Things That Hinder Our Relationship

Marriage counselors will detect certain things that, they feel, might be interfering in good marriages- for some, it may be men continuing to hang out with the boys, or women spending too much time and money at the stores. In our story today there is a rich young ruler who felt he was obeying the commandments, but struggling to have an intimate relationship with the Savior. Jesus identified the issue, and because this may still impact Christian relationships today, I believe we should meditate on the words of Jesus for our own benefit.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-06-02
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 10:20-22
TRANSLATION: New Century Version (NCV)

BIBLE TEXT: 20 The man said, “Teacher, I have obeyed all these things since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus, looking at the man, loved him and said, “There is one more thing you need to do. Go and sell everything you have, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me.”
22 He was very sad to hear Jesus say this, and he left sorrowfully, because he was rich.

APPLICATION: For a young man who is really into hunting, he may be in shock over his wife feeling alone and unattended to, because his personal needs are being met with things outside of his marriage. The rich young ruler in our story today felt accomplished, because he was able to acquire everything he needed to meet the needs in his life, for there was no shortage of money. In fact, he had convinced himself that he was really a good person, because he always strived to obey the commands taught by His priest. But just as in our case today, Jesus was able to look right through this man’s ideals and wishes, and He was able to see that everything hinged on the idea that the man’s money could buy everything he needed or wanted, so he struggled with the idea of surrendering his life to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Friends, before you dismiss this devotional because you don’t have the money to ever feel like it could control you, let me first suggest that anything could really replace the thought that ‘money’ could disrupt our relationship with Jesus Christ. Elsewhere in the Bible, Jesus taught that we must become like a little child. That’s because a child has no money, or anything else that would disrupt, or distract, from an honest relationship with anyone. Imagine for a moment that you followed the instructions that Jesus gave to the rich young ruler. Can you begin to imagine how dependent you would be each day on the Savior – your Provider and giver of all good things in life? My friends, this is how Jesus wants us to be: Humble ourselves before Him; Recognize Him for who He is; Depend on Him as the giver of life itself and every good thing that we truly need; and to respond to Him in honor, praise and thanksgiving for every little thing in life. Are you there yet? Can you see how we are no different to the rich young ruler? Yes, it may not be because we are rich, but we have great parents who respond to every need we have; or we may have a spouse who has a great job; or a friend who looks out for us like a brother; etc, etc. What is it that distracts you from a deep, sincere, undivided relationship with the Master? I believe that Jesus is saying to us today, go and sell, or go and sever those ties, then come and bow at my feet for mercy, love and total dependence. Jesus loves us and longs to be our Savior and our Lord. Do you love Him and long to follow in sincere dependence of Him?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus identified the earthly things that the rich young ruler needed to separate from, but he encouraged him to ‘come then and follow Him’. In spite of who we were, God sees us in love and encourages us to come, follow Him! That’s unconditional love!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for seeing us in our most sinful state, but still assuring us of Your love and inviting us to come and be Your guest. Lord, we are challenged by the things we have come to love in this world, and often we allow these things to blur our vision of You. The world needs to see an honest vision of You without any distraction from us. Please open our eyes and our hearts so that we might willingly sever our ties with anything that misrepresents You, and may our lives be so complete in You, so that You may accomplish Your work in and through us, as You see fit. We love You Lord, please help us to love You without distractions interfering in that commitment. AMEN!

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

Principles Of Interpersonal Relationships

A common theme used when raising children is: ‘It takes a town’! This is no different in the church, for it takes all leaders and workers to help disciple and mature the saints, and minister to the unsaved. This becomes extra important when there is trouble brewing among the members. Paul wanted to prepare Timothy spiritually for the challenges he would face. As we meditate, let’s examine, and reassure ourselves of whose we are, and be sure that we are building relationships like God intended.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-09-01
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Timothy 5:1-3
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: Never speak harshly to an older man,[a] but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters. Take care of[b] any widow who has no one else to care for her. 

OBSERVATION: A common theme used when raising children is: ‘It takes a town’! This is no different in the church, for it takes all leaders and workers to help disciple and mature the saints, and minister to the unsaved. This becomes extra important when there is trouble brewing among the members. Paul wanted to prepare Timothy spiritually for the challenges he would face. As we meditate, let’s examine, and reassure ourselves of whose we are, and be sure that we are building relationships like God intended.

