Placing A Loved One At The Feet Of Jesus

The determination of these men carrying the paraplegic is to be admired. They didn’t let the crowds stop them, nor the leaders that were probably there helping with crowd control. They didn’t let the walls of the building stop them, for they got up on the roof with the man on the stretcher. The roof was no hindrance, for they dug a hole through it that was large enough to fit a stretcher through it – probably 80″ by 30″ or more. They had a determination to get their friend before Jesus, no matter what obstacles stood in their way.

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2022-04-17
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 2:2-5
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT:  ….While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

APPLICATION: I wonder if the men were disappointed in seeing Jesus’ concern, vs their intentions? After all, they went through a lot to see Jesus heal their friend, yet when Jesus saw the young man He didn’t immediately address the issue of paralysis, but rather attended a more urgent matter – the condition of the paralyzed man’s heart – to ensure his readiness to meet God. I wonder how much this story parallels our earnest prayers to God, where we are so concerned for our family and friends’ welfare or health, but seldom show deep concern for the salvation and the readiness of their soul for eternity? Shouldn’t we be more concerned about their salvation than we are about the other things in life that might impact their normal, everyday living here on earth? How often do we forget that the things of this earth are temporal and could very easily be gone today or tomorrow? Yet the condition of their soul will determine their destiny for eternity. Should we be concerned for the physical, financial and personal welfare of our friends? If we didn’t then one would question if they are truly our friends, but I believe Jesus showed the Pharisees, and is showing us, that there is one concern that trumps all other concerns in life, and that is the spiritual condition of the individual. When you know that your friend is ready to meet their Savior and Lord, and that they are living daily to be more like Him here on earth, then all other needs will fall into place, for God cares intimately for His children and He will not bring anything on us beyond what we can bear, nor will He burden us with anything that will not bring glory to Himself. So friends, let me encourage you this Easter weekend, to look just a little differently at those you love and will spend time with this weekend. Look beyond their physical and material needs and pray with them about their spiritual needs, should there be a need to do that. Our greatest need in life is to be the individual that God designed us to be – the one that will worship Him and bring glory to Him, in everything we do, until Jesus returns to take us all home to heaven to spend eternity with He and His Father. I’m ready for that awesome day dear friends, and I want each of you, and all of my family and friends to also be ready to join me for that meeting at the foot of the cross! Oh ‘What a Day That will Be’!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Our soul’s condition is of more importance to God than any physical, health, or financial challenge we might have. God sees us and asks ‘Is your heart ready to meet your God?’

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for all that You willingly did that very first ‘Good Friday’ and the glory of that first ‘Easter’ morning! As we meditate on those events again this weekend, I pray that although we will be touched by the drama of all that You went through, yet we will never lose sight of the fact that You did it all for us. Thank You Lord Jesus! I am eternally grateful Heavenly Father! In much the same way that You were willing to do whatever it took to save Your children from the awful stain of sin and damnation, I pray that each of us will commit to being as concerned about our family and friends. Oh that we would recommit to sharing Your love with them and allowing them to see the meaning of the cross and the possibilities of their eternity with You. There was nothing more important to You Lord Jesus. I pray that we would be very much the same in our concern for others. May You be glorified and lifted up this weekend, for I ask these things in the precious name of the crucified, yet risen Lord Jesus, AMEN!

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

Love Like God Loves

I find it so interesting when we get into the Word of God and see how He addresses the very subjects that we struggle with in our daily lives. It’s like Jesus throws help, or direction right into our path for the area of life that we are struggling with, or perhaps mishandling in some way. We may not even realize our challenge until we read the Word and understand that God has a better way planned for us to show His love and His goodness. Perhaps that’s you, my friend, so tune in and study this Scripture with me today.

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2022-01-23
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 5:43-48
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 43 You have heard people say, “Love your neighbors and hate your enemies.” 44 But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you. 45 Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong. 46 If you love only those people who love you, will God reward you for that? Even tax collectors love their friends. 47 If you greet only your friends, what’s so great about that? Don’t even unbelievers do that? 48 But you must always act like your Father in heaven.

