Keep Looking Up!

Many of us face challenges in this life, either personally or through the lives of family and/or friends very near and dear to us. We sometimes worry about whether there is any hope or good expectation that might come out of the situations that concern us. Until we open the Word of God and are suddenly reminded that things are looking up for the child of God who places his/her faith in the Creator of this universe. He’s still in charge and because He owns it all, He knows exactly what will occur next. That’s our God!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-03-11
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: Acts 27:21-22
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: With our appetite for both food and life long gone, Paul took his place in our midst and said, “Friends, you really should have listened to me back in Crete. We could have avoided all this trouble and trial. But there’s no need to dwell on that now. From now on, things are looking up! I can assure you that there’ll not be a single drowning among us, although I can’t say as much for the ship—the ship itself is doomed.

OBSERVATION: Many of us face challenges in this life, either personally or through the lives of family and/or friends very near and dear to us. We sometimes worry about whether there is any hope or good expectation that might come out of the situations that concern us. Until we open the Word of God and are suddenly reminded that things are looking up for the child of God who places his/her faith in the Creator of this universe. He’s still in charge and because He owns it all, He knows exactly what will occur next. That’s our God!

APPLICATION:  Paul and his friends faced a very serious scenario out on the ship on which they were traveling. Their ship had traveled that course many times in the past, but they never faced the challenges like they faced on that fateful night detailed in our Scripture. However, one other thing was different also, they had a passenger who knew the Master of the sea and of the wind and the waves. In fact, he stepped forward to encourage the sailors with a word that he received from an angel during the night. Now I want you to stop and compare this story with the challenges that you face. You too will also face challenges that are unheard of, and you also receive warnings, that also compare to those that Paul offered the boat captain before they set sail. Think about it, we are challenged by our pastor, Sunday School teacher, Christian friends, and even family members, to set aside our life of sin and surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the only One who could rescue us from the trenches of everyday sin, and keep us safe through the toils of life and the temptations of this world. But what do we do with these challenges? Way too often we continue our independence, our selfish and often obnoxious attitudes, and we snarl at anything shared with us to the contrary. This is precisely what the ship’s crew did, they had no desire to change their plans because of one man’s warnings. Unfortunately, we often face obstacles along the way, much like Paul’s hardened audience faced, and unfortunately these obstacles can sometimes be catastrophic. Sometime we may survive the catastrophes and are able to hear the warnings once again, as we are given a second chance. Notice how Paul finally got the attention of the boat crew after they had tried everything they knew to do? It is so unfortunate that some folk are only open to God after they have tried everything else. Too often our idea of having time to try ‘one more thing’ has very little surety, just as the ship could have easily been destroyed prior to Paul having another opportunity to speak with the sailors. Our take away on this story is that we should never delay responding to God. I have had young friends who have been called from this life very unexpectedly – in the prime of their lives, where it was really important for them to properly raise their young families. I’m sure they never dreamed that they would not have time for one more prayer before their lives were taken. Not all of us can count on the second chance that these sailors were blessed with. Are you ready to meet Your Maker? How will you answer the question “Why should you be accepted into God’s heaven”? Because you are reading this devotional, it means that you have been given another opportunity to surrender your life to Jesus and give Him control of your life. But friend, the warning is clear throughout God’s Word that you have no assurance of your next minute or hour. Therefore, I am very motivated to encourage you into making a decision to invite Jesus into your life, right now. Today is the day of salvation, friend. The sailors paid no attention to Paul’s warnings and almost lost their lives without Christ. Please learn a lesson from this story and delay your decision no longer.

PRAYER: Dear God, I am so thankful that You send messengers into our lives, like You did with Paul to those sailors. This story is a warning to those of us who read it, that we must listen and obey the warnings You send our way. Please help us to see the need to open our hearts and allow You to govern our lives, our desires, our wants and our future. You loved us enough to sacrifice Your very own Son so that we might enjoy eternal life with You. Lord, may we love You enough to live our lives in obedience to Your commands. I pray that my unsaved/uncommitted friends that may meditate on this devotional, may catch a glimpse of Your love and subsequently make a decision to invite You as Lord and Savior of their lives this very day. Jesus, this is an awesome task that can only be accomplished by You, so I ask this in Your most worthy, and all powerful name, 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 encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Where Wisdom Comes From

As we meditate on this Scripture today, let me encourage you to click on the Scripture reference above and read the whole chapter, for you will not only see where Micaiah listened intently to God for his direction, but also we see the same with king Jehoshaphat. The facing challenge for us today is to determine if we are a ‘crowd pleaser’, or a true servant of God seeking to obey Him in every way that He ordains. I believe that way too often we tend to be the former, instead of the latter. Is that pleasing to God?

