firmly to the Lord – To whom do you belong? If it’s God, then firmly commit to Him in every aspect of life. I don’t know that it’s possible to say that you love the Lord and you obey the Lord, but you have not fully committed your life to Him. Show me an uncommitted ‘Christian’ and I believe you will show someone who follows Jesus when it is convenient, otherwise it’s all about him or herself. I always got a kick out of politicians who showed up at community groups right before election time. At other times of the year they were no where to be found. They showed up when they needed the people, not when the people really needed them to serve!
Moses told his people, and I believe the Scripture supports a very similar promise for those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ – do these things and you are choosing life eternal – in heaven. Continue your selfish desires and ignore the commands of Jesus, and you will receive your heart’s desire – curses and damnation in a place especially designed for folk like you – Hell. Just as Moses did in our Scripture, let me repeat the same plea ‘Choose life’ my dear friends!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: We can escape the damnation of eternity in Hell, by loving the Lord our God, obeying Him, and committing ourselves firmly to Him. By doing these things we are promised eternity in heaven with the Father and His precious Son!

PRAYER: Thank You precious Lord for calling me to Yourself many years ago, and for granting me peace to obediently follow You today and every day until You call me home to glory. Please touch the hearts of each reader/listener with Your Word today and may every word shared by Your faithful servant be acceptable in Your sight and in the hearts of every reader or listener. May we enjoy Your blessings today and every day, until You call us home for even more intimacy with You and the Father. Please draw the unbeliever to You very powerfully today, as this may very well be the last day we have here on earth. AMEN!

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

My Only Hope Is….

If you received a call that you won the lotto, your hopes and dreams would finally come true, right? If you got to take the trip of your dreams, your very best hope would be fulfilled, right? Making, or better still – saving, your first million dollars would definitely fulfill all your dreams and hopes for a great retirement, right? But wait, how much longer do you have left here on earth?

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-07-14
WRITTEN AT: Casa Grande, AZ

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 39:6-7
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: We live our lives like those living in shadows.
    All our activities and energies are spent for things that pass away.
    We gather, we hoard, we cling to our things,
    only to leave them all behind for who knows who.
And now, God, I’m left with one conclusion:
    my only hope is to hope in you alone!

APPLICATION: There was a gentleman who had his casket built, and it was stored in the room next to him at his home! Children dreaded visiting this gentleman with their parents because they were afraid of the idea of a casket being in the home! Now compare that to the dozens of people you know that fit the description given by David in verse 6. Many of us work ourselves into an early grave, as we strive to make the next hundred to save in our retirement, or purchase the newest gadget for our spouse or child. But what happens when their hopes are dashed by an accident that suddenly shortens the lifespan of that individual? I love the heart, and the writings of David in the Psalms. In the preceding verses he was rehearsing with God how much longer he would live. And I believe that we all think about that at times, but oh how I wish that we would come to the same conclusion that David did in verse 7: Regardless of all else, praise God I realize that my only hope is in the risen Lord, Jesus my Savior! Friends, we all want to leave for our children more than our parents left for us, but let me suggest to you something that matters most when an individual leaves this world: that someone was touched by your walk, or your talk, or your time with them, while you were alive here on earth, and that person found Jesus because of their association with you! Friend of God, I pray that your hope is in God – the same God that David referred to in our Scripture today. Where is your hope? What is your hope based on? Unless your hope is based on Jesus Christ, nothing you achieve will be of value to those you hope will benefit from your estate.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Our hope is in Jesus our Lord, the Creator of the earth, sun, stars, you and I. Anything else is temporal and may never be appreciated by those left behind.

PRAYER: Thank You dear Lord for the reminder that all you created will be taken care of here on earth and in the new heaven that You created just for us. Everything else is temporal and matters very little when we stand before You on Judgment Day. Please Lord, speak to the hearts of the unsaved and speak to each reader/listener of this devotional. May we all plan to be with You on that great resurrection morning! Please help us to fix our eyes on this very important part of life while here below, so that when our time comes for meeting you in the skies, we might sing with the angels: Oh That Will Be Glory For Me! AMEN!

