Means + Motive = True Generosity

Although Jesus had the advantage of knowing the heart and the intent of each person that gave that day, yet He saw a very obvious lesson in all this for His disciples, and consequently for you and I. Jesus was not dependent on the money that was given, for He proved over and over that He could do a lot with very little, or with nothing at all. He was more concerned about the heart of the giver.

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-05-26
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 12:41-44 (ERV)

Text:

41 Jesus sat near the Temple collection box and watched as people put money into it. Many rich people put in a lot of money. 42 Then a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth less than a penny.

43 Jesus called his followers to him and said, “This poor widow put in only two small coins. But the truth is, she gave more than all those rich people. 44 They have plenty, and they gave only what they did not need. This woman is very poor, but she gave all she had. It was money she needed to live on.”

OBSERVATION:
Although Jesus had the advantage of knowing the heart and the intent of each person that gave that day, yet He saw a very obvious lesson in all this for His disciples, and consequently for you and I. Jesus was not dependent on the money that was given, for He proved over and over that He could do a lot with very little, or with nothing at all. He was more concerned about the heart of the giver.
APPLICATION:
I believe that one of the excuses most often used by those who don’t attend church, is that all the church or pastor is looking for is your money. It is very obvious that people find it very challenging, at best, to give charitably from their hard earned money, so let’s look closer at this in our study today. When you stop to consider the unemployed neighbor, or the hospitalized friend who has been out of work for six months, why do you suppose God saw, in His great mercy, to allow you the good health, and the job opportunity to earn a living for your family? So how much of that income can you give Him thanks for? So why again do you feel 100% of it belongs to you, with your choice about where to spend it? And why again do you feel like it is so unfair of God to even suggest that you give 10% of that income to His work? Friends, God has a plan for your life, and for His church. I am convinced that His work will be accomplished with, or without you or I, however I am also convinced that God would rather see nothing more than His children participate in His work and celebrate the blessings as He pours them on us. Don’t let Satan mess with your mind and try to convince you that $100 of that $1,000 bonus you just got is too much to put into the hands of your local church. Don’t believe Satan’s lies that the church is just greedy for your money, more than anything else. When you start looking at that, you have lost sight of the reason you are giving. If you withhold from, or lose the joy of giving, because of all the lies Satan will try to convince you of, will you also look to Satan in your time of need? May I suggest that you consider giving God ALL of you, then you will appreciate the 90% of your income that He allows you to manage your earthly affairs with. It’s all about your relationship with God, friend, and what God will do for you, and absolutely nothing at all about what you feel He wants to rob you of. God’s in the business of blessing His children, not robbing them. Give Him yourself, and watch His blessings flow into each area of your life, even in your finances. 
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, You gave it all for us, even to Your very own life. Please open our eyes and remind us once again that it takes all of us to get all of You in return. Most of us really don’t like to do things half heartedly, so with Your help may we recommit ourselves to You in totality, especially in the one area of our life that seems to bug us most, our finances. Lord, we desire more of You in our lives and in our family and in our church. Please begin with us, even now. 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!

Committed to Give!

In preparing to build the temple, Moses shared with the people what God had commanded them to do as their contribution to the project. Their response was so overwhelming, that Moses had to soon stop them from bringing their gifts. Seems just the opposite to what the response Moses received when he commanded them to stop worshiping idols. Perhaps God got their attention when over 3,000 was killed after the last incidence of disobedience.

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-04-05
SCRIPTURE

From:

Exodus 35:4-5; 36:4-7 (NCV)

Text:

