Tested and Tried – Joy Comes in the Morning!

Often we will purchase a used car, or a previously owned home, because we want to make sure that all the bugs have been discovered and repaired, rather than us being faced with the challenges. Christians who face challenges in life, will often look to the Bible for similar examples, so they could be comforted by the resolution that occurred. Despite what the world may feel about the absence of struggles for the child of God, Peter shares in our Scripture today that yes, trials will come, but we serve a God who is much bigger than all of our trials. Currently, the whole world is facing a huge challenge/trial. Let’s meditate on Peter’s word today and be comforted in the power of our awesome God!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-04-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 1 Peter 1:6–7
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 6 So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though the going is rough for a while down here. 7 These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of his return.

OBSERVATION: Often we will purchase a used car, or a previously owned home, because we want to make sure that all the bugs have been discovered and repaired, rather than us being faced with the challenges. Christians who face challenges in life, will often look to the Bible for similar examples, so they could be comforted by the resolution that occurred. Despite what the world may feel about the absence of struggles for the child of God, Peter shares in our Scripture today that yes, trials will come, but we serve a God who is much bigger than all of our trials. Currently, the whole world is facing a huge challenge/trial. Let’s meditate on Peter’s word today and be comforted in the power of our awesome God!

APPLICATION: Peter tells his audience, and us, that there is a good chance that we will go through certain trials in our life, and this may really serve to prove whose we are, based on our response and reaction. Do you feel like Peter must have had some insight into 2020 in your part of the world, seeing that we are all facing the greatest challenge of our lifetime? Friends, isn’t it true that we find it extremely easy to worship God when everything is going like we expect, or want? Isn’t it true that we tend to feel like God really loves us when life is good and everything is going well? Conversely, don’t we tend to wonder if God has turned His face on us, or developed a deaf ear to us, when things are going poorly, even after much prayer on our part? I understand that certain religions feel like something is wrong if Satan is not using his forces to attack them – because they tend to wonder then if they are truly doing everything the Lord desires of them. While this may sound far-fetched, have you stopped to think that there is probably little in common between the believer and the non-believer? Shouldn’t this mean that there is a great divide between the two, and a strong sense of uneasiness between the two? I can assure you that Satan is very actively pushing his followers to aggravate believers, to tempt us, to push us to the limit, to test us beyond anything that he thinks we could handle on our own. So Peter is warning us that when these tests come, and when we feel the fiery trials target us, we must be confident in whom we believe. Yes, our current trial (Covid 19) is impacting believers and unbelievers, so many will question where God is at in a time like this. Let me encourage you dear friend, to be prayed up and united with the One in whom we believe and look to for our strength. We must always be aware that we are incapable of fighting in the fire all by ourselves, for it is only when we are in full armor and fully empowered by the Holy Spirit, that we can be victorious over Satan and his attacks. Remember, Satan has no need to heat up the battle for his own, he already has control of them, so we are prime targets for Satan. We can overcome, and be victorious, when we are actually as close to our Master as the mention of His name. Are you ready for battle today? May I encourage you to draw near to God and allow Him to draw near to you – with total protection against the evil one! Always be prepared friend! Prepared not just for the trials that will come your way, but also to be a strong and mighty tower for our Master. Many are questioning God during these times, and Satan is tempting them to question if our God really exists. Please be reminded that it was God who caused the sun to rise this morning, and gave us life to stand erect this morning. Regardless of life’s circumstances, God still stands strong and He is always able and willing to deal with life here on earth, while we wait for His return. He’s still God, my friend! Know Him today and know the peace that surpasses all human understanding.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You alone have the power to fight the evil one. Please help us to remember that each day, so that we might plug into the power source that will guard and protect us when evil comes. We acknowledge that we can’t handle the fiery trials that Satan will send our way, so we need You more today than ever before. My fellow believers and I want to come through this life victorious and standing firm in our faith, but we need You in everything we do dear Lord. Please be our guide, protector and strong deliverer today, and help us to stand firm in our faith. Our world needs Jesus, which is especially evident now as panic strikes over the uncontrollable virus that is hitting our world. You’re still in control, and we still need You, precious Lord. We commit ourselves to You anew. May Your will be done and Your kingdom come at just the right time! AMEN!

