His Name

It’s pretty miraculous how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. The prophets foretold; a virgin girl (Mary) was selected by God and approached by angels to conceive the baby; a simple, humble man who was engaged to Mary was approached to play the part of an earthly father to care for his espoused wife Mary; The most humble of people were selected to be the first to visit with baby Jesus – the shepherds. On and on the story went about one miracle after another that resulted in the Savior of the world being brought into the world as man’s Savior. This is what Christmas is all about, friends!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-12-19
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: Matthew 1:21-23
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 21 She will give birth to a son. You will name him Jesus. Give him that name because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this happened to make clear the full meaning of what the Lord said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be pregnant and will give birth to a son. They will name him Immanuel.” (Immanuel means “God with us.”)

OBSERVATION: It’s pretty miraculous how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. The prophets foretold; a virgin girl (Mary) was selected by God and approached by angels to conceive the baby; a simple, humble man who was engaged to Mary was approached to play the role of an earthly father to care for his espoused wife, Mary; The most humble of people, the shepherds, were selected to be the first to visit with baby Jesus. On and on the story goes, with one miracle after the other, all resulting in the Savior of the world being brought into the world as man’s eternal hope. This is what Christmas is all about, friends!

APPLICATION: As declared in my ‘Observation’, God went to great extents to bring His precious Son into the world, and throughout the Bible we read about all that He did while here on earth, and the whole purpose of His life here on earth. Of course we also know the ultimate reason that Jesus came, because we remember His death every year at Good Friday, and we remember His resurrection at Easter. The big question for each of us as we meditate on the extraordinary names of Jesus is: ’what are we known as?’ To our face, we may be called by our nickname. When our parents are upset with us, they may call us by our full legal name. Based on our habits and our character, we may be known as a thief, or a criminal, or a kind person, or a caring person, a hypocrite, or hopefully a man/woman after God’s own heart. Why all of these names? Because it identifies our character when someone is speaking to a friend and they make reference to us. Notice from the names, that while one name will drive that person away from you, one might interest them in knowing you, or at least speaking with you. Just from the name selected for you! Although folk will easily identify us based on the words we speak and with the tone used, but I pray that the actions they experience with you will convince them of whose you are. May the Jesus, born in a humble stable and lived on earth as the living Son of God, be evident in your character today and every day. Stay closely in tuned with Him through the Word of God and in daily communication (prayer) with Him, so that you may be ‘topped off’ each day with even more of Jesus. Keep it fresh and exciting friend!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I thank You for coming to earth as a baby, so that you would complete the purpose of the Father in providing everlasting hope for us. For there is no other way for us to see the gates of heaven without first accepting You as our Savior. You were introduced to us very early in the Bible, and many of us have accepted You as our Savior and Lord, so that we might celebrate with You one day in heaven! As we are reminded once again this Christmas of the hope that you bring, may we learn to truly celebrate even now, so that one day soon we will be comfortable in celebrating before our Father in heaven. Please touch the hearts of those who have not accepted You as Lord yet. May this be the first Christmas that they will truly be aware of the One whose birthday we celebrate! AMEN!

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

Imitating Christ In All Circumstances of Life

It seems appropriate to act Christ-like while at church and around such friends as pastors, Bible teachers and church leaders, but what happens when you’re around those friends who always led you astray, or the ones that always jeered at you when you tried to straighten up and fly right? Paul seemed to have labored over the maturity of the Galatian church. Do you suppose that your pastor has reason to do the same over you? May the God who sees all things, at all times, open our minds to the truth of His Word as we meditate on these verses today.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-07-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Galatians 4:18-19
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 18-19 It is a good thing to be ardent in doing good, but not just when I am in your presence. Can’t you continue the same concern for both my person and my message when I am away from you that you had when I was with you? Do you know how I feel right now, and will feel until Christ’s life becomes visible in your lives? Like a mother in the pain of childbirth. 

