Personal Preference – Heaven or Earth?

We are often so sad over the death of a loved one, and rightfully so, for we worry about how we will survive everyday life without them. But in our Scripture today, Paul directs us to consider our value while alive versus the life beyond – in heaven. Paul was blessed to see many come to Christ because of his ministry, yet he endured life on earth because of the hope of one day being with his heavenly Father. As we meditate, let’s not be concerned about what’s in store for us here on earth, or we when you graduate to heaven but rather, what we might add for the sake of the Kingdom.

DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-02-14
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Philippians 1:20-24
TRANSLATION: The Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 20 For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that will cause me to be ashamed of myself but that I will always be ready to speak out boldly for Christ while I am going through all these trials here, just as I have in the past; and that I will always be an honor to Christ, whether I live or whether I must die. 21 For to me, living means opportunities for Christ, and dying—well, that’s better yet! 22 But if living will give me more opportunities to win people to Christ, then I really don’t know which is better, to live or die! 23 Sometimes I want to live, and at other times I don’t, for I long to go and be with Christ. How much happier for me than being here! 24 But the fact is that I can be of more help to you by staying!

APPLICATION: Of special note regarding this scripture: Paul is in prison at the time of this writing! So if Paul has the fortitude and determination to live so that He could do more of the Master’s work, even from within four prison walls, how much more those who are ‘free’ should be striving to do the Master’s work? Friends, we whine and we complain about so much, but do we should really have the heart of Jesus, or of Paul, in wanting to see as many won to the Lord as possible? In the above scripture, I bolded a few sentences that, I believe, is worthy of note:
Living means opportunities for Christ – it is only while we have breath in our bodies that we can be witnesses for the Lord, or care about sinners. Let’s not wait any longer friends, we’re on the winning side and it is our privilege, our honor, and our responsibility to share the Good News of our Savior and Lord;
Living will give more opportunities to win people to Christ – Often we will find that it’s the threat of impending death that gives us incentive to share the love of Christ that lives inside of us. Please allow me to awaken  you to the fact that we have no assurances about the next minute. The moment of opportunity is the present. Please share the love of Christ, who lives inside of you, with all that you care about and/or come into contact with today!
I can be of more help to you by staying – Jesus Christ has a plan for each of us. He is allowing us to remain here on earth so that we can glorify Him and spread the Good News about the Savior who loved us enough to die for us. In a nutshell friend, this is our mission!
Friends, we remain on this earth to be shining examples of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It’s not about politics, gossip, sports, the lotto or any other purpose, so use every opportunity with everyone you know, to let them know that the reason you live is to represent Jesus, while evangelizing the lost, before it is eternally too late for them.

PRAYER: The reason that I live is …….. Lord, as we complete that sentence today in humility and prayer before You. I ask that You will take those completed sentences and correct any misgivings about our mission, compared to the one You have assigned to us. I am pretty convinced that our mission is similar in nature to what Paul shared with the Philippians, because throughout Your Word we are told the importance of surrendering our lives to You, so that we, in turn, may be a blessing to others and convince them of their need for our Savior. Please work on us today and guide us to do Your perfect will, for this is my sincere and humble plea. It’s in Your beautiful and bountiful name that I ask all this, dear 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!

The Results of What Just Happened

In our current environment we deal with no prayer allowed in our US public school system; no mention of Jesus Christ during public speeches; no public condemning of sinful acts; etc. It has become the norm, so I doubt if anyone ever questions ‘Why?’ anymore. But what if we, or our forefathers had done like Peter and John after their release from their trial for preaching about Jesus? As we meditate today, let’s consider what our world might be like if we were changed, and found a new boldness in standing up for the Jesus we love, adore, worship and long to be with.

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2022-01-15
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Acts 4:27-30
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 27 … The foreign ruler Pontius Pilate and the Jewish ruler Herod, along with their respective peoples, have assembled in opposition to Your holy servant Jesus, the One You chose. 28 They have done whatever Your hand and plan predetermined should happen. 29 And now, Lord, take note of their intimidations intended to silence us. Grant us, Your servants, the courageous confidence we need to go ahead and proclaim Your message 30 while You reach out Your hand to heal people, enabling us to perform signs and wonders through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.

