Oh What A Relief It Is

There are so many things that stress us out, and everyone we talk to will have their own idea or solution on how we should deal with that stress. But God had us in mind a long time ago and He led David to share with us His resolution for our distress. Let us meditate on what our Maker teaches us about stress release!

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2022-05-04
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 32:1-5
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: Our Lord, you bless everyone whose sins you forgive and wipe away. You bless them by saying, “You told me your sins, without trying to hide them, and now I forgive you.” Before I confessed my sins, my bones felt limp, and I groaned all day long. Night and day your hand weighed heavily on me, and my strength was gone as in the summer heat. So I confessed my sins and told them all to you. I said, “I’ll tell the Lord each one of my sins.” Then you forgave me and took away my guilt.

APPLICATION: I’m certainly not trained to deal professionally with how one should handle the stress in their lives (that’s my legal disclosure!!!!). However, I can share with you the best solution, based on a word from our Maker, Designer, Creator and Almighty God! For knowing full well how our generation would handle stress, God gave to His servant David resolution for his personal stresses, and inspired him to share that with us from his first-hand experience. David had his share of weaknesses, challenges, sin; forgiveness and happiness. Today David is challenging us to consider not doing the easiest thing by trying to cover up our sin and pretend it doesn’t exist. For it only makes us miserable when we go around pretending that all is well. Friends, I believe that is the first inhibitor for stress – when we know something is going on in our lives, but we pretend to those around us that all is well. Unfortunately I believe that we unconsciously show our pretense to God also, for we follow our own desires, knowing that these things are almost always contrary to the Word of God, and to what He desires of us. But we go on about our day pretending that all is well anyway. In my opinion this is the source of stress, for we are covering up something that we know should be done, said or acted upon differently. But praise be to God, the Psalmist showed us that there was excellent results for him when he followed the normal pattern designed by God. God has set this pattern for His children so that they might be pleasing to Him in every way. However, in all of our wisdom, we somehow figured that we could go our own way and do our own thing, and God would be just as happy with us. But God, in His wisdom, placed an uneasiness in us, that some may call ‘stress’, while others may call it a conscience, because He wanted us to know when we are doing something that isn’t right. Let me encourage you to re-read the last part of our focal verses today, and I believe that like me, you too might notice the loud sigh of relief by David when he concluded that God heard his cry for forgiveness and He forgave him. I pray that our goal today might be that we live as an open book before God – nothing to be worried about, holding nothing back, exposing everything to God that bothers us in the very least. Recognizing that God knows all about us and our inadequacies, and He knows what we may be covering up. But I believe that He longs to see us reconcile our faults before Him, and seek His forgiveness, so that we may be one with Him. Consider making this the day that you relieve yourself of the stress in your life. Seek God while He may be found. Expose your heart to Him, so that He might cleanse it and make you whole. Be one with your Maker my friend, and experience the relief He gives through forgiveness of your sin.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: I don’t know that we could find a story in the Bible where God did not forgive one of His children who sought His forgiveness. Praise God, He is still waiting, willing and ready to forgive us of our sins and shortcomings also!

PRAYER: Precious Lord Jesus, we approach You as Your loving children that are broken and filled with stress over trying to do ‘life’ on our own. Please speak directly to our innermost person today and help us to acknowledge our shortcomings, and our inability to handle this complex world on our own while thinking that we could still please You. Without You we are broken without any hope of repair. Please humble our hearts so that we might surrender our all to You and give You full reign in every aspect of our being, so that You may be honored and praised by all who we may encounter. 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!

Remove The Evil One

Perhaps like me, your parents also warned you about which friends you would hang around with, and which ones were off limit! It seemed like our parents were cruel and hateful in their judgement of our friend’s character, but as adults we can reflect back and often see the trouble that developed in their lives. Our parents wanted the very best for us. I believe this Scripture is teaching us that it is equally important that we keep God’s church holy, just as He is holy, and not let the evil settle in among us. Let’s delve into this together.

