An Attitude of Appreciation

As children, we are often taught to show our appreciation for things given to us, by saying ‘thank you’! As adults, we often try to repay one kindness with another of some sort. But God blesses us each day with gifts of varying types, so how do we show our appreciation to Him? Perhaps today’s Scripture may open our eyes and enlighten our hearts to new ways that demands our praise and our worship. God Almighty is our Provider!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-08-06
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 7:44-47
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.
47 “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love….

APPLICATION: Although our Scripture seems longer than normal, it is packed with a challenge from our Savior about what He sees as appreciation from His children. I believe that each week when we meet in church services, we always make sure that we’re dressed properly, we have our Bible with us, and that our favorite preacher will be in the pulpit that day at church. We arrive at church and we carefully examine all the new fashions on display by attendees, and we pay close attention to who will come over and greet us. Most of the time we will participate in the worship songs, if they are appealing to our ears, and we anxiously wait for the preacher’s ‘entertainment’. We are the first out, so we could avoid the traffic in exiting the property, and it also allows us first dibs at the local restaurant. If the pastor requests a visit to our home, it must be cleared in advance to allow us time to make our home presentable. Sounds pretty typical, right? But how well will you handle variances? What if the local drunk barges in while the pastor is visiting? What if a known prostitute walks right up to a front row seat in your sanctuary? Will you need help staying composed? How do you suppose Jesus would handle either of the aforementioned examples? Friends, these are scenarios that we could possibly face any, or every day. Our response will be based on what’s in our heart. If Simon’s heart was overflowing with the love of God, I believe He would have welcomed anyone who came to worship his Lord, or wash His feet, instead of being critical of who the person is, or from what background they may have come from. She’s a sinner, but so was Simon before He found Jesus. Well guess what? That’s exactly the same case with you and I. God sacrificed His only Son for us – even while we were still sinners, so what are we willing to endure? How appreciative should we be to a generous and sacrificial God? My friend, we don’t have time to look around and judge others, we have a full time job getting ourselves ready for the Kingdom and staying in a shape of readiness each and every day. When we call ourselves ‘Christian’ or a ‘follower of Christ’, it means that we vow to live here on earth just like He did. We will obey His commands and follow His example, so that we may look just like Him. Jesus accepted the prostitute just as she was, doesn’t that mean that we should do the same? In other Scriptures, Jesus said that He came to minister to, and save, the broken and the vilest sinner. If we are truly determined to follow His example, then we too must be willing to accept the vilest sinner. When our hearts are humbled to this degree, I believe that we will then live in appreciation of all that our Lord has become to us, and we will then look forward to personal worship to our King, and for His love and appreciation for us as a church. Search deep inside my friend, and reexamine the reasons for seeking God out each day. Recognize His goodness, then you will praise Him in all honesty for His goodness. Allow me to encourage you to especially love those who seek after our Lord, for they are our Brothers and our Sisters!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus lovingly welcomed the prostitute and accepted her gifts of worship. We must be willing to do the same to sinners of all professions. All are equal in the eyes of the One who created them!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I’m ashamed to say today, but as I look over the roster of my church, I would place certain members at the top, some at the middle and others at the very bottom of my list of ‘great’ members. But I believe that You showed us in our Scripture today that You created all of us, and You love each of us equally. Please help us to be as neutral as You are in loving all Your children, and please help us to welcome sinners into our midst with open arms as we sing praises to the One who created them. Help us to look at our times of worship with one purpose in mind – to glorify our King! I believe that when we concentrate on You, our eyes are distracted from others around us that we tend to criticize and pull down. Please help us to love others like You did, and to be more like You in every way, every day! AMEN!

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

God Watches Over You

A parent is charged with watching over their child from the time they are born and everything has to be done for them, to the time they become strong enough to assume responsibility of taking care of themselves, and beyond! This instinct and responsibility was given by our God who tenderly cares for us from the moment we give Him control. He is the image of a good parent to us. Hopefully as we pause to meditate on this Scripture God will give us reassurance of His protective, caring and loving hand that holds us secure each day.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-06-29
WRITTEN AT: Tucumcari, NM

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 37:23-24
TRANSLATION:New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
    He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
    for the Lord holds them by the hand.

