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!

An Attitude of Appreciation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

The Greatest Commandment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

Your Assignment From God

While not pointing fingers at anyone, I always find it interesting to listen to a ‘Christian’ audience sharing their personal testimony. While reading this Scripture today, I was forced to reflect on how I might respond to the question of the assignment in life that God has given to me. What’s yours dear friend? Consider being asked to share your response to this question in a group of Christ-followers!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-04-22
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 15:15-16
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: So, my dear friends, don’t take my rather bold and blunt language as criticism. It’s not criticism. I’m simply underlining how very much I need your help in carrying out this highly focused assignment God gave me, this priestly and gospel work of serving the spiritual needs of the non-Jewish outsiders so they can be presented as an acceptable offering to God, made whole and holy by God’s Holy Spirit.

OBSERVATION: While not pointing fingers at anyone, I always find it interesting to listen to a ‘Christian’ audience sharing their personal testimony. While reading this Scripture today, I was forced to reflect on how I might respond to the question of the assignment in life that God has given to me. What’s yours dear friend? Consider being asked to share your response to this question in a group of Christ-followers!

APPLICATION: Some churches take time to strategize the work that they feel God has given them to do. Sometimes this is good, because it helps church leaders to evaluate where they are currently at in achieving God’s plan for their community. At times it helps individual church leaders to analyze how effective they feel like they have been in achieving all that God has called them individually to do while leading His church forward, and while reaching into a lost community. Paul was convinced of the primary goal he felt God had called him to do, and in these verses today, he is reaching out for help from anyone who would dare step forward in faith, and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Paul knew the work was God-sized, and that it would take dependence on God to achieve the awesome task assigned to him. I wonder how much differently our individual ministry would look like, if we were to focus on our assignment, like Paul did. Might this mean that folk would regret seeking us out in a crowd, because they know that we would share with them only what we are focused on? Might this mean that our spare time would be spent on seeking God for our next action that we should take in order to achieve our goal? Might this mean that our teaching and our preaching would always be brighter, because our passion for the work assigned to us will be evident in the words that we speak? I have always heard that one could look at your checkbook and see where your heart is, based on where your income is spent. I wonder if it works the same way in being able to see your passion in the words that you speak and through your actions? What if your passion was strictly driven by the assignment God has given to you while here on earth? Don’t you see where we will have a reason for everything we do, and how determined we will be in seeking God’s help to achieve our utmost for His kingdom? Consider joining me in our quest to accomplish all that God could ask of us, and that our passion would drive us to always reach for pleasing our Master. God gave His very best for us, how much more could we possibly give in trying to honor Him through completing our assignment here on earth, to His heavenly standards?

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for giving to us, Thy great salvation so rich and free! Lord, I believe that You have placed us here on earth as Your servants, with assignments to stay focused on. Paul’s assignment was to love and preach to the Gentiles, who often felt left out and unloved. I believe that there are many just like that today in our world – they feel out of place and unloved, especially by the church. Deep inside I believe that each of us have a passion for that one thing that You have assigned for us to do. Please work on us Lord. Please redirect us to seek Your will and follow Your commands, as we seek to accomplish Your assignment. Based on our Word, I can only believe thatYou would have us to win the lost, and mature the saved, until the day You call us home to glory. Please fill us with wisdom and a newfound passion as we strive to accomplish the work You set out for us to do. 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!

Transformed Relationships

Often times we will read about ways to, and often we are encouraged to, transform our lives into one that aligns with the will of God and in obedience of the Holy Spirit. Paul encourages us to meditate also on how these transformed lives will look to those that we connect with and call our friends. Perhaps you might be willing to join me in looking deeply into our personal relationships with others, and whether there is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work within us as we fellowship with each other. Paul gives great guidance to us, so let’s dig in…

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-04-14
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 12:9-12
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: Let the inner movement of your heart always be to love one another, and never play the role of an actor wearing a mask. Despise evil and embrace everything that is good and virtuous. 10 Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another. 11 Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, keeping your passion toward him boiling hot! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement as you serve him.
12 Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble,[e] but commune with God at all times.