OBSERVATION: It seems appropriate to act Christ-like while at church and around such friends as pastors, Bible teachers and church leaders, but what happens when you’re around those friends who always led you astray, or the ones that always jeered at you when you tried to straighten up and fly right? Paul seemed to have labored over the maturity of the Galatian church. Do you suppose that your pastor has reason to do the same over you? May the God who sees all things, at all times, open our minds to the truth of His Word as we meditate on these verses today.

APPLICATION: Pastors may look over their congregation each week and I’m sure there are times that their hearts well up with pride as they see parishioners who seemingly leave all their burdens of the week aside and concentrate on their time of corporate worship to the one true God. However, I bet there are times that our pastors will look at us and wonder if he is really seeing a sincere relationship with God, after being so rude and obnoxious to him over recent days. That’s an easy, but very real, example that compares to the concern that Paul shared, but what impact does your actions like that have on folk you were hoping to witness to? You know, the coworker who seems uncaring about knowing Jesus? She has seen both aspects of your character, and she is definitely confused about what you actually stand for. Are you a Christian who happens to mess up from time to time, or are you a hardened sinner who tries to impress others that you could be good, if you want to? I believe it would behoove each of us to always remember that God not only hears our every word spoken, but He also know about our good, bad and questionable acts, plus our very own thoughts. Although I used an example of what our Christian leaders may see or encounter with us, yet it’s the Lord God Almighty that we are answerable to. If Paul was so hurt by what he was hearing from his church members from miles away, imagine how God must feel? Remember, He laid down the life of His precious Son so that we might be saved from the filth of sin and be assured of heaven one day with Him. Imagine how He must feel when we deliberately turn away from God, or deliberately disobey His commandments, or when we become so manipulative that we carelessly and uncaringly hurt others to get our own way. To Paul, he envisioned that his pain was similar to a mother in childbirth. What about God? To love us as much as He showed on the cross, and as much as preparing a place in heaven just for us, and protecting us from harm and hurts just because He loves His creation, yet for us to totally ignore all that and continue in sin anyway. It must tear the very heart out of our Master, for the hurt He must feel is unequaled to anything else that we could imagine. Dear friend, let’s not forget that God sent His very own Son to die for us, in spite of the ugliness and bad that enveloped our lives. With outstretched arms, Jesus showed us how much He loved us. Don’t you think that the least we could do is to say yes Lord, thank You for loving me. Please forgive me of my sin and come into my life. Fill me with Your love and amazing grace, so that I may overcome the temptations of sin and that I may love and respect even those who persecute me, because of the love You gave to me through Your Holy Spirit who came to dwell in me. Please strengthen me to overcome sin and the temptation to return to my former life. I’m Yours Lord, and I want You to be my Guide, my Deliverer, my Strength and my Wisdom each and every day, in every circumstance of life, until the day You call me home to be with You in glory. People need the Lord, so they need to see You in every aspect of my life, and not any weak aspects of my simple life.

PRAYER: I was introduced to You through the help of an old friend, and led by an old saint who served in leadership at my church. At the conclusion of that conversion experience, I believe the Two gentlemen were convinced that I had honestly surrendered my life to Christ. I could only imagine the disappointment they must have felt if they ever saw me deep in sin and following my old ways. But more than that, I cannot imagine the hurt You must have felt, precious Lord, each time that I failed You and turned aside to the ways of the world. After all, You gave up so much to show how much You cared about me, and my ultimate trip towards the glories of heaven. Please forgive me Lord when I‘ve failed along the way, for I know that I not only disappointed friends who prayed for me and cared for me, but I also showed total disregard towards You. I could only imagine that some of my readers may have faced similar days, so Lord I pray that You will touch the hearts of many today as they read the Scripture and as they are reminded by this humble blog. May You rule and reign in our lives each and every day, and may it be evident to a lost world that needs 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. 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!

An Imitation of the One You Adore

Jesus was about to end His earthly ministry, and I believe He was admonishing His disciples to carry on by demonstrating all that they saw in Him while working together, ministering together, and seeking after the heart of loved ones who had gone astray. Because I believe that Jesus still desires for His children to be imitators of their Master, I want us to contemplate what that might look like today.

