Little Faith Can Overcome Overwhelming Obstacles

If we were to ask Jesus today why our prayers for someone failed to bring the desired results, I wonder if His answer would be any different to what He said to His disciples in today’s Scripture? I doubt it, because in John 14:12 Jesus said that if we have faith, we will have power to do all that He did, and even more! So a lot hinges on this small word ‘Faith’. Let’s try to understand what God expects of us in this regard.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-03-02
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 17:19-20
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 19 Later the disciples came to him privately and asked, “Why couldn’t we cast out the demon?”
20 He told them, “It was because of your lack of faith. I promise you, if you have faith inside of you no bigger than the size of a small mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move away from here and go over there,’ and you will see it move![q] There is nothing you couldn’t do![r]

OBSERVATION: If we were to ask Jesus today why our prayers for someone failed to bring the desired results, I wonder if His answer would be any different to what He said to His disciples in today’s Scripture? I doubt it, because in John 14:12 Jesus said that if we have faith, we will have power to do all that He did, and even more! So a lot hinges on this small word ‘Faith’. Let’s try to understand what God expects of us in this regard.

APPLICATION: A child standing on a high wall will jump into the arms of one that he/she has gained faith in. Walking into a room, you will probably have faith in the chair set out for you, if others are sitting in similar chairs. In reading God’s Word, we gain the faith to believe that Jesus was miraculously born of a virgin, in Bethlehem, Judea. Through faith, we believe Him when He said in His Word that He has gone to prepare a place for us, so that one day we could be where He and the Father is. Through faith, we have no problem believing that Jesus turned water into wine; Raised Lazarus up from the grave; Made the blind to see again; etc, etc. Huge faith is exercised to truly believe all of the aforesaid. Why then do doubt and unbelief come our way when Jesus affirms that His disciples could tell a mountain to move from one location to another; Or to heal a demonic filled boy; Or that we (His followers) could do the same miracles Jesus did, and even greater things? I believe that in a pure environment where just Jesus and us are, we would attempt anything in the name of Jesus. However, when Satan pokes his ugly, demonic head into our midst, we tend to become more like Peter when he started failing in his walk on the water. I believe that most of us have faith to believe that Jesus can do anything. However, in our own strength, we know that we are powerless. When we allow Satan to fill our heads with doubt and convince us of our sinful condition, suddenly our self-worth and our purity becomes questionable, and we become weakened by all the ungodly things that causes us to take our eyes off Jesus. Miracles happen because of the power of God, and not from any rabbit we might pull from our hat. Unless our eyes of faith are fixed on Jesus, and nothing else, then we will be just like the disciples, wondering why can’t we (humanly) do any miraculous works. I believe that one of the primary reasons Jesus allows His children to remain on earth, is to facilitate His work in ministering to those of little faith. Be reminded dear friends, people of little or no faith would never believe in a Savior that they have never seen. But when they see Jesus alive in us, they suddenly begin to believe that He is still alive and well in our world. Have faith in God, He is all powerful and He is still alive and well, waiting for our arrival in heaven for all eternity!

PRAYER: Lord, without faith many may never read this devotional. But because of faith, I am asking that You touch the hearts of those that need this message today. Remind them of Your existence and of Your awesome power. Please develop their faith so that they can see and experience You. Please continue to develop the faith of Your followers so that we can take You at Your word, without question, and be obedient to Your commands. May You be lifted high today, especially by those who doubt in their faith. AMEN!

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

Why Worry, Where’s Your Faith?

People are often referred to as ‘worry warts’ because they worry about every little thing. But for the Christian, our Scripture today reminds us that there is no need to worry, for we serve a God who can do all things! May we find peace in the God we love, adore and serve, as we meditate today on the perfect Word of God!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-02-26
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 16:8-10
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: Jesus knew what they were thinking and told them, “O men of little faith! Why are you so worried about having no food? Won’t you ever understand? Don’t you remember at all the five thousand I fed with five loaves, and the basketfuls left over? 10 Don’t you remember the four thousand I fed, and all that was left? 11 How could you even think I was talking about food? ….

OBSERVATION: People are often referred to as ‘worry warts’ because they worry about every little thing. But for the Christian, our Scripture today reminds us that there is no need to worry, for we serve a God who can do all things! May we find peace in the God we love, adore and serve, as we meditate today on the perfect Word of God!

