How To Recognize A Christian

In spite of carrying the title of Governor of his state, if you were to meet a man for the first time, and he was on his farm tilling the ground and spreading cow manure (fertilizer), I believe that you would be convinced that he was a farmer, and never imagine him to be a state governor. Likewise, if you saw a man coming from a nightclub and he could barely walk without help, plus he had a strange lady all over him, you would probably never guess that he was a Christian. Why not? Let’s study the Word of God together to see what God shared through Peter about how we should live.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-10-29
WRITTEN AT: Vicksburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Peter 1:14-16
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 14 As God’s obedient children, never again shape your lives by the desires that you followed when you didn’t know better. 15 Instead, shape your lives to become like the Holy One who called you. 16 For Scripture says: “You are to be holy, because I am holy.”[aa]

OBSERVATION: In spite of carrying the title of Governor of his state, if you were to meet a man for the first time, and he was on his farm tilling the ground and spreading cow manure (fertilizer), I believe that you would be convinced that he was a farmer, and never imagine him to be a state governor. Likewise, if you saw a man coming from a nightclub and he could barely walk without help, plus he had a strange lady all over him, you would probably never guess that he was a Christian. Why not? Let’s study the Word of God together to see what God shared through Peter about how we should live.

APPLICATION: The Word of God is powerful – useful for correction, direction and guidance in everyday life. However, It is obviously black and white, in that It contains what God directed through His chosen authors. At times we will raise our hands in thanksgiving for the joy that it brings to those who are blessed by the God of this universe, but then there are times that we are hit between the eyes with essential truths of what God intended for us to hear. This Scripture today is probably one of the latter, because although we often rejoice in the freedom afforded to us by our loving Lord, this Scripture reminds us that there we are not to be double minded, fork-tongued, or hypocritical, because we serve a God who didn’t just punch our ticket for heaven, but He gave us a Book of Instructions that not only assures us of God’s love for us, but it is our guidebook to life. It is filled with the commands of God; examples of Jesus while here on earth; a large number of promises; an account of miracle after miracle performed, and that teaches us a lesson, along with God’s miraculous touch. Many have surrendered their lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ because of a call on their life by the Holy Spirit. Although misguided by man’s talk and/or expectations, some have supposedly surrendered themselves to Jesus also. So although it is easy to tell from the way of life shown by the non-Christian, it is often challenging to tell in the lives of those who claim Christianity. Jesus taught us in this Scripture today that it could be easy for us to discern who is holy, and who is not. Are they living a life of holiness. To be holy, is to live a life set apart from the world, and imitating the life of Jesus as foretold in the Bible. Set apart, or holy, means that you have separated yourself from your old ways – the ways of the world, and with God’s help, you have set out for a new path – a holy path, or the ways demonstrated by your new-found Savior and Lord. When you find yourself continually going back, then perhaps you should revisit the moment of your conversion and discern if you truly did business with God that day, or whether you simply pleased someone who pressured you into a decision. Friends, Jesus was so serious about saving us that He hung on a cross with full access to all the power necessary to win the battle over evil, yet He chose to complete the Father’s will for the remission of sin. Please consider how serious you are about living a holy life like that of your Savior. Others who need a Savior are watching you to see if He made a difference in your life. Will they find sufficient evidence in you, to help them make this important decision? Be ye holy, even as I am holy. (Vs 16).

PRAYER: Lord, may others see enough difference in my character and my life that might convince them of my Savior. As others read this devotional today, I pray that You will also give them the same challenge that I faced as I read this Scripture today. People we know, need the Lord. Oh that they will see You in every aspect of our life today, so that they, in turn, may seek Your face and invite You into their heart. May we act like children of the King, and not like we used to live. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

This Life of Contradictions

I was happy to be reminded of the struggle that Paul faced, because it is very prevalent in my life. And because I’m pretty sure that you have not attained perfection yet either, I believe that it is probably the same in your life. We struggle daily with having the good intentions of doing what pleases God, yet plagued with the temptations, ill feelings and conniving of this wicked world in which we live. In fact, way too often we tend to walking right out of our prayer closets and immediately follow the trend of what the world is doing around us.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-04-01
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 7:21-25
Translation: The Message (Message)

Bible Text: 21    …The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. 24          I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
25          The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

OBSERVATION: I was happy to be reminded of the struggle that Paul faced, because it is very prevalent in my life. And because I’m pretty sure that you have not attained perfection yet either, I believe that it is probably the same in your life. We struggle daily with having the good intentions of doing what pleases God, yet plagued with the temptations, ill feelings and conniving of this wicked world in which we live. In fact, way too often we tend to walking right out of our prayer closets and immediately follow the trend of what the world is doing around us.