Tuesday, 2019-11-19

Bible Reference: John 13:34-35
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 34 “So I give you now a new commandment: Love each other just as much as I have loved you. 35 For when you demonstrate the same love I have for you by loving one another, everyone will know that you’re my true followers.”

OBSERVATION: Jesus was about to end His earthly ministry, and I believe He was admonishing His disciples to carry on by demonstrating all that they saw in Him while working together, ministering together, and seeking after the heart of loved ones who had gone astray. Because I believe that Jesus still desires for His children to be imitators of their Master, I want us to contemplate what that might look like today.

APPLICATION: Ever notice the difference between a military enlistee and a regular civilian? One is determined to follow the orders of their commanding officer and defend their country, in spite of all the evil going on inside their homeland, while the other tries to follow the general idea of the local laws, but will not think twice about questioning those laws and or commands of those in charge of their safety and welfare. Similarly, you will often identify God’s children by their demeanor, their lifestyle, their honesty, their commitment and their love for one another. I believe that Jesus is teaching us in the Scripture today, just as He taught the disciples: ‘Let the world see so much of Jesus in you, that they will be convinced that He exists, and that they could easily follow you, as you follow Christ. I believe that Jesus wants us to not only desire to know Him in order to have our ticket punched for heaven, but especially so that the non-believer would turn their heads to this cruel, heart-breaking, mean and treacherous world, and be encouraged to see the character of Jesus in every fiber of our being. And that it would be inviting enough to convince them that there is a better way! Friends, I believe that many of you may have traveled down some of the same roads that I have. For we have seen the impact of this world on folk at our job site, in our neighborhoods, in our government, and even in our churches. I am so encouraged, and touched by the living Word of God, for Jesus knew that we would face these challenges and discouragements and we may sometimes want to just throw our hands up in disappointment and wonderment of whether it is worth the effort to try and be kind and loving every day. Often, when we ‘try’ to be good, loving and kind, we are polluting ourselves with so much self-effort, and self-taught principles, and selfish desires, that we sometimes make things worse. I believe that Jesus is teaching us, as He did His disciples, to just apply all that we have learned from Him to our lives, and look to His Book of Instruction (the Bible) when searching for answers, instead of the TV Talk Shows, or the internet sites of Palm Readers, and the like. Jesus has placed the Holy Spirit inside of us, believers in Christ, so that we might be led in the right direction; understand His precious Word, and love like He first loved us. Let’s learn to love like Jesus did – for He gave up His own life for us, even while we were still sinners. He loved Lazarus and his sisters enough that He cried in empathy for Mary and Martha who thought they would never see Lazarus alive again. Let’s learn to care for others like He did – for He stopped a whole parade so that He could chat with, and seek the desire of two cripples who could not fend for themselves. Instead of racing the children away, like His disciples, He called them to Himself, taught them and loved on them as a father would. To all my readers, I would plead with you today to seek God, read His Word, pray to Him, and be bold enough to love, talk and act like Him, even in a world that tends to be in total opposition to that. Don’t force these things upon your neighbor, but allow God to embed them into your hearts and upon your life. He wants to shine brightly through you, so that your neighbor will be convinced about the One who loves him/her in spite of their circumstances and their rotten attitudes. Be willing to let go, and let God have His way in you, my friend!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You are more wonderful than all of creation! You loved me when I was totally unlovable by anyone. Why you even stood still under the barrage of whips, and You endured the cross, so that the world might know that we are loved more than life itself. Father, it seems like we are facing a world that is so evil and filled with hatred. I’m sure that this is no worse than what You faced, but Lord we need You. Every hour of every day we need You. Please fill us with Your power, so that we may not only overcome the temptations and trials of this world, but that we might shine with the glory of the Son, so that our dark world might be illuminated and convinced of Your love. While deserving nothing in return from this world, I pray that You may be glorified through us today in many wonderful ways. AMEN!

Serve Each Other

To think of a king, or a president, or a ruler of any nation, one would normally think of all the fanfare; all the servitude that surrounds them; and all of the assistants that take care of their every need or want. However, Jesus was born into a humble setting, and while He was supremely God, yet we read story after story about how He sought to serve those with whom He interacted. As we meditate together on this, let us evaluate how well we are following His example.

