Decide For Yourself – Innocent or Guilty?

I believe that mankind has found, what they believe to be, ways around this warning given by Jesus in our Scripture today. Way too often we comment ‘but that was only a joke’, or ‘I’m sorry’, even though in both cases the bitter words are out of our mouths and the hurt is stinging the other party severely. But in our Scripture today, God helps us to understand where those words come from. Brace yourself as we meditate on the criticality of saying bitter words, and also on how we might avoid them.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-02-09
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 12:34-37
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: 34 …. How can you say anything good? What people say with their mouths comes from what fills their hearts. 35 Those who are good have good things saved in their hearts. That’s why they say good things. But those who are evil have hearts full of evil, and that’s why they say things that are evil. 36 I tell you that everyone will have to answer for all the careless things they have said. This will happen on the day of judgment. 37 Your words will be used to judge you. What you have said will show whether you are right or whether you are guilty.”

OBSERVATION: I believe that mankind has found, what they believe to be, ways around this warning given by Jesus in our Scripture today. Way too often we comment ‘but that was only a joke’, or ‘I’m sorry’, even though in both cases the bitter words are out of our mouths and the hurt is stinging the other party severely. But in our Scripture today, God helps us to understand where those words come from. Brace yourself as we meditate on the criticality of saying bitter words, and also on how we might avoid them.

APPLICATION: If while driving down the road our car began to sputter, we won’t head to the dealership and trade that car in, we will take it to the repair shop and ask them to determine what is causing the problem, and then fix it. Likewise, if we discover that we just said something that might hurt a Brother, we should immediately look for ways to correct that problem. The Bible speaks of the awful danger of the tongue and how it easily and quickly causes grief to others, and especially to God. But most critical today is the matter that God will use our words to judge us when we stand before Him. That’s a frightening thought, especially when we consider the number of vain words that we speak, and the off-color jokes that we share – usually at some else’s expense. But notice how quickly Jesus identified the root of the problem. We care capable of speaking: kind words – just as Jesus spoke when He was here on earth; challenging words – especially when we recognize the solution to a problem that a fellow believer is facing; encouraging words – when we hear of the discouragement someone is facing at home or at work; evangelistic words – when the Holy Spirit enlightens us to the spiritual needs of our friends or loved ones. But in each of these cases, our ‘good’ words originate from a heart touched by Jesus, and filled with the Holy Spirit. So what happens when we have rejected Jesus, when we have chosen to follow the wicked path of Satan and his evil followers here on earth? Isn’t it clear to see that evil begets evil? I don’t believe it is possible for a heart that is used to dishing out evil words and evil actions, to suddenly change its course and be kind and loving to others, unless that heart has been refreshed by the God of all love. Notice how angry people say angry words, not loving and caring words of affirmation. Friends, I believe that God is encouraging us today to fill our hearts with His love and His character. A heart of love will speak words of love and caring, just like Jesus did to all that He touched. Your decision today will determine how you react to life’s circumstances, and how you will be judged on that day you stand before the God of all creation. You have no choice in the meeting, only what will influence your output here on earth, and God’s ultimate decision on where you belong for all eternity. Please read my Footnote carefully, especially the link behind ‘To Know Jesus’. Today might be the day God sets your appointed meeting with Himself – are you ready?

PRAYER: Oh Lord our Lord, thank You for giving us this truth today. May all my readers be touched by Your Holy Spirit and may we seek Your face as we analyze what Your decision will be about our eternal destination. Yes, we can put aside all excuses and indeed examine the person we have become because of the decisions we make. We were reminded that this is influenced by all that we have filled our hearts with. Please cleanse us oh Lord, and make us white as snow. Fill us with Your love and Your character, so that our hearts will overflow with gladness, with love, with caring and with everything that You stand for. We desperately want to be where You are, oh Lord. Please help us to make decisions today that will help us to live the life Your taught us to in Your Word. AMEN!