35:Moses said to all the Israelites, “This is what the LORD has commanded: 5 From what you have, take an offering for the LORD. Let everyone who is willing bring this offering to the LORD: gold, silver, bronze….
36:4 So all the skilled workers left the work they were doing on the Holy Tent, 5 and they said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than we need to do the work the LORD commanded.”
6 Then Moses sent this command throughout the camp: “No man or woman should make anything else as a gift for the Holy Tent.” So the people were kept from giving more, 7 because what they had was already more than enough to do all the work.
OBSERVATION:
In preparing to build the temple, Moses shared with the people what God had commanded them to do as their contribution to the project. Their response was so overwhelming, that Moses had to soon stop them from bringing their gifts. Seems just the opposite to what the response Moses received when he commanded them to stop worshiping idols. Perhaps God got their attention when over 3,000 was killed after the last incidence of disobedience.
APPLICATION:
I found this to be quite the contrast to the half hearted giving of God’s people today! Often when volunteers are needed, the able ones are the first to avoid eye contact and scoot out the back door of the church, because they just don’t have time. When teaching jobs are open, it is extremely challenging to find someone willing to commit the time to the job. Most would rather see the church pay for building repairs or yard work, as they simply don’t have time to do such things. If you read yesterday’s blog, you will remember that we were encouraged to always respond with the words “I just can’t make that a priority”, rather than “I just don’t have time”! I believe that it will be much closer to the truth and reflect more accurately that your priorities are elsewhere. Oooch! I know that hurts, but friends I want you to learn to be 100% honest with yourself, for God already knows your heart! This same attitude of commitment and priority also flows over to the act of giving financially to the Lord. To the able bodied brothers and sisters who may read this blog, may I suggest that you ask a handicapped person who is unable to work, “how much would they be prepared to give to the Lord, if He healed their body and gave them a job?” and I would assure you that they will probably respond 100%. My point is, friends, that in God’s Word He gives us a command to give at least 10% as a tithe to His work at our local church. In today’s peer pressure and wanting everything our neighbor has, how good are we doing with that command? Is it done before any other expenses are taken out of our income? God doesn’t give us the remains of a beautiful day, or half blessings in any way, but He gives us His very best, way more than we deserve. Giving more of self and even in our financial giving, are ways to express our gratitude to God for all that He does for us each and every day. The Bibles says that we will receive in accordance to how we have given. How are you doing friend?
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for giving of Your very best so that we may have forgiveness of our sin and one day join You in glory! You’ve not asked us to give of our only son, like You did, so Lord may we learn to be in constant awe of all that You give to us each and every day, and may we give in return as You have commanded, or even more. As we express our appreciation through our giving, may it be obvious to You that our hearts are filled to overflowing. May this be reflected in all phases of our lives so that You may use this appreciation to open the eyes of unbelievers and draw them to Yourself. I ask these things in all humility and great appreciation for Your love and Your mercy to even me, 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 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!

What Belongs To God?

Jesus immediately saw through the questioning that the Pharisees/Herodians were trying to entrap Him with, and follow through with a reason to arrest Him. However in Jesus’ response to their questioning He actually gave them something to ponder about themselves. In fact, this continues to challenge believers today, so let’s explore this in our application…

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-03-11
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 22:17-21 (MSG)

Text:

So tell us honestly: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”18-19 Jesus knew they were up to no good. He said, “Why are you playing these games with me? Why are you trying to trap me? Do you have a coin? Let me see it.” They handed him a silver piece.

20 This engraving—who does it look like? And whose name is on it?”

21 They said, “Caesar.”

Then give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his.”