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

With A Heart For Jesus

As you ponder the above Scripture today, perhaps you will be forced to think of the attributes one might possess to be helpful to, and considerate of, those less fortunate than ourselves. Hopefully you will quickly conclude that not everyone that gives money, or donates food, or give in any other material way is doing that because of their love for God. When our hearts are molded by God and led by His Holy Spirit, we do things out of love and compassion. Remember, Jesus knows our ‘heart’!

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-04-04
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 25:45-46
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 45 I tell you this: whenever you saw a brother hungry or cold, when you saw a sister weak and without friends, when you saw the least of these and ignored their suffering, so you ignored Me.
46 So these, the goats, will go off to everlasting punishment. But the beloved, the sheep (the righteous), will go into everlasting life.

OBSERVATION: As you ponder the above Scripture today, perhaps you will be forced to think of the attributes one might possess to be helpful to, and considerate of, those less fortunate than ourselves. Hopefully you will quickly conclude that not everyone that gives money, or donates food, or give in any other material way is doing that because of their love for God. When our hearts are molded by God and led by His Holy Spirit, we do things out of love and compassion. Remember, Jesus knows our ‘heart’!

APPLICATION: Not every man who shows lust after a woman, nor every woman that gives in to a man, are necessarily married. So it is with those who give to the needy. Some do it for public recognition; some for savings on their tax bill; while some will give of material goods out of excess. Are they a child of the King because they do this? God is their judge and He will deal with that one-on-one with them. In the Bible we are told about a woman who gave of her last few pennies. Jesus said that she had given more than the richest man ever gave, because she had a heart filled with the love and compassion of God. Jesus recognized His children, and the manner and heart in which they gave. He called them His beloved and considered them as His sheep. He shared with His disciples that these individuals will go on into everlasting life, for they saw like Him and acted just as He would have. From deep inside their hearts, they saw needs, and they did something about that. Imagine as a father, you saw your kids responding to needs – just as you had hoped that they were watching and learning from your actions in life? Wouldn’t you heart swell with pride and cause you to praise the Father above? Jesus was not afraid to also tell the naked truth about pride, arrogance and selfishness to those who act like they are the reason for their success in life while here on earth. Jesus was probably hurt as He witnessed them ignore the needs, even though they had plenty to share. He could tell that they not only ignored Him and His unconditional love for them, but they had none to share with those in desperate need of their help. Jesus had something to give these folk as well, but it was not a heavenly reward, but instead it was eternal punishment by the evil one. Friends, although I am convinced that our Lord is generous in blessing His children today, let me be quick to say that I believe Jesus still hates sin, the mean hearted, and those who have ignored what He sacrificed on Calvary. In fact, so much so that Jesus said in verse 46 that they will go off the everlasting punishment. Many of us will say after a very difficult day here on earth, that we had a day from Hell, but I don’t believe that we have heard or seen anything yet that compares to what Satan has in store for those who have given him full reign of their lives. I know, you have not committed ‘I do’ to Satan. But my dear friends, the Word of God says that unless you surrender your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, then you have given full authority to Satan, because you are headed for a sinner’s domain – Hell. There is no such thing as Satan’s domain, God’s domain and your domain. You either make a firm commitment to accept and follow Jesus, or you continue on your path to Hell. There’s no better time than this Easter Sunday for you to surrender to our Risen Lord! Do it today precious one, and prepare for His gift of eternal life.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord that we are able to celebrate our Risen Savior today! Thank You for Your Word, and the reminder given to us in the Scripture today. Because I know that You are alive, and especially alive in my heart, I am looking forward to being included among the righteous that will go on into everlasting life in glory, with You and the Father. But Lord, I hurt for so many who have yet to accept You as Lord, including many of my family and friends. Please melt the hearts of my readers today, and make Your gift very visible in their eyes. Lord I am so anxious to be at Your feet in Heaven one day, and I want so bad to have all of my family and friends kneeling next to me as we celebrate our Risen Lord. Use me Lord as an instrument of Your grace to encourage the lost. and those who are discouraged, so that they may seek Your face. Oh that You may be glorified today because of the number of people who will accept Your Gift – Your precious Gift – 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. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