APPLICATION: At a point in my working career, I became keenly aware that instead of getting upset at my younger staff for not doing things right, that it was vitally important that I do my part in coaching them along in life. For example: it was against bank rules for a staff member’s account to be overdrawn. Instead of getting upset at a younger member of my staff, I found it necessary to help them balance their checkbook to prevent overwriting their account balance. In all areas of life, we need to look at relationships in this way, for way too often others will not respond the way we were expecting, or complete a project in the way we wanted it done. Instead of becoming agitated or upset, it then becomes necessary to train them in the way you want to see the project completed. Paul knew that as Timothy began his ministry, he would encounter different people in different cultures that would prove to be quite challenging for him. Doing this correctly and as God intended, is best when it’s done right the first time. So Paul warned Timothy, and admonishes us today, to earn the respect of others and represent God well, with all people types. Her are some tips that Paul gives: Older Men – Don’t speak harshly or angrily to them, but treat them as you would your dad. With respect, and in a calm and mild-mannered way. As if you were looking to earn their respect. Yes, you may have one up on them educationally, or you may be in a higher paid job, but they will treat you respectfully for all your advantages, if you show respect to them. Younger Men – Think about your younger brothers. How would you treat them? Hope you can do a lot better than the many horror stories I hear about today where siblings have not seen each other in years, and they rarely talk via telephone. Older Women – Think about your mother – how would you treat her. My wife was told that she should look at the way her prospective husband treated his mom, for he will probably treat her the same way. Younger Women – Think purity, like you would tend to think about your younger sisters. Be respectful of young ladies, for they may become your daughter-in-law! Widows – Imagine that you lost your dad. How would you want young men to treat your mom? Some take advantage of them, don’t they? Know that all due respect is owed to ladies having to suffer the loss of their husband. No doubt they are helpless in many areas in which their husbands filled the leadership role. They need lots of hand-holding by people they could trust, in order to get through the new challenges they are presented with. So what does this all serve to do for the man who follows Paul’s instructions? I believe that you will find better church leaders, better work leaders for their employers, men who law enforcement never have to chase or worry about, and men who respect their community and its people. If this is not taught in our homes, supported by our teachers and reinforced by our church leaders, then we may understand why we have such a high crime rate and lack of respect for authority and our elderly today. May God grant us mercy to see this turned around in our lifetime, because adults like you and I chose to stand firm on the Word of God and insist that our younger generation do the same.

PRAYER: Oh Lord God, You see the mess that we have on our hands today. Please forgive us for waiting so long to teach our younger folk about Your principles and Your direction in relationships. I pray that as relationships are bonded, that You will be in the midst of them and that Your Word will be opened and obeyed so that solid relationship will develop by trustworthy individuals. This could all begin by each person committing to do their part in their circle of influence. Please speak intently to each reader as this blog is read and meditated on. May we all rededicate ourselves to the work of the good Lord, so that our relationships will be cemented in Your truths, and therefore bonds will develop where respect will shine across our land. Oh that You may once again be glorified in each land represented in my readership, so that lost folk will see and believe that You still rule and reign among Your people and their relationships. AMEN!

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

Our Relationship With God Leads To Our Success/Impact

In Exodus 17 Joshua saw success for the Israelites in battle as long as Moses’ arms were raised in prayer to the Almighty. A great British pastor saw souls saved when his prayer warriors prayed in the church basement during his sermons. Uzziah was given success as a young King, as long as he submitted his life to the authority of the Almighty. We know that God will bring enormous results when He’s allowed to have His way, but do we submit to His will and His way? Think about this as we submit to the Word of God today, will you?

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-03-10
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Chronicles 26:5
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: Uzziah followed God in the time of Zechariah’s life. Zechariah taught Uzziah how to respect and obey God. When Uzziah was obeying the Lord, God gave him success.

OBSERVATION: In Exodus 17 Joshua saw success for the Israelites in battle as long as Moses’ arms were raised in prayer to the Almighty. A great British pastor saw souls saved when his prayer warriors prayed in the church basement during his sermons. Uzziah was given success as a young King, as long as he submitted his life to the authority of the Almighty. We know that God will bring enormous results when He’s allowed to have His way, but do we submit to His will and His way? Think about this as we submit to the Word of God today, will you?