OBSERVATION:
Jesus immediately saw through the questioning that the Pharisees/Herodians were trying to entrap Him with, and follow through with a reason to arrest Him. However in Jesus’ response to their questioning He actually gave them something to ponder about themselves. In fact, this continues to challenge believers today, so let’s explore this in our application…
APPLICATION:
A previous pastor once told his flock that after praying earnestly for a car, his dad gave him a new one when he headed off to seminary. Of course, this became the envy of those he befriended, so they tried to entrap him by asking to borrow the car. To their surprise, he whipped out the keys, but as he handed them to his friend, he said “here you go, but this car belongs to Jesus, treat it that way”. Some may find this amusing, but friend, I want you to consider the question from Jesus, and my little story, and I really want you to stop and consider all that you can attribute to a direct gift from Jesus, or in response to prayer to Him. Let me share a few of mine to help stir your memory, or thought process: God gave me qualities to work in the financial sector, and some 45 years ago I started that career, should I whine and complain when I go to work each day, or should I praise God once again for blessing me for over 45 years of preparing and/or working in this field? Next, my wife and I were prompted to apply for entry into the US some 30 years ago, and we were quickly approved. This was much to the dismay and disappointment of my aging parents. However, we saw many things that God had stored up for us after our move: Within one year this paved the way for doctors to save the life of my dad; Shortly afterwards the life of another relative was saved; then we had a lifelong dream come true as we added a child to our family. Friends, I could go on, but suffice to say that because we allowed Jesus to lead, He showed us how awesome He truly could be to His children. This is true in many of your lives also, for who brings that beautiful sun up each day? Who allows you to have a job and another may still be struggling to find one at the moment? Who allows you to be up and moving around when another just like you, is bedridden with so some serious health issue? Who keeps you safe on the roads each day while you pass wrecks along the way? So as you evaluate these thoughts today, the question becomes: what do you do in response to all God has given, and continues to give, to you? He showed His redeeming love for you when He died on a cruel cross at Calvary, and He continues to love you as He blesses in unlimited ways that you may have thought of after reading this blog. What do you give to Him in return? How much of your time each week do you give to the Lord? How about your finances resulting from the job He directed you to and blesses you with each day? May I suggest a God-honoring, proven method on this topic? Try this: Give God at least 10% right off the top from each and every paycheck (I give on the gross), through your local church, and give it joyfully and thankfully. No worries about being able to meet the rest of your budget, for God will honor your obedience to His commands, and He will take care of the rest. If you are a God-honoring, thankful person, then be sure that you meet together with other believers at a local church at least once or twice a week, and try to bless and encourage someone there. God will see to it that blessings will be returned to you many times over! Friends, you can’t out-give God!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for all that You have given to me and the doors of opportunity You have opened to me. Lord, it seems like we are quick to honor all that’s expected of us from government, our employer and our family, yet we often wait until our luck has run out to look to You. Please forgive us for our ungrateful hearts, and teach us to become loyal to the source and giver of all things, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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!

Give of Your Best To God

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-01-05
SCRIPTURE

From:

Genesis 4:3–7 (NCV)

Text:

3 Later, Cain brought some food from the ground as a gift to God. 4 Abel brought the best parts from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD accepted Abel and his gift, 5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. So Cain became very angry and felt rejected.
6 The LORD asked Cain, “Why are you angry? Why do you look so unhappy? 7 If you do things well, I will accept you, but if you do not do them well, sin is ready to attack you. Sin wants you, but you must rule over it.”
OBSERVATION:
I find it interesting that right from the very beginning, God experienced the variance of His kids who showed total love and dedication vs those who chose to give half-heartedly back to Him. Cain thought that he could manage to give up some of the fruit and/or vegetables from the ground, while his brother, Abel, chose the firstborn of his choicest cattle to give back to the Lord. I believe I have passed over this many times, because at first glance one might think: well perhaps Cain was the farmer and Abel was the rancher, so they each gave of the best from what they had. However, it is obvious from God’s response in vs 4 & 5 that this was not the case. For God looked at these two offerings and saw where one gave of his very best with a willing heart, while the other gave of what he had because of obligation to give at the altar. God looked at this from a perspective of Abel giving from the sincerity and deep commitment of the heart, versus Cain’s gift being impacted by sin that had caused him to analyze and consider what might he give, in order to get by.
APPLICATION:
Friends, I know you must be wondering how on earth does this apply to us today, since most reading this devotional probably has nothing to do with sacrifices being offered at the local temple. But I would suggest that you first ask God to open your spiritual eyes to the truths of His Word and how they may be applied to your life, then take a moment to slowly read over the above scripture verses again. May I remind you that each day you are faced with making the same types of decisions that Cain and Abel responded to in these verses? Allow me to jog your memory on a few ways that I believe God chooses to test your commitment to Himself: 1). God gives you a good night’s rest and awaits time alone with you each morning. A time where you can converse with Him through prayer, and a time where He could lay out Your ministry for the day through His Word. 2). It’s your day of worship. You know what you should be doing as God’s chosen child, but you’ve heard about how good the fishing is with the current moon, and since every other day you are obligated to go to work, you decide that since God will be there next week, and the fish may not be biting then, you’ll go fishing today. I know there are tons of other things that God desires from each of us, much like the long list of preferences we would like to see in our kinds, but these are just a few examples. Our response to these and other aspects of our Christian walk, shows God whether from the depths of our heart, we are more similar to Cain, or to Abel. Allow God to work on you and make you the type of servant that will represent Him well and be the best representative of His in what you think, do or act. Please don’t misrepresent our God. I believe that God chooses what our ‘best’ is, based on the heart from which we decided what to give, when to give and how to give. While man can only see the outward expressions of your heart based on what you give, God knows your heart and knows all about every thought that crossed your mind as you prepared to give.
PRAYER:
Lord thank You for giving to us while we were yet sinners and so undeserving of Your unselfish love. Your Word is a light unto our path, and today You have shown us the importance of giving from the very depths of our heart. In our Scripture today it is evident that Abel ‘got it’, while Cain gave grudgingly, hoping he could get away with it. This sounds an awful lot like us, Heavenly Father, so I want to place myself at Your feet today and ask for Your forgiveness, because I have not always given in ways that may have pleased You. Please touch the lives of those that will read this devotional and apply Your Word to the very depths of their heart so that it may impact their world for Jesus Christ. To You be all the glory, honor and praise, 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!