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

What Would It Take to Convince You?

Monday, 2019-09-23

Bible Reference: Luke 24:36-41
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them, and greeted them. 37 But the whole group was terribly frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!
38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why do you doubt that it is really I? 39 Look at my hands! Look at my feet! You can see that it is I, myself! Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost! For ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do!” 40 As he spoke, he held out his hands for them to see the marks of the nails, and showed them the wounds in his feet.
41 Still they stood there undecided, filled with joy and doubt.

OBSERVATION: The prophets foretold the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus told his disciples about His death, burial and Resurrection. The ladies to first visit the tomb found out that Christ had risen. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus saw that Jesus had risen. Yet when he stood before the disciples, they thought it was a ghost. I wonder how we might react to seeing Jesus in person at our work sites, or our homes, or our church services this week?

APPLICATION: In light of the challenge that the disciples faced, the Holy Spirit prompted me to look inward and see what I would do if Jesus appeared at my church, or in our Elders’ meeting, or Bible Study, etc. Whoa, that brought a whole new perspective on this. You see, I believe that often we will read these Scriptures and. if we’re not careful, we start to examine the hearts and lives of the individuals, like the disciples, to see what on earth might have distorted or blocked their faith at such a sensitive time. But what about us? I often attend a Easter Sunrise service each year, where we highlight, celebrate and try to envision with the rising sun, what it must have been like to see the rising Son. What if Jesus became our guest speaker at one of those services one year? Wouldn’t that truly break the routine what we might expect from those services each year? I can’t imagine the impact that would have on the believers present, or at least those who don’t die from shock! I make our midweek prayer service a vital part of my public, corporate, worship time each week. Often we will pray that Jesus might come down and heal our bodies, our church and our land. What if He came in person one night and just chatted with us about His Kingdom and perhaps His intentions for our ministry? Would our feeble hearts be capable of handling that? Friends, our Savior is no longer in the grave, for He arose! So as we reflect on the wonderful experience of the disciples, let’s be sure to prepare our hearts for seeing Jesus again some day. Whether it’s here on earth, or when we get to heaven, I am convinced that it will be a glorious time for us to kneel at His feet and worship Him endlessly! Fortunately I have never needed an organ donated, but I could only appreciate the thankful hearts of those who have benefited from such a miracle. But what about someone who agreed with His Father to lay His life on the line for our benefit? Can you even imagine how our hearts will sing, and how we will try to cling to our Savior who sacrificed it all for us, when we see Him face to face? Oh Lord Jesus, come!

PRAYER: The disciples experienced it first! Meeting you in person after Your Resurrection, had them in awe! And I can’t even imagine how such a miracle would impact us today. Lord, You gave it all for my friends and I, and we’ve read and understood from Scriptures that You are very much alive and awaiting our arrival in Heaven! Thank You Lord Jesus for making the way possible for us to overcome the evil of this wicked world and to make the transition to heaven one day where we might worship You throughout the rest of eternity. Please help us to live as children of the King, and may every selfish desire disappear as we work on convincing our unsaved loved ones and friends about the need for our Savior. Please soften hearts even today as we go about our way and make contact with various ones who have not yet accepted You. Please give us boldness and wisdom to share the joy of our salvation with everyone we come into contact with today. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

To Live In Expectation of That Day!

In ways that we could never imagine, Job was tested and tried because of his faith. In ways that may have caused us to buckle under the pressure, Job stayed true to God and endured the persecution. All because He knew that a day was coming that he would unite with the King of Glory! What a lesson for us to ponder today as we meditate on the Word of God!

Tuesday, 2019-05-19

Bible Reference: Job 19:23-27
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:  23-24 Oh, that I could write my plea with an iron pen in the rock forever.
25 “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. 26 And I know that after this body has decayed, this body shall see God! 27 Then he will be on my side! Yes, I shall see him, not as a stranger, but as a friend! What a glorious hope!