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2022-05-01
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that.11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”

APPLICATION: I was in conversation yesterday with a few apartment tenants in a large city, and I overheard them talking about the warnings of eviction that were threatened by their landlord, and I believe it seems like an appropriate illustration, just as in the case of our upbringing, as they both open the door to discuss how God’s holy people are set apart unto Him. It is evident that in the case of our parents, they wanted no bad thing to distract from what they were teaching us at home, for parents try to help their children learn to always aim for what is best in life for their own good. It also goes to say that parents want to teach us that if we see behavior that is opposite to what we aim to live, then we should force ourselves away from that person or persons who lead that lifestyle. Similarly, landlords aim at finding the best tenants who will pay their rent on time and treat their building and fellow tenants with due respect. When either of these things become questionable, the landlord seeks to evict that questionable tenant, with hopes of finding one that better suites the desires of the landlord. Now, when Jesus gets a hold of our heart and invites us to let Him in, He teaches us in His Word how it is that He wants us to live so that He might be best represented, so that other non-repentant sinners may be wooed into the Kingdom. So we start to spend a lot of time around church, and with fellow believers, so that we may grow from each other’s strength and encouragement. But what happens when a ‘bad apple’ finds their way into our fellowship? I believe that our Scripture perfectly supports the very old proverb that says ‘one bad apple spoils the whole bunch’! You see, Christians have become so accustomed to ‘loving like Jesus’, that we tend to forget that an important part of loving is to also discipline those who are about to ‘spoil the whole bunch’. In our parents home, if they don’t discipline bad behavior or otherwise breaking their rules, then our siblings quickly catch on to the fact that the rules set by our parents are not really intended to be followed seriously. All of a sudden we see children grow into maturity and expect to view the rules established by police and community leaders in much the same, lax way. Dear friends, I am convinced that there is nothing more serious than us trying to please our Heavenly Father. In Deuteronomy 17:7, the Israelites were told by God that when they discover ‘one bad apple’, they are to rid themselves of that evil. Paul quoted that Scripture to the church in Corinth as he taught them how to rid themselves of the evil that may come in their midst. I believe that for those who have been around for a while, we can look around and see where many standards have been lowered compared to what our ancestors understood from the Scriptures and tolerated in the church. I can only wonder what God might have to say to us on Judgment Day. Is He pleased with the way that we are interpreting His commands, and the little twists we are making to them in the name of politically correctness, or in the name of ‘love’? I believe that if we find reason to question our decision on some of these ‘evil’, controversial, or otherwise borderline things, then perhaps we need more time with God – on our knees and in His Word, until we are convinced that we are obedient to His will. When we question evil in someone else, the whole church may look back at us as also being imperfect. So let’s begin with getting ourselves better aligned with God’s perfect law, design, and will. If we are pleasing in God’s sight, then the same should carry over as we assume leadership in our churches and strive to rid them of evil.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: In obedience to God, we are often called to love one another. But at times, it also means disciplining, as needed. I believe that God will bless us when we do both of these things for His glory, and for no gain of our own.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for the love that You extend to all your children – even during the times that You love us enough to discipline us. Please teach us daily to: love like You first loved us; judge honestly and fairly like we expect from You; always seek out the best in everyone; and to always present ourselves and Your church as holy in Your eyes, just as You are holy. Lord, You know how badly we fail in life, but thanks for Your forgiveness and strength to go on. May the people see Jesus evident in every fiber of our being, and therefore no condemnation for our failures already covered by Your precious blood. 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 Importance of Prayer

To consider something that is totally different to what we have become accustomed to here on earth requires help from somewhere, or someone. God didn’t want us to get this help from just anyone, so Jesus provided answers and direction to us on the subject of prayer in our Scripture today. Have a look and see if these tips might help you enhance your prayer life.

DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-01-24
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 6:6-8; 14-15
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
7-13 “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.
14-15 “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.

