A Place To Call ‘Home’

Imagine for a moment that you landed on a desolate island where you know no one, nor have you made any arrangements for a place to stay there. What would you do? In today’s Scripture the Psalmist reminds us that when we leave this world, the Lord will take care of His own (those who have prearranged their meeting with Him, by accepting Him as Lord) However, the unsaved will be left with their earthly master – Satan, as they won’t have a place with the people of God. Think about whether this is really what you want, as there may still be time to change your mind while there is breath in your body.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-01-03
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 1:5–6
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 5 Sinners won’t have an excuse on the day of judgment, and they won’t have a place with the people of God.
6 The Lord protects everyone who follows him, but the wicked follow a road
that leads to ruin.

OBSERVATION: Imagine for a moment that you landed on a desolate island where you know no one, nor have you made any arrangements for a place to stay there. What would you do? In today’s Scripture the Psalmist reminds us that when we leave this world, the Lord will take care of His own (those who have prearranged their meeting with Him, by accepting Him as Lord) However, the unsaved will be left with their earthly master – Satan, as they won’t have a place with the people of God. Think about whether this is really what you want, as there may still be time to change your mind while there is breath in your body.

APPLICATION: Financial advisors may give you advice as you enter into a New Year that may have opportunities equal to or worse than 2020. Medical doctors may give you advice on keeping your body healthy and prepared for the unexpected in 2021. But the Word of God is faithful in preparing you for the expected, after you leave this world. On each nightly news broadcast, we are given the numbers who became hospitalized, or have died from the Coronavirus. It only makes sense that you were not included in either of the totals mentioned, because you are reading this devotional. However, on the Day of Judgment that the Psalmist refers to in our Scripture, no one is excluded. Everyone will be accounted for. The children of God will be welcomed home to heaven by their Maker, because of their acceptance of His Son, Jesus. Those who rejected Jesus will not be welcomed there, which means that they will revert to Hell where Satan will rule over them with fire and brimstone for all eternity. The choice is made today, while you are still alive. You may argue that you made no such choice. Unfortunately that means that you have accepted your current leader (Satan) to continue ruling over you, and his ongoing reign is already explained. Friends, you prepared yourself to live independently; you prepared yourself financially to see yourself through everyday life; you prepared yourself for happiness by marrying the spouse of your dreams. But unless you prepare yourself for heaven by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you will not have a home with Jesus and His saints. This could mean separation from family, friends, spouse and children. There’s no one to blame your outcome on, and there’s no one who could make the arrangements for you. This is a personal decision for each one, and the verdict is for all eternity. Please make this very early stage of 2021 of key importance to your eternal well being. Accept Jesus today and be saved for all eternity. Self-help is provided in my Footnote, and my contact information is also included, to help you change your destination plans. No excuses my friend, do this today, please?

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for speaking words of wisdom to me back in 1976 and helping me make preparation for my eternity with You. Thank You for all who read this blog, and I thank you for friends and family. Please speak to their hearts today through Your powerful Word. Convict them of their sin and please reinforce the facts shared in my message today. According to Your Word there will only be a place in Your kingdom for those who have accepted Your Son. Please emphasize the shortness of time to all those who need to make important life changes. May today be a day of decision for each one, I pray. AMEN!

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

A Glimpse of Heaven

John had been given a glimpse of how God felt about his churches, and I believe that we found characteristics of ourselves and our churches throughout the challenges given by God To those churches. Now we could see where John is given a glimpse of what heaven might be like. My heart leapt for joy as I read the praise by the Living Beings and by the Elders, and I will share the reasons in my application below. Consider your expectation of your meeting God when you see Him on His throne! Oh what a day that will be!! Glory!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-12-04
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Revelation 4:8-11
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: Each of these Living Beings had six wings, and the central sections of their wings were covered with eyes. Day after day and night after night they kept on saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty—the one who was, and is, and is to come.” And when the Living Beings gave glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four Elders fell down before him and worshiped him, the Eternal Living One, and cast their crowns before the throne, singing, 11 “O Lord, you are worthy to receive the glory and the honor and the power, for you have created all things. They were created and called into being by your act of will.”