APPLICATION: Based on your level of boldness, what do you suppose you would have done in Peter and John’s position? They had just been jailed and reprimanded for teaching about Jesus, and told to leave the jail knowing that they are not allowed to do that anymore. Peter and John ‘pulled no punches’ with the leaders, because they knew that what was inside could only come out! They knew that everyone in the towns they visited needed Jesus, and since they had firsthand knowledge of Him, they had an obligation to share the simple truth with everyone they met. So if you feel like you could have been bold enough to take the same stand that Peter and John took, I want you to now consider what you would have done after being released. Perhaps you would consider warning other believers to quiet down on their preaching, teaching and witnessing? Perhaps set up a private ‘home’ church where you could minister to attendees without being out in the public for the leaders to see you continuing the ministry? Perhaps leave the ministry and return to regular workplaces where you could hopefully witness to others privately? Could you in your wildest imagination consider immediately meeting up with your fellow ministers to rev up the work and reach even more people? Many churches closed their doors when Covid became such a scare, and some have not found alternate ways of ministry yet – their doors are still shut. Because of this threat, many have stayed at home, and have become very comfortable to have the TV on while they sit in front of the TV in their PJs with other devices in hand while the service plays on via TV. Many will probably never return to the church building again. Peter and John had the perfect excuse – the threat on their lives, to hang up their ministry and return to their old job of fishing, which threatened no one. However, and this is especially the part we need to take note of, they had such a passion for their Lord and for what He did for them in providing salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, that they were willing to put their lives on the line in order to get together with God’s people and worship their Lord together in one place. Friends, we have family and loved ones who are still dying every day, and they are destined for Hell unless someone shares the secret to Eternal Life with them. Nothing stopped Peter and John, not even the threat on their lives. Will you decide today to actively pursue spreading the love and work of our Savior to all who would hear you, regardless of the threat on your life through disease and/or hardship and/or danger? Remember, you were saved because of the love and concern of others who prayed and/or ministered to you. Please consider passing along that same love and concern to others.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Peter and John continued to minister, in spite of the threat on their lives. Oh that we would do the same today. Our friends are so worth it!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for our warriors who served as disciples to our Lord Jesus, and for all they they exampled before us when they continued ministering even in the threat upon their lives after being jailed. We still have threats today, even though most are very minor compared to our forefathers. Please give us a renewed boldness to minister in good weather and in the midst of storms that seem to threaten our existence. Our jobs here are incomplete until the day You call us home to glory, so please be our Guide, and strengthen us every day for the task at hand – sharing the Good News of our Savior! 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!

Because Of Your Witness

For those that deal with the challenges of this world, I believe they are constantly looking for ways to improve, or for the right help to deal with or overcome their challenges. I wonder how much our witness helps those that we rub shoulders with every day? This could be individuals in our home, our work, at the stores we frequent, or just those we associate with at restaurants. Mediate with me as we look at how the Samaritan woman’s witness impacted her town!

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2021-11-13
WRITTEN AT: Ormond Beach, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: John 4:39-42
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

BIBLE TEXT: 39 Now numerous Samaritans from that town believed in and trusted in Him because of what the woman said when she declared andtestified, He told me everything that I ever did.
40 So when the Samaritans arrived, they asked Him to remain with them, and He did stay there two days.
41 Then many more believed in and adhered to and relied on Him because of His personal message [what He Himself said].
42 And they told the woman, Now we no longer believe (trust, have faith) just because of what you said; for we have heard Him ourselves [personally], and we know that He truly is the Savior of the world, the Christ.

