God’s Grace Makes The Difference

As we look at these verses today, let’s stop and consider what qualities we tend to look for in selecting a new pastor for our church. Then, let’s consider what others must see in us as they judge our ‘output’ – our character, compared to who we claim to be. How accepting would we be of an individual with a very rough and questionable background, but by the grace of God in their lives they are applying for a pastoral position in your church? Try talking to God about your feelings on each of these things as you meditate with me today!

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2022-06-19
WRITTEN AT: Ocean Breeze, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 15:9-10
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: You see, I am the least of all His emissaries, not fit to be called His emissary because I hunted down and persecuted God’s church. 10 Today I am who I am because of God’s grace, and I have made sure that the grace He offered me has not been wasted. I have worked harder, longer, and smarter than all the rest; but I realize it is not me—it is God’s grace with me that has made the difference.

APPLICATION: Throughout the Bible we will find stories of how God used ordinary folk to do extraordinary Kingdom work. But Paul seems to stand out in many ways. He was one who persecuted Christians and who tried to destroy anything that represented Jesus Christ. He boasted about the tyrant that he was, and he backed that up in many ways, including beating and even killing Christians. What if Paul applied for a pastoral position at your church and his only qualifications he could share with your search committee was that God appeared to him and totally turned his life around from the scars I just described, to a man willing to follow the commands of Jesus? Do you suppose that any of your committee members would be firm enough in their faith to accept Paul’s new-found faith? Would Paul be permitted to assume your pulpit responsibilities in the next worship service? In my short lifespan I have served on many Pastor Search Committees. We have used many recommended questionnaires filled with tons of questions for our candidates, and we spent many hours discussing the responses given on those questionnaires. We set applications aside for, what appeared to us as, unqualified responses. I’ll be the first to tell you that any candidate telling us that they had served in no churches yet, and that their background consisted of killing Christians and denouncing the work of churches, his application package would have been destroyed and given no further attention. Yet we see that God saved Saul/Paul for a special purpose – a work that only Paul could accomplish after having gone through his life-experiences without Jesus. So is there any surprise why we are reading about Paul’s effort to clarify his qualifications to serve? Friends, I believe that if for no other reason, Paul’s background and his affirmation of his qualifications to serve, might really stir the hardened hearts of Christians serving on a Search Committee, because it would serve to show us that we should be looking at what God did in a man’s life to qualify him to serve in God’s church, rather than all the scholastic and personal achievements that may attribute to his abilities to serve. Unfortunately, one of the ugly things that seem to be the hardest to release when we find Jesus, is the judgmental attitude that we bring along from our past. It is hard to overlook our personal observations and our ideas of perfection, and to simply see what God has done and continues to do in the life of His chosen child. Perhaps we should be reminded regularly that God’s Grace, like that which was given to Saul (Paul) is God’s unmerited favor. In other words, God’s grace had nothing to do with Saul’s learned abilities, or his scholastic achievements. God simply saw a man destined to write many books in His Word; Win many to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ; and bold enough to speak to those with very hardened hearts. God created us uniquely for His good purpose, and only He could qualify us for truly sharing the Gospel with hardened sinners who feel like they have life all figured out. God knew that Paul would eventually come to himself and recognize the awesome God of this universe. He knew that Paul would go on to convince many hardened crusaders that looked and operated much like he did in his day. Friends, God also has you and I pegged for a specific Kingdom work here on earth. Like Paul, I believe that the work God chose for us to do, is specially formulated just for us. So let’s listen closely to His call, and be obedient to His instructions as He directs our path towards the work He has in store for us. Let’s make every effort to minimize our excuses, for His grace will make all the difference for us, and for those who will respond to His call through us.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God’s grace makes all the difference in our life, and especially in our career of winning the lost to Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, every day we are reminded of, what seems to be, such an unlimited number of folk that have not accepted You as Lord. Unfortunately they see us, and they hear us, but they see nothing that convinces them of the change they need to make in their life. We often say that it may take ‘a ton of bricks’ to change the minds of some, but You created us Lord, so You know full well what it takes to get our attention and theirs. May Your grace given to us, be obvious to others – especially those who need to make a change in their life. It may be something very simple – much like a simple bumper sticker that opened the eyes of a good friend and contributed to him seeking salvation. But please provoke us to faith and obedience to our Heavenly Father so that You may use even our weak vessels to do miraculous things in the lives of those who need You. May today be the day for many to make decisions for Jesus Christ, because of Your grace in our lives. AMEN!