OBSERVATION: John had been given a glimpse of how God felt about his churches, and I believe that we found characteristics of ourselves and our churches throughout the challenges given by God To those churches. Now we could see where John is given a glimpse of what heaven might be like. My heart leapt for joy as I read the praise by the Living Beings and by the Elders, and I will share the reasons in my application below. Consider your expectation of your meeting God when you see Him on His throne! Oh what a day that will be!! Glory!

APPLICATION: I believe that people have various reasons that keep them going to church, and these things build enthusiasm and excitement into them for the coming day of corporate worship times each week. For many, it will be the exciting praise and worship time, for others it will be the enthusiastic proclamation of the Word by their pastor, or it might be getting together with their Bible Study teacher and/or group, or just seeing their Christian friends again, and yet for others, perhaps just because of the time that normally draws them closer to the Lord. For Christians in general, I believe that just the thought of Heaven and being with Jesus, their heart may skip a beat at just the thought of it. When a loved one passes away who knew Christ, it seems that the anticipation builds for remaining Christian close relatives to want to be in Heaven, because they have loved ones already there. Friends, we must remember that we are on this earth for just a while, so I hope that we will examine our purpose closely and not procrastinate in fulfilling our personal goals while here. Like any smart person, we must think ahead to ponder what happens after life here on earth, so that we could prepare ahead of time for an even more exciting time after this. Some will be drawn to the reality, love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and they will accept His free gift of eternal life, while some will choose to live each day in blindness and obliterated to the future. The second group will die in their sin and go on to spend eternity in Hell, the place of fire and torment, where they will be forever under the unfortunate leadership of Satan. However, in John 3:16, the first group is promised eternal life in Heaven with their creator. While the second group will be crying out in anguish over their awful predicament, the first group will be watching things such as John saw, and joining in with endless praises to the One who loved them unconditionally and sacrificed His only Son to provide the means of them being washed white from their earthly sin. Dear friends, I am a part of that first group and my heart sings out in praise when I read of the glory that John saw. For He tells of the worship of my King, the One that I worship here on earth, and the same One that I live in anticipation of worshiping at the foot of His throne in Heaven one day soon! Many of you may never experience your pastor or elders praising God here on earth, because they are so busy serving. I have gone to conferences where pastors are free to personally worship, and it truly blessed my heart. Imagine John seeing the Elders (Pastors) falling down in worship to the King that they taught and preached for a lifetime. Imagine you in worship to your King, with your pastor alongside you, worshiping your Savior? Oh my friend, no matter how much we read, nor how much we imagine or think about this, the awesome moment of truth when we bow at His feet will outshine all earthly thoughts about the moment! Please my friend, accept my Savior today. Know Him personally so that you too can join me at the feet of Jesus. Why burn in Hell, when you can ‘shine’ in the glory of the Master?

PRAYER: Why me Lord? What have I ever done to deserve God’s only Son and the glories of Heaven? But because of Your grace, and because of Your unconditional love, You provided Your precious Son so that I may call Heaven my eternal home. Thank You Jesus for tugging on my heart and encouraging me to surrender my life to Your will and way. Being reminded of Heaven and the meeting we will have with You, is enough to help me go on stronger in my faith today, and more encouraged to draw even closer to You each day through Your Word. Please Lord speak to my readers today, and remind my family and friends again today, that there is only one way for us to meet with You in Heaven, and that is to believe on You and have relationship with You here on earth. Please touch hearts today and draw Your people unto yourself, before it is eternally too late. AMEN!

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

Your Assignment From God

While not pointing fingers at anyone, I always find it interesting to listen to a ‘Christian’ audience sharing their personal testimony. While reading this Scripture today, I was forced to reflect on how I might respond to the question of the assignment in life that God has given to me. What’s yours dear friend? Consider being asked to share your response to this question in a group of Christ-followers!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-04-22
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 15:15-16
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: So, my dear friends, don’t take my rather bold and blunt language as criticism. It’s not criticism. I’m simply underlining how very much I need your help in carrying out this highly focused assignment God gave me, this priestly and gospel work of serving the spiritual needs of the non-Jewish outsiders so they can be presented as an acceptable offering to God, made whole and holy by God’s Holy Spirit.

