Tested To Endure

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….

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-11-20
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

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 verses, preceding our focal Scripture today, that for those of us who love the Lord and have surrendered our lives to Him, we have an awesome time awaiting us, 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 her, 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 therapeutic improvement. It was totally challenging to turn the other cheek on the love he had for his wife, and still 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 is more than 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, when we are serious about our faith, the enemy will often look to challenge us on how we might 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 after his release. 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. An object that is tempered under heat or pressure, convinces the purchaser that it will last. I can only imagine that God looks upon His kids who survive the pressures of this life, with His help, as being fit for eternity! How are you doing through all of life’s tests of endurance dear 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!

A Perfect Sacrifice For Imperfect People

Like the priests who went to the altar every day to offer up sacrifices brought in by their parishioners, I believe that we too try to get away with doing everything that we believe might satisfy God for all the sins we have committed. But praise be to God, He saw our plight of hopelessness and sent His very own Son through whom we might receive forgiveness. In our time together, think about all you do according to worldly standards in order to be forgiven for your sin. I want us to see Jesus in all of His perfection today!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-10-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 10:11-14.
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 11-14 Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process.

OBSERVATION: Like the priests who went to the altar every day to offer up sacrifices brought in by their parishioners, I believe that we too try to get away with doing everything that we believe might satisfy God for all the sins we have committed. But praise be to God, He saw our plight of hopelessness and sent His very own Son through whom we might receive forgiveness. In our time together, think about all you do according to worldly standards in order to be forgiven for your sin. I want us to see Jesus in all of His perfection today!

APPLICATION: I’ve heard people remark that no matter what they do or say to old sinful Joe, they just can’t get him into church. This makes me feel like if Joe had taken them up on their offer and went to church, he may not have looked as much of a sinner, in their eyes. This follows the tradition of many who pour into churches each weekend because of a lifelong traditions. This is very similar to those who give of their money to the church, really hoping that God will see their generosity and have pity on them for their sins. We could think of many more examples, but I believe that these examples are very similar to the many sacrifices that were given, and probably still are given in some forms, all for the purpose of seeking God’s understanding and forgiveness of their sins. In earlier verses, Paul wrote that he believed God was never satisfied with sacrifices, because they never seemed to have changed hearts. Friends, God knew full well that sacrifices was a very temporary practice, and that it served several purposes well in the very early days. However, God wanted to see His children, who were created perfectly, to return to Him perfectly, and He knew that there would be only one way to achieve this, so He sacrificed a part of Himself – His Son – a perfect One. I love the way the Message reads: God sent a single gift, a one-time gift – It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. Friends, God did that for us! The debt is paid! We simply need to accept the gift and believe on His precious Son. Heaven is our ultimate home, and there is only one way to get there. Accept the gift offered by God as a sacrifice for our sin. Believe in the name of the Lord Jesus with all your heart, soul and mind, and you will be saved!

PRAYER: Lord we praise You for the outstanding love that You showed towards all mankind – the good, the bad and those even worse – even those who hated You. Love so amazing that our carnal minds would never understand. Thank You, thank You, thank You for Your amazing love. As You and Your Father discussed, there is absolutely nothing that we could do to make ourselves completely clean and free from the stench of our sin. Praise God that You worked it all out on the cross, and for those who have accepted You as Lord and Savior, thankfully we could lift up holy hands to the only true God! Lord, we want to see You, and we know that sin will always separate us, so we kneel humbly at Your feet and ask that You accept each and every one that will call out to You today. Thank You Jesus for loving even me! 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. 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 you 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 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

No Greater Love

In leaving his beloved Ephesians, Paul shared that in spite of everything he had dealt with throughout his letter, and while on site with them, he was really hoping that they would remember the sincere love of Jesus Christ that filled his heart before coming to visit with them, filled him while with them and even as he left them. Can’t you imagine that this sort of love will help you to overcome insults and ridicule, and to look at life’s circumstances in a much more meaningful way? Can you see how a love like this will make your life worth living?

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-09-28
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Ephesians 3:18-20
Translation: Easy To Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 18 … I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide, how long, how high, and how deep that love is. 19 Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with everything God has for you. 20 With God’s power working in us, he can do much, much more than anything we can ask or think of.

OBSERVATION: In leaving his beloved Ephesians, Paul shared that in spite of everything he had dealt with throughout his letter, and while on site with them, he was really hoping that they would remember the sincere love of Jesus Christ that filled his heart before coming to visit with them, filled him while with them and even as he left them. Can’t you imagine that this sort of love will help you to overcome insults and ridicule, and to look at life’s circumstances in a much more meaningful way? Can you see how a love like this will make your life worth living?

APPLICATION: Like me, you may remember being spanked by your parents while being told that they were only doing that because they loved you!! That was extremely hard to understand as a child, because we thought that love equated to giving us everything good that we asked or hoped for!! Even as adults, I’m not so sure that we have really grasped the unconditional love of Jesus for us. What could you find to say to a mother that could convince her that God loves her unconditionally, even while she buries her son or daughter, or even a grandchild? What could a preacher find to say after preaching Hell and damnation to a congregation of believers, and then try to follow that by reassuring them that Jesus loves them more than anything else in this world? Consider a husband who has been struggling for years to find the right woman to make him happy, but in spite of all efforts, nothing ever materialized. Or a wife who seems to be fighting one relationship after another, but can’t seem to find love, or happiness, in anything she does, or anyone that she meets. Unfortunately, it seems like even if we start our day in God’s Word and assure ourselves of His precious love for us, it is extremely challenging for us to stay strong in the faith, especially after we are beat up on during the day. In fact, it often seems like the whole world is against us. However friends, let me encourage you to read the verses again, and particularly look for the conditions given for God’s amazing love. In finding none, I can only encourage you to stand firm in your faith and never doubt the love of God. Whether in very positive news, or very negative news – God still loves you! Whether you are on ‘cloud nine’ with very positive and encouraging things happening in your life, or quite to the contrary – remember that God still loves you! Whether things are going way better than you could ever have expected under today’s circumstances, or whether it feels like the bottom has fallen out and no one is in control today – know that God loves you unconditionally and that He is always in charge of His universe, especially you and I. Why sweat it friends? Know that God has every little thing under His complete control and that He will always look after His precious children and everything that affects us.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, what a privilege to know that we serve a God who loves us in spite of who we are, and in spite of all the circumstances that may be impacting the world around us. The greatest love ever demonstrated was the sacrifice You made at Calvary so that we may have life eternally in heaven with You. Thank You Father, thank You Lord Jesus for loving us so much. May that assurance bring peace and contentment to each of Your children, in every circumstance of life. 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

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. 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 you 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 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

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. 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 you 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 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. 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 you 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 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!