A Safe Place

I believe that few will need reminding that God is our ‘go-to’ in times of trouble, for we tend to feel helpless, and we know that we must refer the matter to One that can handle all matters considered impossible by us. This often forces the Christian and the unbeliever to call on God, for we know that He could do ALL things. But notice how Nahum made a distinction between how God might treat His own, vs those that distance themselves from Him. So I encourage all readers to take note of what you could expect from God, depending on your acceptance of our King.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-12-16
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Nahum 1:7-8
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: The Lord is good. He is a safe place to go to in times of trouble. He takes care of those who trust him.
But he will completely destroy his enemies.
….

OBSERVATION: I believe that few will need reminding that God is our ‘go-to’ in times of trouble, for we tend to feel helpless, and we know that we must refer the matter to One that can handle all matters considered impossible by us. This often forces the Christian and the unbeliever to call on God, for we know that He could do ALL things. But notice how Nahum made a distinction between how God might treat His own, vs those that distance themselves from Him. So I encourage all readers to take note of what you could expect from God, depending on your acceptance of our King.

APPLICATION: Wouldn’t it make sense that for those who refuse the gift of eternal life from God, and choose to try and prove to the world that they could make it without Him, that they would also refuse to call on Him when life seems to be totally out of control? I would think so, but we know that’s not the way that life works. When disaster strikes, Christians are often called on by unbelievers to pray for them, or their loved one, who may be hurt or dying from some rare disease. How exactly might we pray? Our Scripture reminds us that Nahum was addressing the residents of Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria, and God revealed to him that there were some who would find it safe to anchor themselves in the shelter and protection of the Almighty, but there were some who would be totally destroyed because of their distant and hateful relationship with Him. Friends, we serve a God who is filled with love – more than we could ever imagine or understand, and while He will listen to the cry for salvation from those who despise Him, there will come a day when He would remove His hand a protection from them and allow death and destruction to take its course, unless they surrender their lives to Him. Do you think for a moment that in today’s society God will react in a different way? He has always hated sin, and I believe that He always will. I don’t know about you, but there are times that I must turn the television off, especially when I see reports of crime, vagrancy, and hatred against each other. Friends, sin abounds and individuals act in such evil ways, that God must wonder how could He possibly have been involved in their birth and upbringing. As you evaluate your life today, you should see where you will fit into one of two categories before God: 1). You’ve been washed by the blood of His precious Son and you are looked upon by God as being ’white as snow’. In fact, He sees Jesus’ perfect sinless life when He looks at you, and you are considered a son, or friend of the most High God; or 2). You have shown little concern about your sinful condition and have therefore rejected the invitation from Jesus Christ on many occasions. Because you have neglected God’s gift – His own precious Son, you have treated Him as your enemy. In verse 8 of today’s Scripture, you will note that God will destroy His enemies. To transition from group (2) over to group (1), you simply need to recognize the unconditional love that God has for His children – for you. Then accept His Son and begin celebrating the assurance of life eternally with the Master for ever! Nahum was merely reminding the Ninevehites of their plight. I feel like I have done just that for all who will read this devotional. May God grant you peace, wisdom and direction as you consider your eternity today, AMEN!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul. Thank You Lord for making me whole. Thank You Lord for giving to me, Thy great salvation so rich and free! Words from an old song that remains as true today as when I first accepted You as Lord and Savior of my life! Now oh Lord, I come before You on behalf of many family members and friends who have taken You for granted. They’ve decided to make a go at this life, all alone. Please Lord, soften their hearts and help them see very clearly that their segregation for You makes it clear that they are rejecting Your free gift of eternal life. In our Scripture today, and throughout Your Word, You have declared that You will destroy Your enemies. It saddens me that they would reject the most precious gift available to them today and remain enemies of Yours. Lord, instead of Your plan for eternal damnation for Your enemies, may I beg You to speak softly to all who will read this devotional today and remind them once again about Your love, and Your gift. May today be the day of Salvation for many, please oh Lord. AMEN!