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

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 18:12–13
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text: Meanwhile, the official who had gone to fetch Micaiah said to him, “All the other prophets have prophesied success for the king, and you had better do the same.” But Micaiah answered, “By the living LORD, I will say what my God tells me to!”

OBSERVATION: As we meditate on this Scripture today, let me encourage you to click on the Scripture reference above and read the whole chapter, for you will not only see where Micaiah listened intently to God for his direction, but also we see the same with king Jehoshaphat. The facing challenge for us today is to determine if we are a ‘crowd pleaser’, or a true servant of God seeking to obey Him in every way that He ordains. I believe that way too often we tend to be the former, instead of the latter. Is that pleasing to God?

APPLICATION: Hopefully we will see from our Scripture today that King Ahab had a lot to learn from God’s servants, and I hope that we too will take serious note of these men of integrity. Way too often we respond to people the way that we feel they want to hear, not the way that we feel prompted of God to speak. Notice in verse 6 that King Jehoshaphat did not give the automatic response that King Ahab expected of his friend. Notice in verses 12-13 that Micaiah was known for being the type person who would be obedient to God in spite of what the king or anyone else wanted to hear. This was so common for Micaiah that in vs 7 the king shared that he would just as soon not even have Micaiah come to prophesy for him, because he was known to say unexpected things. Often this strong minded, honest, dedicated type individual would meet with opposition from his peers, as seen in vs 12. But imagine the peace that Micaiah must have felt when he laid his head down at night, knowing that he laid truth on the line and allowed the chips to fall where they may. Imagine the alternative and how ineffective the prophet would have been if he merely spoke the popular word and then saw disaster follow. He could have gone into depression knowing that his faithfulness could have prevented a disaster. Friend, it is way more important to seek God’s face, listen to His voice and obey Him, in spite of possible breaks in friendships, popularity or even lack of promotion. We should strive to be popular in God’s sight, regardless of man’s opinion or desire. Our obedience to God supersedes everything else. So teachers, teach what the Word says, in spite of what might be going on in the lives of your class members. Pastors/Evangelists – preach what God lays on your heart, and especially what the Word declares. Let God speak to His people. He really don’t need you to sugar-coat things for Him. Sometimes saying it the way that it is written is far more effective, and will have more of an impact, than anything we can add to it. Let God be God and speak to, and through us as He speaks from a loving heart to His people!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for speaking so boldly to our hearts today through this Scripture and through the actions of King Jehoshaphat and through your servant, Micaiah. Ashamedly, I must acknowledge that I am often swayed by popular vote rather than always begging Your wisdom and Your direction. Please forgive me, and if there are others who read this devotional and acknowledge a similar trend in their life, please also speak to their heart about this matter today. You are Master over everything here on earth, and only You are wise enough to know what tomorrow brings. So as Your servants, please instill a sense of obedience and dependence on You, so that our decisions will make a difference for You, and remain in line with Your will. From a ‘self’ perspective, we tend to think way too much of self and our own gain. What this world needs now, is more of You and to be led in Your way through every decision and in every walk of life. Oh that Your servants may be the catalyst of seeing Your will revealed in every aspect of life in which we are involved. All for Your honor and Your glory, oh Lord. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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 encourage you to visit my home church, 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 Lord Has Chosen You To…

In verse 10, particularly the words bolded above, you will see that David shared with his son Solomon that his lecture outlined in the preceding verses, was to draw his attention to the important task assigned to him by God – to build a temple. For many who will read this devotional, I believe that God is knocking on your heart to do a certain work for Him. Are you prepared spiritually and relationally with God to do His work? Think about this as we delve into these verses today dear friend.