OBSERVATION: While not pointing fingers at anyone, I always find it interesting to listen to a ‘Christian’ audience sharing their personal testimony. While reading this Scripture today, I was forced to reflect on how I might respond to the question of the assignment in life that God has given to me. What’s yours dear friend? Consider being asked to share your response to this question in a group of Christ-followers!

APPLICATION: Some churches take time to strategize the work that they feel God has given them to do. Sometimes this is good, because it helps church leaders to evaluate where they are currently at in achieving God’s plan for their community. At times it helps individual church leaders to analyze how effective they feel like they have been in achieving all that God has called them individually to do while leading His church forward, and while reaching into a lost community. Paul was convinced of the primary goal he felt God had called him to do, and in these verses today, he is reaching out for help from anyone who would dare step forward in faith, and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Paul knew the work was God-sized, and that it would take dependence on God to achieve the awesome task assigned to him. I wonder how much differently our individual ministry would look like, if we were to focus on our assignment, like Paul did. Might this mean that folk would regret seeking us out in a crowd, because they know that we would share with them only what we are focused on? Might this mean that our spare time would be spent on seeking God for our next action that we should take in order to achieve our goal? Might this mean that our teaching and our preaching would always be brighter, because our passion for the work assigned to us will be evident in the words that we speak? I have always heard that one could look at your checkbook and see where your heart is, based on where your income is spent. I wonder if it works the same way in being able to see your passion in the words that you speak and through your actions? What if your passion was strictly driven by the assignment God has given to you while here on earth? Don’t you see where we will have a reason for everything we do, and how determined we will be in seeking God’s help to achieve our utmost for His kingdom? Consider joining me in our quest to accomplish all that God could ask of us, and that our passion would drive us to always reach for pleasing our Master. God gave His very best for us, how much more could we possibly give in trying to honor Him through completing our assignment here on earth, to His heavenly standards?

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for giving to us, Thy great salvation so rich and free! Lord, I believe that You have placed us here on earth as Your servants, with assignments to stay focused on. Paul’s assignment was to love and preach to the Gentiles, who often felt left out and unloved. I believe that there are many just like that today in our world – they feel out of place and unloved, especially by the church. Deep inside I believe that each of us have a passion for that one thing that You have assigned for us to do. Please work on us Lord. Please redirect us to seek Your will and follow Your commands, as we seek to accomplish Your assignment. Based on our Word, I can only believe thatYou would have us to win the lost, and mature the saved, until the day You call us home to glory. Please fill us with wisdom and a newfound passion as we strive to accomplish the work You set out for us to do. AMEN!

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

Transformed Relationships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Eternal Destination Is Based on Your Choice Today

It is clear in our Scripture today that these verses can be easily given three subtitles: (1) Before, or Without Christ – Vs 20-21; (2) With Christ – Vs 22; and (3) The Difference – Vs 23. As we meditate, it will become very evident which area each of us fit into. As shown in section 3, the difference is very evident. But only while you are alive can you make the step from Step 1 to Step 2, with God’s help and direction. Since the present is the only gift given to you, I would suggest that you consider making that switch today, dear friends.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-03-30
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Romans 6:20-23
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 20 In the days when you lived as slaves to sin, you had no obligation to do the right thing. In that regard, you were free. 21 But what do you have to show from your former lives besides shame? The outcome of that life is death, guaranteed. 22 But now that you have been emancipated from the death grip of sin and are God’s slave, you have a different sort of life, a growing holiness. The outcome of that life is eternal life. 23 The payoff for a life of sin is death, but God is offering us a free gift—eternal life through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King.

OBSERVATION: It is clear in our Scripture today that these verses can be easily given three subtitles: (1) Before, or Without Christ – Vs 20-21; (2) With Christ – Vs 22; and (3) The Difference – Vs 23. As we meditate, it will become very evident which area each of us fit into. As shown in section 3, the difference is very evident. But only while you are alive can you make the step from Step 1 to Step 2, with God’s help and direction. Since the present is the only gift given to you, I would suggest that you consider making that switch today, dear friends.

