How To Spend Your Spare Time

It might be challenging for many to get out of bed to attend church while on vacation, so to follow in Paul’s footsteps might be an impossible challenge for most! But I believe that our relationship with the Master helps us determine each week whether going to church, or deliberately spending time with family and/or friends is truly important to us. Be ready to be challenged by the Word today as you are reminded of how Paul spent his spare time while in port at Tyre!

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2022-07-03
WRITTEN AT: O Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Acts 21:3–4
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: We came within sight of Cyprus and then sailed south of it on to the port of Tyre in Syria, where the ship was going to unload its cargo. We found the Lord’s followers and stayed with them for a week. The Holy Spirit had told them to warn Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. 

APPLICATION: By using one of the only means of transportation from one place to another, a sailing ship, Paul wound up having to be at the Port of Tyre for over a week while goods were being unloaded for the local people. In our world today, think about when a cruise ship stops into a port. They will inevitably have lots of tours and/or suggestions for its passengers, but I don’t believe you would hear them suggest time with friends, or at a religion establishment, or listening, and ministering to the poor and downtrodden. But what about you, what do you tend to do while on vacation with regards to God, His church and/or His people? Do you tend to take a vacation from all of your ‘God related things’ also? I once heard a sermon entitled ‘Saints on Vacation’, and it truly was an eye opener! Here’s what I really enjoy about attending a church in the area in which I vacation: (a) It is refreshing to see God at work not only in my home church, but also in fresh new ways that are so apropos for the area that I am visiting. In other words, ministry in a rural town to mostly farmers, might look quite different to ministry in a coastal town to mostly college-aged kids. (b) I find that there is greater freedom to worship in a place that I am visiting, because we tend to build a box around us, as to what is permissible in worship at our home church, mostly because of what our friends and family may think. (c) I look for ideas that I could bring back and share with my home church. Perhaps a bulletin, or other literature; and (d) I find it refreshing to just worship with these new-found believers without the distraction of any side jobs on my mind. In Paul’s case, he placed the sightseeing aside; he wasn’t attracted to the shade trees overlooking the ocean where he could catch up on his rest; he simply had a hunger to be with fellow believers! When it was time to leave the island, Paul’s new found Christian friends followed him to the seashore and sent him off with a prayer meeting. I believe that visiting a church while on vacation, might bring similar results, for fellow Christians are often out to minister to attendees – especially visitors! Be sure to always seek out fellow believers, and plan to attend a local church the next time you visit an area. Paul did, and he was blessed with receiving a word from God through his new friends. Let’s get used to being with fellow Christians while here on earth, as that will be the norm around the throne of God!

PRAYER: Father, we are either a Christian or we’re not. We either want to be with you, or we don’t. These things will hold true in our normal work week, but they will also hold true when we’re out of town, and even when out of sight of our pastor or church leaders. Mixing with saints of other towns remind us a lot of what it will be like when we worship around Your throne with saints from all nations and all cultures from all over the world. Please help us to hold true to our faith, and to desire times of worship with other believers, even when out of town or far from our local church. Heaven will not just be made up of members of our home church, so please help us to get used to the idea of worshiping with other believers while still here on earth. Thank You Lord for who You are and especially who You are to such a vast cloud of witnesses/believers here on this earth. I look forward to the day that we will all be gathered around your throne worshiping at Your feet! 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!

Tested, Tried and Proven

Psalm 18:30 (AMP): 30 As for God, His way is perfect! The word of the Lord is tested and tried; He is a shield to all those who take refuge and put their trust in Him.

So… you think that you’ve been tested, or perhaps you might feel that you are currently being tested beyond anything you could handle. How are you doing with that? Feeling really alone and overwhelmed about how you might overcome life’s circumstances that are hitting you real hard right now? Where do you turn to for help? Perhaps a spouse, or a brother or sister, perhaps a parent, or perhaps you are blessed with good friends who are willing to stand by your side. Are they more knowledgeable, wise or powerful than you, and therefore offers comfort to you? I have an acquaintance who just lost his wife, what words of wisdom might I offer him? My friend, let me share from my personal experience: you see, I’m human just like you, so I face all of the challenges that I just presented to you above. Yes, I depend on friends and family to help me through times of despair also, but one thing that I’ve discovered is that they are just as limited as I am in trying to explain the reasons why the events of this life occur as, and when they do. So while I’m comforted that they care, there is only ONE that I can turn to and say like The Psalmist – Your ways are perfect oh Lord, thank You for creating me and blessing me with wonderful folk who love and care for me. But Lord, You know my every breath, You know the reasons for every event in my life, You alone know what tomorrow holds and the reason why I must travel the road You’ve prepared just for me. Oh Lord, may You be honored, praised, magnified and lifted up through every word and action that You allow me to project here on earth. Life will be worth it all if You are glorified by all who are touched by Your reflection in my life. May they desire to know You personally and intimately so that they, in turn, may bless others for the kingdom.