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

God’s Undeserved Favor

God’s grace is the same as His undeserved favor. As His representative here on earth, God has given us everything we need to showcase His grace to a lost and dying world. As we are reminded of that today, let’s be sure that we deflect that grace to others in a way that is pleasing to, and representative of, God.

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2022-04-24
WRITTEN AT: Citra, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 1:4-5; 7:9;
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: I always thank my God for you because of the grace that he has given you through Christ Jesus. In him you have been blessed in every way. You have been blessed in all your speaking and all your knowledge.
 Now you have every gift from God while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to come again. He will keep you strong until the end so that on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes, you will be free from all blame. God is faithful. He is the one who has chosen you to share life with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

APPLICATION: Paul was overwhelmed that a church, such as the one at Corinth, who had not been very faithful at all, yet it was now evident that they had been graced by God, and it showed in their demeanor and in their love of him and others. Often in today’s churches, we seem to think that those who are graced by God’s favor, are the real religious ones. But I believe that God specifically chose to be glorified through the Corinthians so that it was obvious that it was His grace at work in them. Ever got disappointed when you attended a new church and discovered that it was just an ordinary kind’a looking guy who stood in the pulpit to bring the sermon for the day? Yet by the time he concluded his teaching and preaching you were floored at the amazing way that God used him! My mind goes back to a Father’s Day, when a layman was elected to bring the Word at church that day. He had no seminary training, he was seldom involved in teaching around the church, but because of his relationship with his Master, He opened himself up as God’s messenger for that day. It was evident that God’s grace was all over that man that day, for many left that service totally blessed by God and overwhelmed by His grace to His humble servant chosen to represent Him that day. Perhaps you might recall a time when you were challenged to visit a faithful member of the church who you always looked up to in their faith and knowledge of the Lord and His Word. You may have been humbled to make the visit, but you were probably exceedingly nervous about going to minister to them. I hope that you may have left that home, or hospital bed, that night feeling overwhelmed by the grace of God that overshadowed you and filled you during your visit. A time that I felt used of God, was in agreeing to teach a Sunday School class in a large church I attended. You see, I allowed Satan to make me nervous about ministering to a group that contained many retired missionaries and pastors. Not long afterwards I remember a missionary complimenting me for teaching that past Sunday. I then realized that when God gives us an opportunity to represent Him, we have no need to become nervous, for if He calls us to it, He will guide us and give us the wisdom to make it through that job in a way pleasing to Him. I was awaken to the fact that when we are called by the Master, we should humble ourselves before the Great I Am, and not worry about the accolades from our role models that may be in the class that day. There are words in a song that I love to sing ‘Jesus loves even me’! You see, we may put so much pressure on being perfect, that we overlook the fact that the only Perfect One is the one guiding us and giving us the opportunity to be His hands and His feet here on earth. Let’s learn to soak in His grace and allow Him to lead us. Because He is perfect, our efforts to reflect His majesty will be pleasing to Him. That’s all that matters! The lost will be saved because of their encounter with Jesus Christ, not because of their encounter with a pretender, like we may sometimes portray to others. God’s grace is sufficient for every need, if only we will humble ourselves to allow Him to minister through us!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Because of God’s faithfulness, many have become children of God. I believe He’s still working on the rest! His grace is sufficient for even you as you seek to follow His will!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, I thank You for Your wondrous grace that saved many who might read this devotional. My deepest prayer is that Your grace will be sufficient and meet the needs of the unsaved who might happen across this devotional today. I pray that it will be the answer to their prayers and fill the most important need of their lives. Thank You for Your grace to a sinner such as I, and for convicting me of my sin. Thank You for adopting me as your loving child! May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, my Savior and Lord. AMEN!

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

Stand Firm With Patient Endurance

I feel like today’s Scripture is a warning that things could get a lot worse, before they get better. I know that sounds challenging, but let’s remember that ‘better’ means eternity in heaven and away from this wicked world. I love the witnessing opportunities that will present itself while we conclude our life here on earth, so as we meditate on this word today, let’s keep in mind that no matter what may come to us here on earth, there is a much better place awaiting us!