APPLICATION: Like Paul, we especially look back at our day and sometimes say that we are ‘at the end of our rope’ with mere efforts and ‘want-to’s’ and we wonder if there is anything that could be done. I absolutely love verse 25 where Paul reminds us that the answer to this dilemma is Jesus Christ. For He died for us even while we were yet sinners and still persecuting Him. We find it extremely frustrating when we have committed to obedience to God’s Word, when we have every intention to follow the ways of God, yet we are so easily swayed to follow the ways of our old lifestyle, the joys of our friends and neighbors, and to be popular in their eyes. However in our Scripture today we are given the formula, or the solution, or the answer to our lives of contradictions. Like an alcoholic seeking to overcome that dreaded disease, we must first acknowledge that we have a problem. Our education is of no help to us, nor is our strength from personal workouts. In fact, we can’t seem to personally overcome this type of life. However, the Word of God reminds us that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. So do we dare look into God’s face and say that the sin within us is greater? If we do say that, we are actually saying that he that is in the world is greater than He that is in me, and that’s an incorrect statement. Friends, let’s be careful to give God full freedom in our lives so that He could be our God. Satan is very conniving and can easily take advantage of our personal weaknesses, but he has no power over our God! Amen? Today let us put Satan in his place – behind God. Let’s give God thanks for being our deliverer from the evil of this world; let’s praise Him for send His Son Jesus to provide the means of us getting to Heaven and enjoying life everlasting in Him. He cares for us, dear child of God and He wants to see us succeed in our commitment to Him. If you truly want to succeed in your commitment to God, ask for His help and His strength, and through His power, be willing to give it all that your have. For I truly believe that greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I need You today. I battle the same challenges that Paul battled, and I need the same help that he did. You have shown me in Your Word how to live. You have set the example for me through the life and character of Your precious Son. Please work steadfastly in my life so that I may overcome the negative pull of the evil one, the sinful nature of this world and the ungodly attitudes of many that I come into contact with. Please touch the hearts of Your people today, so that we may have power to overcome evil, and that we may live according to Your perfect will and design. You are holy, oh God, and if we are to be followers of Your precious Son, then we too must strive for holiness. Thank You for being the source of that power that we need to live like this! For I ask all this in Your most holy name, Jesus my 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Lord You Are …..

Wednesday, 2019-11-27

Bible Reference: Psalm 18:25-30
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text:  25 Lord, it is clear to me now that how we live will dictate how you deal with us.[j]
Good people will taste your goodness, Lord. And to those who are loyal to you, you love to prove that you are loyal and true.
26 And for those who are purified, they find you always pure. But you’ll outwit the crooked and cunning with your craftiness.
27 To the humble you bring heaven’s deliverance. But the proud and haughty you disregard.

OBSERVATION: In this translation, the writer has taken the liberty of summarizing what David felt about God’s response to our actions, as detailed in the verses that follow. As we meditate on the Word today, I thought it might be sobering for us to ponder, like David, what God must truly feel when we act in various ways in response to life’s circumstances. I’m afraid that we never give this a second thought because we may feel like God ignores our failures and our stupid actions at times. Please consider reading the whole chapter to fully understand where David was coming from with his thoughts in these verses.