APPLICATION: As we read this story, I’m sure we will look at the disciples as weak, and as awful doubters. After all, they had participated in two huge miracles over recent days, where Jesus multiplied the little food found in the crowd, and the disciples were able to feed thousands of men, women and children. But now that they find themselves in need of food, they are filled with worry about how, or what they will eat. Jesus addresses their concern in our verses today. But what might Jesus say to us when we grovel in doubt, fear and a feeling of desperation? After all, many who will read this devotional today have read, or been under the teaching of some who have told about the various miracles performed by Jesus – the same Jesus that we believe in, and say that we have faith in. We know that miracles were performed while Jesus was alive, and many of us have either been witness to, or heard from family and friends where miracles have occurred in their lifetime. So why do we fear? Why do we doubt? Why do we feel like God performed miracles on ‘them’ but poor old me, I must carry this malady to the grave? Friends, some may wish they were princes because of the luxury, attention and goodwill afforded to them. But as a Christian, we are a ‘prince’, for we are sons (and daughters) of the King of all kings and Lord of all Lords! Never before in the history of mankind have we heard of a man laying down his life so that his subjects could be freed. But Jesus did! He willingly went to the cross and suffered pain and agony, so that we might have life eternal with He and His Father in heaven. So as His blessed children, is there anything that He wouldn’t do for us? Would He perform miracles so that we would not suffer pain and heartache? Would He heal broken bodies with sick parts? He did it before my friend, and I have no doubt that He would do it again! If you have faith to believe in the Son of God, then I dare say that you can muster up the faith to believe that He will do what He has promised. He cares for us and He wants us in good health so that we may serve Him passionately. Have faith in God, for He will never leave us or forsake us!

PRAYER:My faith looks up to thee oh God! Thank You for reminding my readers and I of the miraculous God that we serve, and the One in whom we have placed our faith and trust. Our needs are many, so we ask that You open the flood gates of heaven and pour out a great miracle on us today. You know what we need and whether we should have all that we ask of You, so Lord we place our faith and trust in You and await Your powerful hand to work on us. May the unsaved be convinced of Your power and therefore seek to know You personally. Lord I believe in You, please help my unbelief at those times that I doubt. AMEN!

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

Great Faith

In your desperation, what are you prepared to do in order to receive the necessary help from the Master? Persistence often pays off, but there is often a fine line between persistence and making a pest of yourself. To the disciples, the Canaanite woman had become a ‘pest’, but praise God, to Jesus she had proven that her faith led her to the only One who could help, and she wasn’t about to give up. Her persistence was evidence of her great faith. How strong is your faith?

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-02-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 15:22-23; 28
TRANSLATION: Good News Translation (GNT)

BIBLE TEXT:  22 A Canaanite woman who lived in that region came to him. “Son of David!” she cried out. “Have mercy on me, sir! My daughter has a demon and is in a terrible condition.”23 But Jesus did not say a word to her. His disciples came to him and begged him, “Send her away! She is following us and making all this noise!”
28 So Jesus answered her, “You are a woman of great faith! What you want will be done for you.” And at that very moment her daughter was healed.

OBSERVATION: In your desperation, what are you prepared to do in order to receive the necessary help from the Master? Persistence often pays off, but there is often a fine line between persistence and making a pest of yourself. To the disciples, the Canaanite woman had become a ‘pest’, but praise God, to Jesus she had proven that her faith led her to the only One who could help, and she wasn’t about to give up. Her persistence was evidence of her great faith. How strong is your faith?

APPLICATION: At a time when my daughter was looking for employment, I asked a young man a good restaurant how did he get his job there. It attributed it to persistence. For he not only completed his online application, but he kept checking at the restaurant to see if they had made a decision yet. This helped to convince the restaurant management that this young man wanted to work there so badly, that he persistently checked with them. I wonder if any of my readers might recall a time that you were persistent in prayer about something? Were you near as persistent as the young man in my introductory story? Why not? In our story, the Canaanite woman knew where to go to find Jesus; she was not afraid of any of his attendants/disciples that tried to protect the Master; and she was so convinced that Jesus was the answer to all the problems that her daughter was dying of. But isn’t that the same as us today? We know all the same things that the woman knew. We are convinced that Jesus is still as capable today as He always was, in being able to heal and restore back to perfect health, yet we fail to follow through in persistent faith to plead our case before the Great I Am. Is it pride that holds us back? Perhaps we don’t want to hear the jeering from our peers or even from our prayer warriors who may come to know what we are going to pray for again at our prayer service. Jesus was impressed with the faith of the Canaanite woman, for He commented about her GREAT FAITH. How do you suppose He would describe your faith? I pray that you would: examine your relationship with Jesus; understand the level of faith you have in His abilities; and prepare yourself to brush all pride aside so that you may look full into His wonderful face and say ‘I believe, Lord. Please help my unbelief’. Know that you know the power of our God and rest completely and contented in Him for all your needs. Have faith, my friends!