OBSERVATION: Often times we will read about ways to, and often we are encouraged to, transform our lives into one that aligns with the will of God and in obedience of the Holy Spirit. Paul encourages us to meditate also on how these transformed lives will look to those that we connect with and call our friends. Perhaps you might be willing to join me in looking deeply into our personal relationships with others, and whether there is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work within us as we fellowship with each other. Paul gives great guidance to us, so let’s dig in…

APPLICATION: Often times we struggle in relationships, both with family members and with friends. For there is jealousy between one another and envy and hard feelings that could quickly result, in fact, to the extent that we can’t stand to be in each other’s presence. Coworkers tend to be so competitive to reach for the top, or earn more commissions and/or recognition, so they step right over another employee, and may even do certain things to prevent that coworker from doing their best. Church members want to be in charge, or favored by the pastor, or perhaps they just can’t have their own way, so we see churches split or families leave the church and move on to another. I wonder if the result would be any different if we were to follow the advice of Paul in these two verses? Friends, Christians are to be deep into the Word at every opportunity, but not less frequently than daily, looking over God’s instructions to be sure that we live and love like Him. You see, God’s Word contains our template for love, it tells us about our Role Model, Jesus Christ. Our responsibility according to the Word, is to go and minister to the world so that all may know Jesus. Don’t you know that we are actually teaching them our evil ways when we act like the world, or like the above examples? Remember, our actions speak so loud that others will rarely hear what we are saying to them. I believe Paul is saying that we are not to be hypocritical. If we claim Jesus as Lord, then we are to live like Him and seek to squash all evil thoughts that Satan will buffet us with. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we will seek to act like Jesus. and in no way follow the path of least resistance that are led by Satan – whose aim is to kill, steal and destroy the work of God. Friends, Jesus is coming soon and we must live with that in mind. Don’t dare live like the devil and think you’ll have time to seek forgiveness when you hear that Jesus is coming down the street. The Bible says that we must live in a state of readiness, because Jesus in no way needs our permission that the coast is clear for Him to come and gather His bride (the church – us). This means that we are to live and love like Jesus demands of us today. Don’t delay, please?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, the creator of love, the One who showed ultimate love, please forgive me for making a mockery of living and loving like You exampled for me. You showed me how to live, and I have totally blown it. Thank You for Your servant Paul, who has reminded us that we need to live and love in ways that others might recognize as an imitation of God. This is impossible to achieve, as long as we continue to give in to the ways of this world. Father, please give my readers and I strength to be true victors in living our lives according to the model You displayed. Please help us to stay so in tuned with Your Word that it will not only impact the words from our lips, but the desires of our heart and the actions of our whole being. Lord, sadly, we must confess that we have ‘Christian’ family and friends that are living in sin, because they are acting just like Satan, and in similar ways to the above examples given. Please use this devotional today to speak to the hearts of those claiming You as Lord. Please also speak to those who have not yet accepted You as Lord, for today is the day of salvation, and there is no better time than today for them to seek Your power and Your strength so that they too might live and love like You. Lord, this old world is getting in extremely poor shape morally, for folk are becoming more and more hardened to their sin. Please, I beg You, do a mighty work in Your people today. Begin with us, Christians. Get us straight first, so that we may be Your hands and Your feet on the ground seeking to impact the lives of those that don’t know You. These things I ask humbly in Your precious name and for Your sake, AMEN!

What We Deserve

I know it would be easy to pray that God would give a Brother or Sister what they deserve, but would you dare pray that about yourself? We ask God for a lot of things, but as we meditate today, let us consider what things would be like, if God truly gave to us what we deserve.

Sunday, 2020-02-23

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 6:29-31
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 29 … if your people Israel pray about their troubles or sorrow, raising their hands toward this Temple, 30 then hear from heaven where you live, and forgive. Give your people what their actions deserve, for you alone know each human heart. 31 Then they will fear you and walk in your ways as long as they live in the land you gave to our ancestors.

OBSERVATION: I know it would be easy to pray that God would give a Brother or Sister what they deserve, but would you dare pray that about yourself? We ask God for a lot of things, but as we meditate today, let us consider what things would be like, if God truly gave to us what we deserve.