APPLICATION: David had just gone through many verses praising God for His goodness and His care and protection. Based on his first-hand experience, David is now trying to help those of us who are struggling to comprehend exactly what we can expect from God, and why our experiences may differ, based on our relationship with God. In fact, let me challenge us with a sobering thought – based on our current relationship with God at the very moment you read these words, what aspect(s) of your life do you suppose God would challenge you on, if you were standing before Him? Note that this will apply to everyone – the Christian and the unbeliever. I believe that Christians may often get the false impression that their ticket to heaven is bought the day they say ‘Yes’ to Jesus, and they are just waiting on the flight. May I suggest to you, Christian Brother/Sister, that you never went to the altar to purchase a ticket, you went to ask Jesus to forgive you of your sin and accept you into His family. You promised Him to leave the ugliness (sin) of this world behind and show love towards Him in every way possible, especially towards one another. Think about this, some may have stubbed a toe at one time or another. Thankfully it was not necessary for you to go to the hospital, so you returned to the acts that gave you the stubbed toe. This analogy shows how we treat sin, and wind up damaging our relationship with Jesus. Friends, can you possibly expect to receive anything from Jesus when you turn your back on Him? He has given us the freedom of choice, but read this chapter to be reminded of your consequences when you disobey. You don’t like it when your earthly child disobeys you, why do you suppose that it will be any different for the Savior who gave His life for your forgiveness of sin, when He sees you disobeying His commands? To the unbeliever: I am convinced that you are well aware of the Jesus to whom I have devoted this entire blog, because many of you will quickly look for Him, or someone who knows Him personally, and is willing to intercede for you, when something goes wrong in your life, or when things may not be going right for you. With all the love I can muster up today, I must tell you that our God is not a God of convenience, He is looking for a relationship with you. Just as you can’t purchase home insurance if a hurricane is already in route, God is looking for a relationship with you before you approach Him with your grocery list of needs. My Father takes care of His children, even if our earthly fathers may fail in this. Will He recognize you as His child when you call upon Him? I used today’s blog title based on a prayer conference I attended, where we were encouraged to use scripture in our prayer life. May I encourage you to complete the following sentence based on today’s scripture? “Lord, You are my __________ because _________, praise be to God”!

PRAYER: Lord you are loving because You saw my need for a Savior and sent angels to convict me of my sin and lead me to a wonderful, life-long relationship with You, praise be to God! Thank You Jesus for loving even me! Thank You dear Jesus for loving each one who reads this devotional today. I am convinced that You are standing with opened arms right now waiting to respond to our prayer, especially those praying for salvation. Lord You are worthy and we are so needy. We need You every minute of every day, and we long to draw closer to You each and every day. Please patiently lead us towards a more intimate and sincere relationship with You, so that we may have a godly impact on all that we come into contact with. I ask these things in the wonderful name of Jesus, 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 highly recommend to you 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!

Work At It Follower of Christ

For someone that seems very comfortable, patient and just a natural when doing certain things, we may say that they are a perfect fit. However, God acknowledged in our Scripture verse today that we need to work at living in peace with those around us, and in living a holy life. Lots to meditate on in this very short verse today, so ask God to open your mind and melt your heart to the truth of His Word.

Saturday, 2019-10-05

Bible Reference: Hebrews 12:14
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.

OBSERVATION: For someone that seems very comfortable, patient and just a natural when doing certain things, we may say that they are a perfect fit. However, God acknowledged in our Scripture verse today that we need to work at living in peace with those around us, and in living a holy life. Lots to meditate on in this very short verse today, so ask God to open your mind and melt your heart to the truth of His Word.

APPLICATION: I saw a greeting card yesterday that read “Short on words, but loooong on best wishes!” I found this verse to be short on words, but packed with a powerful message for us today. God’s inspired Word is warning us that living at peace with everyone and living a holy life before our Lord, does not come easy or perhaps natural to us, but are two things necessary for the follower of Christ. Our natural tendency is to sin, therefore it is challenging for anyone to get along with us, or for us to accept everyone the way they are, to love them and live at peace with them. However in this chapter of Hebrews we are being taught to listen to God. We have been shown in this New Testament book that our ancestors accomplished a lot in faith, believing in, and depending on, the power of God. We are therefore challenged to call on, listen to, and depend on God to help us accomplish everything that He has commanded of us. In this particular command, I would dare say that God has proven Himself powerful, and able, over and over. He proved His love for us in ways that we would never have to, for He sacrificed His life for us, while the world hated Him, mocked Him, spat on Him and crucified Him. So I believe you will agree that He definitely knows all about how challenging it will be for us to ‘love’ someone who despises us, or may even hate us. So friends, when we are commanded to ‘Work at It’, be comforted in knowing that we don’t have to do this alone. For Jesus promised us that He would never leave us or forsake us – that means that He is always there for us. Therefore part of our working on these commands, must include humbling ourselves before the Master and seeking His help. Furthermore, I am convinced that my loving Jesus would never command something of us that would be impossible for He and us to achieve. We gladly work at being our best in our jobs, in our families, in our marriages and in our relationships. As an obedient servant, we must also ‘Work at’ being holy in our lifestyle so that the world will know to whom we belong. Also, we must determine in our own hearts to live at peace with each other as children of the ‘Prince of Peace’. We must ‘Work at It’ with all of our being and with the help of the King, Jesus our Lord.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, our time here on earth is short, and we can therefore not afford to procrastinate on ‘Working At’ being all that You demand of us in Your Word. Holiness begets holiness, so if we are truly a son of the Holy God, then we are to represent that holiness in our everyday life. For one to meet a son, there should be good enough representation that they would tell the world that they have truly know the Father. Lord, may it be so in my life today, and may You fill the hearts and lives of all my readers that are willing to live obedient lives in conformity with Your will. Shine through us today Lord Jesus, so that our friends might see Jesus. For I ask these things in and through the precious name of Jesus, 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 highly recommend to you 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!