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

Dangers of A Judgmental Attitude

Being critical of others and judging them for every thing they do or say, that seems different to our way of thinking, is a common thing for most of us. However, we are being warned to be careful with this, as God will use similar measurements in judging us. Since that may prove to be a very touchy situation for many of us, let’s take time to let the warnings of this judgment sink in, and hopefully, help us correct our ways.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-01-19
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 7:1-3
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT:  “Refuse to be a critic full of bias toward others, and judgment[a] will not be passed on you. For you’ll be judged by the same standard that you’ve used to judge others. The measurement you use on them will be used on you.[b] Why would you focus on the flaw in someone else’s life and yet fail to notice the glaring flaws of your own?[c] 

OBSERVATION: Being critical of others and judging them for every thing they do or say, that seems different to our way of thinking, is a common thing for most of us. However, we are being warned to be careful with this, as God will use similar measurements in judging us. Since that may prove to be a very touchy situation for many of us, let’s take time to let the warnings of this judgment sink in, and hopefully, help us correct our ways.

APPLICATION: How many times have you wished that you could bring in the sentencing on some of the criminal cases we hear about? What about the way that young ladies dress or carry themselves when around young men, what’s been your judgment on that? Or young men who look intently on beautiful ladies passing by, ever accused them of having evil actions on their minds? And the couple who works hard, but they are spending money like you could hardly believe possible – in your mind have you ever charged them with stealing from their boss? And imagine how we doubt and accuse someone who has traditionally lied to us about various things. Can they ever tell the truth, and we accept it without question? Friends, I’m not looking down my nose at you when I say these things, because God spoke to me also as I read this Scripture. We seem to have a real weakness in overlooking our own sin, and anxiously waiting to help God do His job in dealing with others. But let us look closely at what God said He would do in judging us: In our Scripture today, God said that He would judge us using the same standards we use in judging others, and He will use the same measurement. So when we step outside our line of authority and judge someone in our minds for what appears to be a sinful act, and we think or say how we feel that act should be administered, then I believe God is saying that He will do exactly the same with us. If we decide in our heart that the act by our Brother qualifies for harsh treatment, then we could expect God to deal with us harshly. I know, yes we serve a very loving God who will forgive us of our sin, no matter how many times we ask. But the Scripture today says that we are setting our standard of punishment by the way we think about punishing others for their sin. So how can we best correct ourselves on this? We probably can’t correct it ourselves, because we have spent a lifetime developing those evil ways and harsh responses. But, we serve the God of forgiveness, strength and deliverance, and He will hear our cry for help and give us strength to overcome. I believe that when we see a Brother or Sister failing, we should quickly raise our eyes to heaven and thank God for His mercies, for if it wasn’t for His grace, we would probably be equally as bad, or worse in our thoughts, deeds or actions, just as we see in others. Take that as an opportunity to praise God, and to pray for the weaker Brother who may need help. Friends, God loved even the unlovable so much that He gave His only Son (Jesus) to die on a cruel cross so that we might be forgiven (saved from our sin), and assured of eternal life in heaven one day with He and the Father. So do I believe that God will forgive even the worst of us? You bet I do, I believe that He loves you and I more than we could ever imagine. I wish I could be that forgiving and loving to my Brothers and Sisters, don’t you? I believe that if we leave the judging and critiquing to God, and allow us more opportunity to concentrate on brotherly love, we would live in a much better place that is much better prepared to meet our Master.

PRAYER: Lord, You are so understanding of us and Your love so amazing and unconditional for Your children, even though we seem to judge everyone else with awful intention. Please forgive us for our sin and evil thoughts about others, and instead fill us with more and more of Yourself so that we might be better witnesses and examples of our Master. You loved us all, and thankfully You loved even me. Please soften our hearts so that we may love like You intended, that we may not judge others, like You commanded, and that we may encourage others to join hands and hearts as we cross the finish line together into Your gracious presence. We love You Lord! Please help us to expend every effort in loving others instead of judging them, so that we may introduce them to our Savior and Lord. AMEN!

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

Who’s The Judge Around Here?

Fortunately there are some God has given delegated authority and responsibility for judging: Certain civil acts to human governments; Certain church conduct to elders, and the behavior of children to their parents. But way too often we tend to assume the responsibility of Judge when we look down our noses at others. James has a grave caution for us today, stand by as we look into what God had intended for us in this arena.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-10-25
WRITTEN AT: Lillian, AL

BIBLE REFERENCE: James 4:11-12
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters.[d] If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. 12 God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?