APPLICATION: Don’t know about you, but I find it almost impossible to think straight and write, type, or anything else while also trying to listen to one or more people talk about their challenges and opportunities from their day. Both deserve your undivided attention, but I found it interesting that Jesus chose this as the first suggestion to enhance our prayer life! Find a secluded place to pray. The importance of this was confirmed for me when I volunteered for a time of secluded prayer during a 24-hr prayer chain promoted by a group of local churches. This placed me in a very small room with just a Bible, a few Bible verses posted on the walls and a kneeling bench where I could bow before and converse with the Lord. Notice that I wasn’t praying while I rushed around getting ready for work, nor while I drove down busy streets with unlimited cars buzzing all around me. It was just God and me in a dimly lit room without windows. This gave me a whole new perspective on ‘time alone with God’. Let me suggest that you try following what I experienced some time. It will also help you achieve the first guideline given by Jesus. Additionally, try praying for more than just a minute or two. Although you may have lots of people to pray for, you will quickly run out of words, probably because of your history of quick, instant, mini prayers. Try having a conversation with God. Begin by praising Him for who He is and for what He has done for you, your family and your friends. Try to recall a few examples of how He directed you, and thank Him in a very personal way for that. Pray the Scriptures back to Him, especially the one that you are meditating on that day. Tell Him about your plans for the day and seek His guidance in doing the right thing at the right time and place with the right folk. Remember, you are His ambassador here on earth, so you want to do and say things His way, so that others might be reminded of Jesus and desire to know Him personally. Please try not to follow preplanned prayer verbiage by some great theologian. Yes, I know make it sound so perfect, but since you don’t need something like that for conversation with your spouse, then I can assure you that you will not need that to converse with your Creator who knows everything about you. Just be yourself and converse with God in an unhurried or structured way. Leave time for God to envelope your heart and mind and fill your innermost thoughts with His direction and His character and demeanor. The world is sick of the selfishness and greed of mankind. They are constantly on guard for what you might want from them. Allowing God to work in your life and speak through you, will open the eyes and heart of your hearers in ways they, nor you, may have ever experienced before. The experience of reflecting back on your day and standing in awe about where certain words or actions came from, will totally overwhelm you. Allow God to be in control, dear friend! In the last two verses, note that Jesus wants us to know that unless we willingly forgive others, we shouldn’t expect God to forgive us. We must be willing to practice what we preach, not just apply those teachings to everyone else besides us. Communication is key to our personal relationships with family and friends. It is also the key that opens the door to a personal relationship with our Master. Talk/pray to God on a regular basis. Hearing from Him is key to a life patterned after, and directed by Him.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus will pour into you as much as , or more than, you pour into your relationship with Him! Begin to enhance that relationship with your Savior through prayer, dear friend.

PRAYER: Lord You are so good to us. Please help us to be more like You in every aspect of life, so that others might know that You are alive and working actively in Your children’s lives. Please help us to dedicate ourselves to more quality time with You, especially in prayer. In our Scripture today, we are reminded of some important qualities that would enhance our prayer life – a key to our relationship. Please direct us to plan time for meeting with You, and to clear the path of every distraction as we do that. Quality time with our family and friends bring unity and increases the love we feel towards each other. Time alone with You is also super important as we seek to know You better, love You more and gain even more trust in You. Draw us close to you dear Lord, so that we may be usable by You to grow Your kingdom. 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!

Preparing For Baptism

Some pastors will baptize you the day you walk the isle in surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. Some will come for baptism even though the pastor may never have witnessed their day of salvation. I believe that you will find it interesting how John handled this subject while at the Jordan River. Meditate with me on the important teaching John shared with the Pharisees and Sadducees, as this may still apply in our churches today.

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2022-01-12
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 3:5-9
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.

APPLICATION: Ever noticed how some will dye their hair blue, if they see a friend or two doing the same thing, and getting attention over the strange practice? Ever noticed at an altar call in your church how challenging it is to get the first person to respond to the gospel message, and how much easier it is after the first person makes the walk down to the altar? We don’t want to be the first to make a move, but we are quick to follow the flow by our friends. People from the neighboring towns came to hear for themselves what all this ‘wild man’, John, was preaching about. His message touched their heart, so they confessed their sin and was ready to be baptized. This is still pretty customary in churches today, especially during revival or evangelistic services. But what would your church, or your pastor, do if at the baptismal service a number of people showed up for baptism who had never visited your church before? I believe we all can agree that at such special services, many might get in the spirit of what is occurring , and they may want to be baptized also. John recognized that the Pharisees and Sadducees who showed up and wanted to be baptized, felt like they were already good enough on their own reconnaissance and at least as good as the persons there who may have received forgiveness of their sin that day. However, John addressed this by drawing their attention to the change that occurs in a believer’s life. I believe John’s teaching on this is well worth our time to reflect on. Think about it – if we are a child of the King, then we will look like; sound like; and act like the King. It would be highly hypercritical of us to say that we are a child of the King, yet continue to behave like our old sinful selves. Who are we trying to fool? I also appreciate that John included the piece for his audience not to feel ‘saved’ because of them being from the seed of Abraham. You see, when we have grown up in the church, or if we happen to be a child of the pastor, deacon or elder, we may try to fool the world into thinking that because of our heritage, we too are saved. Notice what John taught here: we are each to approach the throne of God individually. Nothing done, said, or practiced by our ancestors could cleanse us of our sin and make us right with God. It is only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ that we are saved. That’s the sole purpose in God sending His Son, and He will have it no other way. We cannot slither our way into heaven through any other means. Be encouraged today Brothers and Sisters. We may not be a son or daughter of any earthly king or queen, but as a son of the Most Hight God – King Jesus, we are born again and ready to meet our Savior whenever He calls us home to glory. We are never too bad, or never too much of a pretender for God to accept us. Repent of your sins and ask God to become alive in You so that your words, actions and witness will be all about your heavenly Master.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus can save the hardened criminal or even the one who feels like they’ve always been ‘good enough’ according to the word’s standards.He came to seek and save ALL that are lost. That includes you, me, our neighbor or the drunk down the road.