Prayer – A Connection Between You and God

Monday, 2016-11-14

Scripture

Bible Reference: Matthew 6:14–15

Bible Text: “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.

Bible Translation: The Message (MSG)

My Take

I believe that most of us may have considered the idea of our conversation, or prayer, with God being a major connection point with God. However, Jesus reminds us in this passage today that it really makes no sense in us asking God for blessings that we are not willing ourselves to bless others with. The particular point mentioned in this scripture is ‘forgiveness’. We should not expect to receive God’s forgiveness, if we are unwilling to forgive others. Wow! Ever stopped to think about that before? After all, of what purpose would it serve for God to continue blessing, or forgiving us, if we bottle that up inside and never use that act of forgiveness, as humility and strength to help us forgive others? There is also similar scripture that reminds us about the act of giving. That scripture reminds us that our blessings received will be in proportion to our giving. In other words, don’t expect God to continue giving if you are stingy in what you give to His work and to His children in need. God is not a get-rich scheme,where all you have to do is ask, and He will pile it on for you. He blesses us so that we may, in turn, bless others. I believe that in verse 15, Jesus clearly reminds us that as we refuse to forgive others, or as we choose not to give of our earthly means to others, we create a division between God and ourselves. In other words, we cut ourselves off from the part that God would have blessed us with, if we were truly His hands and feet here on earth. May I encourage you to examine yourselves friends and see if there is something in your life that separates you from the love, and the gifts of our holy God? I’m sure that we all love to receive God’s richest blessings. To do so, we should be willing to shower those blessings, or pass them on to others!

Prayer

Dear Lord Jesus, You were such an example for us to follow, for You forgave the very ones that beat You, and crucified You. How much more than should we be forgiving to others in obedience to Your words to us? Lord, the words in our text this morning are quotes from what You instructed us to do. Important for us to realize today, is that the world knows what to expect from us as followers of Christ, a whole lot better than we ourselves would care to acknowledge. Holy Spirit, please open our hearts and our eyes to the things of God at every turn today. This short scripture is just one reminder of what it means to be a true warrior and imitator of Jesus Christ. Oh Lord, may the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our Rock, our Redeemer and our soon coming King! 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!