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

A Gift – Just For You!

Most people who have heard the Bible taught or preached, could probably recite verse 16! But the verses that follow go on to explain why God sent His Son, and how this whole gift has to do with our eternal destiny. This is of super importance to each of us, because it helps us to understand the whole purpose of the gospel, and how it relates to each of us. So seek God’s face as we take time to understand this clearly today!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-10-03
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: John 3:16-18
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

OBSERVATION: Most people who have heard the Bible taught or preached, could probably recite verse 16! But the verses that follow go on to explain why God sent His Son, and how this whole gift has to do with our eternal destiny. This is of super importance to each of us, because it helps us to understand the whole purpose of the gospel, and how it relates to each of us. So seek God’s face as we take time to understand this clearly today!

APPLICATION: If a gift was given to everyone at church, you would find where some would cherish it and recognize the value of it. They would appreciate it and cherish it for everything it’s worth. Others may take the gift home, but they may stash it away in a drawer, somewhere so it is not tarnished or broken. However there are some who will leave it in the seat at church, or throw it in the back seat of the car, because the gift is of little value to them, nor do they care to understands the necessity of the gift. Now compare this to the gift that God gave to us in verse 16. Many have accepted the gift, and perhaps you might be one of those. But what have you done with that gift? Anything? In the verses following, we are told that God saw that the sacrificial practices of the Old Testament, for the forgiveness of sin, were just not working. But God chose to give us a very valuable gift, even though it was extremely costly to Him. But God wanted to make this one-time sacrifice something that we could identify with, so that we might accept the gift that would clear the way for a right relationship between us and the Father. This Scripture is very simple, and It is extremely clear enough to us, because now we could know today where we will spend eternity. In vs 17 and 18 we are told that if we accept the gift of Jesus as our personal Savior, then we are acquitted of our sin. This qualifies us to stand before the Father as a righteous person, or a saint! Can’t you begin to see the miraculous value of this gift? However, this Scripture goes on to say that unless we take this important step, then we have personally placed ourselves under a death sentence, meaning that we will not live eternally in the beauty of life with Jesus and His Father, but instead we are condemned to death, where our eternity will be with Satan and his demons for all eternity. The choice is very clear dear friends, but it puts us in charge of our own destiny. Accepted the free gift of salvation – the precious gift of God’s Son given for all who call on His name, to be saved? Or, without making a deliberate decision, then we have personally decided to take the option of Hell and damnation. Dear friend, I write these blogs every morning hoping that no one who reads them would ever make a decision like the latter one I just explained, for I am so looking forward to rejoicing with each of you in glory one day! Because of the fact that you are reading this blog, this means that you still have a choice. However, today is the day of salvation, for you may not have the next minute or hour to make a change in your decision about where you will spend eternity. Make that decision right now, won’t you? I included help in my Footnote hoping that you would decide to make the right decision. Please contact a local pastor, or email me for help or prayer over this matter.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, the Scripture is very clear. The stage has been set for us, and it is up to us to make sensible and responsible decisions, especially those that involve our lives after spending our last moments here on earth. You have made things abundantly clear. May each reader make a responsible decision today about their post earthly life – their destiny. I want them to join me in heaven with You, Lord, but I can’t make that decision for them. Tender their hearts today to Your Word, and encourage them to accept the precious gift that You gave to us, Your precious Son, Jesus. AMEN!