OBSERVATION: In ways that we could never imagine, Job was tested and tried because of his faith. In ways that may have caused us to buckle under the pressure, Job stayed true to God and endured the persecution. All because He knew that a day was coming that he would unite with the King of Glory! What a lesson for us to ponder today as we meditate on the Word of God!

APPLICATION:  At the beginning of the book of Job, God said of Job that he was a true man of God that stood tall among other men and was firm in his commitment to God, in spite of what might come his way. Friends, we have seen for the past 18 chapters where Satan unleashed his power on Job and, yes it became very discouraging for Job, because he even wished he was never born. But praise to the God of heaven and the Savior of all mankind, Job never lost his allegiance to God. He knew that God was right there, and that it was he (Job) that needed to lift his eyes above the troubles and look towards the day when he would see God’s wonderful and loving face. I believe that when he wished that these words were written in stone for others to see and be encouraged by, he not only thought of us, but he also wished that he could be encouraged by his own words when discouraging times came. Job realized and acknowledged where his struggles came, but he also firmly acknowledged where his strength came from. Satan is very powerful friends, but our God is head and shoulders above him, He created this universe and He is very capable of ruling and reigning over Satan and any of his deceptions, lies or devious acts that could possibly be imposed upon us while living in this old world. What a lesson this is for us! If we would take time to analyze the cause of our sin, our frustration, our weakness and our failing, perhaps it would help us to do like Job and stand firm in our faith in spite of all that goes on in our lives. I believe that our application here is that we must make God so much a part of our lives that not only will He be able to say like He did about Job, but that He will also acknowledge our commitment, our dedication to the cause of Christ, and that our faith will be evident to our God and to those around us. Friends, others hear of Jesus but they are constantly looking for proof of His existence in the lives of His children here on earth. Will they identify whose we are, and in whom we gain our strength and guidance. While we are living each day in the fear of the Lord, others are watching for an example to follow, and they are making mental notes, so that when anything is said about us, whether in life or death, they will be ready to attest to our lives and what our principles and character meant to them. Let us then live in the light of eternity, in our everlasting hope, in the One who leads us to the love others like He did. Let us stand strong in our faith, no matter what may come against us by this world and it’s leader. Our God’s not dead, for He is very much alive in us each and every day!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You are my hope and my strength in all that I contend with in this old world. My joy comes from You alone, and it causes me to reflect on heaven where I will spend eternity with my wonderful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Thank You for loving me enough to make such provisions for me. Thank You for always being there for me! Please continue to give me strength to look above my troubles and look towards the heavens and remember all the joys that are mine! Lord, more than we could ever imagine, You are fully aware of our challenges here on earth, and You know full well everything that my friends and I face on a daily basis. Please keep us focused on You, so that our challenging times down here will seem miniscule compared to the overwhelming joy that is ours when we join You in heaven. Thank You for watching over Job, yet allowing his true strength and joy to be revealed to us in the scriptures. May the light of Your Word always be the path that we will follow all the days of our lives! Jesus, I ask all this in Your precious and most holy name, knowing that You are Master over everything that could possibly come our way, AMEN!

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

May ‘Hope’ Overflow In Our Character

There are a few powerful lessons here in this Scripture, beginning with the audacity of the paralyzed man’s friends to get their friend in front of Jesus in spite of any obstacles that might present itself. The second thing is to notice that Jesus’ first priority was to meet the man’s greatest need – forgiveness of his sin. Let’s apply this to our challenges of today….