DATE POSTED Thursday, 2021-10-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 21:12-19
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 12–13 And because you follow me, you will be on trial before kings and governmental leaders as an opportunity to testify to them in my name. 14–15 Yet determine in your hearts not to prepare for your own defense. Simply speak with the words of wisdom that I will give you that moment, and none of your persecutors will be able to withstand the grace and wisdom that comes from your mouths. 16 “You can expect betrayal even by your parents, your brothers, your relatives and friends—and yes, some of you will die as martyrs.17 You will be hated by all because of my life in you. 18 But don’t worry. My grace will never desert you or depart from your life. 19 Stand firm with patient endurance…..”

APPLICATION: How committed are you to being a child of the King? Committed enough to stay determined to serve Christ and acknowledge His as Lord, no matter what may come your way? Jesus’ disciples were curious about some of the things that He taught them, and in this instance it was about the destruction of the beautiful temple that they stood in. Jesus took such times to really bring out a truth about His going away, and also how we will be challenged for even acknowledging that we are a follower of Christ. The world, meaning those who have chosen not to accept and follow Christ, despise those who decide to follow Jesus. I know, you don’t have any family or friends like that, but there will come a time when you will be called unkind names; there are times you will be called stuck-up or prideful, or perhaps unwilling to associate with the ‘local folk’. It was this type of envy and hatred that led to the Pharisees calling Jesus names, and their tempting Him to say things against the ‘locals’, so they could have Him condemned by their authorities, that ultimately led to His false imprisonment and conviction of treason. But friends, I wonder if we are convinced and confident and committed enough in our decision to accept and follow Jesus Christ, that we would really be convicted of anything? Remember Peter, the disciple who said that Jesus could depend on him to follow Him and stand firm for Him even if it led to his death? Peter, the one Jesus nicknamed ‘the rock’ because of his boldness, yet he conceded to the bombardment of questions about his identity with Christ, three times in quick succession. Would you or I be better prepared to handle the questioning Jesus referred to in these verses without caving in to the pressure of what might come next? But look at the words Jesus chose to encourage us with in verse 18: ‘don’t worry, my grace will never desert you or depart from you’. I remember similar words also spoken by Jesus when He said ‘My grace is all sufficient for your every need’! Friends, it is painfully true that we may cave in to earthly pressure, but the love of Jesus will never fade away from us. It is also true that Jesus promised us that we could afford to stand firm in our faith, even when temptation or trials come, for His grace is sufficient for us and He will see us through our circumstances. Do you know Him my friend? Let me encourage you to know Him in such a personal way that you would be willing to depend on the grace of our Father as He stands ready and willing to be our strength and provider in every circumstance of life.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: His grace is sufficient for us in all that we do in Jesus’ name and for His glory! Let’s prepare ourselves for the worst, knowing that we have the very best guiding and protecting us as we serve Him and testify in His name.

PRAYER: I am Thine oh Lord, and I have heard Your promise in today’s Scripture. Thank You for Your reassurance and also for Your promises to be with us right until the very end of time. May my readers and listeners join me with hearts of gratitude for our King as we rest our hands in Yours and leave our anxiety and cares at Your feet. Times may get rough for us, but with our hand in Yours, we know that Your grace will see us through. Please draw the unsaved to Yourself today Lord, especially our family members and those that we are connected to in some way. 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!

Oh For His Measureless Grace!

On the mountain tops of life when it is very evident that God is blessing us way more than we deserve, it is easy to lift up holy hands in songs of praise to our Father! However, it seems like we just don’t know what to do when things are not going so well. But don’t we serve the same God, in spite of our earthly circumstances? Stay tuned as we meditate on the advice given through David in this Psalm today!

DATE POSTED Friday, 2021-10-01
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 55:22
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 22 So here’s what I’ve learned through it all:
    Leave all your cares and anxieties at the feet of the Lord,
    and measureless grace will strengthen you.