Put God To The Test

Wednesday, 2016-07-13

Scripture

Bible Reference: Malachi 3:8–10

Bible Text:  8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!
“But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’
“You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I would imagine that most of us would get highly upset, and probably angry, if someone accused us of cheating. But what if God accused you of cheating? I believe that we would be extremely saddened, because for those of us who study the Word; or attend church to learn more about the Word; we try desperately to adhere to the expectations of Jesus. We want to please Him, right? But wait a minute, this is the same example given in the verses above, so let’s examine the church today – ‘us’. In the Bible, God gives us guidance on what he refers to as a ‘Tithe’ – 10% of all that God has blessed us with. But there are also liberties taught around the idea of giving: from a cheerful heart; Giving from the abundance of the heart; and giving as the Lord impresses upon the individual; just to name a few. Therefore, some tend to give a tithe (10%) of their gross income and they make it the first check that they write, based on the teaching that the first fruits belong to God. I believe that You will notice some tend to think that the heart will hurt too much if they give so much to the work of the Lord, so they give 10% of some other figure – either of their net check or net after all expenses are paid for the period. God is our Judge, and I will not assume His exalted position on this subject, but a simple analysis of the facts that I have shared will indicate that God can still accuse us of cheating – either cheating Him, or cheating our families of extra income. I have heard of folk who count the pills received in their prescriptions, to make sure they were not ‘cheated’. When we find our own descriptions or explanations for something that God has declared, and wind up not giving God the full share of what He has ‘prescribed’ for us, could that be considered ‘cheating’? The work of the Lord through local churches is shutting down in many instances because folk are ‘cheating’ God of their time (to worship and fellowship together with other believers) and their money, through not bringing their tithe to the storehouse (the church) to help it meet the physical and spiritual needs of the body. God has promised to bless us by pouring out His blessing on us, if we obey His command to tithe. He has even offed somewhat of a guarantee to us by promising to fill our barns. He also dared us to test Him and see if He wouldn’t do what He has promised. From a personal testimony, I can assure you that if you are obedient, God will meet your every need, as if you had access to your full check to spend it any way you would like. There is never too little, or too much income. 10% may result in a $1 tithe, or perhaps a $1,000 tithe. The same principle applies friend. Take God at His word – Test Him!

Prayer

At a time when so many churches are closing their doors because of lack of income, we also find that many are closing because of lack of attendance. Father, please melt the hearts of Your precious children and help us all to draw closer to You. As this occurs, we will want to draw closer to other children of Yours – our Brothers and Sisters, and we will want to learn more about our awesome Savior. As we do this we will want to be obedient to You, and this will include being faithful in our giving, as instructed in Your Word. As You continue to bless us financially, please help us to also bless the work of our local church so that Your ministry might continue, especially to the end that more and more non-Christians will come to accept You as their Lord and Savior.  In Your name I pray, and with a heart filled with thanksgiving, 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!

How To Control What You Receive

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! Read on and be blessed friend!………

The Bible Text: 36 Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.37 “Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you.38 Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands – all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you.”
The Bible Reference: Luke 6:36-38
The Bible Translation: The Good News Translation (GNT)

My Take Away: Way too often we whine about how ‘lucky’ others are, and we may even complain about how little we receive. I believe in these verses we see some prerequisites in order to receive all the blessings that God might have in store for us. Here are some things we need to improve on, if we ever expect to receive the full extent of the blessings God has in store for us:

  • Be merciful just as, and because, God is merciful – This is powerful, because it does not clarify that we are to be merciful to only those who, we feel, deserve it. God made us all, and I don’t believe He created any distinction on who He would be merciful to. He expects the same from us, friends!
  • God will not judge or condemn us, if we simply practice the same restraint when dealing with others!
  • God will forgive us, if and when we forgive others!
  • God will give to us, as we give to others. – If we are stingy in our giving (monetarily or otherwise), then don’t expect a lot from God. However, if we give generously in response to the blessings that God  has blessed us with, then we can expect God to give generously in return to us. For it is the same measure that we use in our giving, that He will use to bless us in return.

Isn’t it neat that God has given us the rules and the conditions that control how generous He will be to us? Let’s dig deep into our hearts and evaluate whether we are doing all we can, to receive all we can from our generous and loving God!

Prayer: Father God, You are so good to us each and every day. I can’t imagine how You can possibly bless me more than You do already. But after reading these verses today, I am reminded that I do not give of myself or my other possessions, near as much as You bless me with each and every day. Thank You for reminding me and my readers about the importance of sharing our gifts with others. It’s all Yours Lord, as we would have nothing without You. Please help us to freely share all that has been freely given to us, and I thank You in advance for Your promise to shower even more upon us in return. I love You Lord for You are so gracious, loving and kind to all of Your children. May You be worshiped and praised in return this wonderful day, is my humble prayer that I ask in the 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

Fully Funded Projects

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Exodus 36:4-7): 4 Finally the craftsmen who were working on the sanctuary left their work. 5 They went to Moses and reported, “The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job the Lord has commanded us to do!” 6 So Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: “Men and women, don’t prepare any more gifts for the sanctuary. We have enough!” So the people stopped bringing their sacred offerings. 7 Their contributions were more than enough to complete the whole project.

