The Simplicity of the Cross

The great philosopher could explain what the cross was made of and every detail behind the reason that Jesus went to the cross, but isn’t it interesting how a simple person, like you or me, could talk to a friend about the old rugged cross and how it made a difference in our lives, and their mouths will drop open in wonder, hoping that this joy of which we speak, could also impact their lives? Join me in meditating on the simple story of the cross that we could share with, or preach to, our friends today and everyday.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-04-27
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Corinthians 1:21
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 21 For in his wisdom, God designed that all the world’s wisdom would be insufficient to lead people to the discovery of himself. He took great delight in baffling the wisdom of the world by using the simplicity of preaching the story of the cross[w] in order to save those who believe it.

OBSERVATION: The great philosopher could explain what the cross was made of and every detail behind the reason that Jesus went to the cross, but isn’t it interesting how a simple person, like you or me, could talk to a friend about the old rugged cross and how it made a difference in our lives, and their mouths will drop open in wonder, hoping that this joy of which we speak, could also impact their lives? Join me in meditating on the simple story of the cross that we could share with, or preach to, our friends today and everyday.

APPLICATION: Many songs have been written and sold to thousands about the old rugged cross. Many sermons have been written and shared on almost any day, with church attendees, some of which might sit and wonder ‘how on earth does this apply to me today’? Many have braved the criminals, the poor and also the rich with various tips on how to win them to the Lord. Seminary after seminary charge thousands of dollars to students wanting to pursue a degree in religious studies. In churches located in countries around the world and represented by my readers, you will find that some are led by pastors and staff who are well educated, while some may simply have a pastor, filled by the Holy Spirit who has a heart touched by God, and who desires to share his simple faith with anyone that will listen. I believe that God will speak through all men described above, but based on our Scripture today, we are also reminded that no matter how smart our church leaders might be, without a very personal and current relationship with the Master, they will simply preach what they learned from professors in seminary. For I am convinced that Jesus wants us to share what He has done in our lives, because of what God did at Calvary when He sacrificed His only Son. Share this, so that those who are lost and seeking desperately for the Light, might understand that the whole reason Jesus died and rose again, was to provide life eternally with Him in heaven. You see, one might share the account of the cross based on the Biblical story, while another might explain with deep emotion how the events of the crucifixion happened so that they might see the hope of salvation, and it is that same reality that they want to share with those listening. God has blessed many with a lot of talent. God has also blessed a lot with extreme knowledge. However, God has placed in each of us a unique experience with His Son, that only we could share. I have an awesome friend who has been blind since birth, yet he shares the love of God on Social Media and with everyone who comes into contact with Him. I know of friends who have never gone to college, yet they do an outstanding job of sharing the news of Jesus Christ with others. I have friends who are as smart as anyone on earth, and they do a great job of sharing the love of the Lord Jesus that lives inside of them. If we have something to share, we can do so successfully, and in line with this Scripture. However, if we have all the knowledge in the world and can only share text with someone, they are lightly not going to get it. God uses the foolishness of preaching to reach unbelievers. A seminary or college degree might help you explain the story well, but unless that story comes from your innermost being, I’m not sure that just words will impact those you might share those words with. Let me share with you friends that we must know Him in order to share about Him with others. Know His Word and share how it impacts your life, so that others could base their decision based on something that is proven, and truly works.

PRAYER: Lord, I pray that none of Your children will allow knowledge, or the lack thereof, to prevent them from sharing with others what they see at work in their lives. Please give us the boldness to share with others all that You have blessed us with. Help us to avoid telling the good news about what You did for famous people, although that might be a super good story, but to always share about how You impacted our lives and blessed us so wonderfully. Dear God, thank You for saving my soul. Please use me to share that story with many who have yet to accept You as Lord, so that they may see the hope that is possible for even them. Many whom we know, need the Lord. Please use us to be instruments of Your truth, Your grace and Your love, so that those in our circle of influence may know and accept You as Lord. AMEN!

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

The Value of The Scripture

Imagine your pastor pulling a young man, that shows a lot of promise, alongside of him and promises to work with him to become an effective minister of the Word of God. What are some things that you suppose your pastor, and your church might expect of this young man? Hours and hours of diligence in the Word; Seminary, or at least Bible School; etc, etc. Now, let me encourage you to look into the Word for instruction on what you should do. It seems to me, that this Scripture today is giving some direction regarding the dilemma, and possibly the answer to what your pastor is facing, so let’s look closely at this….

