Encouragement Brings Refreshing Times

In this translation, verse 7 reads that Philemon was encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints. In the NLT, we are told that Paul was excited because Philemon refreshed the hearts of believers! Ever been guilty of that? Let’s meditate on how we might do that…

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-09-18
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Philemon 1:4-7
Translation: Voice Translation (Voice)

Bible Text: I am constantly thanking God for you in my prayers because I keep hearing about your love and faith toward our Lord Jesus and all those set apart for His purposes. Here’s what I’ve been praying on your behalf:
Thank You, Father, for Philemon. I pray that as he goes and tells his story of faith, he would tell everyone so that they will know for certain all the good that comes to those who put their trust in the Anointed One.
My brother, because you are out there encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints with such love, this brings great joy and comfort to me.

OBSERVATION: In this translation, verse 7 reads that Philemon was encouraging and reviving the hearts of fellow saints. In the NLT, we are told that Paul was excited because Philemon refreshed the hearts of believers! Ever been guilty of that? Let’s meditate on how we might do that…

APPLICATION: I don’t believe there is anything more satisfying than to walk in on someone speaking something complimentary about you! I suppose the next best thing is probably to read the compliments on our character in a letter, email or newspaper. Unfortunately this hardly ever occurs until the time of our memorial service! Now, I realize that we never do the work of the Lord for man’s applause, but I also know that we each need encouraging from time to time. Paul’s applause to Philemon was all about the feedback that Paul was receiving from the church members that met in Philemon’s home. Friends, we must remember that as we strive diligently to live as an example of our Master and Lord, if no one around us notices, then how do you suppose we are doing? Philemon lived such a life of love in the presence of his congregants, that Paul likened it to something that we do to our computer screens when we ‘refresh‘ the screen! It’s like something that we diligently pray for in our churches, when we pray for ‘revival‘, for we want our hearts to be ‘refreshed‘ in the love of Jesus, and our spirits refreshed to the state of when we first met Jesus, when we fell deeply in love with Him for saving our soul. Friends, I want to encourage us to not wait for our encouragement, before we refresh those around us that we have seen the love of Jesus in. For as we encourage them and see them rejuvenated in wanting to serve Christ even more fully, we too will be encouraged to reach out to Jesus and desire such a filling of His sweet Holy Spirit that it would electrify anyone’s spirit who happens to Come near to us. People who need the Lord are constantly looking at those who say they have a personal relationship with Him, so they could see what a Jesus filled life looks like. How are you doing with that friend? Can others see enough of Jesus in you that they want to be around you, hoping that some of the joy and love that you exude would rub off on them! Draw close to God friend, and He will draw close to you. In fact, He will overfill your joy and love, so that others will want to know the source of it all!

PRAYER: Thank you Jesus for allowing Paul to encourage his Brother Philemon, based on the great work that he saw from, and heard of, him. Thank You for speaking to our hearts through this Scripture today, so that our hearts might be overfilled and encouraged. May we be looking for avenues to encourage and share Your precious love with others. Please give us more love to share and many more opportunities in which to share that love with others. Draw the unsaved to Yourself Lord, and if I may be of service through some awesome act of love, then I beg You to please use even me. Please have the same impact on all those who will read this devotional today. AMEN!

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

Recognizing God’s Awesome Power!

Anytime we feel like God has abandoned us, the book of Job would be a good book to reflect on. Further, if there was ever a time when you may have felt like you really had this ‘life’ thing figured out, I believe that this particular chapter, and conversation God had with Job, would be a great reminder of how you need to get a grip on yourself, open your heart and mind to what God has to say and make every effort to surrendecontrol of your life back to God.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-06-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Job 38:4-9
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: Where were you when I created the earth? Tell me, since you know so much! Who decided on its size? Certainly you’ll know that! Who came up with the blueprints and measurements? How was its foundation poured, and who set the cornerstone, While the morning stars sang in chorus and all the angels shouted praise? And who took charge of the ocean when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb? That was me! I wrapped it in soft clouds, and tucked it in safely at night.