Thursday, 2018-12-20

Bible Reference: Galatians 5:13-15
Translation: The VOICE (Voice)

Bible Text: 13 Brothers and sisters, God has called you to freedom! Hear the call, and do not spoil this gift by using your liberty to engage in what your flesh desires; instead, use it to serve each other as Jesus taught through love. 14 For the whole law comes down to this one instruction: “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] so 15 why all this vicious gnawing on each other? If you are not careful, you will find you’ve eaten each other alive!

OBSERVATION: To think of a king, or a president, or a ruler of any nation, one would normally think of all the fanfare; all the servitude that surrounds them; and all of the assistants that take care of their every need or want. However, Jesus was born into a humble setting, and while He was supremely God, yet we read story after story about how He sought to serve those with whom He interacted. As we meditate together on this, let us evaluate how well we are following His example.

APPLICATION: God has blessed us beyond measure with the freedom of salvation – meaning that, in spite of our sinful lives, and the temptations of a sinful world around us, yet He sent His very own Son to be born among us, as an indication of identifying with us and the challenges that the world places on us to conform with its ideas, customs and evil implications. I believe that during this same Christmas season, we could very easily be reminded that this Jesus, was the very Son of God. In fact, God taught us that He and His Son are one. May we be reminded that there was great purpose in God sending His Son, for to those who would trust in Him and accept Him as Lord of their life, to those God would extend salvation from sin, and the promise of eternity in Heaven with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. With this undeserved ‘freedom’ from our sin, we could very easily sit back in our recliners and declare that ‘we have it made’, so let us coast on into eternity one day without any worries. However, while that might be a true statement, the Word of God will show us, as it did in these verses today, that if we are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, then our hearts will be inclined to serve others. You might ask, or ponder, how can I possibly serve others, after all I have such limited talent? With a new heart filled with the awesome presence of God, I believe that you will see people in a different light, for you will see them through the lens of their Savior. You may have seen them as just another servant of yours, but with the eyes of Jesus you might see them as a lonely widow; or a poor and broken widower; or a fatherless child who is desperately looking for a good role model; or a prisoner who may have committed the most horrific crime, but needs the Lord. Friends, you’ve been given the awesome gift of ‘freedom’ from your sin by the holy Son of God, in return, what are you prepared to give to those that you come into contact with today? How might Jesus help them today? Might He use you in His service to help them? Will Jesus know that you are willing to serve? Why not join me in offering up: “Here I am Lord Jesus, use me”!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for serving us in so many ways, beginning with Your very humble beginning here on earth as a baby born in a stable. Thank You for placing us right in the middle of folk in our workplace; in our neighborhood; in our schools; and in our churches; most of whom need something fulfillment and encouragement in their lives. We could never take Your place as Savior, but we could very easily stop our excuses, and be the hands and feet of Jesus as we seek to serve them and their needs. No doubt they will see Jesus in practical ways then, and want to accept Him unconditionally as Lord over every aspect of their lives! Help us Lord to remain humble, but true to You and Your Word. May we seek to ‘S E R V E’ this Christmas, and discontinue the selfishness of always wanting more – especially in adding more to our already filled closets; homes; vehicles and lives in general. Show us Lord how we might imitate You, and Your expectations for this lost world in which we live. AMEN!

Dedicated to Serve Christ

Paul was dealing with issues of Christians getting distracted from serving Christ, to instead meddling in the business of others. This was not only pulling down the other person, but also disappointing to believers and also to God, I believe. Anything we do in love, for the benefit of the other person, and for the glory of God, is most often done through the strength and encouragement of God so that the believer can please Him. Let’s apply that dear friend…..

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Romans 14:17-20 (MSG)

TEXT: 17-18 God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness’ sake. It’s what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you’ll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you. 19-20 So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault.

OBSERVATION:   Paul was dealing with issues of Christians getting distracted from serving Christ, to instead meddling in the business of others. This was not only pulling down the other person, but also disappointing to believers and also to God, I believe. Anything we do in love, for the benefit of the other person, and for the glory of God, is most often done through the strength and encouragement of God so that the believer can please Him. Let’s apply that dear friend…..