APPLICATION: No sooner do we walk out of church, when we hear the whining and complaining about the singing/music; or the preaching or the temperature in the church building. But to these very precious souls, I wonder how many of them prayed for the service prior to arriving at church, or even during the service. If God still works like He did with king Uzziah, and I have every reason to believe He does, then wouldn’t we see things move along perfectly and for His glory, in response to our prayers? Can city government, or state officials, or congress, or our president ever do anything right? Isn’t that what we often complain about? But what about a 16-year old king, how did he manage to do anything right? Our Scripture verse above is clear in saying that the success of this king was proportionate to his relationship with God Almighty! So I want us to look at a few things that I believe God led me to share with you today: (1) Choose you this day whom you will serve. That’s a quote from Joshua 24, but still very applicable to us today. For if we choose to serve God – truly serve Him, trust in Him and allow Him to have His way in our life, then we will be serious about Him not only guiding us, but also guiding those who impact us – such as those mentioned above that serve us, lead us and/or impact us; (2) Aim at being a ‘Zechariah’. We could just trust the man called by God to lead our church, but we know full well that he must be very dependent on God for our church to be blessed and used of God. So pray for your pastor at home, or whenever you pray, but also pull him aside and ask God’s blessing over him before he stands before your congregation to allow God to speak through him. We vote for the smartest of people to lead our local and national government, but do they know everything about all things? Of course not, so let’s be constant in lifting them up before the King who is over them, the King of all kings, and ask God to direct them. This is nothing to do with politics friends, for in John 13, Jesus tells us that our leaders are ordained by Him for such a time as this, and we should therefore pray for His leaders. So let’s learn to obey the Word and put personal feelings aside; and (3) Let us learn to be more like Zechariah in pulling up alongside our leaders and helping them stay accountable to God. I’m sure that God can work today just as He did with Uzziah – He will bring success as long as our leaders keep trusting in Him. I believe that often they need our help to hold their arms up during the daily battles they face with our churches, and in our governments.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for drawing my attention to areas of my life where I need to be bold in helping others – like my pastor; my church leaders; my city, state and national leaders; and my president. Way too often my friends and I feel like we have hired the best people for the job and we leave them to do the job. But just like Your servant Zechariah was persistent in helping his king, I pray that we might become faithful servants of our King and be a godly influence to our leaders as well. I believe that still today You will bring success to our leaders who place their faith and trust in You, just like You did with young Uzziah, thanks to your servant Zechariah. Lord, please remind us often that we are here for much more than our own selfish needs. Keep us close to You so that You may use us for Your glory. AMEN!

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

It’s Not You They’re Rejecting

Way too often we take the weight of the world on our shoulders and assume that everyone is out to get us. For they are rejecting our message and our lifestyle. In fact, they just don’t like us, and won’t listen to us! Be encouraged today, for our Scripture gives an example of where God helped His servant realize that it was really Him that they were rejecting. As we become more like Christ, this will happen to us also. Here’s how we should handle that…

Monday, 2019-06-17

Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 8:6-8
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  6 Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the LORD for guidance.
7 “Do everything they say to you,” the LORD replied, “for it is me (God) they are rejecting, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. 8 Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment.

OBSERVATION: Way too often we take the weight of the world on our shoulders and assume that everyone is out to get us. For they are rejecting our message and our lifestyle. In fact, they just don’t like us, and won’t listen to us! Be encouraged today, for our Scripture gives an example of where God helped His servant realize that it was really Him that they were rejecting. As we become more like Christ, this will happen to us also. Here’s how we should handle that…

APPLICATION:  Times have not changed very much, for when we consider how churches treat their pastors when they really preach the Word, without regards to whose toes they might step on, then I believe that we could easily identify with Samuel and the Israelites. Friends, it is so unfortunate that we tend to blame someone else for issues that we have caused. It is likewise unfortunate when we look beyond the issues in our own lives, or the condition of our family, or our church or our group, and see so much wrong with others. Let’s think for a moment about issues with a church. Of course, we all know that it’s not the building where the church meets that is the problem, it’s folk like you and I that attend the church that causes the challenges. So look no further than inside yourself when issues arise. Changing pastors will have a similar effect as it was when God told Samuel to go ahead and give them what they want. In most cases things will only get worse. Friends, unless we commit and dedicate ourselves to becoming more like Jesus in every aspect of our lives, then anything we become a part of will suffer from the sin brought into our lives by the world. Becoming one with Jesus, means a perfect life, a life without sin – and that should be our aim everyday friends. Only then will we contribute positively to our churches and the groups that we become involved in. Remember, the world hates Jesus. Always have, and always will. So if we look enough like Jesus, they will hate us also, just like God told Samuel. So what shall we do? Determine this day who you will serve, and give it all you have. Be determined to serve only God and His righteousness, so that He might be glorified in everything we do and say!