PRAYER: Father God, we are reminded that there is nothing we can do of our own selves to save ourselves from our sins and ready ourselves for the portals of Heaven. John was very blunt about this with the Pharisees and Sadducees, and he may have even found reason to preach at some of our churches today. Yes, we must be saved through the righteous sacrifice of Jesus alone. But our life will always reflect who takes center place in our lives. May that always be you, and you alone dear God. As the world see Jesus in us, they might become convinced of the power of the One who sacrificed His life for the remission of our sins. Please forgive us for trying to play the fool before You, like we so often try to get away with before our fellow man. You are the one, and the only one, that we must be honest before. Please deal in our hearts and our lives so that we may have an honest relationship with You, and the one who will naturally display to the world who controls every fiber of our being. We love You Lord and we want You to be evident in all that we are. 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 It Right With God

Bad things happen, even to good people. Yes, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Solomon, the wisest man on earth, was no better than us. However, in his wisdom, he recognized that his sin was causing separation between he and God, and he wanted that corrected. Solomon set an example for us to follow. Be reminded today of the need for seeking forgiveness from God, so that your relationship with Him might be restored.

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2021-09-14
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 51:10-12
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 10 God, create a pure heart in me, and make my spirit strong again.
11 Don’t push me away or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Your help made me so happy. Give me that joy again. Make my spirit strong and ready to obey you.

APPLICATION: God knows all about our sin, but Solomon showed us that it is important that when we approach God for forgiveness, that we acknowledge that we are all too aware of our wickedness and that we are coming to the only perfect One who is able to restore our relationship with Him. We must also seek forgiveness from the One whose Holy Spirit resides in the heart of a Christian. It is obvious that this sin committed by Solomon really wreaked havoc on his very spirit, for he asked God to strengthen his spirit again. I believe that there are times when we are so aware of our sin, and so ashamed of our weakness, than we find it tough to go on – especially in a way where we might once again feel innocent enough to share Christ with our circle of friends. You see, others must see Jesus in us and the impact that He is having on us, for them to really believe in whatever we are trying to evangelize. We can only ask like Solomon did, that God might restore a right spirit within us, and help us relive what we felt at the time we accepted Jesus as Lord. Solomon had committed serious sin, and just as he sought out his Master, I’m sure there are times that we feel much like him, as we tend to feel ashamed of ourselves and unworthy to again proclaim the Savior that we represent. I pray that today we might truly reflect on the actions that Solomon took, and take our concerns before the only one that could help us overcome the effects of sin on our life. Let’s be sure to ask God for an opportunity to start all over afresh, and restore the joy of our salvation.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: I believe that God does much like the father of the Prodical son, I believe that He stands with open arms waiting for us to ask His forgiveness and seek a renewed spirit.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for giving us stories like this one about Solomon, for these examples help us to know that there is hope for all who will call on the name of Jesus, and ask for His forgiveness. Oh how we desire a right spirit within us, especially when we’ve messed up. Lord Jesus, please humble the hearts of Your children to let go of the sins that so easily beset us. We know the answer – it’s Jesus! Please help us to breakdown our pride and acknowledge our sin before You as we seek Your forgiveness and help to overcome the pain from our sin. We are truly hoping as we are renewed, You will once again place us in situations, and before the right folk that need to know more about You and accept Your leadership in their life. 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!