Your Body – Resident to The Holy Spirit

Paul dealt with similar issues that our pastors deal with today in exposing sin, with hopes that parishioners might come to their senses and try to stay in tune with the Son of God, who gave up everything so that we might have eternal life. It appears like the sermon here is that if Jesus gave up so much for us, shouldn’t we consider giving up worldly pleasures in order to give Him priority in our lives? 

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (TPT)

TEXT:  19 Have you forgotten that your body is now the sacred temple of the Spirit of Holiness, who lives in you? You don’t belong to yourself any longer, for the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, lives inside your sanctuary. 20 You were God’s expensive purchase, paid for with tears of blood, so by all means, then, use your body to bring glory to God!

OBSERVATION:   Paul dealt with similar issues that our pastors deal with today in exposing sin, with hopes that parishioners might come to their senses and try to stay in tune with the Son of God, who gave up everything so that we might have eternal life. It appears like the sermon here is that if Jesus gave up so much for us, shouldn’t we consider giving up worldly pleasures in order to give Him priority in our lives? 

APPLICATION:   Most couples dating, or recently married, will often run into times of jealousy towards each other as they build trust in their marriage partner. When we love one another, we tend to become very possessive and defensive, in order to protect the oneness that you feel one towards the other. But what if we were able to go as far as placing a part of ourselves inside our spouse, so that we would be available every moment of every day to help give them guidance while they drive, or as they make decisions in the store, or to prompt them along when they struggle in understanding God’s Word, etc. Wouldn’t that be neat? But how would it impact us when we are tempted to look at, or flirt with others of the opposite sex? Guys, do you think that you would still run off with the guys to secretly visit the girl’s club? Girls, do you think that you would still have your night out with the girls to visit the strip club? Friends, when we take the Holy Spirit, who lives inside of Christians, into places that we tend to question ourselves about, can you even imagine how He must feel and what His conversations must be like with God the Father, and Jesus the Son? I could only imagine that they must feel like their work and sacrifice must have been in vain. I could only imagine how they must shake their heads in disappointment at the thought that we are so unappreciative of what they did for us? But I don’t want today’s blog to be totally negative, for I know that the Holy Spirit will use the challenges already presented to prompt your heart into action, if it applies to you. But I also want to remind those of us that strive hard to live for Jesus each and every day, because we are His born-again child, and we must have confidence in following the will of the Master through what we have learned from His Word, and from what the Holy Spirit prompts us to do or say throughout our day. Let’s not only protect ourselves from the sin of this world, but let’s really be protective of the sweet Holy Spirit that has taken up residence inside of believers in Jesus Christ.

PRAYER:   Lord I thank You for accepting me as Your very own son. I thank You for all those who will read this devotional today. As Your Word has sobered my thoughts and drawn my attention to the ever present Holy Spirit that You have entrusted to me. I pray, asking that You will cause me to remember the accountability of Your presence within me at all times. I also ask this of my readers Lord, for in this evil and wicked world we need more and more believers who take their relationship with You seriously and who respects the Holy Spirit inside of them to guide, direct and empower them to share Your love and ministry with all those who still doubt Your existence or everlasting power. You are an awesome God, and we love, respect and need You every moment of every day dear Lord. AMEN!

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

Our Scripture today confirms the love of God for His children, and confirms that it’s because of that deep love for us that God disciplines us. However, when we understand the purpose for that discipline then we appreciate the discipline.

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-03-08
SCRIPTURE

From:

Hebrews 12:8-11 (CEV)

Text:

God corrects all of his children, and if he doesn’t correct you, then you don’t really belong to him. Our earthly fathers correct us, and we still respect them. Isn’t it even better to be given true life by letting our spiritual Father correct us?