APPLICATION: Please allow me to expand on the steps mentioned in my Observation. Many will try to defend themselves on this, because they feel like no one knows whether they have accepted Christ or not, and their argument would be undeniable. However, there are many who try to convince themselves that they have always been a good person, or they have always helped the poor, or they have always attended church, or perhaps helped a classroom teacher in Sunday School, or given generously to the church. Given these many good deeds, some might try to convince others that God will definitely accept them in His heavenly realm. The good news is that these folk have no reason to convince their pastor, their parents or their best friends, for there is only One who will decide whether they see Heaven and our wonderful Savior. The Almighty God, the One who made heaven and earth and each of us. He left us a ‘cheat-book’ – a Book with all the answers spelled out. So on the day we are called out of this world, God will simply refer to that Book (the Bible), and based exactly on what He told us in that Book, He will confirm what each of us already know, the exact category into which we fit, based on our decisions while here on earth. If you never acknowledged Jesus as Lord and invited Him as Master and Lord of your life, then the answer is clear. You are considered part of the first group – Before, or Without Christ. However dear friends, many of us have listened to the voice of God, and we have surrendered our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and we live in anticipation of the soon, and expected return of Jesus to take His bride home to heaven. We have obeyed the Word of God, we know what His response will be, and we can rejoice in worshiping our Savior in person on that glorious day! Through the writing of Paul, God tells us in verse 23 that each one will be given a verdict – eternal death (in Hell with Satan and his demons), or eternal life (in Heaven with the Father and the Son). Now that you could clearly determine where you will spend eternity, please don’t forget what I said above. It’s not too late to change from Step 1 to Step 2 right now, by inviting Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. If you are unsure, or uncomfortable in making this step alone, please call a local Bible teaching pastor, or contact me. We would be thrilled to pray with you and for you as we welcome you into the kingdom as part of the family of God.

PRAYER: I am always overjoyed to sing that chorus ‘I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God’, because I know that You have given us clear instructions on becoming a part of Your family, dear Lord. Thank You for making that provision very clear and I thank you for speaking intently to us and helping us to make the bold step from a life of sin, into Your wonderful arms of love, protection and provision. Please dear Lord, speak to those who will read this devotional who may not have accepted You as Lord. Please tender their hearts and open their eyes and ears to your call on their life. I would also ask that You do the same for my family and friends who have yet to accept You. There would be no greater joy for me than to know that none of the above will hear that fatal judgment of ‘eternal death’. Please remind them of the urgency of the hour – today is the day of decision. Thank You Jesus for providing a way for us to receive eternal life with You and the Father! AMEN!

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

A Warning From God

How seriously do we take warnings from almighty God? Do we feel like He knows what He’s talking about? Do we believe Him? Do we do anything about His warnings? The Israelites paid no attention to God and His warnings, and in verse 18 we are told that He removed them from His sight. Meditate with me on this Scripture today. This should make a difference in what we plan to do today, and throughout the year.

Monday, 2020-01-27

Bible Reference: 2 Kings 17:13
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 13 The Eternal One gave fair warning to Israel and Judah. He gave His warning through the mouths of prophets and seers throughout the land: “Abandon your wickedness, and obey My commands and laws which I gave to your ancestors through the mouths of My servants, the prophets.”

OBSERVATION: How seriously do we take warnings from almighty God? Do we feel like He knows what He’s talking about? Do we believe Him? Do we do anything about His warnings? The Israelites paid no attention to God and His warnings, and in verse 18 we are told that He removed them from His sight. Meditate with me on this Scripture today. This should make a difference in what we plan to do today, and throughout the year.