APPLICATION: It seems like many days are filled with challenges that cause us to wonder: can it get any worse? Often it feels like we are at the end of our rope and holding on only by a knot, but we are thankful that all days are not like that! For the believer in Christ, we have a hope that surpasses all human understanding, for God repeats over and over in His Word that He watches out for us; He cares for us; He loves us unconditionally; He restores us from our brokenness, despair and disappointments and as promised in our Scripture today, He delights in every detail of our lives; He directs our paths and He holds our hand, especially when we stumble or fall! For my Christian friends reading this devotional, all of this is enough to help us rise above our doubts and fears. But it saddens us for our friends who have said ‘no’ to our Savior, and they are enduring serious days where they feel all alone and forsaken by the whole world around them. These are often our close friends, and we wish there would be something that we could do to help them. Sure enough, there is lots we can do to help. For you see, we are Christ’s representatives here on earth. Our friends need to feel the same love coming from us that we receive from Jesus Christ. They need to know that we are not judging them, but rather we are wanting desperately to help them through their struggles. They need to know that when they feel the world around them are against them and looking for ways to ridicule and punish them, that they could depend on the children of God to unconditionally love and care about them. To be Jesus in the flesh before them. Friends, we will never replace Jesus or be a substitute for Jesus at anytime – it’s impossible. But oh that we might be reminders to our unsaved world that Jesus is truly alive, because they see evidence of Him in us. May we always point them to the Savior so that they too might find rest and peace in Him in this troubled world. Always remember that God is watching over us – not just so that we might gloat in His goodness, but I believe, so that His goodness might overflow through His children here on earth to encourage others who need Him. A good friend always likened us to to one beggar giving bread to another beggar who needs Jesus! Just as Jesus watches over us, may our friends sense that Jesus wants to watch over them, because they could see first hand how His love reaches through us to love on them!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: We have a Savior who not only saved us from our sin, but He watches over us when we struggle and/or fall. I need that reassurance, and I hope that you will also benefit from that reminder!

PRAYER: Praise You Jesus, for You care for us like no one else does, and when others despise us because of our failures. What an awesome reminder that, as Your children, we are to express that same kind of love to those that we know and/or come into contact with. But oh what joy it is to know that instead of giving up when we feel distraught and forsaken, we could lift our heads up high, knowing that the Creator of this Universe loves us and cares for us. Thank You Lord Jesus for showing us what real love is all about. We know that it’s easy to love those that love us and are kind to us, but now we know that through Christ we can also love everyone, just like You love us! May others see Jesus today, even if the only person they see is one of His children! Draw all men to Yourself today dear Lord, especially those we touch in some way. AMEN!

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

The Greatest Commandment

Although the Pharisees were trying to test Jesus, they asked a very logical question. Jesus’ response is still applicable to us today, so let’s see how we’re doing with the two commandments Jesus considered most important.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-03-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 22:36-40
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 
Pharisees: 36 Teacher, of all the laws, which commandment is the greatest?Jesus (quoting Scripture): 37 “Love the Eternal One your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind.”[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is nearly as important, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[d] 40 The rest of the law, and all the teachings of the prophets, are but variations on these themes.

OBSERVATION: Although the Pharisees were trying to test Jesus, they asked a very logical question. Jesus’ response is still applicable to us today, so let’s see how we’re doing with the two commandments Jesus considered most important.

APPLICATION: It seems natural for us to worry more about the most important laws, or the most critical infractions we want to avoid. Take speeding for example: In the US we know that we could get away with doing no more than 5 miles over the speed limit, so we will often break the law, but by no more than 5mph, so we don’t get a ticket. Isn’t it the same with God’s laws? It seems ok to take a few pencils or paperclips home from work, but not $100, even though both are stealing. It seems OK to tell a lie, but we wouldn’t ever consider murder, although both are sins. Notice how Jesus set an example for us in quoting Scripture when responding to questions from those trying to test us. He did it to Satan when tempted by him in the desert, and he responds similarly now to the Pharisees. Why is that? Personal opinions are dime a dozen, for everyone has at least one! However, when we quote ‘thus says the Lord’, we are allowing God’s Word to answer why we believe the way we do. I found it interesting that Jesus chose not only the two commandments that epitomize God’s love and His wish for His children, but also the two commandments that all others are based on. In other words, if we get these two right, and if we exceed expectations in response to these two, then no one should have reason to judge us of missing the mark with the other commandments. To love the Lord: With all our heart – is to devote the very core of our being (our heart) to loving our Creator and our Lord; With all our soul – is to love God from the deepest parts of our being, knowing that no one deserves our love more than He does; With all our mind – is to know that our love for God is unconditional, meaning that we will love Him no matter what is going on in life, because our mind is fixed on Him. On the second most important commandment, Jesus tells us that it is equally important as the first, for a child of God who loves His Maker, will also love all that He made. To dislike our neighbor is like saying that God messed up in creating them. Of course they will be different to us in many ways, but in loving them, we soon learn to love the variety of people and things that God created. This widens our spectrum of appreciation for our Creative God. As we love our (different) neighbor, we become better prepared to approach nonbelievers who need Jesus. Remember, God made them, so we should love them! Please note that this is not just a nice story about God getting on to the Pharisees. I believe that He is still saying the same thing to you and I today: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind – and your neighbor as you love yourself; for this is God’s greatest wish for you today!