PRAYER: Lord we so desperately need You in our lives. We want to add positively to groups that we become involved in, because of Your love that is steeped in everything we do and say. Anything else would only add to the confusion and the hatred that normally results. Unfortunately, this also happens in church groups we join, so we are seeing churches that are marred terribly by the impact of this evil world, instead of seeing a church that is always ready to forgive, always looking out for the best in the other person, always contributing to the best in others, always praying for and supporting their pastor/shepherd/leader. Lord, it is very obvious that we need more of You in our lives individually so that we can see more of You in our churches, so that we can see Your church effectively reaching out to the lost community that we serve. We need You in our lives personally Lord, please humble us to earnestly seek Your face and allow You to rule in our lives.

Who Is God To You?

As I read the words of the Psalmist, I could feel how important God was to him. It made me ponder what my three verses might look like as I described who God is to me. Let us ponder that for a few moments today.

Saturday, 2019-02-23

Bible Reference: Psalm 18:1-3
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text:  Lord, I passionately love you and I’m bonded to you, for now you’ve become my power! You’re as real to me as bedrock beneath my feet, like a castle on a cliff, my forever firm fortress, my mountain of hiding, my pathway of escape, my tower of rescue where none can reach me. My secret strength and shield around me, you are salvation’s ray of brightness shining on the hillside, always the champion of my cause. All I need to do is to call to you, singing to you, the praiseworthy God. When I do, I’m safe and sound in you.

OBSERVATION: As I read the words of the Psalmist, I could feel how important God was to him. It made me ponder what my three verses might look like as I described who God is to me. Let us ponder that for a few moments today.

APPLICATION: I wonder how well we do at recognizing God in everything, rather than the tendency to whine and complain about everything. For it is easy to sit and demand our own advantages and require our own selfish desires, but imagine the blessings we lose out on in doing that. It is so easy to totally miss God’s blessings and God’s careful direction for our lives when we selfishly demand our own way and limit our vision to only our own capabilities or imagination. For we must always be reminded that the ways of our God is far greater than anything we could even imagine! His power far exceeds our wildest imagination, so we need not place Him in a box the size of something we construct in our minds. So, as we stop and reflect on His handiwork, shouldn’t we recognize His awesome power, His careful instruction and His guidance through all of the uncertainties of this life? Friends, as we do, and I’m sure we will, let’s stop the crazy busyness of our lives and just spend some time expressing our gratitude to Him, and thank Him for loving us enough that He would select us for our participation in His marvelous and miraculous work. Please allow me to suggest that you read our focal verses several times to make sure that you allow the heart of David to saturate your very mind and allow you to identify with the sincerity of this great man of God. I bolded the number of times David emphasized his personal, heartfelt feelings towards his God, his Deliverer, his Savior, his Strength, his Rock, etc. Friends, if we gather nothing else from this Scripture today, may it be enough that we recognize, and be reminded of, the personal relationship that is encouraged with the God of this universe. If you have surrendered your life to my God today my friend, let me encourage you to join me in a deep desire to meet with Him often and not only recognize His goodness and His special love for us, but be sure to recognize God at work, and stop attributing the wonderful blessings sent our way as mere luck, or perhaps things that we deserve. For those who may have only heard of God, but haven’t personalized that relationship with Him, please read my Footnote and follow the directions on how to know my Savior personally. There is nothing He would desire more, than to have His creation – His child, return to Him in obedience and with a desire to know Him personally. He truly loves you dear friend! Allow Him to shower His love on you in miraculous and amazing ways!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for loving this mere sinful man enough that You were willing to sacrifice the life of Your one and only Son, for the forgiveness of my sin, and the promise of eternal life in heaven with You and Your Father. Being reminded of my personal blessings and the awesome relationship with my heavenly King, I am forever grateful that You loved even me dear Lord. Please touch the heart of all those who will read this devotional today, Jesus. May it be a life changing event for them, and not just another chore that they could check off their to-do list. Knowing You is to have a real, honest and sincere relationship with You. May You be glorified in everything You accomplish through us today dear Lord. AMEN!