APPLICATION: Hopefully we recognized the truth in what Jesus said in His explanation of how humans tend to love others. This requires us setting aside the ideals of how we know we should love others, compared to what we actually do. It is very challenging for us to think of loving the one who hurt us, or mistreated us in some obvious way, or who may have even deliberately hurt us. I know of a real-life story of two workers who, in spite of working on many projects together, they often felt differently about certain subjects, and although they often accomplished the same tasks differently, yet they enjoyed the success of completing tasks accurately. During one of their disagreements on a subject, one of them brought the company president in to understand why they felt the other was wrong. The boss didn’t fire the one accused of doing their job inaccurately, but this appeared to have deepened the rift between the two workers. However, just as this Scripture might do to you as a reader searching for God’s will for your life, the individual who felt wronged, was touched by a sermon one Sunday and God impressed this Scripture upon them. Pray for the individual you feel wronged you, even though you feel they may have done it to cause you harm. Each day there was sincere prayer for the other party and for their success in the company. Apparently the two went on to be great friends and compassionate coworkers! It is virtually impossible to hate someone that you earnestly pray for in a positive manner! I believe that Jesus wants us to be the kind of people where others might look on in wonder and question how we could do what seems impossible to the ordinary person. Hopefully their minds will turn towards Jesus and they will praise Him for working through His children to achieve that which seems impossible to mankind of their own accord, desires and abilities. Friends, I hope that as you meditated on this with me today, you may have gotten a glimpse of how Jesus not only set the example for us in what He said and did while here on earth, but also how He is still able to work in His children to help them achieve all that He did. As the world sees the difference in us, may they recognize that it is Jesus at work in us that helps us reach for new heights and imitate our Father which is in heaven.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: It takes Jesus and us to love those who hate us or despise us or who aim to destroy us. But in loving even them, we allow them to catch a glimpse of our Master working miraculously through us!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for recognizing how challenging it is for us to love those who love and respect us, and especially those who make it impossible to love them of our own accord. Only You Lord can save us from our sins, and only You can give us the power, strength and wisdom to overcome the evil of this world that is often out to pull us down and separate us from the blessings You have in store for us. Draw us to Yourself each and every day Lord and as You prepare our day, may we be humble and willing to seek Your face as You work out Your perfect will for us. Oh that others may see, acknowledge and receive You as Lord of their life, especially after seeing You at work in us. AMEN!

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

The Effects Of Your Sin

So often we respond to others that what we do is our business, and of no concern to them. As you join me in meditating on God’s Word today, I believe we will be reminded that in way too many cases our words and actions impact others more than we would care to acknowledge. Stay with me….

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2021-09-05
WRITTEN AT: Sebring, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Joshua 22:16-18
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 16 All of the Lord’s people have gathered together and have sent us to find out why you are unfaithful to our God. You have turned your backs on the Lord by building that altar. Why are you rebelling against him? 17 Wasn’t our people’s sin at Peor terrible enough for you? The Lord punished us by sending a horrible sickness that killed many of us, and we still suffer because of that sin. 18 Now you are turning your backs on the Lord again. If you don’t stop rebelling against the Lord right now, he will be angry at the whole nation. 

APPLICATION: When disaster strikes, the impact of that terrible time will often stick with us much longer than we care to even think about. In Peor, the Israelites saw many of their leaders killed, and also many of their own people – over 24,000 of them. Because of their unfaithfulness to God, that resulted in them creating idols and worshipping them, there was a time of desperation and mourning because of the loss of life and hurt throughout their camp, even though they were not necessarily a part of the evil they were doing. But just as we try to shy away from things that caused previous hurts, the hearts of the Israelites were immediately affected when they heard of some of their fellow tribes building another altar. They had already decided that they would go to war over this infraction, but before they did, they wanted to try and work out the problem in love first. So they sent a contingent of leaders to speak with the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh. There are a few lessons for us in this story: 1). The sin that we commit will often have a detrimental effect on others. Stay true to God and to each other by considering everyone before you go out and commit crimes that will affect them; 2). Nip the problem in the bud immediately. Don’t let it fester and allow you to build animosity against your neighbor. Remember, it is always good to consider the heart of an innocent Brother in a situation before forging forward with your own selfish desires. Loved ones can and will be impacted by your selfish and angry motives; 3). Always try to resolve matters diplomatically and in love before you start a war that you will soon regret.
Notice that the contingent not only satisfied their own minds about what they thought was a huge issue, but they were able to return to their own tribes and speak favorably about their neighboring tribes. It is always better to be the encourager and peacemaker, rather than the agitator who arouses the anger of those opposed to a situation to which they don’t have all the facts. I learned as a child that you will either through gas on a fire already inflamed, or you could through water to extinguish the fire. For as much as lies within you, be a peacemaker rather than one who creates a war that will impact many other innocent members of your group, family and/or friends.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: The Israelites were ready for war against their neighboring tribesmen, but they did all within their power to avoid war and death. Often our actions could create war, but by the grace of God, may we all strive for peace and goodwill in order to protect the innocent.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I believe that we were created to live in peace and with hearts filled with love, like our Maker. Please intervene when the evil one interferes and raises up anger in our hearts. Help us to always stand for what is right without ever building animosity for the one destined to do life by following their own inclination. May the lesson learned from the Israelites who tried to stop, what appeared to be evil in the making, be an ongoing example for Your children today. May the world see that Jesus is alive and well, because they see You at work in the lives of Your 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. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