PRAYER: Each day that I read Your Word, I am looking for what’s most important for me that day, from my gracious God. Thank You Lord, for making it plain to me today that I am to love You above everything else, and that I am to love my friends, my relatives and my neighbors as much as I love myself. Lord, please teach my readers and I to love like You love us each and every day. For others need to see Jesus – Your love, Your mercy and Your gracious concern for everyone. They need to see You, and not the wickedness of our earthly beings. May others see You and believe. 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!

Describe Your Love For Him

In reading how David meticulously told God how he loved Him, I hope that this might cause us to think about doing the same. I believe we struggle in doing this with earthly friends, spouse included, so I could only imagine what a challenge this would pose for us to stop and describe to God how much, and in what ways we love Him! Let’s meditate on the love of God today, and on how we might describe our love for Him.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-10-05
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL.

Bible Reference: Psalm 123:1-2
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: O God-Enthroned in heaven, I worship and adore you!
The way I love you is like the way a servant wants to please his master, the way a maid waits for the orders of her mistress. We look to you, our God, with passionate longing to please you and discover more of your mercy and grace

OBSERVATION: In reading how David meticulously told God how he loved Him, I hope that this might cause us to think about doing the same. I believe we struggle in doing this with earthly friends, spouse included, so I could only imagine what a challenge this would pose for us to stop and describe to God how much, and in what ways we love Him! Let’s meditate on the love of God today, and on how we might describe our love for Him..

APPLICATION: I’ve seen this done at church, where the congregation was asked to give descriptive words of how they know that God loves them, and why they love God. Very often this comes with a lot of Biblical terms, churchy words, and words that you might hear from the pulpit, or over Christian radio. But I wonder how much more personal this might be if it was just you and God. If there were no devices, and no distractions, but you became overwhelmed with the thought of how powerful God is; how loving He is; how forgiving He is; and that God brought you to a point where you realized that He is an awesome God who loves you – individually, more than anything else in the world. What would you have to say to Him in return? Remember, it’s just you and God present and He wants to hear your heart. What would you say? Perhaps you’ve seen Him in the Word as you meditated on it today; perhaps in a song; perhaps in the beauty of the outdoors; perhaps a beautiful animal – one of His wonders, just ran in front of you; or perhaps your mind reflected back on the love of God, and/or how He touched you during a recent life event. Friends, our God is ever present, and I believe He is just waiting for us to praise Him for His amazing greatness, if only we will separate ourselves from the busyness of life and allow our hearts and minds to connect with our Creator. Allow these words of David to reinvigorate your heart, soul and mind and cause you to focus on your Maker. He is so worthy of our praise friends!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, how can we say thanks for the things You have done for us? How can we love You near as much as You love us? How can we give to our Master who has everything? Yet You have prepared a place for us to spend eternity with You and Your Father! Praise God that in spite of our inadequacies yet You love us anyway, and You have given us life itself to enjoy while here on earth. Thank You for who You are, and for all You do and show to us precious Father. May we show love and appreciation to You in every way and as frequently as our hearts could imagine. In Jesus’ name, 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!

What God Wants

If we reflect on why we perform some of the rituals that we do in our churches, we may need to look no further than back to what our ancestors did. But along the way, we should be careful to reflect on whether God was pleased with what His people did in an effort to please Him. Our Scripture today shows us how displeased God was with the Israelites because they chose to ignore His commands and do their own thing. Do you feel like you are doing any better than that today?

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-08-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Jeremiah 7:21-23
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 21 The Lord, the God of Israel says: Away with your offerings and sacrifices! 22 It wasn’t offerings and sacrifices I wanted from your fathers when I led them out of Egypt. That was not the point of my command. 23 But what I told them was: Obey me, and I will be your God and you shall be my people; only do as I say, and all shall be well!

OBSERVATION: If we reflect on why we perform some of the rituals that we do in our churches, we may need to look no further than back to what our ancestors did. But along the way, we should be careful to reflect on whether God was pleased with what His people did in an effort to please Him. Our Scripture today shows us how displeased God was with the Israelites because they chose to ignore His commands and do their own thing. Do you feel like you are doing any better than that today?