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Timothy 3:15-17 (ERV)

TEXT:  15 You have known the Holy Scriptures since you were a child. These Scriptures are able to make you wise. And that wisdom leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by God. And all Scripture is useful for teaching and for showing people what is wrong in their lives. It is useful for correcting faults and teaching the right way to live. 17 Using the Scriptures, those who serve God will be prepared and will have everything they need to do every good work.

OBSERVATION:   Imagine your pastor pulling a young man, that shows a lot of promise, alongside of him and promises to work with him to become an effective minister of the Word of God. What are some things that you suppose your pastor, and your church might expect of this young man? Hours and hours of diligence in the Word; Seminary, or at least Bible School; etc, etc. Now, let me encourage you to look into the Word for instruction on what you should do. It seems to me, that this Scripture today is giving some direction regarding the dilemma, and possibly the answer to what your pastor is facing, so let’s look closely at this….

APPLICATION:   Paul, having gone through a wide range of challenges in his ministry, had lots of advice and direction for Timothy who was setting out in ministry. I believe that if we looked at everything that Paul had to offer Timothy, some might say that he had enough challenges of his own, that he would probably do everything possible to discourage this young man from the ministry, although he didn’t! Looking at this from Timothy’s standpoint, we could see where Timothy could easily approach every situation with the same mindset that he saw his local church/church leaders handle situations. However, what adds so much to this story for us is that Paul took on young Timothy as his own son. It shows where Paul cared for Timothy’s well being and for his success in ministry – both for the benefit of the kingdom, and for himself personally. So I believe that the obvious thing that Paul might tell Timothy, is to study the Bible often, and study it very deeply – and I believe that any pastor about to mentor a young ‘Timothy’ would probably do the same. In fact, I believe that any good church leadership would probably tell a young, prospective minister who felt called to the ministry to do the same, and it would be advice patterned after Scripture – today’s Scripture! So why is this important? I believe that for one to teach or preach the Word of God, and tell others about the character and life of Jesus Christ, then it is critically important to get into the Word and saturate yourself with it. There are many other books that we could read where good, qualified teachers have written about the ‘Book’, but please don’t allow that to take the place of you digging into the Word of God often and very deeply. From personal experience, I can tell you that there are days that I might read the Word and I struggle to gain anything personally from it. However, there are days that I can read back over a passage that I previously got nothing from, and God has a special message for me at that time. As I read, I tend to use a few different highlighters: green for highlighting phrases through which I felt God speaking direct to me about something; yellow for highlighting various warnings that God used to get our attention; and red to highlight specific things that God told us not to do. Did I get these ideas from some big seminary and passing them on to you to use? No, but these are tools that I chose to use, so that when I study or refer to that Scripture again, those words will ‘pop’ and quickly draw my attention to them. The other tool I use, is multiple versions of the Bible. Each time I read through the Bible I use a different version. The different ways that some translators or commentators choose to word a passage, might serve to help me better understand what is being said, or what was intended by the sometimes challenging verbiage of some older translations. Other advice I would offer is that it is ‘God’s’ Word, so ask Him to open your mind and your understanding, so that you could grasp what He wants to say to you through the words you are about to read and understand. In training an up and coming ‘Timothy’ it is way more important for him to see and understand from you when he knows that you are in the Word personally, rather than detailing what the textbook says from your seminary. As you learn from, and draw closer to God, you are in much better shape to mentor someone wanting to walk the same path that you took!

PRAYER:   Lord, thank You for touching the hearts, minds and souls of men and women around the world who have committed their lives to the full time ministry of Your Word. People still need the Lord, so it is still very important that new ‘Timothy’s’ arise every day and commit themselves to serving the King of all kings! Thank You Father for drawing men and women unto Yourself, and thank You for preparing them for Your ministry. Sometimes You do this through others that might encourage, teach and set a good example for the new minister. Please bless those who fill that role every day! Please continue to bless our churches with new volunteers who will take the ministry seriously and whose sole purpose is to see Your kingdom increase and be glorified. I stand in awe of Your mercy on us oh Lord! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

To Know That He Is God!

The prophets foretold the coming of John the Baptist, and the people followed his teachings. However, John knew that one was coming who was much greater than he was, so when questioned by his followers about the teachings of Jesus, John sent them to inquire. Our Scripture today is Jesus’ response to John’s followers. But how do we determine for ourselves who Jesus is?