APPLICATION: For the majority of humans, I believe that we have inherited a sense of urgency when life is not going perfectly at all times. For example: when we develop a pain or discomfort, we rush into the doctor’s office for a medicine that will help us overcome that. When our bank account dries up, we apply for another credit card or we run to our banker for a loan to get us over the hump. When situations develop in our family that impacts our home-life, we find a pastor who will try to help us deal with, or overcome the problem. We seem to search out ‘fixes’ for most of life’s issues, don’t we? But what do we do when we are told something we don’t want to hear, like a doctor who tells us that hospitalization and/or surgery might be the only fix for our medical issues? Or a pastor who advises that things will only get worse if we don’t make some very serious decisions that could negatively impact our family even more? For some of us, that’s when we turn to Jesus – as a last resort. It seems like the Psalmist might be supporting our normal trends, for he found grace at the foot of the cross, and he is advising us to do the same. But unless we take this bit of advise separate and apart from the rest of the Bible, we may forget that Jesus also told us that some suffering is a gift from Him. Say WHAT???? Let me suggest that you click on the following two Scripture verses so that you can see for yourself what Jesus said about this: Philippians 1:29 and John 18:11. Friends, I believe that God would have His children know that regardless of our challenges in life, we have a Father who cares for us and will see us through every circumstance of life. For some scenarios, we might experience healing, and for some we may be challenged by the way He chooses to handle it, but as His child we must always know that God loves us, and that His measureless grace is sufficient for all our anxiety and cares of this world. Let’s always keep the end goal in mind – Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us in heaven. As we journey towards that goal, we will need Him to hold our hand and gently lead us through situations that sometimes seem impossible, troublesome or even unsurmountable to us. He cares for us, He loves us, and He will guide us in ways that will bring Him glory and praise. Perhaps if we stop fighting to have our own way, we will see and appreciate the blessings He sends our way!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God’s measureless grace is all sufficient for our every care and concern!

PRAYER: I am reminded of a chorus I learned as a child attending Sunday School: God is still on the throne, and He will remember His own, though trials may come and often beset us, yet He is still on the throne! Of course there are other songs that fit the intent of this verse today also: He never promised us a rose garden! But thank You Jesus, You did promise us that You will never leave us or forsake us, and that Your measureless grace is all sufficient for each and every child. May we find peace and contentment in knowing that we are a child of the King and that You have our best interest at heart, precious Lord. For the unsaved who will not experience this comfort and peace, I pray that You will speak intently to them today, Lord. AMEN!

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

From Spiritual Death To The Glories of Heaven

What an awesome reminder from Paul, as his words are just as applicable to us today, as they were to the church at Laodicea that he was addressing in our Scripture today. Those who are in Christ, are uniquely blessed, and as we reflect on where we came from, and where our holy and righteous God brought us to, it is way more than we could fathom. While we have nothing to boast about, we have lots to celebrate and praise God for!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-08-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Colossians 2:13-15
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 13 You were spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self. But God gave you new life together with Christ. He forgave all our sins. 14 Because we broke God’s laws, we owed a debt—a debt that listed all the rules we failed to follow. But God forgave us of that debt. He took it away and nailed it to the cross. 15 He defeated the rulers and powers of the spiritual world. With the cross he won the victory over them and led them away, as defeated and powerless prisoners for the whole world to see.

OBSERVATION: What an awesome reminder from Paul, as his words are just as applicable to us today, as they were to the church at Laodicea that he was addressing in our Scripture today. Those who are in Christ, are uniquely blessed, and as we reflect on where we came from, and where our holy and righteous God brought us to, it is way more than we could fathom. While we have nothing to boast about, we have lots to celebrate and praise God for!

APPLICATION: Generally there will come a time where we might reflect on our lives, throw our hands up and just surrender to the idea of finding a solution to fix the dilemma in which we find ourselves. It might be a time that we reflect on our spouse, our children or even our friends, when we surrender to the thought of trying to resolve their issues for them. Sounds silly, right? But isn’t that what many of us wind up doing? Without ever stopping to acknowledge that we personally have a lot of unresolved issues, we decide it’s time to fix all that’s occurring in the lives of those close to us. In our Scripture today, Paul is reminding us that there was once a time in our lives where God heard our cry to Him about the awful pain of sin that burdened us to the point of surrender. At that point God helped us to see that we had been living contrary to His will and His commands, and He called us unto Himself. But still it is very painful to read verse 14, because we are reminded of how awful we were to ignore the will of the Father, and do our own thing instead. Following our own selfish way right in the face of a holy and righteous God so filled with love for us. As a man/woman without Christ, isn’t it obvious dear friend, how toxic our help or advice must have been to others, when we ourselves were in such dire straights with the God of this universe? Why share our misery with someone already overwhelmed with life and the pain of failure? But the bright side of this whole Scripture is that God saw us right where we were at, He called us unto Himself, pointed out our sin to us, and showed us the solution to our problem. Praise God that He loved us that much! He brought us from the path we were heading to eternal damnation (Hell), showed us the path to righteousness and how we could seek redemption for our sin, and He made it clear to us the glories of heaven with the one true God! This whole story reminds us of the total redemption in Jesus Christ, and that our Savior is still available to help those that we love and care about. Yes, we could help, but know that only Jesus could save them. Our responsibility is to openly share the same love of Jesus, that He showed to us. Our friends will clearly see that if God was loving enough, caring enough, and powerful enough to save us, surely He could do the same for them. Just as one beggar will show another beggar where to find food, we too must be willing to show others where to find the ‘gold mind’ that we found – Jesus our Lord!