APPLICATION: I bet that one of the worse pet peeves of parenting is, hearing our children respond to us ‘but I thought…..’. You told them to complete a certain chore, and you wanted it done a certain way. However, it was not completed to your satisfaction. Regrettably the child will respond ‘but dad, I thought ……’ And we know that means that they thought they knew a better way! For those who have been a student of the Bible for very long, you have probably found, like I have, that God has done an awesome job at providing instruction for every area of life in His precious Word. However, way too many times we try all of our own ideas before finally conceding to the Bible to see what it has to say. Generally it’s after we have messed up, that we concede and turn to God for help! Friends, our personal ways are filled with selfish ideas about what might please self. But notice how simple God’s commands to the Israelites were: ‘Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people’. Very simple, but recognize the value in this short command. God performed miracle after miracle to change the mindset of Pharaoh, to willingly let God’s people go. The Israelites were present and impacted by all that our God miraculously did, so they had proof of His awesome power. They knew that He was in control of this earth and that nothing is impossible with Him. However, as they journeyed, and when things got tough, they immediately resorted to their old habits and to their former gods. Are we any different today? I believe that God not only said these words through His servant Jeremiah for the good of the Israelites, but I believe that He truly wants us to understand this today, that all He wants from us, is that we obey Him. In fact, this is confirmed in John 14:15-16 where Jesus reiterates that if we love Him, we will obey Him and His commands. Friends, when we truly love someone, we will make every effort to do what they want. God showed us how much He loves us. How far are we willing to go to prove our love for God?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, You gave Your very own Son so that we might be saved and enjoy eternity with You in Heaven. There is no greater love! As we look for ways to say thank You Jesus, we realize that You have already told us how we might show our love for You – simply obey You and the commands You have set out in Your Word. Because of Your love for us, I am convinced that every command given for us to follow were given in love, and for our own good. But Lord, we are so stubborn and selfish, so please tender our hearts once again today so that we may willingly obey and desire to please You in all that we do or say. Please fill us with so much of Your love, that it will overflow in everything we do and it will stand behind every decision we make, so that You will be glorified. Thank You Jesus for first loving us. May our obedience to Your commands show the extent of our love for You, today and every day. 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!

Love Never Gives Up On People

In one of my Bible translations, the word ‘Love’ in verse 5 of this chapter, was closer defined as the ‘love of God within us’. That helped me look at this chapter in a whole new light, because too often we use the word ‘love’ as it pertains to our spouse, verses the way that we like everyone else. I believe that this opening sentence gives us a bright new way to look at the way that we ‘love’ others, for it tells us that the love of God should shine through us without fail, regardless of how miserable or unloving the other person is. Join me as we think about this today.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-05-23
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Corinthians 13:7-8
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT:  Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits. Love will never end. But all those gifts will come to an end—even the gift of prophecy, the gift of speaking in different kinds of languages, and the gift of knowledge. 

OBSERVATION: In one of my Bible translations, the word ‘Love’ in verse 5 of this chapter, was closer defined as the ‘love of God within us’. That helped me look at this chapter in a whole new light, because too often we use the word ‘love’ as it pertains to our spouse, verses the way that we like everyone else. I believe that this opening sentence gives us a bright new way to look at the way that we ‘love’ others, for it tells us that the love of God should shine through us without fail, regardless of how miserable or unloving the other person is. Join me as we think about this today.