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-11-27
SCRIPTURE

From:

Romans 15:13 (VOICE)

Text:

13 I pray that God, the source of all hope, will infuse your lives with an abundance of joy and peace in the midst of your faith so that your hope will overflow through the power of the Holy Spirit.
OBSERVATION:
Paul had been called to minister to the Gentiles, but he finds it necessary to help Jews and Christians understand that joy and peace must be prevalent in the midst of their faith, for them to have a chance at expressing a witness to the unsaved Gentiles. This is still very true for us today, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
APPLICATION:
Oh that today we might be filled with an abundance of joy and peace like Paul prayed for in our Scripture today. In the midst of so much unrest in the world, and in the midst of so much crime and hatred in our own country, it is extremely challenging for  Christians to have their light shine in the midst of so much dismay. The backdrop for Paul in sharing this with his audience, is Isaiah 11:10, where Isaiah foretold the coming of Jesus, the Hope of all nations. Friends, in all business lines, our staff will not convince, and sell a product they don’t use themselves. Likewise, it is virtually impossible for us to ‘say’ we have faith in Jesus Christ, and there not be a glimmer of hope, peace and joy. The Bible says that by our works they will know us. I believe that ‘works’ here breaks down to: our actions, our joy, our peace and our faith. Paul prayed that God’s servants would be infused with these things. Perhaps we should be praying that God would still infuse us with these gifts, so that we may overflow with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and be more likely to touch the hearts of those that we witness to. The return of Christ is near, let us not waste an opportunity to share His love with all that we come into contact with.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, please fill us, Your chosen children, so that we may overflow with Your goodness, love and mercy. We want others to know of You, and through Your Holy Spirit may we be used by You to extend love, joy, peace and faith to all that we come into contact with. Oh that they may see Jesus. Humble the hearts of those that we meet today so that they may not become distracted by anything in our lives, for I ask these things in the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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!

Attributes of Your Faith

Wednesday, 2016-10-26

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 15:13

Bible Text:  I pray that God, who gives hope, will bless you with complete happiness and peace because of your faith. And may the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.

Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

I believe that Paul has outlined some attributes of our faith that should be evident, if we are truly committed to the Lord Jesus Christ and depending on the Holy Spirit every day, even while living on this earth among the multitude of sins evident everywhere we turn, and the impact/havoc that sin can have on us. Here is advice, that I feel, we can search our hearts for and to seek God’s favor for:

  • The origin of ‘HOPE’ – Friends, I believe that God wanted Paul’s hearers and us to know that our hope is not dependent on our family, our church or our country, but comes from God alone. Whenever we begin to feel despondent over life’s circumstances, or the crime rate, or the multitude of lost ones all around us, and we worry about the constant bombardment of evil, there is only One that we can turn to for hope. We may be worried sick over the leader our people may elect to lead us, but we are reminded that God holds the future in His hands, so who are we to try and correct world events. He has a plan designed for the duration of our time friends, and gives us peace of mind about all that is in store for us. Because of the hope that we have in Jesus Christ, we can rest assured that we will be taken care of and that our destiny, after this wicked sinful world, is far greater than anything we could possibly experience here on earth.
  • Faith – We can read about it, and we have probably witnessed the hope in our forefathers and church leaders, but we will never experience complete happiness and peace personally, until we have the faith, based on our trust in Jesus Christ, to totally depend on God for all aspects of life. This kind of faith is the kind spoken of in Proverbs 30:7-9 where Solomon pleaded with God to give him enough provisions to see him through each day, and detailed his concerns about too little or too much. I believe that God is teaching us to sincerely seek that kind of deep faith, knowing that without it, we would never see true happiness nor peace. Christian friend, at what level do you suppose your happiness meter would register today if God helped you evaluate your faith and dependence on Him? 
  • The reassurance of the Holy Spirit – Friends, I believe that God is teaching us here that as we draw closer to Him, His Holy Spirit will fill us with much hope and happiness by reassuring us of the One who holds our future, who watches out for us day after day, and who still loves us so much that He will see us safely on through eternity to one day be with He and His Father – God himself!