PRAYER: Lord I believe! But at times those words may come out before I allow myself to place my faith and trust in You completely. Thankfully, we have excellent medical professionals that we may choose to take our sick loved ones to, but oh Lord, may we always know who holds tomorrow, and who hold our hand. Only You have the final say in what happens Lord, so I beg of you, much like the Canaanite woman did, to please heal our land, our people, our churches, our family and our friends. We need a fresh touch from You, and we will continue to pray in faith, believing, that You will revive us again and strengthen our faith in You more than we have ever experienced before. May Your miraculous power shine brightly through us, so that others will experience You and place their faith in You. AMEN!

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

Your Efforts Could Be Crowned with Success

God’s Word amazes me in every way! Think about what mankind desires – primarily that he may be acceptable to God and his fellow man! Wouldn’t you say that pretty much sums it up in a nutshell? Our Scripture today has solid truth for us on how we could be most successful in setting this as a goal for ourselves, so let’s spend a few moments to truly meditate on God’s instructions to us.

Monday, 2021-02-22

Bible Reference: Proverbs 3:4-6
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:  4-5 If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.

OBSERVATION: God’s Word amazes me in every way! Think about what mankind desires – primarily that he may be acceptable to God and his fellow man! Wouldn’t you say that pretty much sums it up in a nutshell? Our Scripture today has solid truth for us on how we could be most successful in setting this as a goal for ourselves, so let’s spend a few moments to truly meditate on God’s instructions to us.

APPLICATION: From the moment we are born, our mother and father begins drilling into us those things that we should, or shouldn’t do, if we want to please them, make them happy and/or proud of us. The more independent we become, we realize that there is a lot more to life than just making our parents happy, although that is at the very top of our list of priorities. Think about the idea of attending a school where no one really cares about us, because of our selfish or rotten attitude. Shouldn’t we strive to improve that? Then we start our career path and we can’t keep a job because no one could get along with us, or there might be some character flaws that the boss decides that they will not allow us to poison the other workers with. Wouldn’t we want to seek help on ways to correct those issues so that we could fit in and get along with everyone? Friends, I believe that our Scripture today has some answers for these issues that plague many today. For we are a people who strive to be independent, and do life our own way. However, in doing this, we tend to multiply our issues rather than solve them. Solomon is telling us that before we could gain the trust, respect and love of others, we must first allow the God of this universe to have an impact on our lives. In other words, acknowledge that we don’t have all of the answers, and then align ourselves with the only One who not only knows about today, but also has control of what tomorrow holds. Friends, our God created these complicated bodies in which we live, and He has a plan for each and every one of us, with the end goal of us living in such a way that He might be glorified through us. A reward is already established also – that whosoever believes in Him, then we will spend eternity in Heaven with He and His Father (God). So think about this as a resolution to the above dilemma: God created us; He established a plan for our lives here on earth that will glorify Him; And He has prepared a place for us to go when we pass on from this world to the next. This sounds like an awesome plan that is perfectly designed for our complete happiness and peace of mind, so why would we seek to do life on our own without any foreknowledge of tomorrow? Let’s follow God’s design for us and our wonderful life here on earth! Remember, if you want favor with God and with your fellow man, then trust in God and not in yourself. Put God first in everything you do, and He will direct your path and crown you with success! What an awesome God we serve!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You are more wonderful than anything we could even imagine. Your Word today has reminded us of the plan You established for our happiness here on earth and in Heaven. Please humble us to the point of understanding Your plan, and grant us willing hearts to obediently follow Your plan. You designed us, and You sacrificed Your one and only Son for our eternal salvation. We are convinced that You have our best interest at heart, so please help us to accept the fact that mortal man will only fall deeper and deeper into the trap of Satan and his eternal destination of Hell. Please touch my readers and myself with Your marvelous love, and draw us to Yourself precious Lord, so that together we might all rejoice when we see You face to face. Oh what a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see! AMEN!

Easily Distracted

In Hebrews 11:1 we are reminded that faith is confidence in what we hope for, and complete assurance of something that we cannot see. Perhaps with that in mind, we could better evaluate the faith that Peter had in jumping out of that boat, and also the faith that we have in taking our petitions before a holy and miraculously working God. May our faith increase today as we meditate on this story of ‘faith’ by Peter!

Sunday, 2021-02-14

Bible Reference: Matthew 14:29-33
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 29 “Come and join me,” Jesus replied. So Peter stepped out onto the water and began to walk toward Jesus. 30 But when he realized how high the waves were, he became frightened and started to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he cried out. 31 Jesus immediately stretched out his hand and lifted him up and said, “What little faith you have! Why would you let doubt win?” 32 And the very moment they both stepped into the boat, the raging wind ceased. 33 Then all the disciples crouched down before him and worshiped Jesus. They said in adoration, “You are truly the Son of God!”