APPLICATION: In these verses Paul is reminding the Corinthian church, and believers today, that we are to always believe in the good things of another person that we are challenged to deal with. It’s sad, but way too often we tend to ‘write another person off’ when they don’t act like we do, or talk like we do, or even at times look like we do. And this is especially true if that person crossed the line of trying to correct us or offer advice to us, or disagree with us! Solomon went as far as saying in Proverbs 10:12 that love covers a multitude of sins. Surely as children of God, we are always endeavoring to love our fellow man, so would it not be natural for us to try and work through our differences, because of that love? Perhaps we are guilty of what the Corinthians were doing – they tried to sidetrack the issue by concentrating on some of the other gifts of the Spirit. However, Paul corrected them and helped them understand that the other gifts were given to help us survive the current time, but the one they should be concentrating on, is the one that will last for all times – love. With that in mind, my heart was challenged to think how different our world would be if we dealt with every situation through the lens of ’love’ for one another. So let’s look at a few examples of how this might impact our world: (1) Let’s suppose that our spouse made us very upset, and their action made us so mad that we wanted to walk out on them. But we were quickly reminded by God of His love that lives inside of us, and that we should respond in a way that Jesus, who loves all people, would respond. Do you foresee us calming down and trying to respond in godly love, in spite of our human anger? Don’t you see how that would get is through that rough time? (2) Let’s suppose that our child was expelled from school because of cursing and disrespect for their teacher and most students. We convinced ourselves that our neighbor was right in saying that we raised our child in love and to always give respect for the authorities, so of course we need to impress that neighbor by following through with a large discussion with the teacher and principal of that school and give them a piece of our mind! However, during your devotional time that morning you were reminded of what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13 about the love of God that resides in you and how you, in return should always demonstrate that love for others. But the question remains, how do you settle this issue and come out on top at your child’s school? Friends, through this period of Covid 19 lockdown, I have been amazed by all the many ways that folk have learned to adjust in their daily lives. Churches have continued to serve their parishioners, banks have continued to serve their customers, children have continued their schooling, etc, etc. I have every reason to believe that if we love, like Jesus first loved us, then we will seek ways to show love in every circumstance of life, even those that seem impossible to us and have raised our blood pressure because of how upset we may have gotten. Folks, all things are possible with the God we love, but we need to get away from our selfish and sinful vendettas and seek the face of God to help us resolve matters in love for each other, and in a way that will be pleasing to God. This is only possible with the child of God, because of His grace, His power and His help. If you have not invited Him to be Lord of your life, then I would encourage you to read through my Footnote and especially drill down on the link ‘To Know Jesus’. Seek Him today while He may be found, dear friends. You can receive the same help offered to believers who obediently seek God in every circumstance of life.

PRAYER: Lord, it is evident that when we take the reins from You and try to do life alone – in our own way, we will follow the example of the world and respond to life’s challenges in ways that pleases the enemy, instead of You. Please be patient with us as You constantly remind us of whose we are. May we take our stance in full obedience to Your leading and in a way that You will be please with and honored. We need You involved in every aspect of our lives, especially the decisions we make and the actions that we take when posed with one more temptation set up by Satan. I am a child of God, and I want to please You in every way and in all things. My readers and I would be eternally thankful for Your guidance, especially when we are tempted to lose it with other humans. Oh that we may be good representatives in every walk of life, with Your help, strength and guidance. 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!

‘Absolutely Nothing’ Can Come Between Us

In a day when we read about a spouse being dropped off to the hospital to receive help due to a serious, infectious disease, and the spouse dies and is buried without loved one being able to say their goodbyes in person, yet we can meditate on this Scripture and see where God is assuring us through His servant, Paul, that regardless of what might happen here on earth, there is absolutely nothing that could separate those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior, from the love, security and everlasting communion with the Father and the Son! Praise God for that assurance and that comfort!

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-04-05
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 8:31-35
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 31 So what should we say about all of this? If God is on our side, then tell me: whom should we fear? 32 If He did not spare His own Son, but handed Him over on our account, then don’t you think that He will graciously give us all things with Him? 33 Can anyone be so bold as to level a charge against God’s chosen? Especially since God’s “not guilty” verdict is already declared. 34 Who has the authority to condemn? Jesus the Anointed who died, but more importantly, conquered death when He was raised to sit at the right hand of God where He pleads on our behalf. 35 So who can separate us? What can come between us and the love of God’s Anointed? Can troubles, hardships, persecution, hunger, poverty, danger, or even death? The answer is, absolutely nothing.

OBSERVATION: In a day when we read about a spouse being dropped off to the hospital to receive help due to a serious, infectious disease, and the spouse dies and is buried without loved one being able to say their goodbyes in person, yet we can meditate on this Scripture and see where God is assuring us through His servant, Paul, that regardless of what might happen here on earth, there is absolutely nothing that could separate those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior, from the love, security and everlasting communion with the Father and the Son! Praise God for that assurance and that comfort!