I don’t know about you friend, but these things from this very short verse has reminded me of the awesome God that I serve and that I can depend on today and every day to hold my hand, and lead me through every circumstance that may come my way. How is it with you today? Is your Hope and Faith seated firmly in the Lord Jesus Christ? Is the Holy Spirit active in your life, filling you with everlasting happiness and peace, until the Lord Jesus comes again to take you home to heaven? If not, why not? Seek God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you child of God!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, we are so caught up in every aspect of life and endure so much stress over what we think we could do to fix the wrongs that affect us in various ways. Yet we come across passages like this from Your Word that redirects us to consider our relationship with You. We are assured once again that You are in control, and You have the keys to our happiness here on earth, and the hope of our eternity in heaven with You. Thank You for reminding us that our responsibility is to trust in You, and not mess things up worse than they are already by trying to fix them ourselves. Our very happiness depends on You Lord! Please renew our faith, our hope and our total dependence on Your sweet Holy Spirit that You have given to us as our comforter and everlasting source of joy and hope. ‘I’m Yours Lord, everything I am, everything I’ve got, everything I’m not‘ please fill me and my readers with so much of You that others will see Jesus and believe on Him. 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!

Qualities That Please God and People

Tuesday, 2016-10-25

Scripture

Bible Reference: Romans 14:15-19

Bible Text:   15 If the food you eat harms your brother, then you have failed to love him. Do not let what you eat tear down your brother; after all, the Anointed laid down His life for him. 16 Do not allow people to slander something you find to be good 17 because the kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking. When God reigns, the order of the day is redeeming justice, true peace, and joy made possible by the Holy Spirit. 18 You see, those who serve the Anointed in this way will be welcomed into the whole acceptance of God and valued by all men. 19 Join us, and pursue a life that creates peace and builds up our brothers and sisters.

Bible Translation: The Voice Translation (Voice)

My Take

I believe that some of us may look at the issues Paul were addressing with the Christians at Rome, and wonder to ourselves, “what on earth was wrong with those people?” I’m really just kidding, because I sincerely hope that none of us would think that way about the church Paul was addressing, for God knew that it was important for this to be a part of His Word to us also, because He knew that we would probably be worse than the folk that Paul was addressing. Fortunately, this was not just a time of ‘beating up’ on us for what we do wrong, but I want to emphasize on the positive aspects of what is being taught to help us please God and all those that we stand a chance of ministering to. In verse 17, we are reminded that the kingdom of God is not about what we eat or drink – in other words, don’t get hung up on putting down a brother because of what he eats, or won’t eat, for that has no impact on the soul of that loved one, or about the kingdom of heaven. So let’s seek God’s help and guidance, so that we could concentrate on these three qualities:

  1. Redeeming justice – in another translation this is called ‘goodness‘, or pleasing God in all that you do;
  2. True peace – Living in peace with one another. Be known as a person who instigates peace, and not trouble at every turn;
  3. Joy – let others see such happiness in you from the joy of the Lord, that they would automatically conclude that it must be a God-given attribute!

Friends, I believe that God is telling us that it is important that our words, our actions and our lives be filled with the presence of God, so that He would be overwhelmingly pleased with us, and that we might have opportunities to witness to people around us, because they will be pleased with seeing the love and power of God working through us. It is very evident to friends when we approach them in love and filled with the Holy Spirit, for they see signs of goodness, peace and joy that could only come from Jesus Christ. At our church we have a monthly prayer meeting called ‘The Source’. I believe it is important for Christians to daily return to, and depend on, ‘The Source’ of all life, who is also the hope of eternity.

Prayer

Father God, when we become detached, or disconnected, or distanced from You, our lives and our habits soon become displeasing and unwanted by You and our fellow-man. Thank You for Your Word that pulls us back to You, that helps us realize our sin and our worldly attitudes. Lord, please help us to overcome the worldly desires of our heart, and instead fill us with so much of You, that our lives will overflow in goodness, peace and joy, so that we might become useful servants of Yours oh Lord. Please awaken us, and draw us close to You. Our world needs Jesus, more than anything else at this time. May we be helpers in this respect and never a stumbling block in the path of one who desperately needs Jesus. I ask these things in faith, through the matchless name of Jesus, and in my deepest desire to win the lost, oh Lord, AMEN!