10 Our human fathers correct us for a short time, and they do it as they think best. But God corrects us for our own good, because he wants us to be holy, as he is. 11 It is never fun to be corrected. In fact, at the time it is always painful. But if we learn to obey by being corrected, we will do right and live at peace.

OBSERVATION:
Our Scripture today confirms the love of God for His children, and confirms that it’s because of that deep love for us that God disciplines us. However, when we understand the purpose for that discipline then we appreciate the discipline.
APPLICATION:
Some may struggle with the idea of God disciplining His children because we have always been taught that He loves us enough to die for us. In parenting, or adult life overall, I believe we all can agree that where there is no discipline, there is good indication of a disconnect between the adult and the child. Either the child doesn’t belong to the adult on the scene and therefore a lack of duty, or love, or responsibility to correct the child, or a lack of love and concern for the upbringing of that child. I want you to stop and think about yourself as a parent, or if you’re not a parent then think about your parents, and consider all the reasons why a child is probably loved by their earthly parents. Next, I want you to think of the God who created us, then recognized that we are selfish and would never follow rules, commands and rituals in order to right ourselves with Him because of our sins. So in order to help us out, God sent His one and only Son to die a cruel death through crucifixion to prove His love for us. Now, for a God like that, don’t you know that He would very much desire that we be steered into oneness with Himself? Steering us is the same as disciplining us. When we are reminded of wrong things through reading God’s Word, or hearing a message from God via our pastor or Godly teacher, we are being steered away from that wrong. Likewise when we can honestly say ‘amen’ to a sermon or Bible reading, it probably means that we agree, and that we are honestly following that command of God. Now here are the words that I really loved from our Scripture today, because God said that the reason He steers us, or disciplines us, is not just because He loves us, but because “He wants us to be holy, as He is”! I don’t know about you friend, but that sends chills up and down my spine, to think that the God of this universe loves me enough that He will do whatever it takes to get us in line with His commands so that we may be holy, just as He is! Wow!
PRAYER:
It is so hard for us to believe that we could ever be considered ‘Holy’, much less to be consider ‘holy’ as God Himself. Yet God said it, so I believe it. Thank You for never giving up on us Jesus! Thank You for loving us so much – more than we could ever comprehend. Please forgive us for being so stubborn, disobedient, and straying so often from the path You have set for us. Lord I can only imagine that this is a daily chore for You to deal with, so I beg You to touch Your children once again today. We want to be like You, and we want to be ‘holy’ in Your eyes. Please steer us aright again today as we face the trials and temptations of this day. Thank You heavenly Father for loving us so deeply and unconditionally! 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!

God’s Holy Reputation

Friday, 2016-08-05

Scripture

Bible Reference: Ezekiel 39:25–28

Bible Text: 25 “So now, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: …..; I will have mercy on all Israel, for I jealously guard my holy reputation! 26 They will accept responsibility for their past shame and unfaithfulness after they come home to live in peace in their own land, with no one to bother them. 27 When I bring them home from the lands of their enemies, I will display my holiness among them for all the nations to see. 28 Then my people will know that I am the LORD their God….

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I believe that often, because of certain acts, or certain actions that lead to a church leader, or member, getting arrested, we might hear about how that person brought shame on the church, or on their family. This frequently happens in workplaces also, when evidence points to the fact that an employee stole from the company, or leaked critical information outside of the company. In fact, this often has such a devastating impact on the company, that it may even damage their  reputation in the eyes of their customers, or their vendors, or government licensing agencies. However, seldom do we hear that such an incident may have damaged God’s reputation. Friends, I want you to think for a moment about the attributes of God. We think of Him being loving; good; kind; caring; unselfish; sacrificial; protective; etc, but also, all of these things to every race and nationality, and to every God-honoring religious affiliation. When we (Christians) go about our day seeking to imitate these characteristics of God, we honor Him and support His reputation. However, how often do we stop and consider the opposite when we fail to live up to God’s standards? Ever stop to think that your damaging words not only hurt a Brother, but because your actions were not pleasing to God, or representative of what His character stands for, you may have damaged His reputation with the folk who witnessed, or were hurt by your actions?  In verse 25 today, God basically said that He had to step in to save His reputation. Friends, when we knowingly, or unknowingly, do things that tear down God’s reputation, we are tearing down the chances of God getting through to those folk that walk away because of our actions. I believe that we should be holy, just as Christ is holy. When we aim towards holiness, and the overall likeness of Jesus, then God will be able to show His holiness through us to all nations, as indicated in verse 27. We have a reputation to maintain friends, a holy reputation. Are you there yet? You certainly can be, with God’s help!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, we want to be just like You. I could go on with the excuses of why we are not succeeding at this, but I truly believe that until You become our primary focus in every aspect of our life, then we will act like those who are receiving too much of our attention. In this world we are bombarded by the attitudes and actions of folk that do not know You, and therefore led by the very likes of Satan himself. Please put us on guard today Lord Jesus. Protect us from the evil one, and give us wisdom, protection and guidance to live in the very likeness of our Lord and Savior, so that others may see, hear, believe and accept the One we call Master, Friend, and Savior of this world, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Be Holy – Just Like God