How Will They Know?

Will your family, coworkers and friends know about Jesus because of what you share with them? They tend to know about our home and family because of how easily we share with them, but why do we exclude the highlights of our important relationships – like the one with our Lord?

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-08-02
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 6:14-15
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 14 Herod Antipas, the king, soon heard about Jesus, because everyone was talking about him. Some were saying, “This must be John the Baptist raised from the dead. That is why he can do such miracles.” 15 Others said, “He’s the prophet Elijah.” Still others said, “He’s a prophet like the other great prophets of the past.”

APPLICATION: If we were living in Herod’s day, do you suppose he would have heard from us about Jesus? Before you answer that, don’t forget that Herod would have immediately assumed that you had been hanging out with Jesus, if you had a lot to say about Him! But before you jump to the conclusion that I must be nuts to write about such assumptions, let me ask you to honestly answer a very really important question. Does anyone at work know about the teenager that was baptized in your church yesterday? Did your neighbor have to calm you down when you excitedly told him about the child that surrendered their life to Jesus last weekend? Bottom line is: are you sharing the awesome work of the Savior in your life, or in the life of your church? Yes, I know they all know about the associate pastor who was questioned by the authorities about misconduct last week, but are you sharing the good news of all that Jesus does each and every week? Isn’t it amazing how easy it is for us to tell about the bad things that happen to God’s people, but how hesitant we are about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ? I once used as a witnessing tool, a small red dot on my eyeglasses. The idea was that if someone asked about the dot, I would tell them that it represents the blood Jesus shed on Calvary for my sin and theirs. You guessed it, Satan saw to it that no one questioned me about that red dot. Friends, there is no law prohibiting us from sharing Christ with those that we care about, no matter where they are. It is no sin to show the love of Jesus in every phase of your life, and to be ready to share the joy and excitement of who is making the difference, and fueling that love you feel for one another. If a storm was approaching, you might be the first to knock on your neighbor’s door and help them to a safe place. Yet you have no idea about their relationship with Jesus and whether they would escape the fury of hell and join with the angels in heaven when the storms come that will end this life as we know it today. What’s with that? Surely you don’t care more about the awful news of all the work of Satan in this world today, than you do about the awesome news of knowing Jesus personally and the joy that comes in the morning when we rise to meet Him in the sky? Herod had all the bad news on Jesus – bad enough to have Him killed. What Herod was missing was the good news of the Savior of the world, the One who healed the sick, made the blind to see again and caused the lame to walk once again. Jesus wasn’t out to get Herod on all the bad he ever did, but because Jesus was King of all kings (including King Herod), He desperately wanted to touch his heart and convict him of his sin. For all must confess their sin and seek Jesus as their Savior, from the poorest person, to the richest King. So dear friends, let me encourage you to tell the world about Jesus, especially the Good News of the Gospel. You will have friends for life – life eternal with Jesus Christ.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: If Herod had heard the Good News of Jesus Christ, instead of all the bad news of jealousy and deceit, he may have made much different decisions about the life of Jesus. We still have the opportunity to share the Good News with those we come into contact with.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, please provoke us, Your loved children, to be diligent in sharing the Good News of all that You did for us, so that others may believe and have life eternally in Heaven. You placed us here to be a light on a hill, that shines forth Your love, Your forgiveness, and Your desire to see Your children forgiven of their sin. We often fail in this responsibility, often for selfish reasons. Please forgive us, and give us a renewed boldness to share the Good News with all that we come into contact with. The world needs Jesus – the same Jesus that lives inside of us. Oh that we might share willingly with others. AMEN!