Tuesday, 2020-02-18

Bible Reference: 1 Chronicles 28:9-10
Translation: The Amplified Version (AMP)

Bible Text: “As for you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father [have personal knowledge of Him, be acquainted with, and understand Him; appreciate, heed, and cherish Him] and serve Him with a blameless heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and minds, and understands every intent and inclination of the thoughts. If you seek Him [inquiring for and of Him and requiring Him as your first and vital necessity] He will let you find Him; but if you abandon (turn away from) Him, He will reject you forever. Consider this carefully, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary. Be courageous and strong and do it.”

OBSERVATION: In verse 10, particularly the words bolded above, you will see that David shared with his son Solomon that his lecture outlined in the preceding verses, was to draw his attention to the important task assigned to him by God – to build a temple. For many who will read this devotional, I believe that God is knocking on your heart to do a certain work for Him. Are you prepared spiritually and relationally with God to do His work? Think about this as we delve into these verses today dear friend.

APPLICATION: David had continued the rule of his ancestors and did a fine job, with the help of God. Wouldn’t you tend to think that any of his sons would be well trained and suitable for the ongoing job as king of Israel? David had already began the awesome job of gathering supplies for the construction of the temple, so wouldn’t you think that either of his sons would be great for taking charge of the actual construction? This all makes sense to us, because this is the way that we generally make decisions today. We want the most recognized men in society on our boards and we want them to be prominent leaders in our churches. Would that be because they are the most godly and best ‘called’ men in our churches? What if we asked our church leaders today to take a month or two and consider all that David outlined in verse 9, before telling us if they feel called to the position we want them to fill? But this study is not intended to be a pick on church leadership. I feel like God spoke to me and had me consider how I might be doing with Him, based on verse 9. I wanted to share this with my readers, because I believe that God might be speaking to you about filling some of the vacant positions in His church. Are you prepared? Do you have personal knowledge of the Master? Are you personally acquainted with Him? Do you understand Him, appreciate Him, heed to His commands, and cherish Him with all your heart? Do you serve Him with a blameless heart and a willing mind, knowing that the Lord searches all hearts and minds, and understands every intent and inclination of our thoughts? Let’s all remember, that if we seek Him, by inquiring of Him, and requiring Him to be our first and vital necessity, He will let us find Him; but if we abandon, or turn away from Him, He will reject us forever. Solomon made an awesome king and was blessed immensely by God, so David’s advice paid off and encouraged his son in his relationship with God. Don’t you know that our churches will also be blessed beyond our understanding if we also followed this wise advice from David? God placed it in His special Book of Instructions just for us, because He wanted us to take note and follow in the footsteps of His servant Solomon. I pray that God’s Word will guide our every step today. Consider this carefully, for the Lord has chosen you to …… – what might He have chosen you to do, dear friend?

PRAYER: In the name of the Father, and in the name of the Son, Lord we come. We come asking for your people to receive Your Word, and to follow, as instructed, here on earth so that Your work might be accomplished in Your way and for Your glory. Lord, please help us not to allow this evil world to sneak into Your holy work in Your holy institution because of our lack of knowledge and commitment to You. Lord, we want Your work to continue in our midst. Please help us to not be stumbling blocks of that great work. We want to be just like You, Lord. May we seek Your will and follow Your commands, while allowing Your Holy Spirit to have His way in our lives. 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 encourage you to attend my home church. Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Be Still, Listen and Obey!

I’m not on Facebook as much as some are, but by now I have seen many evaluations of 2019 – good and bad, and then I have seen many wishes for 2020 – worldly and spiritual. Whether you’re a Facebook fan or not, it’s a place where people express their views, and often where many look for your response to their views. But that is really not the best place to look for your ideal advice, because some may wish to simply express their most far-out ideas with hopes of stirring up a good conversation. As we meditate on today’s Scripture we are reminded that we serve a God who fights for us and protects us.

Thursday, 2020-01-02

Bible Reference: Psalm 46:9-11
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text:  “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, GOD-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

OBSERVATION: I’m not on Facebook as much as some are, but by now I have seen many evaluations of 2019 – good and bad, and then I have seen many wishes for 2020 – worldly and spiritual. Whether you’re a Facebook fan or not, it’s a place where people express their views, and often where many look for your response to their views. But that is really not the best place to look for your ideal advice, because some may wish to simply express their most far-out ideas with hopes of stirring up a good conversation. As we meditate on today’s Scripture we are reminded that we serve a God who fights for us and protects us.