Christmas Gift Ideas

At Christmas time we seem to easily find room in our hearts to be kind to others. In our verses today Paul reminds us of what all God did for us, and how that should lead us to do the same for others. So as we meditate on this today, may it stir up within us many ideas on how we might bless others at Christmas!

Friday, 2020-12-08

Bible Reference: Colossians 3:12-14
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 12 God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So your new life should be like this: Show mercy to others. Be kind, humble, gentle, and patient. 13 Don’t be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If you feel someone has wronged you, forgive them. Forgive others because the Lord forgave you. 14 Together with these things, the most important part of your new life is to love each other. Love is what holds everything together in perfect unity. 

OBSERVATION: At Christmas time we seem to easily find room in our hearts to be kind to others. In our verses today Paul reminds us of what all God did for us, and how that should lead us to do the same for others. So as we meditate on this today, may it stir up within us many ideas on how we might bless others at Christmas!

APPLICATION: Most children are probably looking forward to Christmas because of the gifts they have asked for, and expect to receive. As adults, Paul has reminded us of the gracious gifts that are ours, in being a child of the most high God! Here are some of the gifts mentioned by Paul: 1). God has made us His holy people – imagine that – steeped in sin and very much a part of Satan’s army, yet when we felt the call on our life by Jesus, and surrendered our life to Him, we were adopted into the sonship of the Most Holy God! That is beyond comprehension, and could only be imagined through faith in the truth of God’s Holy Word; 2). God loves us – ‘Love’ is an awesome word that we use, and even abuse in our lifetime, but it takes on such a special meaning when the holy Son of God loves a child that has been so blatant in sin, and asked for His forgiveness. Oh that we may find it in our hearts to love like that this Christmas! But because of all that God blessed us with, here are some gifts that we may give to others, knowing that He will continue pouring out His gracious love to us: Show mercy towards others; Be kind to others; Be humble towards others; Be gentle to others; Be patient with others; Don’t be angry with others; Forgive others; and LOVE others. Friends, the best news of all about these godly gifts, compared to our usual gift giving, is that there will be no increase in credit card bills whatsoever!  So why not read over this devotional again as Christmas draws closer, and concentrate on all the gody gifts that you can extend to family and friends. Be instrumental in teaching them God’s ways and His teachings through your example this Christmas! Others just may see that you have a heart like that of Jesus, because you showed that you cared for them!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for Christmas, and the precious gift of Your Son! Thank You for teaching us about the many precious gifts that You bless us with, and then through your servant Paul, teaching us how we might extend to others the many gifts that You have showered on us. Please help us to make someone’s Christmas special this year, simply by showering them with the character of Your Son, and the godly gifts mentioned in our Scripture today. 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!

Tested To Endure

Peter tells us in the preceding verses that for those of us who love the Lord and have surrendered our lives to Him, we have an awesome time awaiting, where God the Father will release His blessings on us that have been stored in heaven pending our arrival. That helps me to feel like no matter what we face here on earth, there is great hope that lies ahead! And because our Father is involved, we also know that His awesome love will be unleashed as we enter His presence forever. Looking at what happens in the interim, is the theme of our devotional today….

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-11-20
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Peter 1:6-7 (GNT)

TEXT:  Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed.

OBSERVATION:   Peter tells us in the verses, preceding our focal Scripture today, that for those of us who love the Lord and have surrendered our lives to Him, we have an awesome time awaiting us, where God the Father will release His blessings on us, that have been stored in heaven pending our arrival. That helps me to feel like no matter what we face here on earth, there is great hope that lies ahead! And because our Father is involved, we also know that His awesome love will be unleashed as we enter His presence forever. Looking at what happens in the interim, is the theme of our devotional today….