APPLICATION:   In my days of growing up, I would hear adults talking about a neighbor being on their ‘high horse’ again, while they are busy putting someone else down. I struggled to understand that, but now I do! Today, I believe it’s more about us looking down our proud noses at ones that may not be as well educated as we are, or could verbalize their feelings as good as we feel we could; or perhaps about our desire to excel, while we look around us and watch others gaining ground. When these things happen to us, unfortunately, I believe, it’s a ‘red flag’ to show us that we are drifting further away from God’s Word, for these verses today, and others very similar to them, teach us that God prefers that we seek ways to bring Him praise, and there is nothing in our jealousy, retaliation, envy or pay-back that brings glory to God. Please read the verses again friend, and when you get to the sentence that is bolded, repeat it several times. Our single most important task to achieve while here on earth, is to serve Christ. Lift Him up, bring Him glory! Shout to the mountain tops ‘What A Mighty God We Serve’! Show so much love to others that they will mistake you for Jesus, the Son of God! These are the things that will bring God glory, friends! These are the things that we must be busy doing til Jesus comes!

PRAYER:   Lord, thank You for showing us what humbleness is all about. Thanks for setting the example for us to follow. Your commands are therefore very reasonable when we reflect on how You first exampled them, before ever asking us to be the humble one and let our actions still bring You glory. Oh, Lord may we be imitators of the One that we love, the One that we adore, the One that we long to see in Heaven one day! 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!

 

What’s In A Name?

It’s pretty miraculous how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. The prophets foretold; a virgin girl (Mary) was selected by God and approached by angels to conceive the baby; a simple, humble man who was engaged to Mary was approached to play the part of an earthly father to care for his espoused wife Mary; The most humble of people were selected to be the first to visit with baby Jesus – the shepherds. On and on the story went about one miracle after another that resulted in the Savior of the world being brought into the world as man’s Savior. This is what Christmas is all about, friends!

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-12-15
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 1:21-23 (ERV)

Text:

21 She will give birth to a son. You will name him Jesus. Give him that name because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this happened to make clear the full meaning of what the Lord said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be pregnant and will give birth to a son. They will name him Immanuel.” (Immanuel means “God with us.”)

OBSERVATION:
It’s pretty miraculous how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. The prophets foretold; a virgin girl (Mary) was selected by God and approached by angels to conceive the baby; a simple, humble man who was engaged to Mary was approached to play the part of an earthly father to care for his espoused wife Mary; The most humble of people were selected to be the first to visit with baby Jesus – the shepherds. On and on the story went about one miracle after another that resulted in the Savior of the world being brought into the world as man’s Savior. This is what Christmas is all about, friends!
APPLICATION:
As declared in my ‘Observation’, God went to great extents to bring His precious Son into the world, and throughout the Bible we read about all that He did while here on earth, and the whole purpose of His life here on earth. Of course we also know the ultimate reason that Jesus came, because we remember His death every year at Good Friday, and we remember His resurrection at Easter. The big question for each of us as we meditate on the extraordinary names of Jesus is, what are we known as? To our face, we may be called by our nickname. When our parents are upset with us, they may call us by our full legal name. Based on our habits and our character, we may be known as a thief, or a criminal, or a kind person, or a caring person, a hypocrite, or hopefully a man/woman after God’s own heart. Why all of these names? Because it identifies our character when someone is speaking to a friend and they make reference to you. Notice from the names, that one name will drive that person away from you and one might interest them in knowing you, or at least speaking with you. Just from the name selected for you! Although folk will easily identify us based on the words we speak and with the tone used, but I pray that the actions they experience with you will convince them of whose you are. May the Jesus, born in a humble stable and lived on earth as the living Son of God, be evident in your character today and every day. Stay closely in tuned with Him through the Word of God and in daily communication (prayer) with Him, so that you may be ‘topped off’ each day with even more of Jesus. Keep it fresh and exciting friend!
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, I thank Your Father, God, this morning for sending You as His very own Son with such great purpose, and filled with indescribable love. Lord, may we catch a glimpse of that from You, and may we be known for looking and sounding just like You while here on this earth. May we represent You well, 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!