Prayer: Lord, May You be glorified through every act of love and every blessing that You continue to shower on me today. Please humble my friends who need You, and if one word expressed in this devotional can be used to draw others unto You, I pray that the glory will be all Yours and may the kingdom increase as a result of sharing Your Word and my humble thoughts. AMEN!

Sensitive To Giving Comfort

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Probably one of the more challenging things we face, is trying to comfort someone who is really hurting. Here is an idea that you may never have thought of – straight from the Word of God! Try to read the whole devotional, and look for your blessing, friend!………

Today’s Scripture: “Three of Job’s friends heard of all the trouble that had fallen on him. Each traveled from his own country—Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuhah, Zophar from Naamath—and went together to Job to keep him company and comfort him. When they first caught sight of him, they couldn’t believe what they saw—they hardly recognized him! They cried out in lament, ripped their robes, and dumped dirt on their heads as a sign of their grief. Then they sat with him on the ground. Seven days and nights they sat there without saying a word. They could see how rotten he felt, how deeply he was suffering.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭2:11-13‬ ‭MSG‬‬    http://bible.com/97/job.2.11-13.msg

My Take Away: In a recent study I shared with you how Job’s wife tried to comfort Him by telling him to curse the God who brought so much trouble on him. Of course we know that Job absolutely refused to turn his back on his God. In this scripture today I found a few things very interesting:

  1. Unless we are careful in reading this scripture, we may think that Job’s friends must have picked up their cell phones and collaborated on the best time for their visit, right?!!! Well, in all seriousness, we know that was not the case! So for these guys to leave their homes in various parts of the country, don’t you suppose that this was a part of God’s plan to bring this concerted comfort to His humble servant in his time of need? Our application: This should bring comfort to us, because we must believe that the God of Job – our Heavenly Father, our God, will also do the same for us in our times of desperation and need;
  2. The hearts of these three friends were so sensitive to the needs of Job, that they saw his desperation from a distance and was immediately impacted in deep empathy for their friend. Our application: I feel like we are way too distracted in thinking about our own struggles, and what scenario in our life could top the circumstances of the friend who is sharing, or about to share his or her needs or struggles with us. We have to learn to be good listeners, without worrying about whether we might have a good answer or solution for our friend, or the need to share our needs with them so they won’t feel alone in their struggles. A friend will listen and even repeat what they thought they heard, so that the friend in need would know that you are taking in everything they are saying.
  3. The friends joined Job where he was at – on the ground, and just sat there with him – quiet – for one…. two….. three…. four…. five….. six….. seven whole days in total silence. Our application: When we say to a friend that we will stop by and visit to help bring comfort to them, how long are we prepared to visit? Can we possibly keep our sanity for seven days in total silence with three other wonderful friends around us? What about our digital devices? If we value the quality of quiet time with a friend in need, surely we won’t be rude enough to sit in their presence on our cell phone or tablet, right? Isn’t this something to think about friend?

So I believe the challenge for us today from these Words of truth, is to stop and think about those in need of comfort, and to not shrug off our responsibility, or calling, to be there for them but to allow the Holy Spirit to direct us as we visit. It may be through an encouraging word that we bring comfort to a friend, or it may just be our presence, without any words at all. Either way, we are expressing our desire to be there for our friend, and being obedient to God in saying only what He ordains.

Prayer: Father, I believe that each reader will recognize that they have been on both sides of this scenario at one time or another in their life. Please help us as a patient, or person in need, to welcome friends when we would rather just be alone, for often God has seen our need and sent some friends over to encourage us. As a visitor, please help us to stop finding excuses and actually go out and visit, then as we visit to remember our purpose for visiting is to encourage the one that we visit, and not spend the time relaying our lifetime of struggles. Especially challenging will be the possibility of just sitting in silence, if that serves a purpose. So Lord, please especially help us in that regard. Bottom line is that we share Your love, Your concern, and Your touch through our visit, so that You may be honored and praised, while also being of encouragement to our friend. These are challenging Lord, so we desperately need Your help, guidance and direction in these circumstances Lord. Thanks for Your assurance of always being with us! May we learn to get out of the way so that You may work a miracle in the life of our friends that we visit. 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 http://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