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

Love Like Your Father in Heaven

While we are not so picky about who we wind up hating, we have a more definite plot about who we love. If they show kindness to us, or if they’re nice to us, we will be nice to them, and we may eventually even love them. But is that what Jesus taught or practiced? Twice in the few verses we are meditating on today, Jesus encourages us to act, or love, like our Father in Heaven. Let’s spend some time with God today and evaluate our response to this command, and try to improve our response to Jesus on this.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-01-15
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 5:43-48
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 43 You have heard people say, “Love your neighbors and hate your enemies.” 44 But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you. 45 Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong. 46 If you love only those people who love you, will God reward you for that? Even tax collectors[k] love their friends. 47 If you greet only your friends, what’s so great about that? Don’t even unbelievers do that? 48 But you must always act like your Father in heaven

OBSERVATION: While we are not so picky about who we wind up hating, we have a more definite plot about who we love. If they show kindness to us, or if they’re nice to us, we will be nice to them, and we may eventually even love them. But is that what Jesus taught or practiced? Twice in the few verses we are meditating on today, Jesus encourages us to act, or love, like our Father in Heaven. Let’s spend some time with God today and evaluate our response to this command, and try to improve our response to Jesus on this.

APPLICATION: In High School, we were taught to try and avoid the word ‘get’ in our conversation, as any other word that takes its place will often sound much better and more proper. Sounds funny, although it would be a great practical experience to also try and avoid the word ‘but’ from our conversation, for it often provides the beginning of a good excuse we devise for not obeying an order! For example, if we seriously decided that we would follow Jesus’ command to act like our Father and love even those who hate us, can’t you imagine the ‘but’s’ in our response? But Lord, You know how evil they are; But Lord, I would be setting myself up for a lot of hurt; But Lord, I’m not sure that even You could love that person; etc, etc. So let’s try and understand why Jesus may have taught His disciples to be obedient to such a command:
1. They’re His children – Imagine you talking to a group of friends about your child. Won’t you want them to love your child just like you do? Won’t you want them to act kindly towards your child?
2. They have His nature – You will probably say that you have encountered many who seem more like Satan, but I would encourage you to read the Word of God and see if It ever refers to a child of Satan’s. God created us all in His own image. Because we were given a free, independent will, we tend to be led by the things and people around us, and not necessarily by the One who created us. Living by the world’s standards will cause us to live according to it’s leader – Satan. A life surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ will encourage us to live like our Master and Lord;
3. They are drawn to a relationship with Him – How so, you might ask. I would suggest that you ask any criminal if they felt, or knew they were doing wrong when they committed a crime. Some have said ‘The devil made me do it’, while others have said ‘I hated that person so much that I would probably have done worse if someone didn’t stop me’. You see, God made us to desire Him. When we stump our foot in the sand and insist on doing otherwise, God pricks our conscience and shows us that we are doing wrong, and should be ashamed of our choices.
Friends, to hate God’s creation is like saying that He messed up and didn’t create a child fashioned after Himself. We all have excuses that Satan implants in our minds as to why we shouldn’t love a particular person. The Word of God plainly demands us to love even those who hate us, or despitefully abuse us. There is no exception offered by God, and as His child trying to live by His design, we must never create an exception of our own. ‘Love one another, even as I have loved you’ – that’s God’s command to us today.

PRAYER: You tell us in Your Word that Your burden is light, and I believe that includes the command that if we love one another, even those that seemingly hate us, that You will make the results amicable to everyone involved. Please help deter us from making another excuse why we should not love like You first, and always loved us. We have no godly reason to hate anyone you created, after all they put up with us, so why shouldn’t we make an effort to just do what You command, knowing that You will do all good things for our benefit. Thank You for loving us precious Lord, for You loved us even when we were unlovable by the world. Please melt our hearts of pride, prejudice and judgment, so that we may love You unconditionally, and in turn, love everyone You created to spend life on earth with us. May it be obvious to the lost that only Jesus could truly love like they experience from us, for it’s You we glorify and give praise to for all good things accomplished through us. I love You Lord! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

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 at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

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!