God’s Way vs Man’s Ways

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-02-14
SCRIPTURE

From:

Matthew 14:15–17 (NLT)

Text:

15 That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16 But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary—you feed them.”
17 “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered.
OBSERVATION:
Man’s Way: Send the crowds away….
God’s Way: It’s not necessary to send them away, you feed them!
Man’s Way: BUT, we don’t have enough food for all of them…
APPLICATION:
In verse 14, the Scripture says that Jesus saw the needs of the people and He had compassion on them. He was concerned about their needs, just as I believe He is also concerned about our needs today. Friends, you could be the most wealthy person around, but in the presence of Jesus, my King, you will be reminded of how needy you truly are. In our quoted verses, I was reminded of the decisions we make in life today, and how those choices also carry forward into our churches. Seeing us in the world setting vs seeing us make decisions as church leaders, I wonder if our people actually sees a difference. I believe that we are so much like the disciples, for we are quick to judge, and make decisions based on our emotions and how the individual, or crowd is impacting our space, or our personal lives. The disciples saw the crowds and probably knew of their many and varied needs, so they thought to head off one more obvious need, and that was the worry of feeding the crowd. I learnt very early in my marriage that I didn’t just pop up on my wife, with one or more people, around lunch time, without giving her hours of preparation time to clean the house and prepare a nice meal! I wonder how much food the disciples would have taken to the hillside for a hungry crowd the size they were facing! The disciples saw the crowd as an inconvenience, but Jesus saw their needs. Also, even after proving Himself over and over before, yet when He told the disciples that they would feed the crowd, there was a rebuttal because they could not see the miracle that was possible by and through the hand of God. So how might we identify with this story today in our world? Do we have those times that we want the crowds to go away, so that we could…. Are there times that the needy approach us and all we look at is their physical condition and assume what their physical needs must be? Do we stop to consider what Jesus might say to those same individuals, or what He might say about our decision to ignore them or send them away? Would you compare your compassion for the needy to be in line with the compassion of Jesus, or are you at the opposite ends of the spectrum on how you might react, compared to Jesus? Friends, perhaps we should consider this Scripture in view of the personal decisions that we make regarding the physical needs of others, and imagine just for a moment that we might also be rejecting their spiritual needs when we turn the needy away. Oh that Jesus might penetrate our hearts so that we may see needs as He would, so that we may express love in ways that exemplify Him.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, just as You have opened my eyes to being more compassionate of the needs of those around me, or the needs of folk that might walk through our church doors, I pray that You would also tender the hearts of my readers. As Your representatives, I sincerely believe that we must desire the heart and compassion of our Master. Please humble us to look beyond our expectations and our image of the poor and needy, and help us to instead be concerned about their heart and their readiness to meet You, should You call them home today. Lord, teach us to imitate You and to gain the heart of Christ as we approach the needs of individuals today. Oh that they may see Jesus and want to know Him personally! May we not be a stumbling block to hinder such decisions today, is my humble prayer, oh Lord, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Your Characteristics Prove Whose You Are

Friday, 2016-09-16

Scripture

Bible Reference: Galatians 5:16–17

Bible Text: 16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

Paul himself struggled with doing the right thing, for he said that there is always a struggle going on, where he desires to do the right thing, but he naturally does the wrong thing. So when we read these verses today, let’s remember that this is not merely spiritual lingo that Paul thought would sound good to his readers, but he is speaking from experience. What I really love, is the way that Paul shows us how we will know when we are following our natural, sinful desire, or if we are following the will, and leadership of the Holy Spirit. Friends, we have to look at our actions:

If we are following our own sinful desires, then the following characteristics will be prevalent: *sexual immorality,    *impurity,     *lustful pleasures,     *idolatry,     *sorcery,     *hostility,     *quarreling,     *jealousy,     *outbursts of anger,     *selfish ambition,     *dissension,     *division,     *envy,     *drunkenness,     *wild parties, and     *other sins like these.     When you see these characteristics, the Bible says in verse 21: ‘…anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.’