APPLICATION: We’ve heard friends say before that they are such a wicked person, having done so much evil in their day, that a holy, loving, caring and sacrificial Father would never love them. Considering their earthly father, we might quickly agree with them, because mankind is so unforgiving deep inside. But friends, do you see the difference in how mankind tends to classify such a person, versus what Jesus said in His Word – that with Christ, absolutely nothing will separate us from the love of the Father! Can’t you see that as sinners so far removed from our perfect God, that all we ever deserved from anyone is a sentence of death and eternal damnation. Instead, in our Scripture today we are reminded that for those who seek God and accept Him as their loving Savior and Lord, will one day stand at heaven’s portals and rejoice in hearing the Master of this universe, our Lord and Savior, our God, welcome us into His domain as ‘saints’ or ‘children of God’! Oh what a day that will be, dear friends! Now, in these verses under review today we are reminded by Paul in his addressing the same question to the church at Rome, that the love God speaks of is unconditional, and according to John 3:16, it is available to all who call on His name through His Son Jesus, for they will be saved, and is loved with His everlasting and unconditional love! The ‘human’ in us causes us to question, but what if ……. happens, or what if I mess up, or what if another Christian points a finger at something we weren’t perfect at? Friends, Paul (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and for the benefit of the saints) cleared this up for us in the later part of the verses quoted above – there is nothing that can change this love that Christ has for us – nothing. Remember, His love is unconditional! We may let things or people disrupt our harmony and/or relationship with God, but absolutely nothing will place a wedge between us and the love of our Savior! He’s just that kind of God! Praise the name of the Jesus, my Lord! So what’s preventing you from approaching God, seeking forgiveness of your sin and dedicating your life wholly and solely to Him? There is no greater love than this friend? Please use the contact information at the end of this devotional to let me know if there is anything I can pray with you about, or help you work through so that you can make this vital move in your life! This is THE most important decision in a person’s life!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank you for accepting me as Your child, in spite of the imperfect man that existed before my decision to accept You. I am overwhelmed by Your love and Your grace You display in loving me even as I work through the things of this old wicked world. As reminded by Paul in these verses this morning, I am deeply appreciative of the love You have for me, and the security of that love that, although battered by many things of this world and of Satan himself, yet to be reminded that nothing can separate Your love for me! Wow! This is love that we can hardly comprehend, but I believe Your Word and accept that love graciously. Please touch the hearts and lives of my friends that defer their decision to accept You as Lord, because they just can’t wrap their arms around this kind of love. Please help them to understand that in accepting You as they Master and Lord, You will help them work through, and overcome, their imperfections as Your child. Thank You for loving even me dear Lord! Bless each reader with Your power this day, for I humbly ask in Your precious and holy name, 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!

Our Intercessor

As many of us reflect on the events of this year, this month and even today, it may be clear that we didn’t know how to pray for all that has, and is occurring. In the workplace things may change strategically that we don’t hear about until it’s time for us to be involved. In our families, we look back and often say ‘wow, now who could have imagined that my spouse, or my daughter may have been changed in such a way today. We are reminded over and over that God has blessed us with the present as a gift, while tomorrow He may be ready to bless us with His presence in heaven. God gave us His Holy Spirit to steer us straight when we accept Him and place our trust in Him. As we meditate on these beautiful reminders today, let’s learn to have the faith of a child and release ourselves to God to accomplish His will in our lives.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-04-03
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 8:26-28
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 26 …..by our faith[e]—the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and in our praying. For we don’t even know what we should pray for nor how to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows, of course, what the Spirit is saying as he pleads for us in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans.

OBSERVATION: As many of us reflect on the events of this year, this month and even today, it may be clear that we didn’t know how to pray for all that has, and is occurring. In the workplace things may change strategically that we don’t hear about until it’s time for us to be involved. In our families, we look back and often say ‘wow, now who could have imagined that my spouse, or my daughter may have been changed in such a way today. We are reminded over and over that God has blessed us with the present as a gift, while tomorrow He may be ready to bless us with His presence in heaven. God gave us His Holy Spirit to steer us straight when we accept Him and place our trust in Him. As we meditate on these beautiful reminders today, let’s learn to have the faith of a child and release ourselves to God to accomplish His will in our lives.

APPLICATION: There is such peace in these verses! Actually these verses reminds us of the peace we have in knowing God as our personal Savior! When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He provides His Holy Spirit to live inside of us and to commune with God on our behalf. Paul reminds us that even when we are about to give up (tired of waiting), the Holy Spirit is there praying for us. When we have totally run out of words to pray, the Spirit interprets our moans and our groans before the throne on our behalf. In fact, He knows us so well that He is petitioning the throne of grace on our behalf. He has our best interest at heart, and knowing that we really want to step above our weak sinful selves, He keeps us represented before God. Friends, as we live our lives loving God, praising Him and glorifying Him, every aspect of our lives is worked into something good, something beautiful for God! Whom then shall I fear? Why then should I worry or complain? There is no god like this God of ours friend! Know Him today and know the peace that surpasses all human understanding. Experience His love that surpasses all other descriptions of love that you can imagine. Know that everything is under control with God in charge of your life, because these verses so vividly reminds you of that. I believe that real peace comes from knowing God and allowing Him full control of our lives, and every circumstance, even when the world seems totally out of control. Are you tired of living life under your own power, and would like to know this Jesus of mine in a personal way? I would be honored to work with you and/or pray for you, if you would drop me an email using the contact information at the very end of this devotional. I would love for you to know this peace that is ours as children of God!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, how can I say thanks enough for all You do for me? So undeserved, yet You loved me enough that You turned Your world upside down by sacrificing Yourself in humility, all because of Your awesome love, and that I might have peace in knowing You. Thank You Lord Jesus! Please tender the hearts of those that might read this devotional today and may not have ever invited You to be their Mediator and Lord. Father, I know that they have no control over the time they have left to make such a decision, please may it be today that they allow You to take charge of their life? I humbly ask all this in Your precious and all powerful name, Jesus my Lord and soon coming King, 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!