OBSERVATION: In Hebrews 11:1 we are reminded that faith is confidence in what we hope for, and complete assurance of something that we cannot see. Perhaps with that in mind, we could better evaluate the faith that Peter had in jumping out of that boat, and also the faith that we have in taking our petitions before a holy and miraculously working God. May our faith increase today as we meditate on this story of ‘faith’ by Peter!

APPLICATION: There are so many things we could learn from this story of Peter. I believe that most of us will share the reflection that this story shows us the faith of a man as he attempted something that defies nature, and that he had never thought possible before. Of his own power, perhaps the disciples expected Peter to jump out of the boat in the middle of the sea, as he prepared himself for the intake of water through the nose and mouth, or if he could swim, perhaps he would quickly assume the swimming position! However, things were a bit different with Peter, for: a). He had already experienced the power of the Almighty, and he knew that Jesus had the same power to do even those things that are impossible in the eyes of the world; b). He paid attention to what Jesus was doing, and knew that if Jesus could walk on the water, He had power and authority to empower him (Peter) to do the same; and c). Peter heard the command by Jesus, and in spite of the yelling from his fellow disciples, he obeyed Jesus. So what happened? Why does Peter’s effort seemed to have failed? I am convinced that Jesus already knew how quickly Peter would become cocky about being given this special power, so Jesus demonstrated to Peter, and to us, that faith requires that we keep our eyes fixed on the author of our faith – Jesus, and His Father God, lest we fall into the trap of bragging about our own power. I had a friend dying of cancer, and she traveled hundreds of miles to be prayed over by a TV evangelist who showed on public television that he had powers to heal. WRONG. Stop right there. Friends, as demonstrated in this story with Peter, and as we already know about healing powers – it is God, through His Son Jesus that spoke the word for Peter to walk on water, and it was Jesus who rescued him as he began to sink; it is God alone who heals a body that He created from dust, and restores it to perfect health so that He may be glorified. Our responsibility is to look to Him for all things and keep our eyes fixed on the author and creator of life itself, knowing that through His power, lives might be healed, souls might be restored to the Kingdom, and that the unsaved may recognize the grace and power of our God. It’s all about ‘God’, my friend. We are just instruments of His love and servants of our majestic King. The Master deserves all the praise for all that He does, for nothing of our own is merited, or worthy of praise, but only what He has done. Please be careful of the distractions that Satan will place before us. For Peter, it was the wind, the rough waters and perhaps self-confidence, that caused him to take his eyes off the Master. For us, unfortunately we live in a world that is totally filled with distractions that Satan places before us. Think about our pride; trying to impress our peers; being called names (like Jesus freak, etc); believing in things that defy nature; eccentric for believing in someone we can note see, etc. Remember that our distractions are often forces that draw us away from God – our primary power source. Don’t let Satan win over you my friend. In verse 31 we are reminded to not let ‘doubt’ win in our battle to ‘believe’. Trust in God, and all of this, plus a whole lot more could be yours, child of God!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, You are my God! The same God that created this wonderful world, and also created all of creation. I acknowledge again today that there is nothing that You can’t do. Please forgive me for my doubt and my lack of faith. Thank You for the reminder in today’s Scripture that You had the power to walk on water to get over to Your disciples. I wonder what You must travel over, or through, at times to get to my readers and I, and the trouble we find ourselves in at times. But I am assured that just as we saw where the water didn’t stop You from getting to Your followers, we need not let anything hinder our requests today, for many things will appear to be impossible to us, but with renewed assurance today, we KNOW that we can come before the throne of God and plead our case before an all-knowing, all-powerful, forever-loving God who says that ALL things are possible with God! You are our King, and we adore You and worship You today oh Lord, not just for what You can do for us, but for who You are! AMEN!

Analyzing For entry into God’s Kingdom

The Holy Spirit impacted me as I read through these verses today and caused something to really pop out Too get my attention. Jesus said in verse 41 that His angels will gather from HIS kingdom – meaning HIS children, in other words – those who claimed to belong to the Master, and they would be taken out and thrown into the flaming furnace. I believe it is important for us to really meditate on, and understand, this Scripture lesson today.

Friday, 2021-02-12

Bible Reference: Matthew 13:41-43
Translation: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom everyone who does wrong or causes others to sin. 42 Then he will throw them into a flaming furnace, where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain. 43 But everyone who has done right will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. If you have ears, pay attention!