PRAYER: Just as we would gladly share with a friend how to promote themselves from rags to riches, Lord I pray that we would be elated, and looking for every opportunity, to share the wondrous story of grace extended to sinners just like my readers and I. Oh so unworthy, yet we are a child of the King! Thank You precious Lord that You saw our need and our desperation, and You called us to Yourself. Just as You helped even us in our former state, I pray that You will use us to encourage others to seek You out and accept Your grace as well. Lord, may this be a day that thousands will see the need for salvation, and make the most important decision of their lives. Lord, we long to be at Your feet singing praises to our King

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!

By Grace We Are Saved

Paul and Barnabas dealt with a divided people because of their heritage – Jew or Gentile. Unfortunately today we permit many things to separate us – even those who call themselves ‘Believers’. My Bible tells me that there is only one God, one cross and one heaven. Our Scripture tells us that Jews and Gentiles had a tough time getting along. Today there are many things that divide us here on earth. As we meditate, let’s be reminded that Paul and Barnabas said in verse 11 something that still applies to us today ‘we will all be saved the same way – by the grace of Jesus!

Wednesday, 2020-02-05

Bible Reference: Acts 15:8-11
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: God knows everyone, even their thoughts, and he accepted these non-Jewish people. He showed this to us by giving them the Holy Spirit the same as he did to us. To God, those people are not different from us. When they believed, God made their hearts pure. 10 So now, why are you putting a heavy burden[a] around the necks of the non-Jewish followers of Jesus? Are you trying to make God angry? We and our fathers were not able to carry that burden. 11 No, we believe that we and these people will be saved the same way—by the grace of the Lord Jesus.”

OBSERVATION: Paul and Barnabas dealt with a divided people because of their heritage – Jew or Gentile. Unfortunately today we permit many things to separate us – even those who call themselves ‘Believers’. My Bible tells me that there is only one God, one cross and one heaven. Our Scripture tells us that Jews and Gentiles had a tough time getting along. Today there are many things that divide us here on earth. As we meditate, let’s be reminded that Paul and Barnabas said in verse 11 something that still applies to us today ‘we will all be saved the same way – by the grace of Jesus!

APPLICATION: If we ever expect to see the world, and in particular our own world of influence, saved from their sin and see them surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ, then Christians MUST know the answer to this question: ‘What must I do to be saved?’ It’s not the preacher, nor the pastor or not even another spiritual leader that will save them, it’s their recognition of their sin and their invitation to invite Jesus to be their Lord. This may result from intimate friends that they trust, who will plant the seed of faith in them and cause them to turn their eyes and inquiring minds towards Jesus. It is God’s Holy Spirit working through each of us that will impact our unsaved loved ones! However, I believe that this passage comes as a warning to each of us today, for we must be extremely careful not to try and impose upon these ones we are witnessing to, any non-biblical values, or additional conditions, that we may hold as ‘good moral practices’. Our Scripture teaches that it is ‘GRACE’ alone that will save mankind. That’s the unmerited favor of Jesus Christ. So be careful not to complicate what God has made simple for us. Be reminded also that salvation is not reserved for you and your family alone, or you and your church/denomination alone, for this was dealt with in today’s Scripture. God made us all, and He looks on each of us as His children who are all subject to the benefits of His grace. You may be a foreigner in the country in which you are living and worshiping, but you are considered a child of the only King! You may have a different color skin from the majority of your church members, but you are still a child of the same King who made us all. God loves us all, and holds His hand out with readiness to accept us all, so I pray that we would never try to place a roadblock in the path of one of His precious kids looking for a simple relationship with their Master and Lord. At the foot of the cross, we all look alike to Jesus. We are either accepted into His kingdom because He sees nothing but the blood of His precious Son, or we are turned away because of our stubborn rejection of His Son. Friends, there is nothing in this world more valuable than knowing Jesus personally. That’s the only thing that will last, or make a difference for eternity. Stop looking around dear friend, know my Savior today and know peace – the peace that passeth all understanding. I look forward to seeing you at the feet of our Savior one day – very soon!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, I am reminded that as I address You intimately today, there are many who are also addressing You as Father, who may look very different to me here on earth, and may believe Your Word differently to what I believe. Through Grace, we are saved! So in Your eyes, I believe that You are looking at my Brothers and Sisters from all parts of the world, the same way that You look on me as Your precious son. Lord, I want to live like You here on earth. Please help me to look on others through the same lens that You see us – Children of One Lord and Savior. Oh that You may be glorified through my readers and I today, so that unsaved loved ones will want to know You – this is my humble please 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 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to attend my home church. 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 Identify Godly Wisdom