OBSERVATION: Anytime we feel like God has abandoned us, the book of Job would be a good book to reflect on. Further, if there was ever a time when you may have felt like you really had this ‘life’ thing figured out, I believe that this particular chapter, and conversation God had with Job, would be a great reminder of how you need to get a grip on yourself, open your heart and mind to what God has to say and make every effort to surrender control of your life back to God.

APPLICATION: I believe that Job felt like God and everyone around him had withdrawn their love and relationship from him, so for several chapters Job had really been criticizing God and blaming Him for wrongful punishment. His friends had made attempts to love on, and correct Job, but it seems like he was really having a hard time snapping out of it. God finally had enough and decided to give Job some perspective on who He really is. Friends, I believe that We have excellent reminders here of how God carefully, intricately and powerfully put this planet together, then He created us to enjoy its many blessings. If He loves us that much, won’t He all the more take care of our problems, concerns and difficulties while we live here, if we would only humble ourselves and ask Him to? Friends, I was reminded in a recent sermon from Isaiah 40:7-12 that although this earth is made up of two thirds water, yet God said that the oceans and its water is held in the cup of His hand. The earth’s dimensions are measured across the span of His fingertips! Whom, or what then shall we fear? When old Satan tries to distract us with untruths we need to remind ourselves and Satan that our God is so much bigger than our largest problem or concern. I believe also that His love is greater than anything we could ever imagine. So with all this in mind, why would we ever follow in Job’s footsteps and worry about our problems, or blame God for our circumstances. It is so important that we learn to worship God before we ever start to ask Him for anything or complain about anything. When we praise Him, we remind ourselves of His awesome love and power. Don’t you suppose that our problems become less of an issue or worry to us when we remind ourselves of the awesomeness of our beautiful, wonderful, matchless, all-powerful God? I certainly believe so!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please forgive me for often trying to take the reins of life from You. It is very obvious that You created me and all that is around me, so please forgive me when I whine and complain. I am but Your humble servant, You are the Potter, and I am but the clay that is moldable and usable by You. As I recognize You and allow you control of my life, I can actually be at peace, and my problems then would seem to disappear. Lord, I believe this is vital to our witness, for if the unsaved world see us worrying as much about the concerns of this life as they do, we are showing them that we are as lost and uncared for as they are. This is very wrong, so I ask forgiveness, and I ask for added strength every day to stay focused on You and Your wondrous love for me. For my friends that might meditate on this devotional today, please fill their hearts with Your peace, and the determination to overcome evil, and worldly problems with the love and dedication that only You can provide. Thank You Jesus for loving us this much! All this I therefore ask, in the matchless name of 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 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!

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 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!

He’s Watching You

Job had been placed through a lot, lost a lot and felt forgotten after going through one test after another by Satan. Although his friends tried to help him snap out of his depressed state, one friend, Elihu, took issue with the way that Job spoke to God about this tough time he was going through. These verses were part of the correction given to Job by Elihu. However, in our time together today, I want us to be reminded of how our loving Father watches out for us, and therefore how applicable these words are to us today.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-05-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Job 34:21-22
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: “He has his eyes on every man and woman.
    He doesn’t miss a trick.
There is no night dark enough, no shadow deep enough,
    to hide those who do evil.

OBSERVATION: Job had been placed through a lot, lost a lot and felt forgotten after going through one test after another by Satan. Although his friends tried to help him snap out of his depressed state, one friend, Elihu, took issue with the way that Job spoke to God about this tough time he was going through. These verses were part of the correction given to Job by Elihu. However, in our time together today, I want us to be reminded of how our loving Father watches out for us, and therefore how applicable these words are to us today.