APPLICATION:   In considering a real life comparison to this Scripture today, I thought of a husband who went to prison for battery, or abuse of his wife. Misery, pain and hardship ensued while the husband was in prison, but deep inside of each spouse was a love that was first kindled when they were in high school. While the wife wanted desperately to show that love before the husband was sent away, there was a world of influence that prevented her, and it caused the husband to release anger in ways neither of them thought possible. However, during the time in prison there were folk who worked hard at rehabilitating that husband and helping him to better deal with his anger issues. To do this, they tested him with various scenarios that might cause him to doubt any therapeutic improvement. It was totally challenging to turn the other cheek on the love he had for his wife, and still flourish in those circumstances. However, upon his release from prison, his wife was waiting with open arms to welcome him back home, and promised to do all she could to help him never to return to his former life of anger and violence. The life of both spouses while the husband was in prison, could be compared to what Christians face on earth. For although we surrendered our life to Jesus, yet we are left here on this earth to weather the storms of doubt; pain; financial burdens; being picked on; victims of crime; etc. In fact, at times we may even wonder if our commitment to Christ really means anything at all. But friends, I want us to be reminded that our gift of salvation is more than our immediate ticket out of this world, for Peter reminds us that God not only wants to use us for His glory while here on earth but, when we are serious about our faith, the enemy will often look to challenge us on how we might handle the storms of life. Those storms don’t go away, we are just given a new hope in what lies beyond the storms. That husband in prison was able to endure the hardships of prison, because he knew that he had a loving, caring wife waiting for him, and ready to finish up their lives together after his release. We have the same promise in Jesus Christ dear friends! There is a loving, caring, awesome Savior awaiting us on the other side of this treacherous world. Our time here is one of testing and proving whose we are. Wouldn’t it be neat to converse with God each evening and ask: “how did we do today?” Please don’t forget that prayer provides that exact medium for you to converse with God. Keep the lines of communication opened, so that He may guide and direct you into total holiness – just as He is holy! Why is something tested? To prove its durability under pressure. An object that is tempered under heat or pressure, convinces the purchaser that it will last. I can only imagine that God looks upon His kids who survive the pressures of this life, with His help, as being fit for eternity! How are you doing through all of life’s tests of endurance dear friend?

PRAYER:   Lord God, thank You for reminding us that we have a purpose here on this earth, especially after we accept You as Lord, for then Your mighty works can be accomplished through us, if You choose to do so. When trials come, please continue to drive us towards You, and what You might want to accomplish through even the slightest ‘thorn in our side’. You never promised us smooth sailing and calm waters after accepting You as Lord, instead You have given us the hope that through the ups and downs of life, our Master still loves us, still waits for us, and is still our guide through every circumstance. Thank You for that love, that comfort and the peace that it gives to our soul. Oh that others may see Jesus in us, no matter the circumstances we face while on planet earth. AMEN!

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

A Perfect Sacrifice For Imperfect People

Like the priests who went to the altar every day to offer up sacrifices brought in by their parishioners, I believe that we too try to get away with doing everything that we believe might satisfy God for all the sins we have committed. But praise be to God, He saw our plight of hopelessness and sent His very own Son through whom we might receive forgiveness. In our time together, think about all you do according to worldly standards in order to be forgiven for your sin. I want us to see Jesus in all of His perfection today!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-10-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 10:11-14.
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 11-14 Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process.

OBSERVATION: Like the priests who went to the altar every day to offer up sacrifices brought in by their parishioners, I believe that we too try to get away with doing everything that we believe might satisfy God for all the sins we have committed. But praise be to God, He saw our plight of hopelessness and sent His very own Son through whom we might receive forgiveness. In our time together, think about all you do according to worldly standards in order to be forgiven for your sin. I want us to see Jesus in all of His perfection today!

APPLICATION: I’ve heard people remark that no matter what they do or say to old sinful Joe, they just can’t get him into church. This makes me feel like if Joe had taken them up on their offer and went to church, he may not have looked as much of a sinner, in their eyes. This follows the tradition of many who pour into churches each weekend because of a lifelong traditions. This is very similar to those who give of their money to the church, really hoping that God will see their generosity and have pity on them for their sins. We could think of many more examples, but I believe that these examples are very similar to the many sacrifices that were given, and probably still are given in some forms, all for the purpose of seeking God’s understanding and forgiveness of their sins. In earlier verses, Paul wrote that he believed God was never satisfied with sacrifices, because they never seemed to have changed hearts. Friends, God knew full well that sacrifices was a very temporary practice, and that it served several purposes well in the very early days. However, God wanted to see His children, who were created perfectly, to return to Him perfectly, and He knew that there would be only one way to achieve this, so He sacrificed a part of Himself – His Son – a perfect One. I love the way the Message reads: God sent a single gift, a one-time gift – It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. Friends, God did that for us! The debt is paid! We simply need to accept the gift and believe on His precious Son. Heaven is our ultimate home, and there is only one way to get there. Accept the gift offered by God as a sacrifice for our sin. Believe in the name of the Lord Jesus with all your heart, soul and mind, and you will be saved!