OBSERVATION: Fortunately there are some God has given delegated authority and responsibility for judging: Certain civil acts to human governments; Certain church conduct to elders, and the behavior of children to their parents. But way too often we tend to assume the responsibility of Judge when we look down our noses at others. James has a grave caution for us today, stand by as we look into what God had intended for us in this arena.

APPLICATION: I remember one time in church leadership mentioning that a brother was not active in the ministry life of the church. I was quickly rebuked by those who saw that brother actively involved behind the scenes almost daily. That was just one example of where God used His servants to help me refocus my attention on how I might do a better job of obeying God’s commands, rather than doing His job in judging others. I believe that after being reminded of the Scriptures today, you also might realize that there were times that you had lost focus of where your attention should be directed, and perhaps you too may have tried to assume God’s responsibility of judging others. Friends, when this happens, we upset the whole order of what God ordained, and we contribute to confusion, hatred, revenge and evil thoughts from a brother or sister who might otherwise be a great influence to us in our Christian walk. I’m sure that you will agree with me that life here on this earth is very challenging, and that we could use all the help we could get from others who walk a similar road as we do. Often when we judge, we are doing so blindly, for we do not have all the facts nor the full story behind someone’s actions. But in this reminder today, I believe we could all agree that we have a full time job trying to do our part in focusing on God’s Word and obeying His commands. Way too often we point one finger at our neighbor while having 4 pointed directly back at ourselves. You see, our sins and misguided thoughts are often enough to have everyone preach back at us for our disobedience to the finer details of God’s Word, so let’s make every effort to use the errors we see in their ways to remind us of how damaging our sinful ways are to others. Seek the Lord dear friends and ask for His guidance to do His perfect will by following His commands. Remember, God designed His commands as a way to help us be more like Him. Our ministry to others will be impacted by what they see in us.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for loving us enough to provide a plethora of commands that would steer us away from wrongdoing and towards holiness. We are in full time need of help and guidance from You to accomplish all that You have commanded, especially in this world where its citizens are striving hard to pull us in the opposite direction. Please help us to stay focused on all You have commanded of us, and allow You to also work in the lives of others who may be like us. We want to be Just like You dear Lord, but we need endless help from You to accomplish that. Please help us to fix our eyes on You, the author and finisher of our faith. Please help my Brothers and Sisters who will meditate on this devotional. May they also be drawn to You and revived in their spirits to live like You commanded. AMEN!

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

Deserving of God’s Judgment?

So often we hear of the love of God, or the mercies of God, or the blessings of God, that we seldom stop to consider how God must feel when we have seen His glory, accepted the sacrifice of His Son, promised to be obedient to Him to the end, but then choose to continue living in sin anytime we want. The writer of Hebrews placed this back on us to consider what we feel like God should do with those who are in contempt of His goodness. Let’s meditate on what might be our sentence for these, for we might sooner or later be one of these found guilty of the same ugly sin, unless we are determined to stay committed to the one true God.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Hebrews 10:29-31 (TPT)

TEXT:  29 How much more severely do you suppose a person deserves to be judged who has contempt for God’s Son,[p] and who scorns the blood of the new covenant that made him holy, and who mocks the Spirit who gives him grace? 30 For we know him who said, “I have the right to take revenge and pay them back for their evil!” And also, “The Lord God will judge his own people!”[q31 It is the most terrifying thing of all to come under the judgment[r] of the Living God!

OBSERVATION:   So often we hear of the love of God, or the mercies of God, or the blessings of God, that we seldom stop to consider how God must feel when we have seen His glory, accepted the sacrifice of His Son, promised to be obedient to Him to the end, but then choose to continue living in sin anytime we want. The writer of Hebrews placed this back on us to consider what we feel like God should do with those who are in contempt of His goodness. Let’s meditate on what might be our sentence for these, for we might sooner or later be one of these found guilty of the same ugly sin, unless we are determined to stay committed to the one true God.