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

A Gift From God

In addition to the awesome news in our focal Scripture verse today, my Old Testament reading took me into Isaiah 43:25 (NLT): “I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again. Wow, to hear a message in the OT and then again in the NT, wouldn’t you say that God is truly getting His message across to us, that He is the One who saves, and He saves us because of His love, His ownership (sons/daughters), His grace (unmerited favor), and for His glory! This is about as good as it gets, so let’s spend some time meditating on how we could be so fortunate to be a part of this blessing!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-07-14
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ephesians 2:8-10
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: I mean that you have been saved by grace because you believed. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. You are not saved by the things you have done, so there is nothing to boast about. 10 God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things he had already planned for us to do.

OBSERVATION: In addition to the awesome news in our focal Scripture verse today, my Old Testament reading took me into Isaiah 43:25 (NLT): “I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again. Wow, to hear a message in the OT and then again in the NT, wouldn’t you say that God is truly getting His message across to us, that He is the One who saves, and He saves us because of His love, His ownership (sons/daughters), His grace (unmerited favor), and for His glory! This is about as good as it gets, so let’s spend some time meditating on how we could be so fortunate to be a part of this blessing!

APPLICATION: I have two friends Who, in response to the question ‘How are you today’, will often respond ‘Better than I deserve’. I thought of that today as I studied God’s Word, for it truly felt from God’s promises that we are blessed to receive way more, and way better, than anything we could possibly have said, done or asked for in this life. God showed the Israelites, that regardless of what sins their forefathers had committed in the Wilderness, that He would blot out their sins because of who He is. You see, God wanted the Israelites to know, and for us to know, that there is no religion we could follow, or any principles we could adhere to, that we could ever become good enough, or sanctified enough to warrant His acceptance of our dirty selves into His kingdom. God is determined to show us that there is only one reason that He allowed His precious Son to die on Calvary, and that is for the redemption of our sin. You see, He created us to worship Him and to magnify His name in all the earth. When you consider the multitudes who have chosen to deny Jesus Christ and to ignore the love that He showed for us, don’t you see that they are the ones who commit awful crimes against mankind and try every trick in the book to derail the one trying to center their lives on Christ? They work in opposition to what God had planned for them to do. They are not the ones who will recognize the awesome love and concern of a God who sacrificed His Son for us, even while we were yet sinners. I believe that it is also very obvious that it is only the grace of God that will actually speak to the heart of a rebellious child. It is He who will melt that hardened heart and draw that child away from the spoil of this earth, and remind them of the only One who loves them in spite of all that they have done. In fact, I believe that God calls us out of this world and into His wonderful kingdom. This will require obedience from a softened heart, acknowledging that you are powerless to change anything about your life in and of your own power. This requires a heart set on claiming Jesus as Lord! Are you ready to turn the corner on your life my friend? If so, God has promised that His grace is sufficient, and that only because of His grace, He will extend to you the gift of eternal life. Please read my Footnote and be prepared to accept Jesus as Lord today.

PRAYER: Physical gifts that we receive here on earth is nothing compared to the wonderful gift You gave to us when You allowed the death of Your Son, Jesus, on the cross for our sin. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Lord Jesus! Please touch our lives to never forsake the One who sacrificed for our sin, the One who gave Himself as a gift to us, so that we may not have to suffer for our sin, filth and disobedience to our Master. Lord, I am forever thankful, and look forward in great anticipation to worship You in person, in glory. Please forgive my readers and I for the times that we cave in to temptation and sin. We humbly ask that You fill us with power and wisdom so that we may stay faithful and true to You. Please soften the hearts of those who totally ignore all that You have to offer, and all that You did for them. Oh that they may desire to know You personally, and commit fully to Your precious gift – the joy of knowing Jesus as Lord and personal Savior. AMEN!