APPLICATION:  Unfortunately, I believe that what we read on Facebook, expresses the minds and thoughts of the average person alive today. But when I read this passage of scripture in various translations, God helped me to  realize that Facebook is not the place I should go to for a spiritual meter on how well God did in 2019 nor a general opinion about how He might rule in 2020. Here are some of the thoughts that I believe God wanted me to discern in my study today: a) Get away from the noises of this world. Get to a place where it’s just you and God. ‘Step out of the traffic’ of everyday noises and seek the face of God. ‘Be still and know that I am God’ is the way one version put it; b) Don’t be one to look for the general consensus of the world, or even the church, but reflect on the proven power of your God and be reminded of His awesome power. Know that He is in control of each one of us, and if we allow Him to direct our path and control our tongues, then perhaps we too can be used for His glory, and then we just might see God’s mighty works performed in our land. We should be reminded that God is in charge of us individually; our families; our respective churches; our workplaces; our towns; yes, everywhere and in everything that He has created. Knowing all this then, why would we worry our little heads with what might happen in each of these scenarios? In other words, we have no idea what may happen in our lives – health-wise, relationship-wise or in any other area of our lives, but after being reminded of who’s in charge, will our worries amount to anything other than degrading our mental health? Friends, you can say the same things about each of the other scenarios mentioned. For the United States, we are entering into a year of presidential elections. God is telling U.S. Christians to be still and know that He is God over everything in our lives, especially our elections. We are told in Romans 13 that God places our rulers in authority over us, so are we worrying our little heads because we fear that God might mess up? Be still Brothers , and know that He is God over everything that we know and have committed to Him. Sisters, be still and allow God to be God. He is very capable, willing and able to handle our affairs today, just as He did for Jacob, Moses and all other Biblical accounts written in God’s Word to support our theory on this. Be still! Listen! Surrender control to God and return thanks to Him in all things!

PRAYER: Lord God, we acknowledge that You are indeed God of our lives, and God of this universe. Please forgive us for so often trying to reverse that order, especially when we think that we know better than You, how things should go here on earth. Thanks for the reminder that You made it all and that You are still very capable of managing everything – even today. Forgive us Lord for our lack of faith. Even as I write this, I am very concerned about many matters that I already know are hot agenda items this year. Please forgive me, and give me extra strength and boldness to declare Your glory, Your power and Your majesty as You continue to control my ‘world’. I am very weak, but praise be to the God of this universe, You are immensely strong, and very much in control of Your creation. In total surrender, I join with my Christian Brothers and Sisters – Your servants, to lead the pack in glorifying You as our Leader, our God, our Savior and our Lord. For these things, and all for Your glory, I ask all this in Your strong and mighty name, ‘Jesus’ my Lord, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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!

Listen to God So that He may listen to you

God’s commands are condensed in the first part of our Scripture today. In the middle part Zechariah reflects on all the effort made to obey God’s commands, and in the latter part God finally issues His reaction to the lack of desire and commitment by mankind to honor Him – the giver and sustainer of life. Unfortunately, not a whole lot has changed over the years, so let us meditate on the heart of God and how He reacts to our hardened hearts and actions. Perhaps today God might be allowed to have His way in our lives.

Tuesday, 2019-08-20

Bible Reference: Zechariah 7:9-14
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text:  9-10 Well, the message hasn’t changed. God-of-the-Angel-Armies said then and says now: “‘treat one another justly. Love your neighbors. Be compassionate with each other. Don’t take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor. Don’t plot and scheme against one another—that’s evil.’ 11–13 “But did your ancestors listen? No, they set their jaws in defiance. They shut their ears. They steeled themselves against God’s revelation and the Spirit-filled sermons preached by the earlier prophets by order of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. And God became angry, really angry, because he told them everything plainly and they wouldn’t listen to a word he said. 13–14 “So [this is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies said] if they won’t listen to me, I won’t listen to them. I scattered them to the four winds. They ended up strangers wherever they were.

OBSERVATION: God’s commands are condensed in the first part of our Scripture today. In the middle part Zechariah reflects on all the effort made to obey God’s commands, and in the latter part God finally issues His reaction to the lack of desire and commitment by mankind to honor Him – the giver and sustainer of life. Unfortunately, not a whole lot has changed over the years, so let us meditate on the heart of God and how He reacts to our hardened hearts and actions. Perhaps today God might be allowed to have His way in our lives.