Footnote

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

Life Overflowing With Joy and Thanksgiving

Monday, 2016-09-26

Scripture

Bible Reference: Colossians 2:6-7

Bible Text:   And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him, too, for each day’s problems; live in vital union with him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

Paul was ministering to people very similar in nature to what we still see today – yes, even Christian people. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some folk look at Christians and become deeply concerned about the hope that supposedly lies within them, as they whine and complain as much as the rest of the world, and they are just as timid and concerned about the future as just about anyone else in the world. Friends, God has placed these verses strategically in place for us/Christians today, because He wants to remind us that when we live in vital union with Him, we can trust Him for every day’s problems. Now that little word ‘vital’ has a very BIG meaning for us, for it tells us that we should have the type relationship, or union, with Christ as if our lives depend on it. That’s why Paul goes on to say that yes, we must have accepted Jesus as our Savior, trust daily in Him and live in vital union with Him, but we must also seek daily to let our very beings become deeply rooted in Him. Let’s consider a plant as we think of this act of growth. If you purchase a beautiful plant from the nursery and plant it in mere sand, it will soon wither and die, because there is nothing nourishing or substantial for the roots to gain and support the plant. But if you take that same plant and place it in the same hole with a base of about 12-20 inches of enriched potting soil and some type of fertilizer, you will see a much better result with that plant. Similarly, when we plant our roots in the Lord Jesus Christ and depend on His strength, His wisdom and His guidance, our lives will flourish with His great love! This will further result in lives that overflow in joy and thanksgiving! Lives that look to the Creator of this world, and the Master of our lives for all things, so that we may live according to His awesome plan and for His ultimate glory. Living like this helps us to look on challenges with a new perspective – another opportunity to see God’s hand at work for His dear children, for we know who wins, so we prepare for the joy and thanksgiving that awaits us. Please remember dear friends, that these ‘opportunities’ by God are not directed by us, nor might they come with the same results that we request. Thank God for that, because we are limited in our foresight, but He knows all things, and that all things work together for good when we trust in His power and His answers!

Prayer

Dear God, please forgive us for always looking at our circumstances though the darkened eyes of failure and on life’s challenges through the sad and weak eyes of this world filled with impossibilities. Our hope is in You Lord, and should therefore be filled with the powerful and awesome expectations of a Savior who was victorious over death and the grave! Please continue to work on us Lord, for our doubt and fear comes from the evil one, in his effort to distract us and divide us in our relationship with You. In You, we have nothing to fear, but we need Your strength to keep us focused on our true source of hope – on You, in every turn of life. May we grow deep into all that You have to offer us as Lord, so that You may be evident to all those we come into contact with. May You be glorified though our actions and our character every day, 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!

Let No Wedge Come Between Us

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Message – Romans 8:31-35): So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture

THOUGHTS: I believe that it is clear in God’s Word that His children, you and I, are very special in His eyes, and that there is nothing that He wouldn’t do to prove His love for us! His protection over us, and His desire to see us succeed in every way, is beyond compare and serves to help us in overcoming life’s challenges as we head towards the prize – eternal life in the presence of the Master! I found the words chosen in about verse 34 very interesting, and eye-opening, as the Word declares that no one will be able to place a wedge between the love Christ has for us! Isn’t it almost ‘a stab in the back’ for us with the Word declaring that we will fail, but there is nothing that can interfere with the love that Jesus declares for us! It is sad to acknowledge that we are so capable of failing, but praise God we are reassured from His Word that in Christ we can do all things, and that there is nothing that He can’t do for us when we ask Him, in faith, believing in His powerful name. So friends, I believe it is incumbent upon us to acknowledge our weaknesses, and for those of us who know Jesus as Lord, we are to surrender to His authority, and accept His help to overcome life’s obstacles and obstructions that tend to interfere and/or weaken our walk with the Lord. It is proven that He can help us, and see us through our worldly desires and fleshly mistakes. We just have to be humble enough to ask for His guidance and His help. We are the weakest link in our love relationship with Christ, but under His authority and awesome power, we can do all things. Let’s be willing to surrender ourselves to Him friend. Let’s tighten up that weakest link with the power of the Almighty God! Perhaps then we can conclude the verse above by not only agreeing that God will prevent a wedge from being placed between His relationship with us, but also assured that the weakness we have surrendered to Him will be buttoned up and secured in our relationship with Him also!