OBSERVATION: The Holy Spirit impacted me as I read through these verses today and caused something to really pop out to get my attention. Jesus said in verse 41 that His angels will gather from HIS kingdom – meaning HIS children, in other words – those who claimed to belong to the Master, and they would be taken out and thrown into the flaming furnace. I believe it is important for us to really meditate on, and understand, this Scripture lesson today.

APPLICATION: To read that there are thorns among the wheat, and that these thorns will stunt the growth of the wheat, if left there during the growing period, is mind boggling. Yet we are told that the thorns should remain there. What do we make of this? I believe we would understand it very clearly if the Scripture said that those thorn bushes must be removed and burned, so that the wheat would mature without hindrance from the weeds. But that’s not exactly what Jesus said, is it? In my studies, I found out that back in verse 24 and following, Jesus told His audience that these weeds were planted to look just like the wheat, as they grew together. But let us consider this idea in its proper context. For example, in our beautiful, plush and proper churches today. Wouldn’t it be extremely challenging to look out over our congregation, or even rub shoulders with many of them, and try to imagine that some will produce fruit (wheat) during their lifetime, while others are uncommitted and are their as decoys (known as ‘weeds’ in this Scripture). However, Jesus reminds us that because everyone walking through our doors are dressed just like us, look just like us, sing just like us, and may even give to the ministry just like us, we must not conclude that they are children of the kingdom. In Psalm 1:5, we are told that “sinners will have no place among the saved” on Judgment Day. Therefore let us pay close attention to what Jesus is teaching here. Friends, I believe that way too often we look at what our coworker is succeeding at, or how happy that new Sunday School member seems to be in their life, and we start emulating their lifestyle, or we join them in the things that seem to successfully bring joy in their life. But Jesus is teaching us today that we have only one role model, only one Savior and only one Lord. He tells us throughout His Word how we are to seek His righteousness, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim. I believe that when we start desiring what another person has – whether it’s happiness, a great spouse, wonderful children, a healthy lifestyle, an expensive car, etc., then we are permitting ourselves to seek our happiness and pleasure in another person (wheat or thorns), rather than in the joy, peace and wisdom of our almighty God, who proved His love for us on Calvary. In our times of meeting at church, or any gathering, with fellow believers, or those we assume are fellow believers, we tend to lift up and encourage each other. But let us always remember that we are there for one purpose only – to corporately lift up the name of Jesus and worship Him from the very depths of our heart. It’s a given fact that some fellow church members may have more knowledge than us about the teachings of God, and some may even have experienced miracles from God, but if you miss your one-on-one encounter with your Maker, and if you confuse His direction that He has planned for your life, by following the lead of your fellow worshipper, then you are missing out on the importance of corporate worship. Remember, He has laid out a plan for you, and that plan will involve experiences that you may totally miss, if you receive your guidance and leadership from a friend. We all must accept Jesus individually, and we all must seek His perfect will for our individual lives, if we are to live the perfect life He has in store for us. How are you doing with this dear friend? Do you have a really intimate relationship with Jesus, and listening to His every command for your life? If not, let me encourage you to seek Him while He may be found. Draw near to Him, my friend, and He will draw near to you. You are the apple of His eye. He loves You and would like nothing better than to welcome you through the gates of Heaven when He calls you out of this world. Sure things up today, won’t you?

PRAYER: A challenging parable, but a much needed message for each of us today, dear God. Thank You for speaking to us in such unexpected, but important ways throughout Your Word. Thank You for drawing our attention to the real source of revival in our land. It’s not my brother, or my sister, but it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer and needing to draw even closer to You. Please speak to the hearts and souls of Your people today. Draw us to yourself, so that all doubt will be removed whether we are Yours – redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Lord, may those who are considered ‘weeds’ in our midst be reminded of the One in whose name they’re are known. Encourage them to grow in their relationship with You and cement their decision to follow You until Your return. People still need the Lord – yes especially those who feel comfortable in church, even without ever having experiencing You in their lives. May today be the day that they are introduced to the Master, and may they surrender their whole being to You and to Your will for their life. AMEN!

For Christ or Against Him?

This verse is taken from a section of the New Testament where Jesus was clarifying for the Pharisees that His miracles were not of the devil. However, Jesus challenged them to consider their actions and attitudes as something that might be tearing down the Kingdom, not building it up. Let’s apply this valuation to our lives today, are we doing something to build up the Kingdom, or are we causing deterioration in Kingdom strength in our families and in our churches? Unfortunately, it is very evident to our Lord, and to our lost community.

Tuesday, 2021-02-06

Bible Reference: Matthew 12:30
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 30 ……he who is not with Me is against Me, and he who is not doing the Father’s work of gathering up the flock may as well be scattering the flock.