APPLICATION: On New Years Eve at the grand party, where Time Square was filled with over a million people, what if someone stood before that crowd, instead of the next planned entertainer, and announced that the city of New York would be totally destroyed by March 31st, do you suppose that some might leave the square right then and begin packing their belongings so they could move out of the state before the March 31st deadline? In the southern states of the US, a large percentage of individuals take seriously the warnings each year about approaching hurricanes, and they either move out temporarily, or they purchase protection and supplies to help them survive the approaching hurricanes. Of course some do nothing for they feel they are invincible and that nothing will destroy their ‘fort’ (their home). At least weekly, many pastors will stand in pulpits, or on street corners, and they will warn parishioners about the soon return of Jesus Christ to collect His church. Some will listen to what God is telling them through the awkwardness of preaching, while some will simply consider such warnings only apply to their wicked neighbor, or the person sitting next to them at church. Friends, it is clear to see from the Word of God, that Jesus was born miraculously for one intended purpose – to show the world (you and I) how much God loves us. For God loved us so much that He gave His only Son, so that any, and all, who believe on Him, will enjoy life eternally with Him in heaven one day (John 3:16). Now you will notice that there is a condition to spending eternity in Heaven with Jesus, just like there was a condition given to the Israelites. In other words, there is an action for you to take, just like there was a condition for our ancestors. But here’s the warning, dear ones: If we believe, then we will reap the reward promised to us by God. But what about those who reject the warnings from God? Unfortunately, there are two destinations: For those who believe on the name of Jesus – Heaven. For those who do not believe on the name of Jesus – Hell. We are smart people, and we know exactly what each destination brings to the table for us. Please let me encourage all who will read this devotional, that you listen to the warnings and accept Jesus as your Savior, for I have done this, and I’m looking forward to meeting my Savior in Heaven one day. My greatest desire is that all my family and friends will be by my side, at the feet of Jesus, on that day that He calls us away from this wicked world. If you have not already heeded to God’s warnings, please let me encourage you to speak with a Bible teaching pastor or read my Footnote to gain the help needed. This warning is way more important than any other warning from government leaders or other earthly sources. Do it today dear friend, please?

PRAYER: Lord, You’ve put the rules and requirements in place, then You’ve gone on to put warnings in place for us to follow those rules. Thank You Heavenly Father! Please prompt us now to surrender our lives totally over to You, heed to Your warnings, follow Your example, and encourage one another on towards good works while anticipating Your soon return. We really want to be with You dear Lord. Please help us to live like men and women who love and serve the Lord, waiting for our greatest reward! Be glorified in us today oh Lord! AMEN!

The Reason I Live

Thursday, 2020-01-23

Bible Reference: Philippians 1:20-24
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 20 For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that will cause me to be ashamed of myself but that I will always be ready to speak out boldly for Christ while I am going through all these trials here, just as I have in the past; and that I will always be an honor to Christ, whether I live or whether I must die. 21 For to me, living means opportunities for Christ, and dying—well, that’s better yet! 22 But if living will give me more opportunities to win people to Christ, then I really don’t know which is better, to live or die! 23 Sometimes I want to live, and at other times I don’t, for I long to go and be with Christ. How much happier for me than being here! 24 But the fact is that I can be of more help to you by staying!

OBSERVATION: We are often so sad over the death of a loved one, and rightfully so, for we worry about how we will survive everyday life without them. But in our Scripture today, Paul directs us to consider our value while alive and also after we move from this life to the next. Paul found it very challenging to determine if his life was more valuable here on earth, or with His heavenly Father. As we meditate, let’s not be concerned about what we could get out of either side of heaven, but rather, what we might give – for the sake of the Master.

APPLICATION: Of special note regarding this scripture: Paul is in prison at the time of this writing! So if Paul has the fortitude and determination to live so that He could do more of the Master’s work, even from within four prison walls, how much more those of us who are ‘free’ should be striving to do the Master’s work? Friends, we whine and we complain about so much, but do we should really have the heart of Jesus, or of Paul, in wanting to see as many won to the Lord as possible? In the above scripture, I bolded a few sentences that, I believe, is worthy of note:
* Living means opportunities for Christ – it is only while we have breath in our bodies that we can be witnesses for the Lord, or care about sinners. Let’s not wait any longer friends, we’re on the winning side and it is our privilege, our honor, and our responsibility to share the Good News of our Savior and Lord;
* Living will give more opportunities to win people to Christ – Often we will find that it’s the threat of impending death that gives us incentive to share the love of Christ that lives inside of us. Please allow me to awaken  you to the fact that we have no assurances about the next minute. The moment of opportunity is the present. Please share the love of Christ who lives inside of you with all that you care about and/or come into contact with today!
* I can be of more help to you by staying – Only Jesus Christ has power beyond the grave. He is allowing us to remain here on earth so that we can glorify Him and spread the Good News about the Savior who loved us enough to die for us. In a nutshell friend, this is our mission!
Friends, we remain on this earth to be shining examples of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It’s not about politics, gossip, sports, the lotto or any other purpose, so use every opportunity with everyone you know, that the reason you live is to represent Jesus, and try to evangelize the lost, before it is eternally too late.