APPLICATION: In a recent blog I mentioned how differently we may act when we are out of town, on vacation, or otherwise, because we feel freedom in knowing that no one is watching and judging us for what we do, where we go, what we drink, or who we hang out with. I remember as a child I had an accident while doing something, that my mom told me not to do during my early return to school after lunch. I avoided going home to be treated for the large cut on my arm, but instead went to a nearby aunt. That afternoon I went home after school with my arm behind my back, hoping to hide the injury from mom! Don’t we also try to do similar acts with God when we sin? We are tricked by Satan into believing that we could do whatever we please, and that we would never have to tell God about our sin. Notice that Elihu did not tell Job that God is reviewing the acts that he (Job) told Him about, or that he gave God permission to evaluate. I believe that way too often we get caught up in thinking that what we do with our friends, is our own personal business, so outsiders should just bug off and leave us alone. Can you imagine saying that to your mom or dad and expect them to accept that, and even more so, turn their heads from what you are doing that is sure to get you in trouble? But you believe that you could get away with saying something like that to God? I don’t think so! Friends, please allow me to remind you that God created you in His own image, because He wanted you to look and act like Him. He allowed His one and only Son to die a cruel death on a criminal’s cross, so that through His shed blood you might be redeemed and live eternally with the Father in heaven. With that type of love and admiration, do you think for a moment that God is content to see you abuse the wonderful life He gave to you and ignore the opportunity to one day join Him in glory? Absolutely not. God is very much like Elihu shared with Job. He loves you unconditionally, and He is so concerned about your eternal destiny, that He watches your every move. Further, please know that God does not need your permission to watch out for you, and also know that He is aware of your every move – whether you are running around in the brightest sunlight with friends you love and adore, or whether you are surrounded by the darkest night hoping that no one sees what you’re up to. Please know that our Heavenly Father takes His job of loving and caring for us and watching our every move – with or without our permission. After all, how else will He justly judge us on that day when life ceases here on earth? Please know that as long as you have breath in your body, there is still time to accept this precious love of our Savior. Most of you purchase insurance in the event of an accident or disaster. I pray that all of you will seek that assurance for your ultimate destination even today – while there is time to do so. Please also know that there is so much joy in this, because God knows and cares about your condition every moment of every day! There is nothing like the love of Jesus for you and I! I know Him personally, and I pray that you will also commit your life to His keeping – today!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we are reminded that You are looking out for us, even though many of us never doubted that. Please humble the hearts of my friends and readers today, so that they may be awaken in the middle of their personal agendas and know that Your love is unconditional and without borders. That nothing could stop You from loving them! Please also awaken us to the fact that although we might tell mom, dad, sister, brother or friend that we will do our ‘own thing’ regardless of what they think, Your love will not permit You to accept such commands from Your own creation. Although it makes me sick to hear friends talk about how they will do what they please, without permission from anyone, I know that You will always care and always love, for You cannot hate that which You have made. For every time that we selfishly feel like we could handle life alone, please remind us of how much You love and care for us, and of Your power to do ALL things for our good. We know that obedience is important and expected, please grant us Your grace and power to be humble and obedient children. 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!

‘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 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 Heart In Which To Perform Your Job

In our Scripture today we read, with keen interest, the instructions that King Jehoshaphat gave to the judges that he appointed. I wonder if similar words are found in today’s induction ceremonies of our judges? But more than this, my heart was touched to think about those who serve in places of leadership in our churches. What about you fellow believer and leader in your own church, do you, or would you take an oath to serve under similar instruction to that offered by King Jehoshaphat? Take time to meditate on this today dear friends.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-03-04
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 19:9
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: These were his instructions to them: “You must always act in the fear of the Lord, with faithfulness and an undivided heart.

OBSERVATION: In our Scripture today we read, with keen interest, the instructions that King Jehoshaphat gave to the judges that he appointed. I wonder if similar words are found in today’s induction ceremonies of our judges? But more than this, my heart was touched to think about those who serve in places of leadership in our churches. What about you fellow believer and leader in your own church, do you, or would you take an oath to serve under similar instruction to that offered by King Jehoshaphat? Take time to meditate on this today dear friends.