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

To Experience The Life God Has Planned For Us

I believe that if we were planning a trip to a larger country, perhaps to visit relatives or friends, we would seek advice about what to do in preparation for a safe and enjoyable trip, and we would check our list multiple times to make sure that we have everything in order for our trip. In life, each day that we awaken we have one more opportunity to check our list and make sure that everything is in order for our ultimate destination after this life here on earth. Let us meditate on the recommendations and requirements God gave Paul to share with us in today’s Scripture.

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

BIBLE REFERENCE: Galatians 6:7-10
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: Make no mistake: God can’t be mocked. What you give is what you get. What you sow, you harvest. Those who sow seeds into their flesh will only harvest destruction from their sinful nature. But those who sow seeds into the Spirit shall harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. May we never tire of doing what is good and right before our Lord because in His season we shall bring in a great harvest if we can just persist10 So seize any opportunity the Lord gives you to do good things and be a blessing to everyone, especially those within our faithful family.

OBSERVATION: I believe that if we were planning a trip to a larger country, perhaps to visit relatives or friends, we would seek advice about what to do in preparation for a safe and enjoyable trip, and we would check our list multiple times to make sure that we have everything in order for our trip. In life, each day that we awaken we have one more opportunity to check our list and make sure that everything is in order for our ultimate destination after this life here on earth. Let us meditate on the recommendations and requirements God gave Paul to share with us in today’s Scripture.

APPLICATION: No matter how trivial, or even silly, some of the recommendations may sound that we receive for our trip imagined above, we usually pay attention, especially if this is our first trip to this new location! For those of us who have accepted Jesus as Lord of our lives, we made our decision based on the truth of God’s Word about the awesome, unconditional love Jesus has for us. We were also overwhelmed at the thought of Him preparing a home for us to be with Him in Heaven after transitioning from this old world. Our Scripture today is an awesome reminder of what we should be doing as a child of the King, while still here on earth, for you see, we are Christ’s ambassadors who should be striving to be more like Him in every way. In fact, I believe that God saved us so that we might share that great news with others that we come into contact with each day, with hopes that they too might see and believe. Our Scripture gives us some very sobering facts though, and I believe it might help for us to be reminded of these: 1). What you sow, you will reap; If you sow only things of the flesh (worldly things), then you could expect eternal damnation. That is promised for those of the world – those who follow it’s leader, Satan. Friends, we are not ignorant to the things God has taught us through His Word. The things He expects of us. But like some may sadly say in humorous fashion: ‘But I did it anyway’; 2). Those who sow seeds of the Spirit – things inspired and prompted by the Spirit through our relationship with Him, could expect to enjoy eternal life with the God of our universe. This is a good time to stop and ponder what a just God should do for those of us that look to the Spirit for our guidance, yet proceed with doing the things of the world and its master – Satan. It’s just not right, and we should expect nothing but the worst possible outcome. But for those who choose to please God, and do the things taught by God, they will be with Him in glory some sweet day! 3) Never tire in doing the will of God. If there’s something confirmed in God’s Word, then we know it’s His will. If He practiced it while here on earth, then we know it’s His will that we imitate Him. We are, after all, created in His image to follow His example! And 4). We are to look for opportunities of service, and make it our goal to jump in there and be God’s hands and feet on the ground. Our Scripture today encourages us to especially be on the lookout for possible acts of service to fellow believers. You see, they know what Jesus looks like (His actions; His character; His love; His caring attitude), so fellow believer will recognize you for what they see in you. Try doing this often for believers, because it will be a lot easier trying to please them than doing the same for unbelievers. Friends, I believe that Paul wanted to remind us that we are to act like who we claim to be. If we are truly followers of Christ, then it should be clear to the world whose we are. If there is hypocrisy in there, then we had best clear things up between ourselves and Christ, for we are either His saints, or we are not, and our actions will align with either #1 or #2 above. I pray that for everyone who reads this devotional today, you, and God, will know without a shadow of doubt that you fit into #2 above, and that God has a home prepared for you in Heaven – even today!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, it seems that being exposed to the world, we are so easily swayed by its wicked ways. Yes, even those of us that have sought You out and invited You into our lives. Yes, we tend to be influenced way too much by the things of the world. Additionally, many of us ‘ride the fence’ and seem incapable of truly letting our light shine for You in every circumstance of life. Please Lord, through Your Holy Spirit, tug on our hearts door and give us strength to stand firm for the One in whom we believe. Please help us to seek Your power, especially at those times when we struggle to escape worldly influences. We need You each and every day, for we are determined to live just like You, even in this world of heartaches, strife and troubles. We must depend on You, and we must follow Your will for our lives. We need You every hour dear Lord. AMEN!