APPLICATION:  I am fascinated how history repeats itself in spite of the lessons we should learn from our past. Much like Zechariah did when sharing the visions he was blessed with from God, our pastors today dig into God’s Word seeking what God might reveal to them that would bless and/or convict their parishioners. They share with us the consequences of disobedience by our ancestors, hoping that we would see the error of our ways, turn from our sin and obey God without the need for further consequences. A few sins were mentioned in verses 9 and 10, and not only do we still see these unfortunate sins recurring today, but they were also concerns that reoccurred in the New Testament. Several translations used the same verbiage in verse 11 that indicates to me that it is of grave concern to our Master. I believe that it truly concerns Him when He sees us plot and scheme against one another. When we look for ways to hurt one another. He announces this as pure evil and I believe this is something that we must not only be on guard for personally, but also look for ways to help each other fight against this awful sin. Let’s learn to pray for each other, that we would see the good in fellow humans and learn to celebrate it. Let us learn to pray for those who find it challenging to do life just like Jesus would have done it, or perhaps like He expects of us. I believe the biggest thing that got my attention in these verses today, is the consequences of disobedience. The Word says “if we don’t listen to (obey) God, He won’t listen to us” Oh my, oh my! Do you suppose that this is the reason we feel like we sometimes hit brick walls with our prayers, or feeling ignored by God? There’s an old spiritual that I learned later in life that I am reminded of as I meditated on these words today: “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, Standing in the need of prayer“, it’s not my brother or my sister that I need to be most concerned about, but I need to get my act together first and take care of my personal cleansing before God first, before ever attempting to help a brother or sister where I easily, and glaringly, see obvious sin. I don’t know about you friend, but I need God to listen to me, so it is imperative that I listen to Him and obey Him. Will you commit to doing the same? It is so critical that we have believers who are actually getting through to God with our prayers – our needs and concerns. Let’s do our part in being obedient.

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for so easily attempting to do Your job by zoning in on the wrongs of others, while overlooking the sin in our own lives. “It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer – not my brother or my sister, but me….I need thee every hour of every day, for in my own strength I cannot overcome the evil pull of this life. Please touch the lives of each one that will read this devotional. Please impact our lives with a desire to surrender full control of our lives to You so that we all may be usable instruments for Your kingdom work here on this earth. I humbly ask these things in the wonderful, and strong 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 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!

On Visiting The Sick and Shut-Ins – Listen!

For those considering a visit to a sick friend, a shut-in or hospitalized, I would challenge you today with the words of Job, please don’t fill the room with chatter but listen to the person. You are visiting to help them feel better, this might very well be best served by listening to them. This reminds me of our times with God, is that time spent mostly allowing yourself time to unload, or do you give yourself time to listen to God?

Monday, 2019-05-13

Bible Reference: Job 13:5-6
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: 
I wish you would just stop talking;
    then you would really be wise!
Listen to my argument,
    and hear the pleading of my lips.

OBSERVATION: For those considering a visit to a sick friend, a shut-in or hospitalized, I would challenge you today with the words of Job, please don’t fill the room with chatter but listen to the person. You are visiting to help them feel better, this might very well be best served by listening to them. This reminds me of our times with God, is that time spent mostly allowing yourself time to unload, or do you give yourself time to listen to God?