PRAYER: The reason that I live is …….. Lord, as we complete that sentence today in humility and prayer before You, I ask that You will take those completed sentences and correct any misgivings about our mission, compared to the one You have assigned to us. I am pretty convinced that our mission is similar in nature to what Paul shared with the Philippians, because throughout Your Word we are told the importance of surrendering our lives to You, so that we, in turn, may be a blessing to others and convince them of their need for our Savior. Please work on us today and guide us to do Your perfect will, for this is my sincere and humble plea. It’s in Your beautiful and bountiful name that I ask all this, dear Jesus, AMEN!

Not To Judge, But To Rescue Us!

In spite of our avoidance of those that tend to judge us, God assures us in His Word that He didn’t come to judge us, but to rescue us from a life of sin. Let’s meditate on the matter of who God came to rescue, and from what He will rescue us.

Wednesday, 2019-10-02

Bible Reference: John 3:15-17
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 15 then all those who believe in Him will experience everlasting life. 16 For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life. 17 Here’s the point. God didn’t send His Son into the world to judge it; instead, He is here to rescue a world headed toward certain destruction.

OBSERVATION: In spite of our avoidance of those that tend to judge us, God assures us in His Word that He didn’t come to judge us, but to rescue us from a life of sin. Let’s meditate on the matter of who God came to rescue, and from what He will rescue us.

APPLICATION: In growing older, our daughter would always say to us ‘Now don’t judge me mom/dad’! This was not said in a disrespectful way but rather, asking us to see her as her own individual, with her own ideas and plans. Otherwise we tend to judge based on our ideals. So why is this different with God? Well, to start with, He knows our innermost thoughts and intentions, and because of this He knows why we do the things that we do, and what our intentions are when we make our decisions. So when we say that we didn’t have time to attend a church service, He knows that we truly had no intentions of doing that! When we say that we just can’t find a minute in our busy day to read God’s Word, He knows that we are truly saying that among our list of priorities for the day, reading God’s Word was not one of them. Others tend to judge us when we make these bad decisions and display a lack of priority in the things that we do. However, our Lord – the One who answered the call of His Father to surrender everything in sacrifice on the cross, said that He will not judge our reasons why we choose to do the things we do, or not do, but instead He will touch our hearts and call us unto Himself, or rescue us from our sin. On earth we tend to say that it takes a BIG person to do something wonderful and amazing like that. Can I suggest that for our Heavenly Father, who loves us unconditionally, and enough that He would bypass judging, and go straight to rescuing us, that we might shout about the great BIG God that we serve! Friends He loved us first, and He continues to love us in spite of our evil thoughts and ways. But let me draw to your attention the piece that I underlined in the above verses: ‘Whoever believes in Him’. That means that there is an action that you must be deliberate about. My whole objective in writing these devotionals, is to remind you of Jesus, and that His love is greater than anything we could ever experience here on earth. As we learned from today’s Scripture, God made His Son available for us – even while we were still sinners. He has prepared a place for us in Heaven, knowing that some will accept His rescue plan. The alternative to accepting God’s gift of His Son, is to drown in our sin. This results in eternal death in Hell with Satan. I pray that not one of you reading this devotional today will knowingly choose to reject the offer from God that I mentioned. I pray that the ‘unconditional love’ that I spoke of will receive a very positive and appreciative response from you dear one.