In the preceding verses, James points out what worldly wisdom looks like, and it helps us to recognize why we have so many challenges in our families, community, and even in our churches. Yes, we have ‘dirty sheep’ in our churches also, and depending on their influence in the community, they may even make their way into church leadership. However, in the above two verses we could see Jesus, for He performed His work here on earth in a very peaceful, calm and righteous manner. His wisdom was, and still is, beyond all wisdom, and He is the One that we should imitate.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   James 3:17-18 (ERV)

TEXT:  17 But the wisdom that comes from God is like this: First, it is pure. It is also peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help people who have trouble and to do good for others. This wisdom is always fair and honest. 18 People who work for peace in a peaceful way get the blessings that come from right living.

OBSERVATION:   In the preceding verses, James points out what worldly wisdom looks like, and it helps us to recognize why we have so many challenges in our families, community, and even in our churches. Yes, we have ‘dirty sheep’ in our churches also, and depending on their influence in the community, they may even make their way into church leadership. However, in the above two verses we could see Jesus, for He performed His work here on earth in a very peaceful, calm and righteous manner. His wisdom was, and still is, beyond all wisdom, and He is the One that we should imitate.

APPLICATION:   When we seek God for wisdom, He gives us the kind of wisdom that He portrayed while here on earth, and He will teach us the kind of wisdom spoken of in these verses. Now let’s compare that to the wisdom sought by unbelievers. I believe they look to the wisdom taught at our colleges; they place themselves in the middle of very smart people; they may try to imitate the practices of very successful leaders who have proven themselves; and I believe they probably watch a lot of world events to help them understand what may be successful, or not. You may have heard of other things that you might add to that list, but friends let me encourage you to consider the source of each of the mentioned items. It is mankind, filled with all of his fallacies, yet we are content to try and imitate, or repeat those things that may appear successful to us. Oh my, is there any wonder that we see a repeat of disastrous efforts by some leaders? I trust that you will not misunderstand me and think that I am proposing that our Christian leaders never seek any of the above ways to increase their effectiveness, because I really believe that our men of God will still follow some of the above methods, but hopefully they will allow God to guide their minds, their thought process, and fill them with His wisdom as to the wise things they should implement that will also bring Him glory. Friends, let’s always remember that in all things that we do, let’s acknowledge God and be obedient to His perfect will, and that we follow through with things that will bring Him glory and bless His people. That will fulfil the purpose for which He has placed us here, and in the positions that He has entrusted to us. Let’s always remember that it’s not about us, but all about Him, that causes us to accomplish any good thing!

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, we need You every hour of every day. We especially need Your guidance and Your wisdom so that our actions might serve to glorify Yourself. May our words be pure and filled with the wisdom that we learn from Your Word. Fill us with so much of Yourself Lord, that others will see Jesus as they look on us and rub shoulders with us. Please touch the hearts of each one reading this devotional today, oh Lord. May they be reminded of the One who created them, the One who sacrificed His only Son for the good of mankind, and the One who patiently waits at our Father’s side and intercedes for us. Please use Your humble servants today oh Lord, so that those that we come into contact with will draw close to You and seek Your forgiveness, grace and mercy. 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!