OBSERVATION: This verse is taken from a section of the New Testament where Jesus was clarifying for the Pharisees that His miracles were not of the devil. However, Jesus challenged them to consider their actions and attitudes as something that might be tearing down the Kingdom, not building it up. Let’s apply this valuation to our lives today, are we doing something to build up the Kingdom, or are we causing deterioration in Kingdom strength in our families and in our churches? Unfortunately, it is very evident to our Lord, and to our lost community.

APPLICATION: A piece of advice given by my wife and I several times over the years is ‘be careful, blood is thicker than water’. This applied to situations where the individual was talking to a family member about one of their relatives. That family member might be upset with their relative, and they may gossip about it to another relative, but they refuse to hear an outsider say something derogatory about them! Jesus witnessed the spiritual leaders of the day (the Pharisees) looking for every opportunity to entrap Him and/or imprison Him. He heard them speak evil about the good that He was doing in their community, yet they walked around pretending to be more holy than anyone else. Aren’t you glad that with our advanced education system, and our many computers and smart people, that we have learned to overcome this weakness in the church today? Ha, hopefully I received no ‘Amens’ to that statement, because it was really meant to highlight that even after all these years; after having the Word of God to show us the errors of our past generations, yet churches today are torn apart by the same wickedness. Imagine with me for a moment what might happen if Jesus walked down the isles of our churches next weekend and pointed out the folk who are promoting Kingdom growth, and then asked those to leave who were destroying His work here on earth. How’s your confidence level on whether you will be allowed to stay and continue your work for the Kingdom? Will the church grow after such a separation, or will it dwindle in numbers? Friends, please allow me to remind each one reading this blog, that when God is working inside of us and using us for His purpose and the good of His kingdom, then no matter what position we hold in church, or in our community, we would work together with other believers to promote the awesome love, power, wisdom and saving grace of the one true God – our Lord, and our Savior. When you are for Him, you will pray for those who open their mouths to speak for Him; you will lift up and encourage those who sing His praises; you will renounce evil and promote the goodness of God. There will be no need to look around to see who’s nearby when you speak of, or to your neighbor, because your words will be intended to lift up, and not tear down. Friends, there are many in my community who need the Lord, and I bet your community is very similar. They may be looking at the proof of God’s work in our midst, before they listen to our teaching or our preaching, or even watch for the sincerity of our walk, before they show interest in knowing Christ personally. They are probably tired of hearing the talk, but not seeing the walk of a child of the Kingdom. I believe that our takeaway today is that if we are for God, then let’s be extremely dedicated to living like He taught us, and like He exampled for us while here on earth. Jesus made it clear that we live out our beliefs, because when we don’t, it becomes clear that we are against Him. Talk with God today and allow Him to open your spiritual eyes to discern whose side you’re really on, both in words and in your actions.

PRAYER: Lord, may others see so much of Jesus in my speech and in my actions, that there will be no reason to question who guides me, who teaches me, who directs my path, and the direction in which I am headed for eternity! May all those meditating on this blog today be of the same mind and spirit, and may our dedication and commitment to you be contagious for all to see and subsequently follow. May we say like Paul did, if you want to see Jesus, follow 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. 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!

How To Improve Your Faith

When I was in the working world, I would have to undergo training for certain new products or programs so that I could help my employer do a good job of introducing our products to our customers. There are also good training seminars and conferences available to church leaders to help them sharpen their skills for the Lord’s work. But seldom do we think about pursuing our life of godliness and looking for ways to enhance our faith. Let’s stop and ponder this thought today based on the Scripture.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-11-09
WRITTEN AT: Ormond Beach, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Peter 1:5-9
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: Do your best to improve your faith. You can do this by adding goodness, understanding, self-control, patience, devotion to God, concern for others, and love. If you keep growing in this way, it will show that what you know about our Lord Jesus Christ has made your lives useful and meaningful. But if you don’t grow, you are like someone who is nearsighted or blind, and you have forgotten that your past sins are forgiven.

OBSERVATION: When I was in the working world, I would have to undergo training for certain new products or programs so that I could help my employer do a good job of introducing our products to our customers. There are also good training seminars and conferences available to church leaders to help them sharpen their skills for the Lord’s work. But seldom do we think about pursuing our life of godliness and looking for ways to enhance our faith. Let’s stop and ponder this thought today based on the Scripture.