APPLICATION: Having worked in the public eye before, it was challenging to remember that interacting with my customers could have impacted them as much as I am reminded of today. I’ve heard stories of widows or widowers visiting their bank every day so they could associate with friendly employees. I’ve seen very angry people who tend to bury themselves in self-pity. But as a Christian, even though I’ve always heard about the importance of sharing Christ with others, I don’t believe I was ever impacted as much, as what God dealt with me on in meditating on this Scripture today. I remember journaling on this story before, but it suddenly hit me today that the Samaritan woman had a choice to make, based on several things about the message today: 1). She could have returned home quiet and subdued, perhaps embarrassed because she realized that the Master of this universe knew all about her marriages and about her current living conditions; 2). She could have gone about her business as usual without arising suspicion among the town about her sanity in thinking that a Jew would have anything to do with a Samaritan, much less a woman; 3). She could have adopted the new catch phrase that tends to pop up in today’s culture ‘Just asking for a friend’, and she could have pretended that she overheard someone speaking with a friend at the well whom she believed could have been Jesus; or 4). No restraints, just let go and share what you know happened to you at the well. Today, your friends could choose to believe you, or not. Friends, when something exciting or miraculous happens in our day, we want to share that with whomever will stop and listen. This is the option that this woman at the well chose to do, and praise God she did, because look at the immense impact it had on her townspeople! So as we meditate on our God today, I believe that it behooves us to evaluate whether we are diligent in sharing our encounters with God with those that we come into contact with. In today’s society, it seems like we are hesitant to mention the name of Jesus in our conversation anymore, because we don’t want to impose our religion on those we come into contact with. Notice how Jesus not only spoke to this woman at the well, but He asked for her assistance. He wanted communion with her. I am reminded that God knows us intimately. He knows our hurts; our worries; our friends; our sins; our weaknesses; and everything in between. I am convinced that when He blesses us, it could be for many more reasons that to just make us feel special or important. He could have touched our heart in last week’s church service because He wanted to fire us up to tell others about our awesome God and our encounter with Him. The very one(s) that we choose to share that with, could very easily be the one questioning if anyone cares about them, or perhaps wondering if God really does exist. Notice that in spite of the woman’s reputation, the townspeople believed what she shared with them, and they were convinced enough that they wanted a personal encounter with Jesus. The main thing that excited me about this story is that when the people had their personal, one-on-one encounter with Jesus, they thanked the woman for drawing them to this mighty man, but they were exuberant about claiming Jesus as their own personal Savior! Friends, that’s a precise example of what happens when we share Christ with our family and friends, and they finally decide to attend church with us. For it is there that many look at more than our story, but instead they look full into the face of Jesus and experience an intimate, personal relationship with Him. Join me in being challenged to just open up and share what Jesus has done for us. Seminary is not required, just share your personal experience with Jesus! It could make a life-changing difference for others, for all eternity!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Just as God miraculously reaches in and touches our life, we might help in encouraging others to also seek our God. He could change their eternal destiny, as they find Him and trust Him!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You are more precious than silver or anything else in this world, because You saw us in our sin and mire, and You accepted our plea for salvation anyway. We are concerned for family and friends who show evidence of not knowing You personally, please embolden us and direct us to these individuals with the right words to share with them. Lord, I believe Your return is imminent and that it will happen soon! We don’t want to see any left behind, but we need You to do the work and use us if it will help. The Samaritan woman did this, and I believe You can also help us to be a better witness. Use us in Your service Lord, for Your kingdom’s 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. 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!

What Is It That Satisfies Your Hunger?

I have always heard that pregnant women have certain foods that they crave during pregnancy! Often they know what they want, and will not be quieted until their spouse has searched far and wide to help satisfy that craving! In similar fashion, mankind seems to have a craving, or aspirations for what they want to accomplish in life. As in every other situation of life, the Bible has guidance on this, and Jesus shares with His disciples what He yearns for every day. Can you try to identify what might be the ‘craving’ that will satisfy your soul, as you study the Word of God with me today?

DATE POSTED Friday, 2021-11-12
WRITTEN AT: Ormond Beach, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: John 4:34-34
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 34 To clarify, Jesus spoke up and said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and bring it to completion.”
35 As the crowds emerged from the village, Jesus said to his disciples, “Why would you say, ‘The harvest is another four months away’? Look at all the people coming—now is harvest time! Their hearts are like vast fields of ripened grain—ready for a harvest. 36 Everyone who reaps these souls for eternal life will receive a reward. Both those who plant spiritual seeds and those who reap the spiritual harvest will celebrate together with great joy! 37 And this confirms the saying, ‘One sows the seed and another reaps the harvest.’ 38 I have sent you out to harvest a field that you haven’t planted, where many others have labored long and hard before you. And now you are privileged to profit from their labors and reap the harvest.”