APPLICATION: I often print out the content of verses where God speaks to my soul, and I would pin those verses at places where I’m bound to look on them several times a day. This is one of those verses that would be an ideal to have stuck to your home PC monitor and/or at work, as a constant reminder from God about how to best complete your job, while honoring Him in the process. Friends, with God directing us and leading the way for us, how can we go wrong? How can we not be in His perfect will? Will this always be easy? No, but in verse 11 the king instructed the Levites to ‘Take courage as you fulfill your duties, and may the Lord be with those who do what is right.’ I am convinced that when we do right and always seek God’s direction for our decisions, we can know that God is by our side, giving us full support, encouragement and ultimate confidence. My greatest desire is to see our church leaders always look to God, and seek His heart for the ministry to which He has called them. I believe that when church leaders make their decisions and perform their responsibilities, they will have a greater desire to do God’s work without hesitation, knowing that they are pleasing Him, and that they are in the center of His perfect will for His church. When we do that, I believe that individually we will be blessed beyond comprehension or anything we could imagine. Let’s always remember, it’s God’s work; it’s His kingdom that we aim to attain; and it’s His blessings that we desire more than anything else. So let us learn to seek Him, obey Him and always praise Him for His love and His perfect will for our lives and the life of His church. God being my helper, I will always do the best job that I can do in everything assigned or attempted, for His ultimate glory, honor and praise! Consider joining me in this vow, so the world can see what its like to have ‘real’ Christian leaders in authority over them, and consequently find every reason to praise God for it!

PRAYER: Lord, thank You for Your precious Word. Our world is so filled with hatred, greed and selfishness, that I believe Your followers want to see in their church leaders, those who are chosen by You, ordained by You and blessed by You to fulfill the honest work of Your kingdom, in the fear of the Lord. Oh that Your church might become the place where troubled souls run to for refuge, and where leaders are wholeheartedly seeking and following Your will. Please protect Your church from the harm of being a stumbling block to those feeling led to be Your follower. May it always be obvious that Your house is a place of prayer, a place of worship, and a place where love abounds. May this encourage attendees to want this type of characteristic in their own homes and families. 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!

A Father’s Love

Tuesday, 2019-11-12

Bible Reference: 2 Samuel 18:5
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: And the king commanded Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, “For my sake, deal gently with young Absalom.” And all the troops heard the king give them this charge.

OBSERVATION: A son – adored at birth, loved and trained through adulthood – yet a father is not assured of the son’s love in return, nor is that dependent on the amount of love a father has for his son. That’s the situation that David found himself in with regards to his son Absalom. Are you faced with similar challenges with your child? Meditate with me as we learn from David in our Scripture today.

APPLICATION: It is often said that we could love, teach and advise our children while they are in our home, but, especially in their independence, they take on their own character. I believe that any parent will agree with me that our kids sometimes do things differently than we would wish for them, but often they are very successful in life, in spite of our differences. I believe that David recognized that his son, Absalom, had become a good king. However, it was extremely challenging for David to understand why Absalom was so determined to kill him. So to protect his own citizens, David found himself in a position where he had to defend against the angry king Absalom. But notice how the heart of David comes through. He sent his army out to fight Absalom, but with caution to his generals to be ever so cautious. Now remember, Absalom tried to kill David, his father, and of course, he was willing to kill any military personnel that tried to interfere with his plot. So this army was asked to go out and fight Absalom and his army, so that the Israelites might be protected, but they were being cautioned to go easy on their leader. Those two things are in total opposition, aren’t they? But friends, I believe there are two messages in this Scripture for us: 1). For all the families who are out there fighting within, please notice that God has built into us a very strong and intimate knit to our family members. David, a man after God’s own heart, never lost sight of the love for his son, no matter what actions he undertook – even to the point of trying to kill him (David). I believe that God wants us to note that the world will make every effort to destroy that which He has erected as evidence of His kinship with us. There is nothing Satan likes better, than to see family members tear each other apart – for it helps Satan feel a sense of accomplishment. For family members who do this and claim Jesus as their Savior, I believe that family division and infighting, not only tears apart the family structure God designed, but when Christianity is brought into the picture and infighting continues, it also affects the church. As members of His bride (the Church), we are His representatives to a lost and dying world. Will others truly see Jesus when they see Satan working so wickedly in our holy lives? Also, 2) The persona of Jesus Christ is seen in David. For Jesus willingly went to the cross for the sake of all who would, at some point in their lives, accept Him as Lord. This means that at the time of His crucifixion, there were many who hated Him, many who disregarded Him as their King, many who raised a hand to help in His crucifixion. Yet He went to the cross as sheep to the slaughter. My friend, David showed love that often we will only read about, for we could easily conclude that we could never love like that. But Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for us, even while we had no regard for Him. Please note that David showed from a human perspective that we can love, in spite of the objective of others to hurt us. Jesus showed love because He wanted us to have God’s perfect gift of love, so that we could see the likes of Heaven. Please look deep inside and, if you have never surrendered your heart to the love of the Lord Jesus, make time to do that today – please? I believe that it is with that perfect gift of love, that we will have the love necessary to love others – especially those that may tend to persecute us. I am convinced from the Word of God, that when we invite the perfect love of God into our hearts, His love overflows from us and impacts all those that we come into contact with. We may feel unequipped to love those who persecute and despise us, but God’s perfect love working through us will love the best Christian and the most hateful sinner.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You are love and You proved it by loving even me. Thank You for the sacrifice You made at Calvary just for me. Please oh God, may Your love shine so brightly through me that others may feel a certain warmth in every encounter with me. Oh that they may see Jesus, is my humble plea today! Please speak to the hearts of those readers who are struggling to imitate David, and the ultimate love shown by You. May they seek to know You more, and to let go of self, so that You may assume full reign over their life today. AMEN!