APPLICATION:   This challenging thought is actually a good one, for we are quick to say what should happen to someone who might be breaking man’s laws or God’s commands, but would we be as quick to judge ourselves in a similar fashion if we are the guilty ones? Take for example the guy speeding down the street who runs into your vehicle and injures your spouse. You’re ready to put him away for at least as long as your spouse is disabled, right? But are you willing to suggest to the Highway Patrolman to give you the same sentence when you are pulled over for speeding? Friends, just as speeding signs are posted on every road, God has shown us in His Word the speed in which we are to become angry with our fellow believers; the speed in which we are to help those in need; the love that we must extend to even the unlovable. And to top all this off, God sent His Son to live among us and demonstrate how we are to accomplish these commands. Furthermore, God saw how challenging it would be for us to continue a life of sacrifices, so He sent His only Son, Jesus, to be our eternal sacrifice, if we would have Him (accept Him as our Lord and Savior for the redemption of our sin). So now we should consider these verses again: what then should God do, if we say “yes Lord, I believe and accept the sacrifice of Your Son”, but then go on living a life of sin? Friends, I am reading a passage in the Old Testament each morning that I read these great truths in the New Testament, and I can reiterate that if God said He will not tolerate sin, then you can go to the bank with that. If God said that He would destroy a people or a land for their sin, then you may as well mark them off the map right now. We know that God said that He will not tolerate sin, but yet we continue in sin. What’s with that friend? God created us, and He is also responsible for carrying out His judgment and resulting punishment to those of us that continue to do things in opposition to His will, His Word and His commands. We know that He actually destroyed nations for their disobedience, so we should be careful to approach Him with reverence and fear today as we seek His face, seek His forgiveness, and gain a renewed determination to love Him and serve Him faithfully until the day He calls us home to glory.

PRAYER:   Because You are so loving, so forgiving and so willing to help us through this challenging life here on earth, we often take that for granted and continue to live our lives just like the world and its leader directs us. Please forgive us Lord for our stubborn hearts, and please be patient with encouraging us to follow You in every aspect of our lives. You are the only way, and Your commands are meant for our good and not to harm us. Please give us strength to stay strong in our commitment to You and in our effort to live according to Your will and way oh Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. 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!

 

Careful to Pass on God’s Judgments

King Jehoshaphat appointed judges, and issued them the decree quoted in our text today. While we have judges today, and yes, we could easily ask our congress to apply this standard to their job description and court rooms, but I believe that God wanted me to apply this to all jobs that may bring along with it a sense of judging.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Chronicles 19:6-7 (MSG)

TEXT:   “This is serious work; do it carefully. You are not merely judging between men and women; these are God’s judgments that you are passing on. Live in the fear of God—be most careful, for God hates dishonesty, partiality, and bribery.”

OBSERVATION:   King Jehoshaphat appointed judges, and issued them the decree quoted in our text today. While we have judges today, and yes, we could easily ask our congress to apply this standard to their job description and court rooms, but I believe that God wanted me to apply this to all jobs that may bring along with it a sense of judging.

APPLICATION:   Never having been a judge, I believe it would be easy to study the law, compare it to the offense brought before you, that has been confirmed by witnesses and attorneys, and then pass judgment based on the variances. I realize that it is not as simple as it appears, because I believe that a judge will also take into account all that he/she has been told about the individual, to help determine if the offense was habitual, premeditated, etc. But what I want us to think about today, is that we make judgment calls in our home, at work, in church leadership and even in our every day walk of life. We may tend to believe that most daily decisions, or every day judgment calls, are just a necessity in life that requires little thought. However, I would like for us to think for a moment about the parts of our being that’s responsible for making these calls – our bodies, our soul and our mind. Can you see where many other conflicting ideas muddy the waters for us? I believe that our decisions might be more sound, and appropriate for the kingdom, if we take today’s Scripture to heart. Think about it. If we fill our hearts with so much of God’s Word, don’t you know that our decisions and our judgment calls will be made based on what the Word of God teaches? Think about how others will look to God and question why He just passed certain judgment on their friend(s), instead of allowing them to live the rest of their lives being mad at the message deliverer, perhaps the judge, or even one of us. I’m afraid that when we stray, and when we are not saturated in the Word, we are way more apt to make decisions based on our own biases, prejudices, bribery, partiality or just plain dishonesty. May I encourage you friends, to seek God’s face daily, because you have no idea what sorts of decisions you will be forced to make today. Ask for the guidance and wisdom needed to be God’s representative today. Allow those decisions and judgment calls to be His, and not your human, selfish, sometimes twisted decisions that may be impacted by a number of personal biases.