APPLICATION:  Ever have someone visit you and they don’t stop talking long enough for you to get a word in about how you are really feeling? Frustrating, isn’t it? I’ve been on both sides, so I believe I can identify with Job’s friends and with Job. As the visitor, we tend to feel like it is our responsibility to visit and make the person feel better. So we gather information about the person, then we either build up a wall of defense, just in case they decide to tear us apart, or we load up our minds with what we think they need mentally to help them feel better. As the sick or hurting person, Job in this case, we need someone that we can talk with and possibly identify with us. So if the visitor would just listen and nod their head occasionally to show they are listening or identifying with us, we would feel like we are not alone in our struggle. The last thing we need is a visitor, friend, pastor, elder or deacon, to visit and beat up on us about what we should have done, or how another church member never overcame the illness that they had similar to ours. We don’t want false hope, because although sick, we can quickly see through lies or false pretenses. Fortunately Job listened to all his friends had to say, but now he is lashing back at them. A visit to the unknown, and this would include a visit to a friend or fellow church member, is like walking into the unknown. Pray and ask God for wisdom, a listening ear and a kind word to encourage the person with. Remember, the sick person has been shut up in a room all day and needs someone to just listen to all they’ve been thinking about. Ask God to take away your desire to make them feel better with unending talk. There may be stuff the sick person would lay on the visitor that they want you to pray for and possibly help them find ways to deal with, like family matters or unresolved differences or best of all, to know Jesus personally! If we don’t listen, we will leave without knowing the heart of the one we visited!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, in Your precious and wonderful name, I ask that You humble us to listen more and speak less. You are the designer and maker of each person, so You know how prone we are to build ourselves up and show off our knowledge and our experiences, yet You placed us here on earth to worship and praise You, and to be a blessing to others. Please help us to get off our ‘soap boxes’ and to show humility in all things, like You did, especially in our dealings with others. Yes, we may have something important to add to a conversation, but I know that we need to be more like You and place You at the very top, or leader of all things, then place others before ourselves. No matter how uneducated the other person is, they are a valued child of our King, please help us to always bear that in mind and learn from them and their experiences. As You lead us with the right words to say, may we be obedient and loving in sharing, so that You may ultimately receive honor and praise from all involved. We can only accomplish this with Your guidance and Your help dear Lord, so I ask this in Your powerful, yet loving name, Jesus my Lord. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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!

God Speaks

Like many of us, Job was feeling down trodden, and like God may not be on his side throughout this ordeal of total loss. In fact, Job shared that he felt God had removed Himself from him. Now because everything gave the appearance that Job could have ‘thrown in the towel’ at any given moment, a few friends who felt they could help Job, came with words of advice. Fortunately, these words of advice are also helpful to us today, so we will look into a time of meditation about the ways that God speaks to us.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Job 33:15-19 (GNT)

TEXT:  15 At night when people are asleep,
    God speaks in dreams and visions.
16 He makes them listen to what he says,
    and they are frightened at his warnings.
17 God speaks to make them stop their sinning
    and to save them from becoming proud.
18 He will not let them be destroyed;
    he saves them from death itself.
19 God corrects us by sending sickness
    and filling our bodies with pain.

OBSERVATION:   Like many of us, Job was feeling down trodden, and like God may not be on his side throughout this ordeal of total loss. In fact, Job shared that he felt God had removed Himself from him. Now because everything gave the appearance that Job could have ‘thrown in the towel’ at any given moment, a few friends who felt they could help Job, came with words of advice. Fortunately, these words of advice are also helpful to us today, so we will look into a time of meditation about the ways that God speaks to us.

APPLICATION:   When we are in the middle of despair, it is challenging for us to talk to God and seek the positive He is trying to achieve through our despair. When we are praying for the next big thing in our life, it is extremely challenging to think positive about that, when suddenly things start going wrong, or at least totally opposite to what we had envisioned. Job was a very godly man, but he was still very much human just like us. Granted, he was stronger than most of us, because when his wife had about as much as she could take, she suggested to Job that he should just curse God and move on with his life. However, there were friends who came along, perhaps accountability partners, and tried to help Job face this crisis in his life with a view on God. Friends, when we are praying in one direction asking for a specific thing to happen or take place for us, don’t we tend to brush off the other answers or direction that we obviously receive from God as our ‘not hearing from God’? Shouldn’t we stop at times and accept the answer as ‘No’, instead of pressing on with begging God because we feel like obviously God is silent on our request? I heard a pastor say at one time that he felt called by God to our church, and he felt obligated to remain there until he felt the call to go elsewhere, not because he got a better offer from the church down the road. Often we pray because of a better offer Satan is prodding us along with, but when we ask God for His direction, it means that we know that the answer could be ‘Yes’, but it could be a challenging ‘No’ also. Oh that God would teach His children to not come before Him to ratify their decision, but instead to seek His perfect will for their life, and seek His direction on how to accomplish His will in a way pleasing to Him. Job’s friend, Elihu, gave Job and us, an excellent reminder of some of the ways that God might choose to speak to us. Are you listening friend? And are you ready and willing to obey the Master wholeheartedly, regardless of anything else that may happen all around you? Let’s seek God with all our heart, and be willing to obey Him with all our mind, soul and being.