PRAYER: Thank You for loving every reader of this blog, and myself, with more love than we could ever imagine. My humble prayer is that each of us will accept that love and the precious gift given at Calvary. May we live like Jesus each and every day of our lives, in full expectation of joining you in glory someday. What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see, when I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace, what a day, glorious day that will be! In anticipation of that day, I long to see You loving Father! AMEN!

Who Am I Lord?

Are we not tempted to look into the heavens, and in wonderment and amazement at times, question God as to why would He choose to bless us so richly? For you, it might be: Why did He choose you to teach, or care for, or role model for all the kids that look up to you? There are a number of things you might stop and think to thank God for, but perhaps hearing Saul question Samuel in amazement for choosing him above all others, we should also be reminded that we are also a chosen generation, loved by the Almighty God of this universe! It don’t get any better than that!

Tuesday, 2019-10-01

Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 9:20-22
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 20 And don’t worry about those donkeys that were lost three days ago, for they have been found. And anyway, you own all the wealth of Israel now!”
21 “Pardon me, sir,” Saul replied. “I’m from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of the tribe! You must have the wrong man!”
22 Then Samuel took Saul and his servant into the great hall and placed them at the head of the table, honoring them above the thirty special guests. 

OBSERVATION: Are we not tempted to look into the heavens, and in wonderment and amazement at times, question God as to why would He choose to bless us so richly? For you, it might be: Why did He choose you to teach, or care for, or role model for all the kids that look up to you? There are a number of things you might stop and think to thank God for, but perhaps hearing Saul question Samuel in amazement for choosing him above all others, we should also be reminded that we are also a chosen generation, loved by the Almighty God of this universe! It don’t get any better than that!

APPLICATION: I often tell folk that I’m from a small town on a small island in a small country. And my family are all humble, simple workers of the land – hardworking, and seeking to serve the Lord in any way possible. So coming from that background, and then migrating to the US over 30 years ago, how do you suppose I might react if the President of the United States called to arrange a meeting with me, then followed up with asking me to serve on a special council that would report directly to him? After picking myself up off the floor, can’t you imagine that I would definitely question if the president got the right man when he called? Friends, that example was imaginary, or as Jesus did in the Bible, that may just be a parable, but I have a real story to tell you! In life, we have those who may never have gone to college, can’t hold a solid job, and are looked down on by society, because they can’t earn enough money honestly to pay for everything they need to survive. At the other end of the spectrum, we have folk who have done very well in life, financially, and they sit down each day wondering how they will invest that money so they could make even more. In our Bibles, we read where Jesus concluded that each of these are children lost and headed for the awful reign of Satan in the pit of Hell, for they are unprotected by the grace of God. These are examples of you and I my friend. However, our loving God looked down in love, knowing that we could never make it into His righteous and holy heaven in our sinful state. So He made provisions for His Son to be born, through miraculous means. Then after years of showing His power, grace and love to everyone that He came into contact with, God declared that He should die the death of ordinary criminals, as a means of saying to the whole world, that His love for us is invaluable, so He permitted Him to die in our place, as a concession for our sin, so that we might be one with the Father. God had just one condition dear ones. As with any gift given to us, we must simply accept that gift. Meaning that we would simply surrender our old sinful life for a new life in Him. Now here’s the kicker, and here’s how this relates to the story of Saul. When Jesus made this provision, it was not just for the rich. It was not just for the poor. But in John 3:16 we are assured that, the provision made on the cross, is for everyone who accepts that gift of eternal life! There may be separation by ‘class’ here on earth in man’s eyes, but we at the cross of Jesus, there is just one class – sinners. In accepting Jesus as our Savior and Lord, there will only be one class in Heaven – holy, redeemed, white-washed, children of the most High God, gathered around the throne of our Father worshiping Him for all eternity! Friends, I am assured that I will be in that number! Are you? For those with questions, please read my Footnote and the information provided in the links. I believe that your yes will be opened to the Truth, and you will be faced with a very important decision to make. I pray that today will be a day that you realize how very special you are to our wonderful Savior – regardless of your standing here on earth!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, my Lord, how awesome You are! Thank You for Your love, and for Your provision of grace. Thank You for speaking to my heart and soul many years ago. Please allow me to once again ask that You touch the lives of those that will read this devotional today, especially those that have not decided to surrender lordship of their life over to You. Please soften their hearts so that they might understand Your love and forgiveness, resulting in a decision of eternal consequence. I look forward to the day I will look full into your wonderful face and hear your ‘welcome home’ greeting! Thank You Father! Thank You Lord Jesus! AMEN!