APPLICATION: I believe that over time we can see where humans tend to focus most on the things and people they have developed a drive to grow/expand/enrich. Take for example a mom’s favorite child who seems destined for ‘big’ things in life. That mom will give up her choice meat for that child; she will spend her last dollar to dress that child in the most current and stylish attire; she will challenge teachers who may appear to pick on that child in class; and she might even fight with a referee calling a game her child in playing in! Why is that? I believe it’s because that mom has developed a hunger for the success of that child and she only feels satisfied when that child is winning, smiling, happy, or at the top of their game – whether it’s scholastically or competitively in sports. In our Scripture, Jesus shared that He had a deep hunger for what He felt compelled to do for His Father – God. Just as we are driven to eat when we’re famished, Jesus showed us that He was driven to ensure that none of His children should perish, because there was so much more that the Father has in store for us. Imagine at the reading of our earthly father’s will we find out that he had banked thousands of dollars, hoping that long after his passing his kids would still be financially fit. Wouldn’t that be a sigh of relief for us, especially as we acknowledge how tough it is to survive these days? Well guess what, Jesus knew that His Father is a lot more generous than we could begin to imagine. Why in John 3:16 we are reminded that God made some very special arrangements for us, to make sure that His provisions were easily accessible to us. He sent His very own Son (Jesus) into the world, so that those who would welcome and accept Him, He would gladly open the gates of heaven for us to go in. Jesus not only personally felt the cruelty of mankind at Calvary, but He was motivated by His Father to make sure that we not miss the opportunity to receive all that God has provided for us to enjoy for all eternity. Jesus was ’hungry’ to get on with the work of His Father and to please Him unconditionally. For those of us that have accepted God’s special gift – Jesus Christ, we should have a hunger similar to that of God’s Son, for there are many in our circle of friends that still have not accepted God’s gift. I pray that every reader and/or listener will be as ‘hungry’ as Jesus was, to share the Good News of God’s special gift, for the gates of heaven are still being opened today for those who accept Jesus as Lord! Check your drive, your motivation, your desires and your will to advance the Kingdom of God! Make sure your heart is in the right place!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus is still hungry for the souls of His children that He sacrificed His own life for. Heaven is still available to those who believe – personally believe, in the name of Jesus Christ!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, in greatest humility, let me ask that You please make us ‘hungry’ for the same things that motivated You to save the world from sin and destruction. There are still many who refuse to listen, obey and accept the invitation `You offered in John 3:16, and that You specifically went to the cross for. Lord, I pray that we will not be able to cope in life until our desire is satisfied to see our loved ones saved from their destructive and unthoughtful resolution to just die without a Savior or the assurance of their heavenly destiny. Thank You for the assurance that You will still save souls, now if we could be about our Father’s work, perhaps our cravings will be satisfied and the angels in heaven will rejoice with us over one more soul who surrenders to the lordship of Jesus Christ. 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!

Are You Ready To Go?

Airlines have set times for their flights, and we know that falling short on our arrival time at the airport could cause us to miss our flight. But what would you do if the airlines operated like NOAA and could only tell us that they will have a flight leaving your favorite airport some time on a certain date? Will you still catch that flight? Jesus explained to His disciples that their ministry would be based on His eminent return some day. Are you doing your part to evangelize the lost to be ready for that day?

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2021-09-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 17:26-27
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 26 “When I return the world will be as indifferent to the things of God as the people were in Noah’s day. 27 They ate and drank and married—everything just as usual right up to the day when Noah went into the ark and the Flood came and destroyed them all.

APPLICATION: For those who strive to evangelize the lost and guide them into a relationship with Jesus Christ, you will find yourselves much like the disciples, in that you will encourage the lost to accept Jesus today, as He could return anytime after the very moment that you share the Good News. But even in Bible stories, we read about the excuses that people quickly came up with when they are asked to accept the Lord, so I’m sure that the excuses will flow rapidly from the mouths of those that we set out to encourage. For the disciple’er I would suggest that you think back to the days when you tried to encourage your spouse to marry you. Although they may have initially had some doubt, you went through a long courtship to try and convince them that you two belonged together. So let me encourage you to do a little courting of your closest family members, or your dearest friends, so that you may gain their confidence to believe the urgency of the message you want to share with them. Also, let’s remember that Jesus warned His disciples, and us, about the uncertainty of the day and the hour, so getting the message out today could make the difference between eternal life, or eternity and damnation in Hell for that dear person. To the one who might be reading this and you have chosen to ‘wait and see’, I believe that there has never been a time in our history where we are reminded daily how death is knocking on the door of our family and friends almost daily, and without regard to age, gender, health condition, or anything else. Please realize dear friends that your time could be next. Please be ready for the day that Jesus comes back, even if it’s today. Just as airport officials only admit passenger who are ready to travel when the flight departs, so will Jesus have a similar decision when He returns to take us home. Are you ready to go?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: For those who are ready to go, Jesus can come today, tomorrow or anytime and you will be ready to join with the rest of His chosen children to accompany Him into heaven! No greater joy!