PRAYER: Dear Father, I come before You ashamedly, knowing full well that there is so much in this old world that distracts my walk with You and subsequently affects my love for You. I am super excited to acknowledge Your everlasting love for me and Your assurance that nothing will ever affect that awesome love that You have for me. Based on promises in Your Word, which I know that You cannot break, I now can confidently place my faith and trust in You, believing that You will hear my cry for help in maintaining my love for You also, so that that nothing will divide or interfere with that precious love I have for You. In this life we face many disappointments, and often broken promises will serve to break our joy and our trust in fellow humans. What an encouragement and a joy to know that You, dear Jesus, are constant, and always sincere in what You have promised and in all that You deliver. Thank You for being my Joy, my Peace and my everlasting King! Please reassure my readers with this same reminder today so that they might rise above the fears and disappointments of this world, and look forward to the joy in the life that follows with You! I ask this in the wonderful 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 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Business as Usual Won’t Cut It

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Message – Hebrews 7:11-19): 11-14
If the priesthood of Levi and Aaron, which provided the framework for the giving of the law, could really make people perfect, there wouldn’t have been need for a new priesthood like that of Melchizedek. But since it didn’t get the job done, there was a change of priesthood, which brought with it a radical new kind of law. There is no way of understanding this in terms of the old Levitical priesthood, which is why there is nothing in Jesus’ family tree connecting him with that priestly line.

15–19 But the Melchizedek story provides a perfect analogy: Jesus, a priest like Melchizedek, not by genealogical descent but by the sheer force of resurrection life—he lives!—”priest forever in the royal order of Melchizedek.” The former way of doing things, a system of commandments that never worked out the way it was supposed to, was set aside; the law brought nothing to maturity. Another way—Jesus!—a way that does work, that brings us right into the presence of God, is put in its place.

THOUGHTS: This appears to be a complex passage for a layperson to try and explain to anyone, or give you the theological meaning of, so I won’t try to do that!! However, I am a firm believer that God’s Word is in place for us to meditate on and allow God’s Holy Spirit to minister to our hearts so that we may be drawn to a closer relationship with the Father. Here’s how this impacted me: I was reminded recently that to understand a passage, try and picture the audience for whom it was written, the time in which it was written and by whom it was written. So for a brief moment, let’s think about the audience, a people who had been used to the leadership of Levitical priests. Then came this new priesthood of Melchizedek, who was radically different to anything the people were used to – a perfect analogy of the ‘priesthood’ of Jesus Christ, the One known as our great High Priest; our spiritual leader; our mediator with God the Father! I believe that God prompted me to share that we must be careful about allowing anything or anyone to be our sole leadership spiritually. Not the church – no matter how much we love our church; and not the pastor/priest/bishop/etc – no matter how much we respect and love them. For, although we should take the teachings of the church and our leaders to heart, what really matters is our personal relationship with the Son of God – Jesus Christ. To have a relationship with Jesus, we must go before Him in reverence and fear, Admit that we have sinned and desperately need a Savior; Believe that Jesus is God’s Son and only He who can forgive us of our sin; and Confess that we can do nothing to save ourselves, short of accepting Him as Lord and Savior. Yes, confess our unworthiness, but seek after His righteousness. Friends, we are told in God’s Word, that no tradition taught by our ancestors could facilitate our righteousness or relationship with Jesus Christ, it is only through us personally Admitting; Believing and Confessing of our sins that we totally surrender ourselves to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Yes, this may be very radical for some who have followed various traditions over the years, like the Israelites did with the Levitical priests, but let me challenge you to examine the Word of God and validate this for yourself, then take the appropriate action to sure up your eternal salvation. Jesus loves us dearly, sacrificially and wholeheartedly. There is nothing greater He would desire of us than to know that we have accepted His great love for us. Do it today friend, before it is eternally too late.