We Are Worth Dying For!

Paul tried to tell the church leaders at Ephesus how important their job was, and he not only based that importance on his dedication and hard work, but he also explained that the value of the church to God was such that He was willing to have His Son die for it. Many of my readers are probably workers in the church, or involved in ministry in one way or another. How seriously are you taking that work? Ever have to sacrifice for those whom you are serving in God’s church?

Wednesday, 2020-02-19

Bible Reference: Acts 20:28
Translation:  Amplified Bible (AMP)

Bible Text: 28 Take care and be on guard for yourselves and for the whole flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd (tend, feed, guide) the church of God which He bought with His own blood.

OBSERVATION: Paul tried to tell the church leaders at Ephesus how important their job was, and he not only based that importance on his dedication and hard work, but he also explained that the value of the church to God was such that He was willing to have His Son die for it. Many of my readers are probably workers in the church, or involved in ministry in one way or another. How seriously are you taking that work? Ever have to sacrifice for those whom you are serving in God’s church?

APPLICATION: Paul was passionate about the ministry and had traveled to many places sharing the story of Jesus with all who would listen. It is apparent from this Scripture that Paul felt very responsible for the work that he started, and as he shared with the leaders being charged with continuing the work, we could easily tell that it was difficult for Paul to pass along this responsibility. However, I was reminded of a current day parallel to what Paul faced. Think about a new mom who is about to leave her child at the daycare for the first time. There is usually a lot of concern that the daycare workers would know what to expect from this new infant, and there would be detailed steps for them to follow, to make sure that the child is well taken care of after the mother goes on to work. The mother is looking for very caring attention, with responses that would assure her that her child is being left with professionals who would take the same care with the newborn as the mother would do. I love the extra commentary added by the Amplified Bible, for it helps us to really understand the heart of Paul for the church. So of course this made me think about the church today. God uses the foolishness of preaching and the worship of His people to draw men to Himself. Then He turns to His caretakers in the church – the pastor, elders and other church leaders and teachers, and He says like He did through Paul: Now take care of these dear children. Love on them; meet their needs; teach them my Word; correct them spiritually and lovingly, as needed; and don’t think twice about it, because I want you to remember how much I loved the church. And if you want to live just like me, then I believe you will want to love the church and do everything you can for it, just like I did. How obligated are you feeling about all that you do for the church? Don’t we often feel that way? But if we loved the church like Jesus did/does, should there be a feeling of obligation; stress; ungratefulness; with no return to us for all we do and/or give? I believe that this Scripture should open our eyes to do all that we could for the church – all of it’s members, because we love the church just like Jesus does. We’re His followers, His imitators, and undeserved recipients of His love. Why shouldn’t we love the church unconditionally? This will result in Christ-Followers having a desire to be just like their Master. Is He your Master and Lord dear friend? Please read through my Footnote and visit the links that I have included, perhaps the information will be helpful for you as you seek to respond to Jesus after reading this Scripture and my blog today.

PRAYER: Oh to be like Jesus, is all that I ask of Him. To do His will, as reminded by Paul in this Scripture today, will not only bless my readers and myself, but as we react from the impact of God’s Word in our lives, others will come to know Him and want to serve Him faithfully in all that they do. Please speak to the hearts of Your children again today dear Lord. May we shine forth in our work for You without any feeling of obligation or remorse. May You be glorified in Your church today Lord, and may we complete the work You have assigned for us to do. AMEN!

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

When We Choose Who We Will Hurt

When you read the subject, I bet that your mind went on someone that ‘chose’ to hurt you, or on someone you may have ‘chosen’ to hurt. However, in our verses today we could see where the very ones that Jesus chose to help, or perhaps He May have helped their loved ones, or their neighbors, yet a certain hatred developed in their hearts and minds, that resulted in a passion to destroy Jesus. How is that? Why would anyone choose to go after, or hurt someone who is strictly doing good in their midst? As we meditate on this thought today, let’s not look at our neighbor’s attitude/intentions/actions but our very own. Do we sometimes hurt those who strive to love us?