THOUGHTS: When was the last time your pastor stood in your church pulpit and followed Moses’ words in telling the people that a project was fully funded and it would not be necessary to continue giving to that project? In this sense, project may sound fairly insignificant in size, but what if the project was building your next sanctuary? Do you remember the last time you may have heard a pastor tell you to lay off giving to that project because the church has more than enough to complete it? So let’s consider why things may have changed. First of all, the scripture is clear that not all of the people freely gave to the cause. In 2:21 we are told that those whose hearts were stirred by the message from God through Moses, responded to the plea for help in providing material for the building project. This sounds pretty much like our churches today, don’t you think? As a result of surveys, we are told that less than 20% of the people do more than 80% of the giving! So why have the others ignored the plea? Friends, I believe that the Word of God is clear on this. Just as the Word tells us that if we humble ourselves and pray, then God would save our nation, I believe that many of us need to humble ourselves to recognize that we have nothing personally to brag about. It is because of God’s grace that we have the health to work, the job to go to, and the income to survive. If we truly acknowledge that fact, why would we withhold giving to Him in proportion to what He has blessed us with? The Word gives us guidance – at least 10%. Because there are other biblical references to ‘first fruits’, I believe that the guidance actually refers to 10% of your gross income. Now because our relationship is one built around love, I don’t believe that we would dare use this as a legalistic demand. People ‘in love’ will generally give freely, and way more than might be expected of them. In a love relationship, there is no such thing as excuses why we can’t give 110% of ourselves to our mate. Should there be when it comes to giving to our Lord and His earthly work? Don’t you know that if each person in our congregations gave like this, that our pastors would frequently be faced with an overflow of income, where pastors and church leaders could decide to expand the ministry after meeting all the needs that they are aware of? I believe that the stress level on our pastors will be drastically reduced, when they don’t have to worry about funding the projects that God has shown them might be necessary to grow the ministry. When we receive our paycheck, there is no negotiating on amounts taken out for government taxes, why should there be constant decision making on how much to give towards God’s work? Determine in your own heart how much you will give and stick to the plan Brother and Sister. We are promised that we will receive more than we could ever imagine or expect. Furthermore, we will receive in proportion to what we have given. May I encourage you to always expect more from God, knowing that you have given in abundance towards His work? Furthermore, rejoice, knowing your loving and all powerful God will abundantly bless you and meet your needs!

PRAYER: Father, it is exciting to see how You work. We give to bless others, yet You wind up also blessing us in return! There just isn’t a way that we can out-give You! Thank You for being so generous, loving and kind to us! I would say that we are so undeserving, but then I am reminded that even while we were undeserving, You sent Your only Son as a sacrifice for us, so that we might have a chance at eternal life in heaven with You. Thank You Father! Thank You Jesus, Son of God! Lord may we learn to give in similar fashion – regardless of whether we feel the receiver or the project is worthy of our love, may we react in obedience to Your will for us. Please bless us as we give, so that our own needs may be met each and every day. May souls be touched for You because of our obedience in giving. I ask these things humbly, yet undeserving, but in the powerful name of our all-giving Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 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, Sebring, FL! 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!

Go In Jesus’ Name

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Matthew 10:7-10): 7 Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received! 9 “Don’t take any money in your money belts—no gold, silver, or even copper coins. 10 Don’t carry a traveler’s bag with a change of clothes and sandals or even a walking stick. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve to be fed.