Where Would You Rather Be?

It seems like the Psalmist was either relieved to be in God’s house, or he was tired of the hustle and bustle of life and longed for the peace and comfort of being with the Lord in His sanctuary. I can identify with that, and I could only imagine that many of you would, at many times, would wish for the same!

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Psalm 84:10-12 (TLB)

TEXT:  10 A single day spent in your Temple is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a doorman of the Temple of my God than live in palaces of wickedness. 11 For Jehovah God is our Light and our Protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will he withhold from those who walk along his paths. 12 O Lord of the armies of heaven, blessed are those who trust in you.

OBSERVATION:   It seems like the Psalmist was either relieved to be in God’s house, or he was tired of the hustle and bustle of life and longed for the peace and comfort of being with the Lord in His sanctuary. I can identify with that, and I could only imagine that many of you would, at many times, would wish for the same!

APPLICATION:   My local church recently joined with several churches in our community to collectively pray for the spiritual needs of our community, our churches, the unsaved and for each other. We met strategically in places near to our homes, and it was so awesome to see walls of denominationalism and differences broken down, so that the people of God could get together and pray over common concerns, to the same Father. What a sweet, Holy Spirit filled time that was for the 21 days as we met and prayed! David was similarly filled with awe and expectation from this same Father, and I believe he longed to be in God’s house (temple) as often as he could, also. I’m afraid that many people, who attend church once a week when they could meld into a large crowd, often miss the intimacy of being in God’s awesome presence as He enjoys the praise, worship, prayers and gifts from His children. Would it be great to see worshipers jump to their feet and shout for joy when they feel God’s presence and see His mighty works, like they do when they see a millionaire running after a ball on the ball-field? Wouldn’t it be rewarding to hear a husband say that the extra 45 minutes in church last Sunday was nowhere near the uncomfortable feeling of sitting in his boat for 4 hours and not catching a fish? Friends, let’s be reminded that we serve an awesome and gracious God. He blesses us in so many ways and therefore the time that we have in His presence is worthy of our full attention, overfilled with worship and praise, and a longing heart to be in His presence forever. May every reader experience this mighty presence of God and have a hunger and thirst for opportunities to express their heartfelt praise and worship.

PRAYER:   Like the Psalmist, I can join in with my gracious offering of worship and praise because of who You are, and how awesome You are in loving and caring for Your people. Thank You Lord Jesus! There are many that don’t know You as Lord, and therefore fight the thought of attending a church service to offer praise and worship to a stranger. Please draw them unto Yourself Lord. You created them, and You show Your blessings all around them. Please help them to know the Maker of heaven and earth themselves, and all things that were made by You. And Lord, please help Your own children to not become complacent in all that they know about you. May they also be refilled with a desire to be in Your house and find reason and hope in worshiping You in all sincerity. 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!

 

The Desire For, and Joy of Restoration

David had sinned in his acts with Bathsheba and in the murder of her husband. Terrible sins for which many would be challenged to forgive. But there came a time that David knew that if he would ever expect to see the joy of his relationship with God restored, then he needed to seek forgiveness from Him first of all. And when things were right with God, David could then go in boldness to seek forgiveness of others he may have hurt. It’s only with a clean and upright heart that David could truly be a witness again for God.

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-08-18
SCRIPTURE

From:

Psalm 51:7-13 (TLB)

Text:

 Sprinkle me with the cleansing blood and I shall be clean again. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. And after you have punished me, give me back my joy again. Don’t keep looking at my sins—erase them from your sight. 10 Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires. 11 Don’t toss me aside, banished forever from your presence. Don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13 Then I will teach your ways to other sinners,……
OBSERVATION:
David had sinned in his acts with Bathsheba and in the murder of her husband. Terrible sins for which many would be challenged to forgive. But there came a time that David knew that if he would ever expect to see the joy of his relationship with God restored, then he needed to seek forgiveness from Him first of all. And when things were right with God, David could then go in boldness to seek forgiveness of others he may have hurt. It’s only with a clean and upright heart that David could truly be a witness again for God.
APPLICATION:
Like David, I believe that many Christians suffer today in their witness for God because of sin that they know is hiding in their life, but may feel it is tucked away and unknown to most people, maybe even God. Friends, let me remind you that nothing is hidden from God, so if you have un-confessed sin, you may as well break down the walls of pride and self-will, seek God’s face, and have a little talk with Him. Just as David feared that his sin may have been impacting his people, you may be surprised to hear how your sin may have walls built around you that prevent your witness being evident; your love being experienced; and the warmth and power of God’s love being expressed through you. David wanted to be an influence for his God and spread the joy that God brings to the Christian, but for some reason that just doesn’t happen through a broken vessel filled with sin. David remembered the sweet, open and rich fellowship that he enjoyed with God and he badly wanted that relationship restored. I truly believe that God desires that of each one of us that are separated from Him by sin. But friends, may I suggest that if you are not deeply desiring to see that relationship restored, there may never have been one? I know, you were a deacon in your church, or you may have been in the choir, or you may have attended every service while a certain pastor was at your church. Don’t be fooled by this, for our church doors, like many other churches, are opened to whosoever will come. None of what I mentioned are qualifications for making you right with God. The Bible is very clear on this, and I would encourage you to click on the link in my Footnote ‘To Know Jesus’ to be reminded of what the Bible says. When you truly ask God to forgive you of your sin, and you develop a loving relationship with Him, it turns into a daily communion with Him. You bless Him with your praises and thanksgiving, and He blesses You with endless goodness and mercy to live each day looking more and more like Him. That’s the kind of life you will long for if it is broken by sin that causes you to wander. Seek God my friend and ask Him what stands in the way of your relationship with Him, if anything. Then work it out with Him. This brings joy to any soul willing to ask and follow through with His demands!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, oh how sweet the name! Lord Jesus, the name that is above all names! The name represented by perfect love, and a relationship that is only damaged by our sin. Churches have hundreds on their membership roles, yet they are seldom full. This makes me think that there are broken relationships with You that result in them staying away instead of seeking restoration with You. Lord please work on Your flock first. Allow us to draw closer to You and commune with You each and every day, so that as we speak with the unsaved, we will give in to Your Holy Spirit and speak from personal experience, if appropriate. To You oh Lord be all glory, honor and praise! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

In All Honesty and Fairness

Moses, in guiding God’s people as they prepared to enter the Promised Land, realized that this would be a whole new experience for them, so he tried to share every detail with them. In these verses that we will look at today he told them that they will need judges and leaders, to take the place of all that he and Aaron had done for them over the past 40 years. Knowing that we can also benefit from this reminder, I want God to lead us in this devotional on how we might be better leaders…

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-07-17
SCRIPTURE

From:

Deuteronomy 16:18-20 (NCV)

Text:

 18 Appoint judges and officers for your tribes in every town the Lord your God is giving you; they must judge the people fairly. 19 Do not judge unfairly or take sides. Do not let people pay you to make wrong decisions, because that kind of payment makes wise people seem blind, and it changes the words of good people. 20 Always do what is right…..
OBSERVATION:
Moses, in guiding God’s people as they prepared to enter the Promised Land, realized that this would be a whole new experience for them, so he tried to share every detail with them. In these verses that we will look at today he told them that they will need judges and leaders, to take the place of all that he and Aaron had done for them over the past 40 years. Knowing that we can also benefit from this reminder, I want God to lead us in this devotional on how we might be better leaders…
APPLICATION:
It is so easy for us look at a judge’s decision, and if it’s contrary to our belief, or our desire for the prosecuted (defendant), we may quickly respond “that’s unfair” without giving it a second thought. Our wish didn’t come true. However good judges are put in place to learn everything possible about the law of the land, so that when a case is brought before them, they could listen to all the facts, compare what they hear to everything they know about the law, and then determine as an independent person whether the defendant is guilty of wrongdoing. Not being a ‘judge’ you may question if this really applies to you and I. That’s what I want us to look at today, because I believe that we make decisions every day that shows God whether we are thinking and acting fairly. Let’s look at our work situation where we are looking at 3 candidates who have applied for a position we have available. Although much of our decision is based on a ‘gut feeling’, I believe it will surprise us to stop and ponder what prejudices or selfish motives come into play with our decision. Secondly, imagine two individuals being reported to you as doing something contrary to company policy. One brings you coffee every morning and has your back most of the time, vs the other one causes relational problems in your department. Can you honestly deal fairly and consistent with both employees? Things become especially tricky in churches when dealing with those that financially support the church vs a regular attendee who may or may not support the church financially. Friends, as you can see from the examples given, we all make judgment calls in some aspect of our lives. You can also see that bribes come in more ways than one, and they all serve to sway our decision in one way or another. This Scripture is teaching us to be careful of this, for it makes a wise man blind and causes him to make decisions that he may ordinarily have done if being obedient to his full understanding of God’s perfect laws. Obeying God’s laws is sometimes tougher than we might think, if we try to follow them in our own strength and power. I believe that it is a daily challenge that we must keep ever before God, that we seek His guidance, His strength and His perfect design for us to be aligned with what He desires of us. Living a life like Jesus is so different to anything we experience here on earth, that we must stay closely in tuned with our awesome Designer. Are you prepared to do this friend?
PRAYER:
Lord, this life is challenging at best, and we can only accomplish Your will with the help of Your Holy Spirit. Leadership is challenging when we have to put personal feelings aside and judge according to Your perfect design. But Lord, we want to be more like You every day and in every way. So teach us Your ways, and help us to understand Your perfect will more and more clearly. We love You Lord, and appreciate every opportunity You give to us to show that same awesome love to others we come into contact with, all for Your honor and glory, 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!