Wednesday, 2019-12-04

Bible Reference: John 18:38-40
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 38 ……… As silence filled the room, Pilate went back out to where the Jewish leaders were waiting and said to them, “He’s not guilty. I couldn’t even find one fault with him.[ab] 39 Now, you do know that we have a custom that I release one prisoner every year at Passover—shall I release your king—the king of the Jews?”[ac]
40 They shouted out over and over, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!”[ad] (Now Barabbas was a robber and a troublemaker.)

OBSERVATION: When you read the subject, I bet that your mind went on someone that ‘chose’ to hurt you, or on someone you may have ‘chosen’ to hurt. However, in our verses today we could see where the very ones that Jesus chose to help, or perhaps He May have helped their loved ones, or their neighbors, yet a certain hatred developed in their hearts and minds, that resulted in a passion to destroy Jesus. How is that? Why would anyone choose to go after, or hurt someone who is strictly doing good in their midst? As we meditate on this thought today, let’s not look at our neighbor’s attitude/intentions/actions but our very own. Do we sometimes hurt those who strive to love us?

APPLICATION: A vital part of the church that I attend, is a great team of retired missionaries. From time to time they share about persecution they experienced on the field in various foreign countries, and they pray in earnest for friends who are still on the mission field and being terribly persecuted. Some are locked in containers for days at a time, because they showed the love of God to friends who wanted to know Jesus, and/or seeking after His love and compassion. We know of missionaries currently in foreign lands that live from day to day in fear of their very lives, yet they go on sharing Truth with these people because of their love and commitment to their Father. But that’s what happens in foreign lands, isn’t it? Can you stop and think of any scenarios in your own country? What if I remind you that in my very own country, prayer was taken our of our schools, because we didn’t want religion imposed on our kids. Years later we could look at the statistics and see how, without the truth of God’s Word to guide our teachers and our kids, we are frequently and deeply saddened over the increased crime rate, including children shooting other children right in their own schools. Children – our loved ones – being shot at, killed, and sometimes doing the shooting themselves. It’s horrendous, and we are so saddened when we hear of yet another news report on incidents from our school system. Even in small towns we are having to deal with extreme crimes where loved ones are being shot. But friends, it is so obvious that when our folk are objecting to the church being the church in all of our community, our young people are only left with guidance from desperately wicked individuals who will harm you because they don’t like where you live, what you wear, or the beautiful smile on your face. Why have we not learned from the wickedness of the Jews in our Bible verses today? They preferred to have a wicked criminal released, rather than the Savior of the world who showed nothing but love to relatives, or even to the very individuals who were falsely accusing Him. May I suggest to those who know Jesus, that we all strive to live like Jesus did? Let us learn, or ask God for His strength, to love those who always show love to us, but also let us be bold enough to love everyone else the way that Jesus loved us. Jesus willingly went to the cross as an expression of love for us, even though we were mere sinners. As we seek to live like Jesus did, we will yearn to love like He did. In the Garden where He was arrested, he healed the ear of one who was attempting to arrest Him. On the cross He blessed and forgave those who led Him to the cross. Can you do that friend? Perhaps not, but I know a man who can! I also know that this same Jesus has the power to bless each reader with grace, with an extra measure of love and with boldness to love, in spite of the attitude taken by your accusers to despitefully use and abuse you. Seek a closer walk with Jesus dear friend, and allow Him to pour His love on you so that you might love others! When this happens, you will have no reason to seek revenge, hurt or attack in any form.

PRAYER: Lord, please forgive us for our tendencies to seek after self gratification, even at the expense of hurting others. That was never displayed by You, or taught to us by You. Please forgive us for allowing Satan to steer us into the evil deeds that he is known for. We are ashamed dear Lord, because in our aim to live like You and in obedience to Your commands, we should daily seek Your face and allow You to steer us aright. It is so true that our lives reflect what we ask You for. Guide us to all Truth so that we may be true examples of You in every form while here on the earth. May You always receive praise and honor because of whose we are and because of Your reflection in everything we say and do. AMEN!

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!