A Love Test

Ever heard a parent say to a young child: ‘Now, if you really loved me you wouldn’t do that’? To another adult, that sounds funny, but in my reading in John 14 today, the words of Jesus, as shown in our Bible Text, really got my attention. Let this penetrate your heart also as we meditate on these words today. Join me, won’t you?

Thursday, 2019-11-21

Bible Reference: John 14:15
Translation: Amplified Bible (AMP)

Bible Text: 15 “If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments.

OBSERVATION: Ever heard a parent say to a young child: ‘Now, if you really loved me you wouldn’t do that’? To another adult, that sounds funny, but in my reading in John 14 today, the words of Jesus, as shown in our Bible Text, really got my attention. Let this penetrate your heart also as we meditate on these words today. Join me, won’t you?

APPLICATION: I believe that each and every day many of us drift back into the ways of the world, and allow its principles to overrule our beliefs that we were convinced God had embedded into our hearts. Peer pressure and our deep desires to impress our spouse, or other loved ones, will often cause us to do or say those things that we feel will elevate us in their eyes. Take for example the idea of being the only one in a group of friends that feel an obligation to stay for church on a Sunday, instead of heading out to the beach. Deep within, you may feel a deep obligation to be at church to welcome those friends you invited to join you on a given Lord’s Day. But your other friends that you hang out with for games and fun times, are mindless to the things of Christ, and they want you to join them on a trip to the beach. It’s their only day off, and they need to unwind from their busy week. What will you do? Your coworkers brag about never having to purchase rubber bands, paperclips, pens and pencils at home, because there is an abundant supply at work that just sits in their desk drawer. You work for the same company, and you see the same availability of supplies, so what will you do? These are just a few simple examples, but for the man/woman of God, who knows God’s Word, your conscience is being severely impacted about doing what you feel God has commanded you to do. You remember Scripture around teh subject of: Assembling yourselves together with other believers; Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel; Those who know Christ will see heaven, vs those who don’t is headed to a dreadful Hell; Thou shalt not steal; etc, etc. In our Scripture today, Jesus said that if we love Him, we would honor His commands; be obedient to His Word; show our love for Him, or prove that we love Him, by doing what He says. These are just a few examples I used to help you think more about the things that you do and what God may say to you either directly or indirectly about your actions. But as His sons and daughters, I believe the question for our consideration today is: Do I truly love God? Would He know that I love Him, based on my actions and my words? Will the world, who I am trying to witness to, know that I love my Lord? As a son, is it evident to my Father that I really love Him? What choices would we truly make in the above scenarios, and the many other similar scenarios that are presented to us every day? If our love for Him will be judged based on our obedience to His Word, will God know that we truly love Him? Once again, the scripture today says: “If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments”.

PRAYER: With a guilty conscience, I can honestly come before the Master today and ask for forgiveness. Dear Lord, You know my weaknesses and You know my coward desire to please others, instead of always standing strong in my faith and truly committed to my Savior in all decisions. Please forgive me. As I recognize my weakness, I am humbled to once again ask for Your strength when I am weak; Your boldness when I am meek and cowardly in my approach to sharing my King with an impossible sinner; Your insight, when I approach situations awkwardly blinded by the desires of those whose aim is to please Satan alone. Lord, I need more of You each and every day, so that my love for You will be evident in the easy things of life and when the challenging times present themselves. In the event that my readers are similar in their personal analysis, I pray that You might humble their hearts to seek Your face and pray for a closer walk with You. Lord, please bless them with a deep desire to obey You, and that through this effort it will be very evident to You that their love for You is sincere and very determined. Please bless those who are carefree and choose to do their own thing. Draw them close to You, flood them with Your Word, and show them Your love in ways that will impress upon them a desire to please You. Oh that Your kingdom may be enriched today, because of our commitment to be better, and more dependable servants. AMEN!