PRAYER:   Lord God, we are quick to look at others and the decisions they make, but seldom do we reflect on the decisions we made personally, without involving You. Lord, if we are to represent You in every way in our lives, then it is important that we place our daily decision making before You and ask for Your wisdom, guidance and direction. You know the right answers and You can direct us to making right decisions, but Lord we need You daily to humble us so that we would be more dependent on You. I know that works totally opposite to our normal tendencies to be independent, but Lord we want You involved, and we want You to receive the honor and glory from Your people for all that You do. We surrender today to You Lord. May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer! 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!

 

In All Honesty and Fairness

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

Post Date:

Monday, 2017-07-17
SCRIPTURE

From:

Deuteronomy 16:18-20 (NCV)

Text:

 18 Appoint judges and officers for your tribes in every town the Lord your God is giving you; they must judge the people fairly. 19 Do not judge unfairly or take sides. Do not let people pay you to make wrong decisions, because that kind of payment makes wise people seem blind, and it changes the words of good people. 20 Always do what is right…..
OBSERVATION:
Moses, in guiding God’s people as they prepared to enter the Promised Land, realized that this would be a whole new experience for them, so he tried to share every detail with them. In these verses that we will look at today he told them that they will need judges and leaders, to take the place of all that he and Aaron had done for them over the past 40 years. Knowing that we can also benefit from this reminder, I want God to lead us in this devotional on how we might be better leaders…
APPLICATION:
It is so easy for us look at a judge’s decision, and if it’s contrary to our belief, or our desire for the prosecuted (defendant), we may quickly respond “that’s unfair” without giving it a second thought. Our wish didn’t come true. However good judges are put in place to learn everything possible about the law of the land, so that when a case is brought before them, they could listen to all the facts, compare what they hear to everything they know about the law, and then determine as an independent person whether the defendant is guilty of wrongdoing. Not being a ‘judge’ you may question if this really applies to you and I. That’s what I want us to look at today, because I believe that we make decisions every day that shows God whether we are thinking and acting fairly. Let’s look at our work situation where we are looking at 3 candidates who have applied for a position we have available. Although much of our decision is based on a ‘gut feeling’, I believe it will surprise us to stop and ponder what prejudices or selfish motives come into play with our decision. Secondly, imagine two individuals being reported to you as doing something contrary to company policy. One brings you coffee every morning and has your back most of the time, vs the other one causes relational problems in your department. Can you honestly deal fairly and consistent with both employees? Things become especially tricky in churches when dealing with those that financially support the church vs a regular attendee who may or may not support the church financially. Friends, as you can see from the examples given, we all make judgment calls in some aspect of our lives. You can also see that bribes come in more ways than one, and they all serve to sway our decision in one way or another. This Scripture is teaching us to be careful of this, for it makes a wise man blind and causes him to make decisions that he may ordinarily have done if being obedient to his full understanding of God’s perfect laws. Obeying God’s laws is sometimes tougher than we might think, if we try to follow them in our own strength and power. I believe that it is a daily challenge that we must keep ever before God, that we seek His guidance, His strength and His perfect design for us to be aligned with what He desires of us. Living a life like Jesus is so different to anything we experience here on earth, that we must stay closely in tuned with our awesome Designer. Are you prepared to do this friend?
PRAYER:
Lord, this life is challenging at best, and we can only accomplish Your will with the help of Your Holy Spirit. Leadership is challenging when we have to put personal feelings aside and judge according to Your perfect design. But Lord, we want to be more like You every day and in every way. So teach us Your ways, and help us to understand Your perfect will more and more clearly. We love You Lord, and appreciate every opportunity You give to us to show that same awesome love to others we come into contact with, all for Your honor and glory, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The God Who Knows Us Intimately

Monday, 2016-10-31

Scripture

Bible Reference: Psalm 139:23–24

Bible Text:  23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. 24 Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