PRAYER: Lord we praise You for the outstanding love that You showed towards all mankind – the good, the bad and those even worse – even those who hated You. Love so amazing that our carnal minds would never understand. Thank You, thank You, thank You for Your amazing love. As You and Your Father discussed, there is absolutely nothing that we could do to make ourselves completely clean and free from the stench of our sin. Praise God that You worked it all out on the cross, and for those who have accepted You as Lord and Savior, thankfully we could lift up holy hands to the only true God! Lord, we want to see You, and we know that sin will always separate us, so we kneel humbly at Your feet and ask that You accept each and every one that will call out to You today. Thank You Jesus for loving even me! 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!

Your Debt – Paid In Full!

Having recently retired, much of my retirement funds were used to pay off debt incurred while I was in the working world. An awesome feeling to receive a statement saying ‘Paid in Full’! Can you even imagine how I may have felt if I called for a payoff and the creditor told me that the debt was repaid in full on my behalf? Yet Jesus Christ did that for us who believe on Him for eternal life! Oh what a Savior!

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-10-04
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 9:11-14
TRANSLATION: New Century Version (NCV)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 ….When Christ came as the high priest of the good things we now have,[b] he entered the greater and more perfect tent. It is not made by humans and does not belong to this world. 12 Christ entered the Most Holy Place only once—and for all time. He did not take with him the blood of goats and calves. His sacrifice was his own blood, and by it he set us free from sin forever.
14 ….. He offered himself through the eternal Spirit[c] as a perfect sacrifice to God. His blood will make our consciences pure from useless acts so we may serve the living God.

OBSERVATION: Having recently retired, much of my retirement funds were used to pay off debt incurred while I was in the working world. An awesome feeling to receive a statement saying ‘Paid in Full’! Can you even imagine how I may have felt if I called for a payoff and the creditor told me that the debt was repaid in full on my behalf? Yet Jesus Christ did that for us who believe on Him for eternal life! Oh what a Savior!

APPLICATION: So often we may feel indebted when we have messed up at work, in our marriage, in other relationships, or just through disobedience of the law. We try to make it up by over-compensating in our efforts to show the other party that we are sorry, and sometimes that helps. However, those foolish errors often linger in the minds of those impacted by our mistakes, and may even come back to haunt us later on. So what do you suppose happens when we disobey God and His commands? This is a daily occurrence, and the Bible is clear on how this impacts those who have no regard for the Lord Jesus Christ. You see, we must remember that we are all sinners destined for a fiery Hell, unless we humble ourselves and seek the face of the only One who can forgive us of our sin, Jesus, the Son of God. For those who have been obedient to the Word of God, and the voice of God, and asked Jesus to be Lord of their lives, I would joyfully remind you today that our Savior’s actions in today’s Scripture demonstrates that He who stood before His Father on our behalf and validated that His blood was shed for our eternal benefit. Our debt was settled because of His sacrifice! There was no need for Him to approach the throne with the blood of animals, because His precious blood was sufficient to atone for all of our sins, for all time. Yes, He demonstrated His love for all mankind when He hung on the cross at Calvary and accepted the cruelty of those who hated Him. However, Jesus knew that it was His blood that would cleanse us of our sin, so in spite of those children that hated Him, yet He sacrificed for the atonement of the sin of those that would be called by His name. Friends, that is love so amazing that we might never begin to imagine! For those who have accepted Jesus’ love and sacrifice, please use this special day of worship to praise Him, thank Him, and glorify His precious name, for in verse 13 above, we are reminded that our sin has been forgiven forever. We therefore have a date one day in Heaven with our Lord! All glory to Him who reigns on high!! For those who have chosen to ignore the love of our Savior, and therefore have nothing to look forward to, other than eternal damnation in Hell, please know that I care about your eternity, and I would very much appreciate you reconsidering the invitation from Jesus. Invite Him into your heart dear friend. He went to the extreme to provide eternal salvation for you. Please accept His sacrifice, with thanksgiving and appreciation! It will change your destiny from Hell, to the glories of Heaven! Read my Footnote carefully, including information behind the included links. You could be a changed person today!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, no one has shown us love like You did. No one can change our destination, only You. All are destined for Hell, unless they turn their eyes towards You and accept Your invitation. It’s all about You Lord. Please encourage all believers who will read this devotional that they have such a great hope to look forward to, regardless of the pitfalls of this old sinful world. Please remind those who have decided to wait, or perhaps not see the necessity of a relationship with You, that today is the day of salvation, for decisions are not possible beyond life here on earth. In deepest appreciation, I acknowledge that You are Lord of all! Thank You Heavenly Father! 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!