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

Our Intercessor

As many of us reflect on the events of this year, this month and even today, it may be clear that we didn’t know how to pray for all that has, and is occurring. In the workplace things may change strategically that we don’t hear about until it’s time for us to be involved. In our families, we look back and often say ‘wow, now who could have imagined that my spouse, or my daughter may have been changed in such a way today. We are reminded over and over that God has blessed us with the present as a gift, while tomorrow He may be ready to bless us with His presence in heaven. God gave us His Holy Spirit to steer us straight when we accept Him and place our trust in Him. As we meditate on these beautiful reminders today, let’s learn to have the faith of a child and release ourselves to God to accomplish His will in our lives.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-04-03
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 8:26-28
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 26 …..by our faith[e]—the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and in our praying. For we don’t even know what we should pray for nor how to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows, of course, what the Spirit is saying as he pleads for us in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans.

OBSERVATION: As many of us reflect on the events of this year, this month and even today, it may be clear that we didn’t know how to pray for all that has, and is occurring. In the workplace things may change strategically that we don’t hear about until it’s time for us to be involved. In our families, we look back and often say ‘wow, now who could have imagined that my spouse, or my daughter may have been changed in such a way today. We are reminded over and over that God has blessed us with the present as a gift, while tomorrow He may be ready to bless us with His presence in heaven. God gave us His Holy Spirit to steer us straight when we accept Him and place our trust in Him. As we meditate on these beautiful reminders today, let’s learn to have the faith of a child and release ourselves to God to accomplish His will in our lives.

APPLICATION: There is such peace in these verses! Actually these verses reminds us of the peace we have in knowing God as our personal Savior! When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He provides His Holy Spirit to live inside of us and to commune with God on our behalf. Paul reminds us that even when we are about to give up (tired of waiting), the Holy Spirit is there praying for us. When we have totally run out of words to pray, the Spirit interprets our moans and our groans before the throne on our behalf. In fact, He knows us so well that He is petitioning the throne of grace on our behalf. He has our best interest at heart, and knowing that we really want to step above our weak sinful selves, He keeps us represented before God. Friends, as we live our lives loving God, praising Him and glorifying Him, every aspect of our lives is worked into something good, something beautiful for God! Whom then shall I fear? Why then should I worry or complain? There is no god like this God of ours friend! Know Him today and know the peace that surpasses all human understanding. Experience His love that surpasses all other descriptions of love that you can imagine. Know that everything is under control with God in charge of your life, because these verses so vividly reminds you of that. I believe that real peace comes from knowing God and allowing Him full control of our lives, and every circumstance, even when the world seems totally out of control. Are you tired of living life under your own power, and would like to know this Jesus of mine in a personal way? I would be honored to work with you and/or pray for you, if you would drop me an email using the contact information at the very end of this devotional. I would love for you to know this peace that is ours as children of God!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, how can I say thanks enough for all You do for me? So undeserved, yet You loved me enough that You turned Your world upside down by sacrificing Yourself in humility, all because of Your awesome love, and that I might have peace in knowing You. Thank You Lord Jesus! Please tender the hearts of those that might read this devotional today and may not have ever invited You to be their Mediator and Lord. Father, I know that they have no control over the time they have left to make such a decision, please may it be today that they allow You to take charge of their life? I humbly ask all this in Your precious and all powerful name, Jesus my Lord and soon coming King, AMEN!

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