PRAYER:   Oh that more of us will pray as young Samuel once prayed, ‘Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth’. For many of us pray to You oh Lord, and we tell You what we want and how we want it, and unless You knock us up alongside our head, we walk away assuming that we have Your blessing on our newest project that we came up with. Lord, if we are truly going to listen to You, I feel like we need to come before You like empty vessels waiting to be filled and directed by You. Please Lord, teach us to pray aright. Help us to come before You with no personal agendas and listen carefully to what You would have us to say, to do, to be, and to reflect in the eyes and minds of others. Your will is what we desire Lord, please teach us how to accomplish that. 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!

 

Thoughts on Listening To God

God had miraculously rescued Israel from their slave masters in Egypt and had taken care of their every need during their 40 long years in the wilderness as they traveled to the land of milk and honey that God promised to them. Yet right up to the very end of their journey they were still rebellious and obstinate about listening to God. Learning from the lessons of the Israelites, surely we have this obedience thing under control today, right? ….. we’ll see…..

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-06-22
SCRIPTURE

From:

Psalm 81:8 (NLT)

Text:

“Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings.
    O Israel, if you would only listen to me!
OBSERVATION:
God had miraculously rescued Israel from their slave masters in Egypt and had taken care of their every need during their 40 long years in the wilderness as they traveled to the land of milk and honey that God promised to them. Yet right up to the very end of their journey they were still rebellious and obstinate about listening to God. Learning from the lessons of the Israelites, surely we have this obedience thing under control today, right? ….. we’ll see…..
APPLICATION:
Evidence of more obedient people today because we have learned from the lessons of the Israelites, might be: Children of God who are in the Book every day seeking direction from God; Christians who spend quality, quiet time with God in prayer at least once every day; Getting along with everyone because of being taught by God to follow His example; Churches filled to capacity as indicators of so many being filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit; Obedience to the Word of God and the Spirit of God causing others to see Jesus in every fiber of our being. Friends it is virtually impossible to accomplish any of these things under our own power, for to fight spiritual battles, we must surrender earthly things, and assume a right relationship with the God of this universe, the One who has all spiritual power, the One who guides us to do things that He commands, and say things ordained by Him. To be like God, we must spend more time with Him than we do with the leader of this world, Satan. God told us in vs 14-16 that if His people would humble themselves and pray and seek His face, then He would intervene and save them and bless them. In verse 8, let’s try removing the word Israel and replacing it with our name, or the name of our church, or our city or state or country. This is what it takes to replace the evil of our land with the good, the blessings and the peace of God that surpasses all human understanding. Are you willing to let it start with you and I? God never said that it would take an army to get His attention or His action, I am convinced that He would move mountains for just one or two, if that’s all that are prepared to follow His commands.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, You have proven Your love for us in so many ways, and I thank You again for that amazing love. You sacrificed the most dearest thing to Your Father, to prove Your love for us, yet we are so lackadaisical in commitment to You and in our walk for You. When troubles or challenges come, we try every idea thrown at us before we bow the knee in humility before You and seek Your face and Your miraculous touch. Please forgive us Lord, and as reminded in this Scripture today, please help us to listen carefully and follow Your perfect will for our lives so that we might honor You and allow You priority in our lives. I have every reason to believe that You will send opportunities to us today where someone will need to hear about Jesus, or feel Your sincere love, or be guided by Your all knowing and powerful hand. Fill us with so much of Yourself Lord, that we may be usable vessels for You in this world 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 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!

Are You Listening?

Tuesday, 2016-08-23

Scripture

Bible Reference: Mark 4:23–25

Bible Text: 23  “Are you listening to this? Really listening? 24–25  “Listen carefully to what I am saying—and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.”

Bible Translation: The Message (MSG)