PRAYER: Lord, Your warning is clear, and for many we are ready to join with You and the angels in Heaven when You come to take us home. The urgency is also clear for our unsaved loved ones, so in all humility I ask that You bestow upon all Christians the importance of showing how much they care about loved ones, by showing them the only way to Heaven. Lord, with urgency evident to both the evangelist and the hearer, may we be busy about our Father’s work. We may say that we love and care about our family and friends, but may that be apparent by us showing them the way to Heaven. Please forgive us when we fail, or when we are timid, but Lord we depend on Your wisdom and Your strength to guide us every day. 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!

Where Do You Tend To Hang Out?

From a very young age many of us have receive training from our parents to watch the company that we hang out with. Many times churches will teach that the place for the Christian is at church and/or around church families. No doubt this was similar to our ancestors, as they really looked down on Jesus and His disciples for hanging out with known sinners. Jesus quickly responded to this idea about the importance of who He spent time with, and I believe that this might still be good advice for us today. Let me encourage you to read the entire devotional for my thoughts on this!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-07-27
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 5:30-32
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 30 … “Why would you defile yourselves by eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners? Doesn’t Jesus know it’s wrong to do that?
31 Jesus overheard their complaining and said, “Who goes to the doctor for a cure? Those who are well or those who are sick? 32 I have not come to call the ‘righteous,’ but to call those who know they are sinners and bring them to repentance.”

APPLICATION: Part of the great divide between Christians and unbelievers might be caused by the cliques that are created, often unknowingly. Christians are taught to, and often feel most comfortable to, hang out with those of like faith. Sure, I believe that scenario will create great accountability partners, and there will probably be less room for argument, as we will seldom challenge each other on what we believe, or what we do. I see little difference in this practice when looking at the unsaved, for they tend to hang out in like groups and places. Because of this exclusivity, it seems like each group tends to look at the other group as pretenders and thinking of themselves as better than the other. To a certain extent, this may be true, especially if one fails to associate with member of the opposite group. But Jesus may have introduced us to a very unique thought in the Scriptures today. It we truly want to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and do the will of the Father, wouldn’t we want to spend some time around the people we are trying to share the Gospel with? After all, how many Christians will we aim to ‘save’, again? Sure, iron sharpens iron, and we need the strength, encouragement and love from our Christian brothers and sisters, but if we refuse to mix with non-Christians and understand their needs, how will we ever discern the difference that Jesus might make in their lives? Additionally, how else will your unsaved friends know Jesus’ way of living and treating one another if you don’t give them opportunity to spend time with you? I believe that one of the most interesting changes we must consider, is that instead of feeling compelled to stay away from unbelievers in fear of adopting their bad habits, we must instead desire to be around them and ask God to let them grow in Him by seeing God at work in us. Friends, people need the Lord – those are the unbelievers. Unless we spend time around them and teach them God’s ways, how else will they see God and come to know Him personally?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus hung out with sinners, because He wanted to bring them to repentance. We should do the same!

PRAYER: Lord, please teach us to live like You demonstrated to us in Your Word. We have picked up too many earthly practices to often be of any heavenly good to our neighbors. Please help us to stay centered on Your Word and practice all that You have taught us. Much of this will be quite different for us in contrast to what we have practiced so far, so please give us strength, give us wisdom, give us boldness and most of all, give us a heart like yours. Let others experience Your awesome love and goodness through our encounters with them, and convince them of their need for a Savior. 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!

Become All Things To All People

Paul realized that he could share the Good News of Jesus Christ with every Christian gathering and they would totally get it, but should he walk down the street or around the corner, folk might wonder if he was from a different planet! I don’t believe that has changed, for we sometimes speak a totally foreign language, compared to the ordinary person on the street or the executive who has his nose in the financial books most of his life. Let’s see what we could glean from this scripture and how we might apply it….