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

To Be Treasured By God

Saturday, 2019-03-16

Bible Reference: Exodus 19:5-6
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: Now if you will hear My voice, obey what I say, and keep My covenant, then you—out of all the nations of the world—will be My treasured people. After all, the earth belongs to Me. You will be My kingdom of priests, a nation holy and set apart.”

OBSERVATION: Often we will ask God for things, and expect a whole lot from Him, but how often do we dig into His Word, learn about His commands and obediently follow His instructions? Let’s meditate on how this compares to God’s conditional promise to the Israelites that is detailed in Exodus 19:5.

APPLICATION: I wonder how many of us would pass up on a good deal, that we knew depended only on a few provisions that were within our ability to achieve? Here’s an example of a scenario that we might quickly jump to: If you move from Florida to Georgia, you will become rich from working the soil there (farming) because of the natural minerals and nutrients, and you will enjoy the much cooler weather there in which to farm. Wouldn’t you think that some of our Floridians would pack up and begin our move to Georgia, to enjoy the new life that would include the riches of the land there? So let’s consider what we would do if God said to us something similar to what He told the Israelites: (a) ‘If you hear my voice’ and I believe this means that we would be required to not just say that we hear God’s voice, but that we would allow His words to penetrate our very being and have an impact on our lives; (b) ‘If you obey what I say’ and I believe this means that we would be prepared to stop assuming that the Word is for our wicked neighbor, or for that unfriendly guy down the street, but rather that we, personally, would be prepared to respond to God’s Word by obeying what He tells us to do; and (c) ‘Keep my covenants’ and I believe that this means that we stop pretending that we are obedient to His written Word, but instead decide to truly obey His covenant that God set forth for us. All three of these things sound simple enough, but God added a reward for the Israelites, and I believe that He would do the same for us if we truly follow His conditions – that we would be His treasured people. Yes among all the people of the world, He would choose to honor and treasure us. Friends, this scenario is very much aligned with what God did for us on Calvary, by sacrificing His very own Son. He made such a sacrifice as a reward for us, if we accept His Son as Lord and Savior. The reward is that we would spend eternity with the Father and the Son in heaven, singing praises to the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. This is not just a reward dear one, but in comparison to the alternative – eternal damnation under the leadership of Satan, our choice/offer by God is the only one that anyone of sound mind would deliberately choose. Oh that this may be the choice already made by all who read this devotional today. If you have yet to make that commitment, let me encourage you to read my Footnote carefully and follow the steps that will lead you to find Jesus and accept Him as Lord!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for providing the means for us to find eternal peace, and eternal salvation through Your precious Son, Jesus. May all who read this devotional today be reminded of the importance of making peace with You so that Your eternal reward may fill their heart with joy and everlasting hope. Please soften the hearts of those who will read this, but have yet to agree to the simple plan of salvation. To know You is to have peace everlasting! 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!