God’s Power Expressed Through Our Weakness

I believe that Paul cleared up one thing for us in this passage. There are limitation to our abilities, and those around us know what those limitations are. When something more powerful is achieved, everyone will know that either we had additional training since they last saw us, or it really is another power within us that accomplished the miraculous work they just saw. This is still applicable to us today with all the technological advances, but God doesn’t need any help proving who He is, nor is He concerned about the abilities of the one through who He chooses to work. Let’s study this some more!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (TPT)

TEXT: 7 …..  this is why a thorn in my flesh was given to me, the Adversary’s messenger sent to harass me, keeping me from becoming arrogant. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to relieve me of this. But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.

OBSERVATION:   I believe that Paul cleared up one thing for us in this passage. There are limitation to our abilities, and those around us know what those limitations are. When something more powerful is achieved, everyone will know that either we had additional training since they last saw us, or it really is another power within us that accomplished the miraculous work they just saw. This is still applicable to us today with all the technological advances, but God doesn’t need any help proving who He is, nor is He concerned about the abilities of the one through who He chooses to work. Let’s study this some more!

APPLICATION:   Can you imagine how easily Paul could have taken credit for some of the miraculous things that happened during his ministry and projected himself as one with super powers? The miraculous opening of the prison gates; the shipwrecks; to name just a few. But friends we must remember the miraculous turn around that Jesus accomplished through this servant right at the very beginning, for he (Saul) operated as a persecutor of Christians, until Jesus opened his eyes of faith to the actual truth of the gospel and the full power of God. I believe that Paul opened our eyes to a few things:

  1. God calls us to be His servant, meaning that He will tell us what to do, how to do it and when to do it. Let’s not get ahead of Him and do our own thing and then ask God to bless what we did. It just doesn’t work that way. Remember, He is God and we are the servant through whom He may choose to work, not the other way around;
  2. Never complain about what God might put us through, as it might be for His glory, and for others to see God at work, even through someone with a ‘thorn in their side’. Furthermore if the work of the gospel is completed even while we might be physically unable to, then unbelievers must ask themselves, ‘so who do it then?’
  3. Never question the work that God sends us to do, for as we surrender to Him all that, you feel, might be inadequate and untrained, imagine who the people will see as the one doing the work?

Friends, as we make ourselves available to be God’s servant, it must be with the attitude that His grace, or His power, will rule and reign in the eyes and hearts of those we stand in front of, so that He may be glorified. If God is glorified, our hearts and lives can live at peace knowing that our focus was on target. Know that as long as we reside on this earth, we will face challenges and hardships, but always be reminded of verse 9, the words to Paul, that are still very applicable to us today: my grace is sufficient for all your needs my child! Yes, because of His grace, and through His power, we can do all things for the glory of the Father!

PRAYER:   Lord I believe that many times it may only be through our weaknesses that You truly get our attention. We are such a stubborn people, striving always to be independent and do things our way and on our own. Please help us to take a step in humility and surrender, so that we can truly become faithful servants of Yours that You will find worthy of using in Your kingdom work. Lord, may they see Jesus in all that we do or say. 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!

 

Ready To Defend Jesus?

A blind man was miraculously healed by Jesus, when He mixed mud with spittle, placed it on the blind man’s eyes and told him to go and wash in the pool. In these verses the man who was once lost is having to defend Jesus before the local leaders. Let’s see how this might apply to us today….

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-11-02
SCRIPTURE

From:

John 9:30-33 (ERV)

Text:

 30 The man answered, “This is really strange! You don’t know where he comes from, but he healed my eyes. 31 We all know that God does not listen to sinners, but he will listen to anyone who worships and obeys him. 32 This is the first time we have ever heard of anyone healing the eyes of someone born blind. 33 This man must be from God. If he were not from God, he could not do anything like this.”
OBSERVATION:
A blind man was miraculously healed by Jesus, when He mixed mud with spittle, placed it on the blind man’s eyes and told him to go and wash in the pool. In these verses the man who was once lost is having to defend Jesus before the local leaders. Let’s see how this might apply to us today….
APPLICATION:
Does the general population hear about what goes on in your church? Do they know how your child go well again? Do they ask about the difference in your character compared to most of your coworkers? I would imagine the answer to most of these questions might be: ‘sometimes’; or ‘when I feel safe, I tell them; or ‘we’re not allowed to talk about religion around work’. Isn’t that strange, when it doesn’t matter that employees talk about baseball games, or lotto winners, politics or just about anything else? This blind man was probably a ‘nobody’ before this healing incident, but when he started to praise God for all that Jesus did for him, it soon got the attention of the religious leaders who couldn’t identify with, or believe that God would change anything in the religious order of their day. In fact, they were so convinced of this that they called Jesus a sinner who just happened into their town. I wonder if this is not one of the things that interfere with folk accepting Jesus today? Perhaps some cannot understand why God would love them so much that He would allow His only Son to die a cruel death as a substitute for the sin of those who surrender their lives over to His lordship. Perhaps some see the lack of reaction of Christians to such an awesome God, that they are convinced there is no big deal to this Christian life and that they barely hear of any miracles or ‘God moments’ with the Christians they know. Friends, I believe the same thing happens in marriage if one of the partners chooses to continue doing everything they did as a single person. The truth is that if we love Jesus, the world will recognize that love. If we adore our King and worship Him at every opportunity, the world might become curious about the source of our happiness. If we stay in God’s Word and make every effort to obey His commands and live according to His precepts, then the world will see the difference and want to know this Jesus who made a change in us. Is there any difference in your life that’s evident to those you come into contact with?
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, You are my Savior, my Lord and my everlasting King. Thank You for being so merciful, wonderful and miraculous in my life, and I pray that You will give me perfect moments to share that with someone who needs to know You personally. I would specifically petition You to touch the lives of Christians once again with a fresh dose of Your love, mercy and grace, so that the world might know that Jesus lives, and that He lives in our heart. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Suffiency of God’s Grace!

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-01-21
SCRIPTURE

From:

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (Voice)

Text:

7 To keep me grounded and stop me from becoming too high and mighty due to the extraordinary character of these revelations, I was given a thorn in the flesh—a nagging nuisance of Satan, a messenger to plague me! 8 I begged the Lord three times to liberate me from its anguish; 9 and finally He said to me, “My grace is enough to cover and sustain you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” So ask me about my thorn, inquire about my weaknesses, and I will gladly go on and on—I would rather stake my claim in these and have the power of the Anointed One at home within me.
OBSERVATION:
Paul shared that he could easily have become puffed up, because of all that God had blessed him with, however, we acknowledged the ‘speed bumps’ that God placed in his way so that pride didn’t develop in his life. No doubt many of us might often beat up on God because of ‘roadblocks’ that we feel are hindering our success, so let’s look at the application of this text.
APPLICATION:
How easy is it for us to feel despondent and forgotten when it seems like we constantly face ‘roadblocks’, or ‘speed bumps’ in our lives. Friends, I believe it is times like that when we must stop and acknowledge that we are working God’s agenda, not Him working our scheduling. About a month ago I had great plans for a party I would lead for a Married Couples group that I teach. Guess what, my plans never materialized, because while I was in a hospital bed, the party was at one of the couple’s home! I believe that God made me realize that no matter how well we might plan, it is left entirely up to Him as to what will transpire, so that He might be glorified and allowed to work in the midst of it all. Now in no way am I advocating that it’s not important to plan ahead, but what I am saying is that it is God who will be victorious, and receive the glory for all that is done and all that is accomplished. The other application I can share with you is that I have had the honor of substitute teaching in a Sunday School class for a retired pastor of our church. I don’t know anything more humbling than to stand in front of a class who has been blessed with powerful teaching and the unimaginable knowledge of a great man of God. But folk, I quickly learned that it’s not about me, or about that retired pastor, for as this passage advocates, God’s strength and power becomes evident through the weakness of those who place their faith, trust and dependence in Him. I trust that we will daily surrender our all to Jesus every day, so that HE might rule and reign in all the circumstances that we may find ourselves in that day. Lord, may they see the face of Jesus as others look at us, for only His grace can fulfil their need!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, Paul shared with us how You were able to work, especially through his weaknesses. I am certain that today we will be tempted to allow our selfish pride and self-proclaimed strengths to stand in the way of our awesome God working out His will through us, so Father, I pray that You will work on us internally to worry not about our weaknesses or inadequacies, but to simply surrender our all to You, so that it might be obvious to everyone that we come into contact with who truly rules and reigns in our hearts and lives. Yes, Your grace is sufficient to meet our every need. Thank You Jesus for blessing us with Your grace. 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!