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-05-12
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 
TRANSLATION: East-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 22 To those who are weak, I became weak so that I could help save them. I have become all things to all people. I did this so that I could save people in any way possible. 23 I do all this to make the Good News known. I do it so that I can share in the blessings of the Good News.

APPLICATION: First of all, let me emphasize that I firmly believe Jesus came to save all  people groups of the world, no matter your education status; your skin color; your culture; your financial status; the sin you have committed; etc, etc. Paul saw a challenge, that I believe still exists today – who will tell them? There’s an old proverb that says ‘Birds of a feather flock together’. There may be many applications for that proverb, but I believe the primary fault with it, is that we tend to become a very exclusive group of folk that either worship together, or play together, or visit one another. I almost left out the last option, because so few of us visit one another anymore. So what does this all boil down to? Well, unfortunately, I believe that it points to the idea that we quickly form little groups of like minded, like cultured, like financially,  type people. These are the folk that we worship with, visit and feel closest to. However, we also know that God came to seek and to save ALL that are lost, all that are hurting and need a Savior. So if we are His missionaries and His hands and feet on the ground, what will we find to respond when asked about serving or ministering to the unlikely person stuck with living under that nearby bridge, or sleeps outside of the liquor store for the convenience of being there when it opens next morning? How do you suppose you would think about these scenarios if you were to follow Paul’s example? How do you feel like you could reach these unlikely folk for Jesus? Will you have a satisfactory response for Jesus when He questions you about your work on earth, including ministering to all people in need? Please know that our response to God concerning that man we pay a salary to at church to do all of this, will probably not be what God is looking for. We are all called to ‘go into all the world and proclaim the name of Jesus Christ as the only saving grace from our sins’. If you truly want to understand that person from another culture, ask if you could join him for a day, so that you might walk in his shoes and understand the challenges that he faces each day.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus, our Redeemer, Savior and Friend. Thank You for His demonstration of humility in meeting the needs of people from all walks of life. I’m not sure how we got separated from that and have formed such exclusive groups that often do not include all of society, but Lord You have opened my eyes and reminded me of the need to reach the whole world for Your kingdom’s sake. Please give us wisdom and boldness to tear down those walls of division and rejection. You are known for Your love; encouragement; humbleness; caring; and everlasting hope, among many other attributes. Please help us to be imitators of You, and spread these same attributes to all people, without any walls, so that the world might know You and see You lived out in our lives every day. Thank You 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. 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!

Make Good Use of Your Time

Unbelievers reading today’s devotional will probably try to think of ways to confuse a Christian as they test them on their ‘faith’. Christians may sometimes wonder ‘what’s the big deal about pretending to be something that others want you to be?’. Jesus said that if we have been touched by the God, we should be ready at all times to give an account of all that He did for us. Let’s examine what Paul was really teaching us in today’s Scripture.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-05-08
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Colossians 4:5-6
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: Walk in the wisdom of God as you live before the unbelievers, and make it your duty to make him known. Let every word you speak be drenched with grace and tempered with truth and clarity. For then you will be prepared to give a respectful answer to anyone who asks about your faith.