PRAYER: Thank You Fathpossibility for us. As with the Levitical priests back in the day, and with our various denominational beliefs and practices today, they attract us to follow their various twists on what they understand from Your Word, however You clearly made a way for us to come straight to the source – the only Biblical way for us to be saved from our own sinful selves. Thank You for Jesus. Thank You for the cross, but thank You even more that Jesus arose – an expression of the true life that we have in You when we become one with You. Please help us to be a people of the Book, so that we may be led to be servants of Your Son Jesus, who will lead us to all Truth with lives pleasing to You in every way. Our churches and our pastors/leaders are excellent resources for us to grow in our relationship with You, but continue to impress upon us that our true strength comes from You, and it’s You that we should live for every day of our lives. Thank You Father, and I ask that You hear my cry, increase my joy, and answer all my requests today so that I and my readers may be drawn closer to You now, and throughout eternity! AMEN!

 

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

Live In Constant Joy!

The Holy Bible  (The Message – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22): 16–18 Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. 19–22 Don’t suppress the Spirit, and don’t stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don’t be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.

Thoughts:  I know that the subject sounds inviting, but I want us to be reminded that ‘Joy’ results from a happy heart – a heart filled with love for the Lord and from a heart stayed on constant prayer before the Master of this universe. This scripture reminds us to thank God in ALL things, I believe that this will result in an everlasting ‘Joy’ to bless us every day. Friends, I want to encourage you to always find something to thank God for. You may have a broken arm, but praise to the Almighty, you have a healthy arm to enjoy and help you through your day! Just last night I heard a brother praise God for allowing him to serve in the military many years ago. In spite of many who may have been hurt through their service, he was able to find reasons to praise God for his time in the service. May I encourage you to find reasons to praise God every day? Please let there be a word of praise always present on your lips and in your heart, that you are ready to praise God for, and bless another person with! I found it interesting to also note Paul’s explanation that showing a heart of thanksgiving is actually a responsibility of the Christian, in other words, it pleases God! Paul went on to remind us that we are not to quench, or suppress the Holy Spirit. Friends let’s think of the Holy Spirit as being a fire that burns. Paul is telling us to be careful not to throw cold water on that fire. The work of God, and His Holy Spirit is of utmost importance in the life of a Christian. When we feel Him tugging at us to do a certain work, or teach a certain class, or give witness to a certain work that the Spirit has performed in our lives, we wind up quenching the Spirit if we don’t follow through with what we felt He was leading us to do. Now for those of us who are very gullible, Paul teaches that we test and examine what we believe that the Spirit is instructing us to do. My advice is to: 1). Test it against the Word of God. For if it is Biblical, then you can be assured that it is God’s will; 2). If another believer (proven to be genuine over time) shares with you something similar to what you felt God leading you to do, then I believe that God is reaffirming His word to you; and 3). If confirmation comes through a sermon, or a Bible reading, then I believe that this is another indicator from God to reaffirm His word to you. Paul teaches that we are to act on the proven, and throw out the rest. Friends, as we witness God at work in our lives, we can be filled with the joy of the Lord to a degree that others will also be blessed by our words and by our actions, all for the glory of the only Master – Jesus our Lord!

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, our eternal Joy and Peace, my heart is filled to overflowing, knowing that in spite of my inadequacies and failures, yet the King of all kings loves me enough to bless me with pure, unadulterated love and joy! I am eternally thankful for this! I pray that as You bless me with these qualities, that I will be a conduit for others to receive that same joy, and that they will search for a closer walk with You. For my family and friends that do not know You, I pray that this everlasting joy in me will be so evident to them that they will have a deep desire to know my Savior. Please use this devotional to bless the hearts of those who struggle to find joy every day, for I believe that it becomes extremely challenging for a non-believer to see Jesus in the life of one who claims Him, but displays no evidence of the joy that relationship brings. Bless us today in ways that will force us to rejoice in You, and express that joy to others who need it! I ask all this in the precious and holy name of Jesus, my Lord, with thanksgiving, AMEN!

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