APPLICATION: As I read these verses today, I was reminded that, just as a car could move if it had an engine, it is up to the driver to direct it’s path. It is also important for us to look for ways to contribute to our individual walk with, and our faith in, the Lord, so as God fills us with His awesome power, and guides us with His diligent guidance, we might aggressively contribute to a growing faith. and a closer walk with God. Here are seven important qualities that Peter directed us to add to our faith, with God’s help:
1) Goodness – Some translations also refer to this as Moral Excellence. So this revolves more around purity and uprightness of character through our obedience to God. We must aim at fulfilling our God-given purpose in a manner that would be pleasing to God and directed by Him. If we do, others will see us as a ‘good’ person, otherwise we might be called insincere;
2) Understanding – Also referred to as ‘Knowledge’, because the idea here is that the Christian must do all they can to acquire knowledge of God’s Word, and to seek after His guidance for their everyday walk;
3) Self-control – A mastery of self! Be disciplined and strive to control your desires and your passion. Remember that we were born into a wicked world, and because we live in this world we tend to like, imitate and desire the things of this world. The Christian must seek God’s help to help stay focused on, and practice the things of God;
4) Patience – Some translations also refer to this quality as ‘Perseverance’ because God knew how challenging it would be for us to keep on keeping on in spite of adversity. Let’s consider this to be patient endurance in holiness, despite our circumstance or our various tempters. You could see how badly we need God on this one;
5) Devotion to God – This might also be referred to as ‘Godliness’. Now, imagine how important it is to focus on our behavior to ensure that it reflects the character of God, while still living among the wicked;
6) Concern for others – This is also referred to as ‘Brotherly Kindness’. Thoughtful consideration for others, in spite of how they may gossip about you or treat you. Love them like God loves you – unconditionally;
7) Love – The Bible refers to love in various ways, using different Greek words. This particular word refers to the highest form of love – God’s kind of love that seeks the welfare of others ahead of self. Love reaches out to all people, those like you and those who look different. Those who believe like you and those who don’t. Remember, God loved the whole world enough that He sent His Son to die for us. That kind of love. Don’t you know that only God could inspire and help us to love like that?
The Scripture says that if we enhance our faith through adding these qualities – doing our part, then we will become useful and meaningful for the kingdom. I would hate to know that I am just here taking up space and of no worth to those that I meet, won’t you? With God’s help, we can do this friends!

PRAYER: It’s amazing how much You love us Lord, and also how much You care for us and show us how we could be more like You. Thank You for speaking through Your servant Peter to cause us to have a closer look at our faith, something we often take for granted. Lord, we need You each and every day to guide our steps and draw our attention to aligning our life with Yours. Please continue to work on us and give the strength, boldness and desire to draw close to You and Be more like You every day, so that others will be drawn to You. May the seven qualities mentioned in our Scripture become prevalent in our lives. AMEN!

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

God-Talk vs God-Acts

Many of you will know the theme of these verses as ‘Faith without works are dead’. However, I felt like the Message cut to the chase and translated these verses in a way that would truly help us to get the message that God was sending through James. Join me as we study these verses and may we look deep inside and analyze what God is doing inside of us.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-10-22
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: James 2:14-17
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 14-17 Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

OBSERVATION: Many of you will know the theme of these verses as ‘Faith without works are dead’. However, I felt like the Message cut to the chase and translated these verses in a way that would truly help us to get the message that God was sending through James. Join me as we study these verses and may we look deep inside and analyze what God is doing inside of us.

APPLICATION: Holy Spirit, please open the eyes of our heart so that we might see You at work within us, and that our faith in You might declare Your handiwork and Your goodness to us. So friends, as we consider the matter of faith, and whether it impacts our lives and our actions, let us first bring this subject right down to where we are today. Most of us would have reached for the light switch as we rose from our beds this morning, and we had faith to believe that through our action of turning on the light switch, the room would be filled with light. We pulled out a chair to the breakfast table, and we had faith that the chair would hold our weight. We asked God to bless our food, and we had faith that He would nourish our bodies for His service today. But some of our more challenging faith tests today may be something like: (1) A call from the hospital – a relative or good friend may be very sick and they wanted their relative to make us aware of their condition and location. Why? Do you suppose it may be because they know that we know the Great Healer and we would therefore pray for their well-being? But what did you do? Tell the caller to let the sick person know that you are thinking about them and wishing them well? Wouldn’t it have been a strong message to the caller if you stopped what you were doing and, in faith, prayed with the caller while still on the phone? (2) A derelict sitting on the curb downtown – He calls out to you for help in getting a meal, but how do you respond? Most of us will shrug the poor man off and say that we have no cash. What if that was Jesus inside those dirty clothes and unshaven face, would your response have been any different? What if you looked down from heaven and saw that man had no one tell him about the love of the Savior, so he never accepted Him as Lord. What a disappointment to God when He looks into your face and ask why? Friends, these are examples that really hurt, but we do them almost every day. With part of the Trinity living inside of you, what could possibly be too difficult for you and the Holy Spirit to handle? Is there any good reason why you would say that you are a person of faith, yet when presented with the opportunity to use that faith, you are timid, doubtful and filled with intimidation? I believe this all starts with a daily communion time with God. See what He has to say to you through His Word and try to apply it to your life and be guided by what He has to say. Speak with Him through prayer and thanksgiving. Be His representative in such a clear way that others will know that God exists, because they saw or witnessed Him today when they met you. Faith – knowing the power of God that is available in and through you, and be willing to act while depending on that faith.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, please have mercy on us, Your humble, but stubborn children. Thank You for Your words through your servant James. May we carefully search out the full effects of the faith that we are convinced we have. May we prove its effectiveness through our actions today. AMEN!