Tested and Proven

Peter tells us in the preceding verses that for those of us who love the Lord and have surrendered our lives to Him, we have an awesome time awaiting, where God the Father will release His blessings on us that have been stored in heaven pending our arrival. That helps me to feel like no matter what we face here on earth, there is great hope that lies ahead! And because our Father is involved, we also know that His awesome love will be unleashed as we enter His presence forever. Looking at what happens in the interim, is the theme of our devotional today….

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Peter 1:6-7 (GNT)

TEXT:  Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed.

OBSERVATION:   Peter tells us in the preceding verses that for those of us who love the Lord and have surrendered our lives to Him, we have an awesome time awaiting, where God the Father will release His blessings on us that have been stored in heaven pending our arrival. That helps me to feel like no matter what we face here on earth, there is great hope that lies ahead! And because our Father is involved, we also know that His awesome love will be unleashed as we enter His presence forever. Looking at what happens in the interim, is the theme of our devotional today….

APPLICATION:   In considering a real life comparison to this Scripture today, I thought of a husband who went to prison for battery, or abuse of his wife. Misery, pain and hardship ensued while the husband was in prison, but deep inside of each spouse was a love that was first kindled when they were in high school. While the wife wanted desperately to show that love before the husband was sent away, there was a world of influence that prevented that, and it caused the husband to release anger in ways neither of them thought possible. However, during the time in prison there were folk who worked hard at rehabilitating that husband and helping him to better deal with his anger issues. To do this, they tested him with various scenarios that might cause him to doubt any improvement. It was totally challenging to turn the other cheek to the love he had for his wife, and flourish in those circumstances. However, upon his release from prison, his wife was waiting with open arms to welcome him back home, and promised to do all she could to help him never to return to his former life of anger and violence. The life of both spouses while the husband was in prison, could be compared to what Christians face on earth. For although we surrendered our life to Jesus, yet we are left here on this earth to weather the storms of doubt; pain; financial burdens; being picked on; victims of crime; etc. In fact, at times we may even wonder if our commitment to Christ really means anything at all. But friends, I want us to be reminded that our gift of salvation was not our immediate ticket out of this world, for Peter reminds us that God not only wants to use us for His glory while here on earth, but that when we are serious about our faith, the enemy will be looking to see how we will handle the storms of life. Those storms don’t go away, we are just given a new hope in what lies beyond the storms. That husband in prison was able to endure the hardships of prison, because he knew that he had a loving, caring wife waiting for him, and ready to finish up their lives together. We have the same promise in Jesus Christ dear friends! There is a loving, caring, awesome Savior awaiting us on the other side of this treacherous world. Our time here is one of testing and proving whose we are. Wouldn’t it be neat to converse with God each evening and ask: “how did we do today?” Please don’t forget that prayer provides that exact medium for you to converse with God. Keep the lines of communication opened, so that He may guide and direct you into total holiness – just as He is holy! Why is something tested? To prove its durability under pressure. Something that is tempered under heat or pressure, convinces the purchaser that it will last. I can only imagine that God looks under His kids who survive the pressures of this life, with His help, as being fit for eternity! How are you doing friend?

PRAYER:   Lord God, thank You for reminding us that we have a purpose here on this earth, especially after we accept You as Lord, for then Your mighty works can be accomplished through us, if You choose to do so. When trials come, please continue to drive us towards You, and what You might want to accomplish through even the slightest ‘thorn in our side’. You never promised us smooth sailing and calm waters after accepting You as Lord, instead You have given us the hope that through the ups and downs of life, our Master still loves us, still waits for us, and is still our guide through every circumstance. Thank You for that love, that comfort and the peace that it gives to our soul. Oh that others may see Jesus in us, no matter the circumstances we face while on planet earth. 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!

The Way That I Love You

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.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Psalm 123:1-2 (TPT)

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 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!