How Christians Avoid Heartaches

What occupies your time? What do you tend to become worried about? Do you feel like your mind, and your life is properly aligned with the Creator of heaven and earth? Jesus displayed an incredible love for you, and He wants His very best for your life, but He needs your undivided attention. So STOP and meditate with me for just a short while today! It may be the most meaningful out of anything else you do today!

Monday, 2019-08-05

Bible Reference: Colossians 3:1-3
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:  Since you became alive again, so to speak, when Christ arose from the dead, now set your sights on the rich treasures and joys of heaven where he sits beside God in the place of honor and power. 2 Let heaven fill your thoughts; don’t spend your time worrying about things down here. 3 You should have as little desire for this world as a dead person does. Your real life is in heaven with Christ and God.

OBSERVATION: What occupies your time? What do you tend to become worried about? Do you feel like your mind, and your life is properly aligned with the Creator of heaven and earth? Jesus displayed an incredible love for you, and He wants His very best for your life, but He needs your undivided attention. So STOP and meditate with me for just a short while today! It may be the most meaningful out of anything else you do today!

APPLICATION:  When Christians worry, do you suppose it’s because we are worried that God will not do what He promised? When we doubt and stress out to the limit, do you suppose that we are concerned that God is unfaithful? When we feel unloved and like no one cares, do you suppose that we allow ourselves to ponder why God must have left us alone and no longer care about us? Friends, I believe that when we allow these types of feelings and/or thoughts to enter our minds, it’s because we have taken our eyes off Jesus and becoming overwhelmed by the the things of this world, and perhaps looking for the attention of earthly friends or loved ones. I believe it is times like these that Satan moves in for the attack, for he sees that we have taken our eyes off Jesus and allowing the distractions of this world to take hold in our lives. I would highly recommend these verses to all Christians today, for if we follow the advice in verse 2 and fill our thoughts with heaven – our future home, then we will be reminded that it is a place prepared just for us. A place where we will unite with Jesus at the foot of His throne and worship Him with unending praises. A place where we will hear the voice of the Father who will encourage us with words such as “well done good and faithful servant”! A place where the creator of love, the One who loved us enough to die on a cross so that we might have everlasting hope and assurance of heaven. A place where there will be no distractions, but instead where our full undivided attention is attracted towards the Savior of the world! Try getting away where you are totally disconnected from cell phones and devices for a week. Wow, what a release! Oh how our attention is quickly drawn to the things and people who are truly important to us! Friends, I must remind you that we have allowed so much interference in our day that we not only lose sight of our one-on-one time with the Lord, but we also have lost sight of one-on-one time with our spouses, our children, our friends, our coworkers and all others. Is it any wonder that we have trouble evangelizing to them? If we can all agree that verse 3 is totally spot on and accurate, then we will agree that our real life is in heaven! I would dare say that our minds, our attention, our aim and our devotion should be there today and everyday also. Do these thoughts apply to you, friend? If not, why not? Is this something you need to take time to talk with God about?

PRAYER: Lord God, we are such worry warts, but it’s always over things that really don’t matter – things of this world. Being reminded in this scripture that our minds are to be set on our heavenly home, and our time with You, we humbly come before You today asking for forgiveness for our misguided thoughts and worries. We realize that all these things do is to distract us in our walk with You and our witness of You. For when we become solid in our faith and demonstrate it in our walk with You, we will influence those who follow in our steps. Lord I pray that You will do an awesome work in my life and in the lives of my readers, so that we might become healthy Christians focused on the ‘main thing’ – our heavenly home. I further pray that this new focus will have such an impact on others that Your name might be lifted high as Your children become better aligned with Your perfect will for us. I ask these things in the strong, mighty and holy name of Jesus – your Son, and my Redeemer, AMEN!