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-07-12
SCRIPTURE

From:

Luke 7:22-23 (ERV)

Text:

22 Then he said to John’s followers, “Go tell John what you have seen and heard: The blind can see. The crippled can walk. People with leprosy are healed. The deaf can hear. The dead are brought back to life. And the Good News is being told to the poor.23 Great blessings belong to those who don’t have a problem accepting me.”
OBSERVATION:
The prophets foretold the coming of John the Baptist, and the people followed his teachings. However, John knew that one was coming who was much greater than he was, so when questioned by his followers about the teachings of Jesus, John sent them to inquire. Our Scripture today is Jesus’ response to John’s followers. But how do we determine for ourselves who Jesus is?
APPLICATION:
At some time in our lives we are faced with the question about who God is, and then there’s the importance of evaluating what our relationship is with this awesome God. John knew from Scripture that Jesus was coming and when he heard about all that Jesus was doing, he was anxious to know if this was really the Christ. I truly believe that almost everyone in the world has probably heard about Jesus, but like you and I, they have to find out for themselves whether He truly exists, and then decide what they will do with Him. I thought that Jesus’ response was outstanding! He didn’t send the disciples to study what the prophets had foretold, nor did He quote Scripture for them. He simply told them to share with John all they had seen and experienced. Friends, if I told you about a news report I saw of an earthquake in Africa, and another friend told you of a time they were visiting California and an earthquake came in the middle of the night, which story do you suppose might be more convincing and interesting? I believe we will all agree that for those of us that not only have accepted Jesus as Lord, but have truly developed a personal relationship with Him, we can speak of Him from the heart. John’s followers experienced the awesome power of Jesus, so can you even imagine how excited and convincing they were when they returned to John? Do you suppose that he doubted for a moment whether they were telling him the truth? Friends, I believe that God is teaching us in this Scripture today, that we can attend church every day of the week, and hear the very best of preachers, but until we have developed our own personal experience with Jesus Christ, our witnessing will consist more of storytelling, than it would of a personal experience. Each man, woman and child must decide for themselves who Jesus is to them; develop and maintain a personal relationship with Him; and then let the joy that comes from that relationship overflow to all those that we come into contact with. We all need Jesus. Once you have confirmed that personal relationship, reach out to a friend that also needs Him and share your story. That’s real, personal evangelism!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for loving us enough to sacrifice Yourself on the cross so that we might have the means of one day seeing You and the Father. Please forgive us for the times that we have kept that joy of knowing You bottled up inside. Lord, may our cups overflow so that the world will know that that You are very much alive, because they see evidence of it in us! We love You Lord, and again thank You for providing a way for us! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Invaluable Testimony of Eyewitness

I believe that Moses realized that the younger generation of Israelites might be entering into the Promised Land without ever having witnessed the powerful hand of God through the many miracles in Egypt, and in the wilderness. I believe that the older generation were probably content in their tents knowing that they had witnessed a lot in their day and that hopefully their children would never have to face those challenges again. We will consider the application to our current day situation, as we reflect on the dilemma Moses saw with his people, at such a celebrative time in their history….

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-07-10
SCRIPTURE

From:

Deuteronomy 11:1-2; 7 (ERV)

Text:

 “So you must love the Lord your God. You must do what he tells you to do and always obey his laws, rules, and commands. Remember today all the great things the Lord your God has done to teach you. It was you, not your children, who saw those things happen and lived through them. You saw how great he is. You saw how strong he is, and you saw the powerful things he does.

It was you, not your children, who saw all the great things the Lord did.