My Old Testament reading today took me into Genesis where God asked Adam why he had eaten from the forbidden tree. To think that through carefully, you will quickly conclude that God already knew that they had eaten from the tree, He just needed them to admit they had sinned. In this particular Psalm, David went before God acknowledging that He already knew his heart, and even his thoughts. Friends, we usually feel pretty good about ourselves when we feel like no one knows  about our inmost thoughts, but if we have surrendered our lives to the lordship of Jesus, we should be reminded that purity before Him is at a much higher level, for He knows our thoughts and our intentions. I love the way that this particular translation puts David’s prayer, when he basically said: You know my heart and my thoughts oh God, so search me and test me, so that You can quickly tell me if there’s anything that makes You sad. I believe that God is looking for children who are not only sincere in their actions, but because of the purity of their hearts, their actions are genuine and follows the example of the Lord Jesus Christ. Friends, I believe that way too often, our actions, or our outward actions in the sight of others, may imitate what others may expect of a child of God, but I’m not so sure that our inward thoughts regarding everything we do, are always God-like and pleasing to Him. I believe it is for this reason that the Psalmist asked God to point out if there is anything, whether outwardly or inwardly  that makes God sad with him. David even showed us why it is important for us to seek God in this way, because just like David, we want to win the ultimate prize, we want to rejoice at Jesus’ feet in glory eternally. Because we never know when that day will come that Jesus calls us home to glory, I believe that we need to live each day seeking the face of God and asking for a free evaluation of our outward actions and our inward thoughts and intentions.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, may the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts, be acceptable in Your sight. Lord, please give us strength and boldness to fight off the likes of Satan that would cause our actions and/or thoughts and sadden You. Lord, we want to be just like You, inside and out, but we can only do that with Your strength, as we have no power over Satan. Please know our hearts and protect us in our thoughts that may often be fed by the evil one, so that You may have freedom to not only bless us, but also bless others through us. I ask these things in greatest humility, 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!

Our Basic Sin Revealed

THE HOLY BIBLE John 16:8-11 – The Message (MSG): 8–11 “When he comes, he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin; that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control; that judgment takes place as the ruler of this godless world is brought to trial and convicted.

THOUGHTS: In talking about the coming of the Holy Spirit, the third part of the trinity, Jesus told what His primary focus will be. He would expose the godless world’s view of:

  1. Sin – Scripture says that the basic sin of this world is their refusal to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. I firmly believe that this is still a huge problem even today. No matter how much we try to impose laws, or even Jesus’ commands upon people, this will all be meaningless if they refuse to believe in God and His precious Son. Therefore, I believe that the number one priority is to pray for unbelievers to see Jesus and to accept Him as Lord of their life. As Jesus indicated, when their basic sin is taken care of, all other sin will be properly dealt with under the lordship of their new father/leader, Jesus Christ. I believe that many of our churches today will be held accountable by God for the soft stance they have taken on the subject of ‘sin’. Trying to win someone to attend church or be a better person, without dealing with the core problem, will achieve nothing in the life of that person. Jesus saw ‘SIN‘ as a huge problem, the main problem, and until we decide to follow in His footsteps and do the same, we cannot expect to see our world get any better;
  2. Righteousness – This can only come from above, for true righteousness comes only from the Father. Being as good, or righteous as your pastor, even though he might be the best pastor, preacher, leader, friend that you have ever known, yet he is ‘man’ just as we are, and subject to the temptations of this world and subject to imperfections just as we are. Seek to gain your righteousness after God Himself, the only true ‘righteous’ one;
  3. Judgment – Often judgment passed down by our courts could be marred by man’s rules and laws. God is our final Judge, so it is Him that we must answer to and be held accountable to on all the things that we say and/or do. God knows all things, so unlike this world where a good attorney could look for ways to keep you out of judgment by the courts, this is not an option when you stand before our Judge – God and/or His Son Jesus Christ.

I believe that the basic responsibility of the church today is to support the work of the Holy Spirit in exposing sin. How’s your church doing? Please pray for your pastor to be bold in following this command. He won’t be popular, so he could really use your ongoing prayers and support. Encourage him at every opportunity.

PRAYER: Lord God, there is so much that we can praise You for! You are so worthy of our praise, our honor and our glory and our obedience! Thank you for being so forthright in Your Word and for giving us direction on what Your Holy Spirit’s primary ministry will be. I believe that You have shared this so that we might catch a glimpse of what’s important to You and therefore direct our work and our ministry in the same direction. Please use us individually, and corporately as a church to expose the world’s twisted view of sin, and to teach, preach and individually share with friends how critical it is that they come to know the only sin-less One – Jesus our Savior. With Jesus inside of us, how can we do anything but spread the good news and joy of being His child forever! To God be the glory for the great things He has done, can do, and will always do through those who love Him and seek to serve Him! I ask these things in faith, and in 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 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!