Rejection By God? Really?

I believe that we hear so much about how much God loves us, that it might be challenging for us to imagine that He will tire of our attitude and our rejection of Him. Perhaps this verse is an eye-opener for those who may feel like they could do anything they want, because God will still love them. As we meditate on this one verse today, I pray that our eyes might be opened to God’s true identity and character!

Saturday, 2019-09-28

Bible Reference: Jeremiah 14:10
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  My people, you love to wander away; you don’t even try to stay close to me. So now I will reject you and punish you for your sins. I, the Lord, have spoken.

OBSERVATION: I believe that we hear so much about how much God loves us, that it might be challenging for us to imagine that He will tire of our attitude and our rejection of Him. Perhaps this verse is an eye-opener for those who may feel like they could do anything they want, because God will still love them. As we meditate on this one verse today, I pray that our eyes might be opened to God’s true identity and character!

APPLICATION:  Unless we know the full extent of our God, we may otherwise assume that He is much like a puppet that our kids play with – He is placed in the corner until we call for Him. It’s interesting that God pointed me to this verse today, because in another Scripture reading today, in 1 Samuel 4-6, the Philistines found out that God was quite capable of showing His power all on His own, and without their commands or intervention! It is so easy to see how God became angry with the Philistines for their disrespect of the Ark of the Covenant, and with the Israelites for their disobedience, and the sons of Eli assuming roles that represented God, but yet they operated in total darkness. However, I believe that God wanted to remind us today that He is still God and that He has, or will tire of our sin and total disregard of Him – the One who sacrificed it all, His only Son, on the cross at Calvary, so that we may live in full hope of eternity with Him. He did not want us to use the excuses of those gone on before us and live in fear of the many laws of Moses, or for that to be a roadblock for us to enter heaven’s gates. The awful thing that I believe that God sees today though, is probably worse than what He saw in His people back in the days of Jeremiah, or Moses, or Eli. For in spite of the extra effort, and tremendous outpouring of His love, yet what God sees today must truly break His heart …….. perhaps even to the point of lifting His hand off us and rejecting our plea before Him. So often we should be praising God in thanksgiving for His divine intervention in our decision making, yet so often we permit the selfish ways of man to influence us, and we step out on that merit instead of faith in God, the creator of this universe. Why has God not given up on us a long time ago? Friends, I don’t believe that I need to spell out the evil that is prevalent in our world today, for we have it happening in our own backyards, and we hear about it every time we watch the evening news. We have many churches that are closing down because of poor attendance. I believe that we have more folk who’s only Christian activity, might be attending a church service over the weekend, if they could fit it into their busy schedules. Imagine if you only ate physical food once per week? Imagine if the only communication you had with your spouse or parents was once per week? There wouldn’t be much of an influence in your life from either of these sources, nor would you have reason to brag on either of these, because they would play such a minimal role in the remaining days and hours of the week. Yet I’m afraid that we have ‘Christians’ who do exactly this, and expecting their lives to be changed by God. Friends, be realistic – one hour per week with God and 167 hours in the heat of evil and the works of Satan. Which do you think will influence our lives more? Who then are we pleasing? Who then are we more apt to reflect in our attitudes and actions? It is extremely frightening to think about rejection by God or the possible fatal judgment of God, because He saw how we totally rejected and ignored Him – His love, His direction, and His awesome gift given for us. On the other hand, we have lots of verses that tell us things like: Draw near to God and He will draw near to us; If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, I will hear from heaven and….. Friends, know that God loves you very much today. Please don’t reject Him. Please don’t take your relationship with Him lightly. We want to see His eternal blessing on us, and not His rejection and punishment.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You loved me so much that You gave Your very own Son so that I may have eternal life in Your presence. Please forgive me for the times that I take Your love for granted. Please speak to the hearts of my readers so that they too might examine their lives to ensure that they are in close communion with You, and not letting the vile of this old world take prominence in their lives. Please help us all that we may spend the necessary time with You for a happy and healthy relationship with You. Lord, we want to live more like You every day, and we realize that this only comes from spending more time with You than we do with this old world and its master, Satan. I pray that today it may be evident to those that we come into contact with that we have been with the Lord, and their lives might be impacted in such a way that they would either draw closer to You in relationship, or come to accept You as Lord of their life. Have Your way in our lives today Lord, and lead us towards You, for this is my humble prayer that I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, 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!