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: 1 Peter 1:14–16
Today’s Bible Text: So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: From the time we are born, we start our training in obedience, or in modeling after our parents. As we grow older we realize that there are certain qualities that we really appreciate in other successful role models, so we start paying attention to those additional character qualities also. Sooner or later we start learning about the qualities of Jesus Christ, and hopefully at some stage of our lives we fell in love with Jesus, because of all that we learnt that He had done for us, and submitted our lives to His control and His will for us. It is at this stage that Peter is telling us that if we have surrendered our lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ, then we must live like His obedient children. In other words, this was not just a decision that we made for the sake of mom who had pressured us most of our lives to become a Christian, and it’s not about the one who may have walked the isle of your church in response to something that the pastor said that made you feel guilty. Peter is referring to a firm commitment you made that linked you with Jesus Christ, just like a woman is linked to a man in marriage. Just as in marriage we are reminded that the “two shall become one”, so it is in your relationship with God, through His Son Jesus. Friends, you want to become one with Jesus, and through obedience to His Word, allow Jesus to become one with you. When this happens, you become one – inseparable. You start acting like Jesus because you have filled your life with so much of Him (His teachings and understanding His character and qualities) that you could easily be recognized as a child of God. We become holy, just as He is holy. Are you there yet in your relationship with God? If not, may I encourage you to revisit the cross and make that relationship with Jesus a very personal and committed one. This is way too important to leave any doubt in your mind. For a true test, see if others are recognizing you as a ‘Jesus kid’. For if you are endeavoring to be holy as God is holy, others will see a pleasant change in all that you are.

Prayer: Lord You are holy, and we thank You for standing tall among all the rest in holiness and righteousness. I am humbled that You expect the same thing of us, for You have made it clear in Your Word that You want us to be holy, just as You are. I believe that this is a unique identifier, especially in a world that is so lost and headed in the wrong direction. There just is no time for double talk. If we claim to be Your child, then we must exemplify Your qualities. Please touch Your children in a very powerful way today so that we all may reassess our commitment to You. May our actions speak much louder than any words we could possibly say. May others clearly see Jesus in us through our words and our actions, as we strive to live in total obedience to You and Your Word. I ask these things in deepest humility and faith, through the strong name of the Holy One, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

2016

Holiness – Work At It

THE HOLY BIBLE (The New Living Translation – Hebrews 12:14): 14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.

THOUGHTS: I saw a greeting card yesterday that read “Short on words, but loooong on best wishes!” I found this verse to be short on words, but packed with a powerful message for us today. God’s inspired Word is warning us that living at peace with everyone and a holy life before our Lord, does not come easy or perhaps natural to us, but are two things necessary for the follower of Christ. Our natural tendency is to sin, therefore it is challenging for anyone to get along with us, or for us to accept everyone the way they are, to love them and live at peace with them. However in this chapter of Hebrews we are being taught to listen to God. We have been shown in this New Testament book that our ancestors accomplished a lot in faith, believing in, and depending on, the power of God. We are therefore challenged to call on, listen to, and depend on God to help us accomplish everything that He has commanded of us. In this particular command, I would dare say that God has proven Himself powerful, and able, over and over. He proved His love for us in ways that we would never have to, for He sacrificed His life for us, while the world hated Him, mocked Him, spat on Him and crucified Him. So I believe you will agree that He definitely knows all about how challenging it will be for us to ‘love’ someone who despises us, or may even hate us. So friends, when we are commanded to ‘Work at It’, be comforted in knowing that we don’t have to do this alone. For Jesus promised us that He would never leave us or forsake us – that means that He is always there for us. Therefore part of our working on these commands, must include humbling ourselves before the Master and seeking His help. Furthermore, I am convinced that my loving Jesus would never command something of us that would be impossible for He and us to achieve. We gladly work at being our best in our jobs, in our families, in our marriages and in our relationships. As an obedient servant, we must also ‘Work at’ being holy in our lifestyle so that the world will know to whom we belong. Also, we must determine in our own hearts to live at peace with each other as children of the ‘Prince of Peace’. We must ‘Work at It’ with all of our being and with the help of the King, Jesus our Lord.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, our time here on earth is short, and we can therefore not afford to procrastinate on ‘Working At’ being all that You demand of us in Your Word. Holiness begets holiness, so if we are truly a son of the Holy God, then we are to represent that holiness in our everyday life. For one to meet a son, there should be good enough representation that they would tell the world that they have met the Father. Lord, may it be so in my life today, and may You fill the hearts and lives of all my readers that are willing to live obedient lives in conformity with Your will. Shine through us today Lord Jesus, so that our friends might see Jesus. For I ask these things in and through the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Chosen To Live Holy Lives