Transformed Relationships

Often times we will read about ways to, and often we are encouraged to, transform our lives into one that aligns with the will of God and in obedience of the Holy Spirit. Paul encourages us to meditate also on how these transformed lives will look to those that we connect with and call our friends. Perhaps you might be willing to join me in looking deeply into our personal relationships with others, and whether there is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work within us as we fellowship with each other. Paul gives great guidance to us, so let’s dig in…

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-04-14
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 12:9-12
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: Let the inner movement of your heart always be to love one another, and never play the role of an actor wearing a mask. Despise evil and embrace everything that is good and virtuous. 10 Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another. 11 Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, keeping your passion toward him boiling hot! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement as you serve him.
12 Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble,[e] but commune with God at all times.

OBSERVATION: Often times we will read about ways to, and often we are encouraged to, transform our lives into one that aligns with the will of God and in obedience of the Holy Spirit. Paul encourages us to meditate also on how these transformed lives will look to those that we connect with and call our friends. Perhaps you might be willing to join me in looking deeply into our personal relationships with others, and whether there is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work within us as we fellowship with each other. Paul gives great guidance to us, so let’s dig in…

APPLICATION: Often times we struggle in relationships, both with family members and with friends. For there is jealousy between one another and envy and hard feelings that could quickly result, in fact, to the extent that we can’t stand to be in each other’s presence. Coworkers tend to be so competitive to reach for the top, or earn more commissions and/or recognition, so they step right over another employee, and may even do certain things to prevent that coworker from doing their best. Church members want to be in charge, or favored by the pastor, or perhaps they just can’t have their own way, so we see churches split or families leave the church and move on to another. I wonder if the result would be any different if we were to follow the advice of Paul in these two verses? Friends, Christians are to be deep into the Word at every opportunity, but not less frequently than daily, looking over God’s instructions to be sure that we live and love like Him. You see, God’s Word contains our template for love, it tells us about our Role Model, Jesus Christ. Our responsibility according to the Word, is to go and minister to the world so that all may know Jesus. Don’t you know that we are actually teaching them our evil ways when we act like the world, or like the above examples? Remember, our actions speak so loud that others will rarely hear what we are saying to them. I believe Paul is saying that we are not to be hypocritical. If we claim Jesus as Lord, then we are to live like Him and seek to squash all evil thoughts that Satan will buffet us with. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we will seek to act like Jesus. and in no way follow the path of least resistance that are led by Satan – whose aim is to kill, steal and destroy the work of God. Friends, Jesus is coming soon and we must live with that in mind. Don’t dare live like the devil and think you’ll have time to seek forgiveness when you hear that Jesus is coming down the street. The Bible says that we must live in a state of readiness, because Jesus in no way needs our permission that the coast is clear for Him to come and gather His bride (the church – us). This means that we are to live and love like Jesus demands of us today. Don’t delay, please?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, the creator of love, the One who showed ultimate love, please forgive me for making a mockery of living and loving like You exampled for me. You showed me how to live, and I have totally blown it. Thank You for Your servant Paul, who has reminded us that we need to live and love in ways that others might recognize as an imitation of God. This is impossible to achieve, as long as we continue to give in to the ways of this world. Father, please give my readers and I strength to be true victors in living our lives according to the model You displayed. Please help us to stay so in tuned with Your Word that it will not only impact the words from our lips, but the desires of our heart and the actions of our whole being. Lord, sadly, we must confess that we have ‘Christian’ family and friends that are living in sin, because they are acting just like Satan, and in similar ways to the above examples given. Please use this devotional today to speak to the hearts of those claiming You as Lord. Please also speak to those who have not yet accepted You as Lord, for today is the day of salvation, and there is no better time than today for them to seek Your power and Your strength so that they too might live and love like You. Lord, this old world is getting in extremely poor shape morally, for folk are becoming more and more hardened to their sin. Please, I beg You, do a mighty work in Your people today. Begin with us, Christians. Get us straight first, so that we may be Your hands and Your feet on the ground seeking to impact the lives of those that don’t know You. These things I ask humbly in Your precious name and for Your sake, AMEN!