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!

God’s Holy Reputation

Friday, 2016-08-05

Scripture

Bible Reference: Ezekiel 39:25–28

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

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

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

Prayer

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

Footnote

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

Oh To Have Leaders or Men Like This…

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

Today’s Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 31:20–21
Today’s Bible Text: In this way, King Hezekiah handled the distribution throughout all Judah, doing what was pleasing and good in the sight of the LORD his God. In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God’s laws and commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful.
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation  (NLT)

My Take Away: I can hardly imagine what our families, our churches, our cities and our nation would be like if we had men following the example of King Hezekiah! We are told in verse 21 that this king was extremely successful because….. everything he did was in a spirit of complete loyalty and devotion to God! Wow! What if we were to elect leaders for our country who practice what Hezekiah did? Can you even imagine what a country of peace and success would look like? Can you imagine how much better our workplaces would be if we (Christians) went to work with a spirit of complete loyalty and devotion to God. Friends, I know that many jobs will not allow Christianity to be advertised or practiced within its walls, but what is inside of us cannot be taken away! We take Christ into our jobs through our actions, our stands on certain issues, through our sincere dedication to our work and our bosses. Friends, this may sound like ‘pie in the sky’ to some that read this devotional today, but may I remind you that our God is still in charge, and He still has the power to touch the very heart of man, for His ultimate honor and glory. I firmly believe that what is missing in this old world of ours, is the commitment of our leaders to the grand leader of all mankind. Now before you say a loud Amen, may I also add that the other missing piece is the absence of the saints of God in constant prayer for our leaders. We expect them to lead us aright, but only God knows what tomorrow will bring, so if our leaders are to lead with tomorrow in mind, they must have the wisdom and direction of the only One who knows about tomorrow. Lord, may Your army assume our rightful position – on our knees, and seek Your perfect will for our own lives on mission for You, and for our leaders so that they may be drawn to You – the answer to all of life’s circumstances and challenges.

 

Prayer: Father in heaven, forgive us for our determination to manage our lives, our churches, our cities, etc. using only the weak and helpless abilities of self. Each of us face impossible situations everyday, because most decisions we make are impacted by things that could happen tomorrow – an unknown factor to mankind. It was so great being reminded today that Christians have a resource available to them that has the mysteries of tomorrow covered. Jesus, I was reminded once again how desperately we need You in every aspect of our life, especially in our decision-making. Lord, may You be glorified because of our surrender to You and our commitment to allow You to be King and Ruler over all things. Please impact our critical decisions this year as we vote, and also as we lift up our leaders in prayer. I ask these things in the all powerful, all knowing, yet all loving name of Jesus, my Savior. AMEN!

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

2016