If we follow the commands and will of God and allow the Holy Spirit to direct our lives, then we will see these characteristics shine through:   *love,      *joy,      *peace,      *patience,      *kindness,      *goodness,      *faithfulness,      *gentleness, and      *self-control. When you see these characteristics, the Bible says in verse 23: ‘There is no law against these things!’, meaning that you don’t have to look over your shoulders for anyone to get you, because you are doing what is right. These are fruits of the Spirit friend. This shows that you belong to God, and His Holy Spirit lives and operates in your life.

So the challenge today for each of us is to look at our actions and see where exactly we stand with the Lord. If something ain’t right friend, may I encourage you to communicate (pray) to your heavenly Father and ask for His help and direction? May each of us see the characteristics of the Jesus Christ shine bright in our lives today!

Prayer

Dear God, thank You for using Your servant Paul to share these words with his friends at the Galatian church and with us today. May we be honest in our evaluation of our actions today, and may we quickly recognize acts that reflect our old sinful self that indicate that we have strayed and allowed too much of this old world in. Lord, we sincerely  need You today. We want to be obedient servants, but we know that we can only do this with You ‘at the wheel of our lives’. Please keep us humble and obedient so that we may reflect the love of Christ in everything we do or say, so that others may be encouraged to surrender their lives to You. 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. 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 Filled With Mercy

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – James 4:17-18): 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

THOUGHTS: The love of God, and the wisdom of God combined with the sweet Spirit of God that indwells us, helps us to overcome the evil desires of this world and to live a life filled to overflowing with mercy that produces wonderful fruits of good works and deeds. How is this accomplished? Jesus said that if we abide in Him and He abides in us, we will be capable of doing many mighty things! So we must learn to call on, and depend on the source of our power, Jesus Christ. In these two verses we are told that God’s wisdom is:

  • Pure – when I think of this I think of our lives being free from the impurities of this world that is filled with hatred, jealousy and strife. Scripture refers to us presenting ourselves blameless before the Master. Pure!
  • Loving – Our Role Model loved everyone, even those who despitefully used Him. With God’s help, we must strive to do the same, for scripture tells us that even the adversary can love those who love and follow him. It takes God’s power to love those that seem to strive towards destroying us.
  • Gentle – I believe that God would have us approach others in a respectful and loving way, that will show consideration for the other person, and that you are looking out for their best interest. In this way, our approach and our handling of situations involving others will be filled with gentleness.
  • Yielding – Others first, you last. Be willing to give in to what the other person wants, if it aligns with God’s will and purpose for you. It doesn’t have to always be done your way!
  • Not showing favoritism – Similar to the characteristic of ‘yielding’. Treat everyone with the same respect as you would expect. Treating one sex, or one race or one nationality any different will not reflect the love that God has for ALL His children.
  • Sincere – Don’t do the above things because Brother Ed told you to do them, or your mom may have taught you to act that way since early childhood. Let these characteristics melt your heart and your way of thinking. Our natural character will reflect the ways of the world, however if we are truly a child of God, we will display the character of God.

Please be conscious of these characteristics each and every day. Ask God for a fresh indwelling of His Holy Spirit every day, so that you may think like Him and act like Him. Be filled with the holy wisdom of God, friend!

PRAYER: Father, as I listed those characteristics above, I was reminded of the awesome God that You are, because these describe Your very nature, yet they highlight our ungodly weaknesses. We need a touch from You Father. We need Your Holy Spirit to constantly work on our hardened hearts and to fill us with Your wisdom and Your grace. If others are to see Jesus in every aspect of our lives, we need help badly. I acknowledge that we will never be God, but I humbly plead for Your grace and Your power, so that we may consistently display the qualities taught and modeled by Your Son Jesus. I believe that the world must see a difference in Christians, if we ever expect them to see the need to change their evil ways. May we be Your ambassadors today Lord, is my humble plea that I ask in the name of Your awesome, powerful Son, Jesus, AMEN!

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