OBSERVATION:
I believe that Moses realized that the younger generation of Israelites might be entering into the Promised Land without ever having witnessed the powerful hand of God through the many miracles in Egypt, and in the wilderness. I believe that the older generation were probably content in their tents knowing that they had witnessed a lot in their day and that hopefully their children would never have to face those challenges again. We will consider the application to our current day situation, as we reflect on the dilemma Moses saw with his people, at such a celebrative time in their history….
APPLICATION:
Gossip generally starts when one is trying to relay a story based on something they thought they heard someone else say. Exaggerations are generally added, especially to slant the belief of the hearer towards the feelings of the story teller. But if experiences are never shared with others, the lessons that you learned will not help others, or give them a ray of hope through all that they are facing. God brought the Israelites through so much that their experiences are spread across several books in the Bible, yet this younger generation was preparing to enter into uncharted territory, facing huge obstacles, and Moses was afraid that they would probably face these with little hope or trust in the God from whom their forefathers witnessed miracle after miracle. Has things changed? Do our kids know about the miracles in the lives of our parents and grandparents? Do they know about the faith as demonstrated by your uncle? Do they know that the same God who raised Lazarus from the grave, is the same God available to them today and they too can experience His awesome grace and power? Don’t forget friends, there are folk that will deliberately get into conversation with you today, because they may have seen your faith at work, or they’ve heard of the faith that you may have in your Master. Don’t brush them off because you’re at work, or you’re at the grocery store. God arranged the meeting place and the circumstance so that someone might hear your story today. Don’t let Him down! Family will probably call or stop by today and although there might be several reasons for their visit, one might be that they want some of your faith to rub off on them. Let me encourage you to share wherever and whenever you can. The obvious place is at church friends, for most people attend, looking for hope, for answers, for a better way. Be interested in those that you speak with, and not just a casual handshake or smile, for they may enter their future without ever having been touched by the blessings God showered on you. Your sharing with them might be the final thing that convinces them to meet the originator of miracles – our God! Do your part by share what God has done for you personally friend. There is nothing like an eyewitness account!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, You bless us immensely each and every day, and You have not only performed miracles in our own lives, but also in the lives of relatives that have shared experiences with us. Please help us to share with others how You have blessed us, and Lord, please use those circumstances to draw folk to you. Help us to share in simple form what You have miraculously done for us. No need for exaggeration, Your power is enough to draw folk to You and to save the most hardened sinner. Lord, I look forward to sharing with others today, God being my helper, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Power of A Personal Experience

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: Luke 7:20-23
Today’s Bible Text: 20 So the men came to Jesus. They said, “John the Baptizer sent us to you with this question: ‘Are you the one who is coming, or should we wait for someone else?’”  21 Right then Jesus healed many people of their sicknesses and diseases. He healed those who had evil spirits and made many who were blind able to see again. 22 Then he said to John’s followers, “Go tell John what you have seen and heard: The blind can see. The crippled can walk. People with leprosy are healed. The deaf can hear. The dead are brought back to life. And the Good News is being told to the poor. 23 Great blessings belong to those who don’t have a problem accepting me.”
The Bible Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

My Take Away: Ever noticed the difference between sharing a story of something personally experienced, compared to sharing facts about something experienced by someone else and relayed to you? In this story today, Jesus could easily have answered the questions asked of Him by John’s disciples, but instead He chose to demonstrate His power to them so that they might share with John about something they actually experienced. I’ve seen folk so excited in sharing a personal experience, that I’ve been forced to slow them down in order for me to catch up with their story and understand what they were sharing. On the other hand, you hear words such as this, when someone is relaying someone else’s story: “Well at least that’s what they told me” or “According to ???? this is what happened”. In a courtroom the judge will often ask that you give only the facts you have experienced, not hear-say. The judge wants only first-hand experience taken into evidence. Based on their first-hand experience, I believe that John’s disciples ran back to him with such excitement in their hearts, that it was probably very challenging for him to discern what they were telling him. I also believe that this is how personal evangelism is often more impactful, when you and I openly share our personal testimony with an unsaved loved one. Friends, I am convinced that our relatives, friends, coworkers and others that we meet each day, will only come to know Jesus because of personal experiences that we excitedly share with them, not through something we might tell them that our spouse heard the preacher say last Sunday. Our personal testimony shared with friends is probably more impactful than any Bible story we can tell them, because it’s not hear-say. Don’t add on to it to try and make it exciting or dramatic, just share what Jesus did for you. Our personal experiences come out of a daily encounter/experience/relationship with the Savior of this world, the Creator of this universe, the King of all kings, Messiah, Son of God, through whom we have every confidence about our eternal home. Won’t you know Him today friend? I want you to experience Him, so that you can share that experience with someone else in your circle that needs to know our Lord! I want you to be the influence for that friend’s eternity in heaven!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I realize that there is no power in us to influence others, but I do believe that when we add You into the picture, then we have everything to share. Just as You reached down into the depths of our sinful lives and rescued us, I believe that You can still do the same thing for our friends that we are so concerned about today. While we absolutely can’t save anyone from their sin, I know that Your extreme power within us can influence our friends of their need for a Savior. Please empower and embolden us to share our testimony with others today – our story. We want others to become excited and know the Savior that brought excitement and change into our lives. We want them to accept You as Lord of their lives, and we know that You still save, even today. Please use us as needed to rescue our family and friends today from the grip of sin and the tug of Satan. I ask these things in the strong name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

2016