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

Faith Is….

Too often I believe we use the word ‘Faith’ without giving it a lot of thought. We might say to someone struggling financially: ‘just have faith my friend’. Do You know, or does your friend really know, what you meant by that? In our Scripture today we are not only reminded of what Faith is, but we are also given some awesome examples. Meditate with me!

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-10-08
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 11:1-3
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT:  What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead. Men of God in days of old were famous for their faith. By faith—by believing God—we know that the world and the stars—in fact, all things—were made at God’s command; and that they were all made from things that can’t be seen.[a]

OBSERVATION: Too often I believe we use the word ‘Faith’ without giving it a lot of thought. We might say to someone struggling financially: ‘just have faith my friend’. Do You know, or does your friend really know, what you meant by that? In our Scripture today we are not only reminded of what Faith is, but we are also given some awesome examples. Meditate with me!

APPLICATION: Although I love the example in verse 3 that you may have already read, further in chapter 11, we are reminded of the faith of Noah. He was blessed with a meeting with God and he was told that there would be a flood coming that will wipe out life on earth as it was known at that time. To help cement the idea, Noah was told the exact material he should use to build a huge boat – an ark. He was given the measurements and all of the finer detail. But here is where ‘faith’ came into the picture:
1. Rain was a brand new item for Noah and other inhabitants – So imagine Noah trying to wrap his mind around the idea of a flood! Imagine building a huge boat on dry land, and being confident that it would one day float out of that valley!
2. The jeering by the townspeople – Day after day Noah would work on the ark. Week after week, month after month and year after year Noah labored over building this huge boat, while sharing with his neighbors about this word given to him by God. Over a period of 120 years, some were born and actually died, while all the while hearing Noah talk about this flood that would hit them one day. My friends, Noah had a lot of faith to battle with the locals, while working endlessly to complete a very big boat, and keeping his mind focused on the idea of a strange phenomenon, ‘rain’ actually coming down in torrents one day;
3. His family, and a couple of every animal type would be saved – Can you imagine the questions you would have for God? Food; Water; Disposing of waste; Exercise for humans and animals; Will this boat even float? However, Noah’s faith never wavered!
Friends, God has given you and I unique information that requires our faith in action. I had a relative say to me: ‘As smart as you are, how could you possibly think that Jesus arose from the dead? That’s unheard of. For you to stay dedicated to the church, while expecting Jesus to return one day – are you for real?’ Now let’s go back to verse 1 in our Scripture for the meaning of faith: ‘It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.’ Additionally, let’s consider why we believe that God exists, and if we can trust what He said in His Word. I believe with very high assurance, we can know without a doubt that God exists, and that He has already proven His Word to us, so there is no reason to start doubting it now. Do you have faith – just faith in general? Before you sit in a chair, do you try resting a heavy weight in the chair as a test first to make sure that it might hold your weight? I believe you have faith in many things, just like my simple example. I happen to believe that the Bible is true, and that God is faithful to His Word. He said that He will return again to take His bride (the church – those individuals who have accepted His Son Jesus) home. I have followed through in faith and accepted Jesus as my Savior so that one day I will be with Him in eternity. What has your faith done for you? It is clear that those who have not accepted Jesus, are destined for eternity in Hell. I hope that your faith is leading you to trust in Jesus, for my greatest desire is to worship at Jesus’ feet in Heaven with all those I have ministered to through ‘Nuggets’ surrounding me. Please don’t let me down.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, I am so thankful for who You are, and for all You have done to prepare me for that great day when I shall see You and the Father face to face! There is no greater joy in living each day than to keep my eyes fixed on You! Please humble the hearts of all those who will read this devotional today, and please encourage them to know You personally. Noah showed us faith in action. May our faith never waiver as we wait for the day that You will call us home to glory! What a glorious day that will be! Thank You 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. 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!