APPLICATION: I have a friend who, when asked how he’s doing, will always respond ‘better than I deserve’. That in itself is a very sobering statement, as the individual realizes that should God bless in accordance with what he may have done or said, he would be in big trouble. You know, similar to what we do as parents for our children, for we spoil them with way more than they deserve. Another example that might help us bring this idea to the forefront of our minds is: I have friends that will often make reference to the pastor and how he is not ‘feeding’ them richly from the Word of God. My first question is to ask how much did they pray for the pastor before the service? I will often receive a blank steer, to which I would respond ‘then you got as much from the sermon as you prayed for’. In our Scripture, Solomon prayed that his people would receive forgiveness when they prayed, but he also prayed that, in order for his people to be awaken and actually walk in the ways of the Lord, that they should receive what they deserve. Be reminded dear friends, that you might fool some of the people some of the time, but God knows your heart, and if He decides to bless in response to what He knows, that will not only include the good things that other friends see us do, but God could also reach into our thoughts and actions that others will never see. A real scenario in too many churches revolve around members who stop giving because a decision was made by the church leaders to go down a line of work that the giver disagreed with. I have good friends who will not attend certain services at church, because they are not in agreement with the servant sent to them by God, to minister to his people in our community. What if God blessed these friends in response to their actions against God? Friends, please don’t misunderstand me. I believe that what God did at Calvary, and what He continues to bless us with, is from a heart filled with love like we could never imagine. Do we always deserve it? Absolutely not. But our God is one who not only see our actions, hears our words spoken in love and in anger, but He also knows our very thoughts. Please join me in desiring to worship Him; honor Him in our praises and thanksgiving; and loving those that He created who could sometimes be just as evil-minded as we are. I believe that when we decide to depend on God alone, love Him with all our heart, and look forward in great anticipation to His return, then perhaps we could look beyond the pettiness of everyday strife, envy, revenge and hatred, so that we might fix our eyes on Jesus, our true and everlasting deliverer and author of our faith. Wouldn’t it be awesome for our Father to look at His creation in love, and see that we seek nothing more than to return our love to Him in all that we are and all that we say? God has prepared a home for us. Let us live like children of that heavenly kingdom, and not as its greatest adversary.

PRAYER: Thank You Father for creating us just like You. Thank You for giving us the freedom to live like You intended, even among a people who will try in every way to distract us from that perfect path. Lord, today many of us will decide whether to attend church or not. Many of us will be strong enough to respond in love to those that may deceitfully use us, while many will strike back in revenge and with intent to harm. While I want to pray like David that you might respond to us as we deserve, I also realize how serious that might be. Please open our eyes Lord, so that we might once again be reminded of Your love, Your power to forgive, and Your desire to bless us beyond anything we deserve. Please help us to desire that kind of love, and grant us the power to forgive and be strong in our faith. May others see Jesus in our character, our will, our words and especially in the way that we love others. May You be glorified in and through us today oh Lord. AMEN!

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

Calling Those Who Know They Are Sinners

Going into a hospital a doctor will find sick people and know that’s where he/she belongs. Jesus emphasised that He came especially for those who know they are sinners – because they are really in need of a Savior. So if we are to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, we will most lightly be ministering more outside of the church than inside the sanctity of the four walls of our church buildings. How do you do with that Christian Brother/Sister?

Monday, 2019-05-06

Bible Reference: Mark 2:15-17
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

OBSERVATION: Going into a hospital a doctor will find sick people and know that’s where he/she belongs. Jesus emphasised that He came especially for those who know they are sinners – because they are really in need of a Savior. So if we are to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, we will most lightly be ministering more outside of the church than inside the sanctity of the four walls of our church buildings. How do you do with that Christian Brother/Sister?

APPLICATION: It’s really easy for Christians to hang out with Christians – because we have so much in common, and we feel comfortable that no one will question us, if seen associating with folk of the same belief. Praise God, Jesus was different in this respect. He shows us that if we are to reach the unsaved, and if we are to truly show God’s love to all people, then we had better make ourselves friendly to all. When we look down our noses at folk, we must remember that they have a very hard time looking up to us and accepting anything that we may have to say to them. Jesus came so that sinners might recognize their need for a Savior and feel welcomed in coming to Him for forgiveness of their sins. As Christians, we are to be Christ followers and therefore follow the lead that He displayed while here on this earth. How are we doing? Do we show love to the sometimes unlovable? Are we humble enough to sit and listen to the deep struggles and concerns of someone that may be deep in sin? Unless we do this, how will they know Jesus?

PRAYER: Father, I pray that You will open my heart today and make me aware of those around me that need You as Savior. Make me very aware that although they may not look like me, or they may not follow the same guidelines of living that I follow, and they may not even attend, or perhaps never attended, church, please help me to see them and You see them. Please allow me to present myself in way that they will see Your love, acceptance and willingness to listen and help them to overcome their shortcomings and see a better way – a way that leads to Jesus! Help me to set my selfish desires and ideals aside so that You may shine through me today! Help to never forget that You reached far down to lift me up from my sin and in my time of deepest need. There is none like You Heavenly Father. Please help me be obedient to Your will in doing Your work, so that others may know and believe. AMEN!