My Take

In verse 23 Jesus re-emphasizes what He said in verse 9 – “Are you listening?”. I believe that Jesus would have the same concern today, for we can fill our churches if we throw in a meal, or if we were giving away something to everyone that attended. Some fill their churches by preaching only the positive aspects of the gospel, and not challenging their congregations with the plain truth about hell and the grave. Friends, the Word of God is widely known as the ‘Good News’, however there are consequences for sin. Satan is constantly trying to steer folk in his direction and away from God. So whenever you feel like you have failed in your invitation to have your neighbor attend church with you, please be reminded that you are probably fighting against the evil one who is trying to keep his grip on one of his followers. It is unfortunate, but churches often fill up when there is a disaster. So I am convinced that many believe there is a God, however He is only called on as needed, much like we do with the gas station. Friends, Jesus told these parables so that His listeners would be reminded of the importance of knowing the Savior of this world intimately, that you would give Him full control of your life, and that you would live in total obedience to the Word of God. Evidence of you having received the gift of salvation will reflect in your willingness to give more than your natural desire to receive. May I encourage you to evaluate your life, or better still try asking God to evaluate your life and show you if you are more of a receiver than a giver? There has been no mention of money, so please don’t ever use that as a crutch on why you can’t give. Just give, as God has given to you – perhaps a helping hand; a prayer; a phone call; a hug or a word of encouragement. These will be worth more than money to a lonely person or one who is hurting. These characteristics will reflect Jesus more than anything you can buy at the store.

Prayer

Father, You gave Your very own Son for our good, yet we seem so selfish with what little we own here on this earth. Please help us to give sacrificially as You did, and may others see Your character in every aspect of our life. Lord, please draw the lost unto You this day, and if You can use us in the process, may we be willing servants, all for Your ultimate glory, 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!

Stop, Drop, Listen and Obey!

May I encourage you to incorporate your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ into starting your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider even us, to nourish us for His glory, through His Holy Word! Read on and be blessed!

The Bible Translation: The Message
The Bible Reference: Psalm 46:9-11
The Bible Text: “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, GOD-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

My Take Away: I’m not on Facebook a whole lot, but by now I have seen many evaluations of 2015 – good and bad, and then I have seen many wishes for 2016 – worldly and spiritual. Whether you’re a Facebook fan or not, it’s a place where people express their views. Unfortunately, I believe that what I have read, expresses the minds and thoughts of the average person alive today. But when I read this passage of scripture in various translations, God helped me to  realize that Facebook is not the place I should go to for a spiritual meter on how well God did in 2015 nor a general opinion about how He might rule in 2016. Here are some of the thoughts that I believe God embedded in my mind during my study today: a) Get away from the noises of this world. Get to a place where it’s just you and God. ‘Step out of the traffic’ of everyday noises and seek the face of God. ‘Be still and know that I am God’ is the way one version put it. b) Don’t be one to look for the general consensus of the world, or even the church, but reflect on the proven power of your God and be reminded of His awesome power. Know that He is in control of each one of us, and if we allow Him to direct our path and control our tongues, then perhaps we too can be used for His glory, and then we just might see God’s mighty works performed in our land. We should be reminded that God is in charge of us individually; our families; our respective churches; our workplaces; our towns; yes, everywhere and in everything that He has created. Knowing all this then, why would we worry our pretty little heads with what might happen in each of these scenarios? In other words, we have no idea what may happen in our lives – health-wise, relationship-wise or in any other area of our lives, but after being reminded of who’s in charge, will our worries amount to anything other than degrading our mental health? Friends, you can say the same things about each of the other scenarios mentioned. For the United States, we have entered into a year of major elections. God is telling U.S. Christians to be still and know that He is God over everything in our lives, especially our elections. We are told in Romans 13 that God places our rulers in authority over us, so are we worrying our little heads because we fear that God might mess up? Be still Brothers , and know that He is God over everything that we know and have committed to Him. Sisters, be still and allow God to be God. He is very capable, willing and able to handle our affairs today, just as He did for Jacob, Moses and all other Biblical accounts written in God’s Word to support our theory on this. Be still! Listen! Surrender control to God and return thanks to Him in all things!

Prayer: Lord God, we acknowledge that You are indeed God of our lives, and God of this universe. Please forgive us for so often trying to reverse that order, especially when we think that we know better than You, how things should go here on earth. Thanks for the reminder that You made it all and that You are still very capable of managing everything, even today. Forgive us Lord for our lack of faith. Even as I write this, I am very concerned about many matters that I already know are hot agenda items this year, especially our national elections. Please forgive me, and give me extra strength and boldness to declare Your glory, Your power and Your majesty as You continue to control my ‘world’. I am very weak, but praise be to the God of this universe, You are immensely strong, and very much in control of Your creation. In total surrender, I join with my Christian Brothers and Sisters – Your servants, to lead the pack in glorifying You as our Leader, our God, our Savior and our Lord. For these things, and for Your glory, I ask all this in Your strong and mighty name, ‘Jesus’ my 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!

2016