Asleep On The Job

A crowd followed Jesus up to the garden, however He took just three disciples along with Him to a place of solitude so that He could pray. At the place of prayer, Jesus asked His disciples to stop, watch and pray, while He went on just a little farther for some one on one time with the Father. Knowing what was in store for Him, He had some very serious conversation with His Father, yet He was also concerned about His disciples, so He kept checking on them. I feel like those three disciples vividly represent ‘Christians’ today and, with God’s guidance, I will expand on that in our ‘application’.

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-06-02
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 14:37-38 (CEV)

Text:

37 When Jesus came back and found the disciples sleeping, he said to Simon Peter, “Are you asleep? Can’t you stay awake for just one hour? 38 Stay awake and pray that you won’t be tested. You want to do what is right, but you are weak.”
OBSERVATION:
A crowd followed Jesus up to the garden, however He took just three disciples along with Him to a place of solitude so that He could pray. At the place of prayer, Jesus asked His disciples to stop, watch and pray, while He went on just a little farther for some one on one time with the Father. Knowing what was in store for Him, He had some very serious conversation with His Father, yet He was also concerned about His disciples, so He kept checking on them. I feel like those three disciples vividly represent ‘Christians’ today and, with God’s guidance, I will expand on that in our ‘application’.
APPLICATION:
Jesus was praying so earnestly with the Father that His very heart was broken. I would imagine that He should have felt some relief knowing that His inner circle of disciples were right there praying with Him, or were they? God created this beautiful world in which we live, and He also created each of us especially to worship Him while living on this earth enjoying it. While we are definitely living on this earth and being blessed by everything around us, how would you think we are rated in truly worshipping the one who provided all this for us? Simon Peter had just sworn to Jesus, a short time before the garden scene, that He (Jesus) could depend on him to be faithful right until the end of time. Yet when Jesus returned to check on His three disciples, they were all asleep – including Peter. I often feel like a very large percentage of ‘Christians’ are ‘asleep on the job’ as we plunder through our time here on earth while placing priority on everything else, besides our commitment to worship our Lord and be His faithful followers and missionaries. Some attend church services, while most others are asleep on the job and can’t find an hour a week to join with believers in worship to our Savior and Lord. Unfortunately, many that attend a worship service pretty much represents the three disciples in our Scripture today, for our arms are strapped to our sides, our lips are sealed, and our expression shows that we can’t wait for the service to be over. Many will listen to the pastor pray, the praise team sing and, if we could stay awake, we may listen to the pastor share his heart about something from the Scripture. Excuse me, but where did ‘our time of worship’ fit into any of that I just explained? Our presence inside of a church does not count as worship to the Father, nor the Son, nor the Holy Ghost. Where was our heart, our thoughts and our concentration during that time together? How would we respond to Jesus if He returned today and asked us the same question as He did to Simon Peter? Are we truly appreciative of the sacrifice made for us at Calvary? Is Jesus pleased with our daily expressions of gratitude? In most workplaces employees are fired for falling asleep on the job. How do you suppose God should act about us falling asleep on the job of worshipping Him, witnessing in His name, being good honest representatives of His to a lost world that needs Jesus?
PRAYER:
What a sobering reminder to us today dear Jesus, for I feel like Your saints here on earth are very much in the same boat as Peter, James and John. Please forgive our unfaithfulness and today fill us with Your unction to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus as we face a bitter world where most have no appreciation for the sacrifice You made and the love that You share with us every day. Regardless of their position in life, please grant us the boldness and deep desire to bear Your cross and be a living witness before them, and all those that we are privileged to come into contact with. Please awaken Your church, so that together our communities may witness the outstretched arms of our Savior and Lord. AMEN! 
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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!