APPLICATION: What do others see in you during their encounters with you? Yes, they will probably see you without pretense, for you always try to live by the motto ‘what you see, is what you get’! I believe that if we were preparing a timeline that would show the influences in our lives, there may be specific mention of parents; siblings – especially older siblings; grandparents and other older family members such as aunts and uncles; school teachers; Sunday School teachers; pastors and other church leaders; spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend; employers; special coworkers; friends – good, bad or indifferent; and of course, Jesus. To ensure that I take no one for granted, I understand that some readers would not include one or more of these people into their timeline, and some will be able to add others that I have not thought of. It would be a great exercise to add under each person, what attributes you feel they added to your life! In our Scripture Paul is teaching us from his present stand, not only as a prisoner, but from his personal experiences and as a messenger of the Gospel. Let’s remember that his former name was Saul – a persecutor of the Christians. So right away we are confident that He speaks to us from a life of varied experiences. Paul also knew that during his time as a prisoner, other prisoners could have looked at him as just another criminal, or for the qualities that they saw in him. He recommended that we (Christians) make a goal for ourselves: ‘to make our Lord known to all that we come into contact with’. To do this, our whole perspective on others will change, for we will see them as valuable in God’s eyes – whether they are a prisoner, a criminal, a dad who abandoned his children or a person who is constantly conjuring up evil thoughts about attacking God’s kids. Paul also gave us great advice about how we are to speak – especially with unbelievers:
-> First, let our words be drenched with grace. Only God can fill our hearts with grace. So from a heart filled with the power and humbleness of our Lord Jesus, carefully speak words filled, or drenched with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit;
-> Words tempered with truth and clarity – no need to try and impress the unbeliever. Let Jesus complete His work through you. Keep it simple, filled with only the facts – truth. Make sure that the hearer not only hears you, but understands what you are sharing with them. As a Christian, you may have developed quite a vocabulary of ‘church’ lingo that an unbeliever may simply not understand. Make sure that you and your hearer is on the same page and understand each other as you speak. To speak volumes with someone and they didn’t understand what you said, is an unfortunate waste of your time, and most unfortunate in neglecting to share the Gospel truth;
Friends, others will surely want to know why you are different and why you believe the way you do. Using the above tips from Paul, he warned us to be ready to share as the opportunity presents itself. Wouldn’t it be neat if today God gave you the opportunity to share why you believe the way that you do, and why God is so important in your life? Be ready, dear friend!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You know exactly what today will bring forth, You know the people we will meet and even their heart’s condition. Please prepare my readers and I so that we may share Your love, Your character, and Your saving grace effortlessly with those we meet. Please place them in our path today, and give us peace and wisdom to share what You would have them hear in order to make a decision to accept You as Lord and Savior of their lives. Please bless Your children today and all that will be accomplished in Your name. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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!

Our Mission

Ask a pastor what his mission is, and he will probably have a personal mission for his ministry, plus he will probably refer you to the mission of the church in which he is serving. Should this be any different for the normal Christian? Jesus said that His mission was to share God’s message to people wherever He went. I believe that as followers of Jesus Christ, our mission should be similar to His, but let’s allow the Holy Spirit to direct us on this as we study the Word today.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-04-27
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Mark 1:38-39
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 38 Jesus answered, “We should go to another place. We can go to other towns around here, and I can tell God’s message to those people too. That is why I came.” 39 So Jesus traveled everywhere in Galilee. He spoke in the synagogues, and he forced demons out of people.

OBSERVATION: Ask a pastor what his mission is, and he will probably have a personal mission for his ministry, plus he will probably refer you to the mission of the church in which he is serving. Should this be any different for the normal Christian? Jesus said that His mission was to share God’s message to people wherever He went. I believe that as followers of Jesus Christ, our mission should be similar to His, but let’s allow the Holy Spirit to direct us on this as we study the Word today.

APPLICATION: Jesus commanded us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. I know, you saw the word ‘preach’ and immediately transferred that command to the shoulders of your pastor, right? But you don’t travel the world, so surely Jesus wasn’t ordering you to take His message ‘to the world’, right? Isn’t it amazing how easily we could shrug off our responsibility as believers and followers of our Lord Jesus? I was totally drawn to the words of our Lord as I read verse 38 above. Jesus was unhappy just sitting around chatting with His disciples while people very near by were living without the message of the Father. In fact, His very mission was to tell the message of His Father. That’s why He came. It made me stop and ponder what my personal mission might be. Why am I here? I believe we could look at this through the various phases of our lives. For example:
-> As a dad: Why are you there in the home? What’s your mission in sharing Christ with your kids, and in reenergizing your spouse in her walk with the Lord?
-> As a church leader: What’s your mission to be the best leader for God in His church? Hopefully it’s more than just another title, or a position where you might tell the pastor what you think!
-> As an employee: Proving your reason for being on the job will make the difference between your success and failure. Failing to take the name of Jesus with you on the job will present itself as a failure in God’s eyes, as He intended for you to take His message to the world – don’t exclude places like your workplace.
Friends, when we make it our mission to take the name of Jesus with us wherever we find ourselves, we not only obey the commands of God, but our witness to unbelievers in unlikely places will go a long ways towards introducing our Lord to the unsaved. Jesus told His disciples that’s what He came for. What do you suppose you came for? I trust that you will make it your mission to take the name of Jesus with you – everywhere you go!