THOUGHTS: I was recently blessed with being able to take a missions’ trip with my church to a foreign country. We went through months of coaching, encouragement, spiritual strengthening and fund raising to prepare for the eventual day that we would travel for a week. Because of our preparation and excellent leadership, our trip was flawless. As I read this passage of scripture today, I couldn’t help but think how quickly we may have dropped to the floor in shock if we were given instructions similar to what the disciples were given. Take your trip, but: no money, no extra clothes or sandals, just go with all that you’ve been blessed with. Of course when we think about what we have been blessed with, we tend to think about all of these very things mentioned. Think about what the disciples were blessed with: the power to heal the sick; raise the dead; cure leprosy and cast out evil spirits. We may marvel that we shouldn’t need anything else, if given that kind of power from above, however I’m sure that we will worry about how those gifts will help us at the airport with plane tickets, or at the van rental company. Friends, I believe that the most important words in this scripture are the words that I bolded. Jesus freely empowered the disciples with gifts that would prove His power among the Israelites. What do you suppose He has empowered us with that might help those that we will come into contact with today that will be reflective of His love and His power? Friends, be reminded that Jesus was a great example for us to follow – He wept when His friends were sad over the passing of a brother; He rejoiced at a wedding with His friends and even performed miracles so that the party could go on; He stood up for wrong when He visibly showed His anger in the temple when He found that His house was being used as a commerce center; He recognized needs and met those needs; He loved sacrificially, even when the people hated Him so much that they led Him to a cruel death. This is our role model for us friends. There are many gifts that we have been blessed with, and this scripture is encouraging us to give of these gifts ungrudgingly, just as they have been given to us ungrudgingly. Will you do it friend?

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for loving us, and thank You for giving to us from the abundance of Your love for us. When presented with opportunities to share those gifts with others today, may we openly and willingly share, so that others might recognize the love of Jesus as expressed through us. It is very evident that people need the Lord – all people. May they see enough of You in and through us that they might desire a more intimate relationship with You. Provoke us to be channels of Your blessing, Your love and Your power today, for I ask this in the loving and powerful 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 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, Sebring, FL! 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!

Obedience Results in Rewards

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – Matthew 6:4; 6; 14-15; 17-18; 33): 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. 14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

THOUGHTS: I found a common theme in reading Matthew 6. God had some awesome teachings, and He emphasized, or stood behind His teaching so strongly that He added rewards after each area of His teachings. Beginning in verse 4, on the subject of Christian based giving, I believe that if I am led to give to a person in need, God uses me to respond to the prayers of that needy person. While I might be eternally grateful for the opportunity to respond in giving, the act of me giving from my overflow of blessings is not intended for me to boast, but instead to allow praises for answered prayer from the recipient, so that God might be magnified. Then on the subject of prayer, we are taught to pray in private. Imagine the irreverence in telling our spouse everything, intimate or not, in a public setting? We are to have an intimate relationship with our Savior, so we are to pray to Him in private. In verse 6 we are promised that God will then reward us, or grant our sincere desires, as they fit within His perfect will for us. I included verse 14 because I wanted us to be reminded that God is not a push-over, or a Santa Claus just waiting to reward us no matter how we act or respond to His goodness. He tells us that He will forgive us based on our degree of forgiving one another. We must be willing to ask, pray and forgive in a manner pleasing to God, not for our own selfish reasons. Our submission to fasting is another example for us to show our humility to the God that we serve, and to reveal the honesty in the very reason for which we are fasting. When we do this in the right spirit and for the right purpose, God says that He will once again reward us. Friends, when we seek the Kingdom of God more than everything else, and when we live righteously before a righteous God, He promised that He will give us everything we need! Are you there yet? If you are not being rewarded in one of these areas mentioned above, then perhaps there are self-inflicted roadblocks preventing God’s outpouring of His rich blessings that He would really like to shower on us. Friends, let’s clear the path to blessings! God wants to bless His children, I believe. We just need to do our part to be vessels worthy of His blessings!

PRAYER: Father, please forgive us for our littleness, our selfishness and our desire to please and promote self, instead of You. It is evident that You have such awesome rewards in store for Your children. Now if only we can learn to be humble and obedient servants so that You may freely pour out Your blessings on us. You alone are worthy oh Lord, and we cannot do this thing called ‘life’ without You. We are fully dependent on You, yet Satan is so determined to distract us from all the rich blessings You have in store for us. Please forgive us for our desire for independence, and help us instead to be totally dependent on the God who can do all things. We’re at Your mercy dear Lord. Please fill us with more of You and Your promised rewards. I humbly ask all this in the strong and powerful name of the only One worthy and able to intercede for us, Jesus my Lord, 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 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, Sebring, FL! 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!