Deep Concern For Prayer Matters

Sunday, 2016-11-06

Scripture

Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 1:10; 16-18

Bible Text:  10 Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the LORD.

16 Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.” 17 “In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.” 18 “Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I would like for us to reflect on our personal prayers, both private and public. Now I would like for us to re-read the referenced scripture again, in fact why not click on the Bible Reference link and read the whole context (just 9 verses) and carefully note the heart of Hannah as she prayed. Friends, I am not asking you to judge (other than yourself), but I want you to really grasp the sincerity of the prayer by Hannah, and consider a few things:

  • Deep, Earnest Prayer – When last have you truly been concerned enough about a specific item or person, that you went before God in deep anguish and weeping bitterly?  To help you understand this terminology I also read other translations that describe Hannah as going before God ‘miserable’ and ‘terribly upset’. Friends, this is not something we can conjure up and go before God with a fake cry, for these feelings are expressions of our heart. And I believe because of the sincerity and deep concern that the praying believer might have, the Bible speaks to this in several ways: In Psalm 30:5, the Bible says: “Weeping will be followed by joy“; In Isaiah 53:3–9, the Bible declares that ‘Jesus understands sorrow‘; In Matthew 5:4 the Bible declares “God promises comfort to those who experience sorrow; and in Revelation 21:3–4 – “Sorrow will not exist in God’s Kingdom“. This gives me the distinct impression that our Father is concerned about the things that we are deeply troubled by!
  • Others may mistake our deep concern – Our pride may prevent us from openly expressing to our God, as we may easily become concerned about what others may think. Notice in these verses that Eli thought that Hannah had come to the temple drunk, for she was praying in such earnest and anguish, that he had probably never seen before from most who came to pray. God already knows your heart friend, so to go before God with a heavy heart and pretend to be happy, is like faking what you really feel or want to express to God. Let us learn to be open and honest with God;
  • Joy results from a heart that has unloaded all concern before God! Prior to going to the temple Hannah was unable to eat because she was so upset. After her encounter at the temple, Hannah left quite different, for she was no longer sad, and she was able to eat again. I believe this is an example of what we can expect when we pray to the Father in deep, honest concern.

Friends, I have been desperate in prayer before, and I’m sure that you have been at one time or another in your life. This scripture reminded me of the need to really take to heart those things that God impresses upon us, and then open up our hearts before Him in prayer. To go before God in a casual, superficially happy mood for something that is really bearing on our heart, makes me wonder if God doesn’t look at His kids and say “Really?? You are so concerned that you are actually showing a smile on your face??”. Friends, I realize that God knows our heart, but I also believe that He wants us to be transparent before Him – wide open honest with Him, even to the extent that our emotions may be impacted and publicly expressed, if need be. Hannah impacted Eli’s life when he realized how sincere she really was about her prayer. Will others really know the sincerity of your heart and be impacted by it?

Prayer

Father God, thank You for looking deep into our hearts and knowing our most innermost thoughts. You created us so that our emotions would reflect our heart, yet we often try so hard to suppress our emotions because of what those around us might think. Please help us to be straight up honest with You, regardless of who might be around us to witness our deepest emotions. You have promised us in Your Word that ‘joy comes in the morning’, and I believe your intent was to help us realize that there would be times that our hearts are deeply saddened because of our own needs, or those of family or friends that we may connect with You on, and pray for. Please help my readers and I to face You with opened hearts today, so that You may fill us with Your immense love and care. We are Yours, heavenly Father, and we sincerely need You in every aspect of our lives, especially when our hearts are saddened. 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!