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, thank You for showing us how evangelism was a high priority to You. The disciples were told that the reason You came was to share the message of the Father. I am convinced that in our effort to be more like You every day and in every way, we too must be ready and willing to share, and extremely concerned that the world would know about our Father. Please Lord, give us the desire to share the joy of the Lord that lives inside of us; the wisdom to know when to share; the knowledge of all that we should share; and the boldness to share our story with the world around us. People still need the Lord. Oh that we might be instrumental in sharing our experience, our intimacy and our love for our Lord. After all, that’s what we’re here for! 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!

Telling Others About Jesus

I’m sure that you immediately thought about your pastor, or a popular evangelist, or a priest, in response to the subject of today’s devotional. Actually, in some translations the word ‘preaching’ is used in lieu of ‘telling of the Good News’, so you would have been close in your assumptions! But notice that nowhere in the text is it mentioned that Paul had just introduced himself in the first few words of verse 1. But for today, I would like for you to apply your name as the principal speaker of these words, and consider how you are telling others about Jesus. Hopefully this will make an interesting meditation for you today!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-09-14
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Titus 1:1-3
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT:  ….. I was sent to help God’s chosen people have faith and understand the truth that produces a life of devotion to God. This faith and knowledge make us sure that we have eternal life. God promised that life to us before time began—and God does not lie. At the right time, God let the world know about that life. He did this through the telling of the Good News message, and he trusted me with that work. I told people that message because God our Savior commanded me to.

OBSERVATION: I’m sure that you immediately thought about your pastor, or a popular evangelist, or a priest, in response to the subject of today’s devotional. Actually, in some translations the word ‘preaching’ is used in lieu of ‘telling of the Good News’, so you would have been close in your assumptions! But notice that nowhere in the text is it mentioned that Paul had just introduced himself in the first few words of verse 1. But for today, I would like for you to apply your name as the principal speaker of these words, and consider how you are telling others about Jesus. Hopefully this will make an interesting meditation for you today!

APPLICATION: God made a drastic change in the life of Saul, and the ‘new man’ Paul began an awesome work for the Kingdom! In today’s Scripture, Paul tells about his mentoring of another faithful servant, Titus. However while introducing himself, he gave us his credentials, and also told us about how God has used him so far. As I meditated on this, I believe the Holy Spirit prompted me to reflect on the miraculous change that God had to make in my life when He got my attention as a man of the world and drew me unto Himself. Yes, I believe He wanted to see that I was redeemed by the blood of His precious Son so that I would qualify for eternal life with Him, but I also believe that He had a mission for me, and I don’t believe that His changes are altogether resolved yet, because I am still alive and finding opportunities all the time. No doubt, many of you have gone through this transformation process, just as I did. So I believe that you might identify with where I’m coming from with my self-inspection regarding the Word today. Some of you may be a Bible teacher, or a church leader, or even an evangelist, but try assuming that you are introducing yourself and you follow your introduction with the Scripture quoted from Titus 1 above. Please try to especially read slowly when you continue with the words that ‘God trusted me with that work’. Would you be content facing God today and telling Him how you feel you have done with His work? I know you might not be the preacher, but you have a story my friend. You met the King of all kings and Lord of all lords, the Great I Am, the Alpha and Omega – the Beginning and the End, the Creator of heaven, earth and each of us. In fact, I bet you are so excited about your Savior, that you would never think of seeing anyone you know, or encounter, miss the opportunity to meeting Jesus. So yes, I believe that you are very capable of completing the work that God entrusted you with, especially with His guidance, wisdom and almighty power. What are you waiting for my friend? For the unbelieving reader who have not been approached by a shy Christian, please read my Footnote and especially the links behind the link ‘To Know Jesus’. Feel free to contact me with any questions that remain in your mind. I want you to know my Lord – today, for you are precious in His sight!

PRAYER: Lord God, You created us and said it was good. You sent Your Son as a substitute for the sin of those who accept Him as Lord of their life. We have so much to be thankful for, and to share with others. Thank You for entrusting us with Your work. May we be found faithful to all that You have placed before us and called us to do. We need your mighty touch on our lives so that we may humbly accept the work You have set out before us. Please have Your will and way in our lives, so that the lost will see the Light and know You personally. Oh that You may be lifted up and praised today, is my humble prayer. 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!