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – 1 Peter 1:13-16): 13 Be alert and think straight. Put all your hope in how kind God will be to you when Jesus Christ appears. 14 Behave like obedient children. Don’t let your lives be controlled by your desires, as they used to be. 15 Always live as God’s holy people should, because God is the one who chose you, and he is holy. 16 That’s why the Scriptures say, “I am the holy God, and you must be holy too.”
THOUGHTS: One of the major differences between the way that parents think of their children today and how God thinks of His children, is that most worldly parents want to see their children excel and do way better than they did in life. We are often ashamed of some of the things that we did in our lifetime, so we try to impress upon our kids the importance of doing so much better than we ever found possible. God’s Word shows us how different God is in His expectations of us, for He was, and is, the only truly holy One that ever lived, and because He loves us so much, He wants us to be just like Him, especially in holiness. I find it beyond comprehension that God would look down over billions of people on this earth, and yet choose me. Friends, if you have ever surrendered your life to Jesus and accepted Him as Lord and Savior, then you have accepted the call of the One who also chose you. Think about that friend. In spite of our obstinate, disagreeable, sinful acts and thoughts and our unworthiness, yet God chose us! Wow! So if the holy God chose us, would it not make sense that He chose us to conform us to His likeness, His holiness, His attitude towards life and each other? Friends, if we act unholy and unrighteous and sinful in every way – characteristics totally opposite to our Father, should we not reassess our relationship to our Father? Did we truly answer the call of God on our life? Often we just need a wake-up call such as this scripture, or a sermon orchestrated by God, or something similar to draw our attention to our weakened spirit. God said that He is holy, and we must be holy also. So what needs to change in your life to enable you to stand before our all-knowing God and proclaim “Yes Lord, I feel like I am holy, much like I know of Your perfect and holy life”. This takes a lot of personal assessment, and constant realigning of our attitudes and actions, that seem so easily distracted by Satan and his cohorts. We live in a world that does not conform to the ways of God, but just as God has set us aside as His chosen vessel, we too can make deliberate choices to refrain from sinful acts and instead live like God has ordained – holy and righteous. It’s a choice, but can only be attained with the help of our Lord and Savior.

PRAYER: Father I thank You for Your Word, and its content, because It is orchestrated and inspired by You, therefore it allows You to speak directly to the hardened hearts of Your children. Thank You for choosing me to be Your precious chosen one! I believe that some will read this devotional today that may be a Brother or Sister in the faith, because they have also felt the touch of Your hand on their life, and accepted You as their Savior. We are daily challenged to stay strong in the faith Lord, but I believe that in choosing us, You have set us apart from this world and is available to us daily to help us deal with the Evil One. I also feel like You are still dealing with folk even today, for I have family and friends who have yet to accept Your call on their life. I pray that today might be the day of salvation for them. Please do Your miracle working thing in their lives and redirect their attention towards You. For Your children that should be living holy lives as indicated by Your servant Peter, I pray that You would not give up on us, but daily instruct, guide and strengthen us for the challenge of holiness in an unholy world that we are a part of. We need You Father, and we want You to be our God. Our desire is to be just like you in every way, especially in holiness. I ask this humbly in the precious and holy name of Jesus, and for His sake, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!