What God Wants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Those Who Love The Father, Also Love His Children

Whenever asked if we really love someone, we try to find ways that might suitably express how the concerned person might publicly see and understand that we love the person, and how much we love them. Sometimes that could be a challenging experience, for it is hard to explain to someone else how much you love someone. Often the recipient of your love will know, but for either of you to express that to a third party presents a challenge. Until now! Please meditate with me on this Scripture and learn first hand how God said that you could show if you are capable of loving others!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-06-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 1 John 5:1-4
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: If you believe that Jesus is the Christ—that he is God’s Son and your Savior—then you are a child of God. And all who love the Father love his children too. So you can find out how much you love God’s children—your brothers and sisters in the Lord—by how much you love and obey God. Loving God means doing what he tells us to do, and really, that isn’t hard at all; for every child of God can obey him, defeating sin and evil pleasure by trusting Christ to help him.

OBSERVATION: Whenever asked if we really love someone, we try to find ways that might suitably express how the concerned person might publicly see and understand that we love the person, and how much we love them. Sometimes that could be a challenging experience, for it is hard to explain to someone else how much you love someone. Often the recipient of your love will know, but for either of you to express that to a third party presents a challenge. Until now! Please meditate with me on this Scripture and learn first hand how God said that you could show if you are capable of loving others!

APPLICATION: Do you love God? How about God’s children, do you love them also? I bet I should have put those questions right at the end of my ’Application’, because by now you have probably answered ‘yes’ to both and about to close out of this devotional! Not So Fast Brother! Wait a moment Sister! Through John, God has actually given us the formula for measuring how well we’re doing on this! We are told in these verses today that the degree to which we love fellow believers is proportionate to how much we love and obey God. Ok, so I’m sure that you will assume you must truly love one another, because you know that you really love God. But do you really?  The Word declares that the love referenced here is not just a verbal thing, or a feeling, but instead if we truly love God, we will do what He tells us to do. For some that will be easy, because we pray and we seek God’s face through His precious Word. When we truly do this and not only listen to His commands, His teachings, His instructions for us, and His example that He set for us to follow, then we should know what to do. Friends, you may not just learn this from the pastor in a weekend sermon, or from a Bible teacher, but to know what Jesus really has in store for you, it is important that you have regular one-on-one communion with your maker. Don’t know where to start? You may want to follow a good devotional, such as the one you’re now reading, or you may want to look for a Bible Reading Plan of your own. Whatever you decide, just remember to seek God’s face first – as it takes the Spirit of God to truly open your eyes to the spiritual truths of our awesome God. Not much of a reader? It doesn’t matter, when you seek God’s face first and ask Him to open your mind to His, you will find that what may appear to be simple words on a page, actually reveals the perfect will of God for your life right where you’re at during that very moment. Highlight as He speaks to you, and make notes to remind you how He spoke to you that day. Now, todays scripture says that through loving God and obeying all that He instructs you, then you will defeat sin and evil pleasures. Your love for God will become so pure and so real, that you will also love everything that God loves and everyone that He loves. So are you struggling with any part of this today friend? Try following this instruction for at least seven days, and I believe God will give you a burning desire to continue doing the same for the rest of the time you remain here on this earth! Love and obedience to God leads to love for the brethren friend! Imagine standing before family and friends at the funeral of your dearest friend and trying to explain to them how much you loved the deceased. There will be many things that you might be inclined to share that may prove you had love for the deceased, but wouldn’t it be mind blowing if you opened this Scripture is simply quoted how God said you could prove your love for others? God being our helper, I pray that we could now more easily show others how much we care, how much we love, and how they could see proof of it, because of our relationship with the God of all love!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You not only tell us to love one another, but You have even gone the extra step of showing us just how to accomplish that. How unfortunate, that a God who sacrificed His only Son for us on Calvary, must now tell us how important it is for us to love You. How deep the Father’s love for us, in spite of our unworthiness. Yet how easy it is for us to say that we struggle in loving our Christian Brothers and Sisters, even when we don’t fully appreciate the love of our Father, or see fit to obey His simple commands. Please forgive us dear Lord and continue to draw us to Yourself with an even deeper determination to love and obey You. I sincerely thank You for Your love, and for all these things I have asked throughout this devotional, for it is in the precious and loving name of Jesus that I ask, AMEN!

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

Recognizing God’s Awesome Power!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love Never Gives Up On People

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Definition of ‘Love’

It would seem appropriate that Webster and other dictionary writers would have simply put as their definition for ‘Love’: See 1 Corinthians 13 in the written Word of God. Let’s take time today to really allow the beginning verses of this chapter to soak in and clarify, or remind us, of the meaning of a word we use and abuse a lot.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-05-22
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Corinthians 13:4
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: Love is large and incredibly patient.[f] Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous[g] when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance.

OBSERVATION: It would seem appropriate that Webster and other dictionary writers would have simply put as their definition for ‘Love’: See 1 Corinthians 13 in the written Word of God. Let’s take time today to really allow the beginning verses of this chapter to soak in and clarify, or remind us, of the meaning of a word we use and abuse a lot.

APPLICATION: Notice that at weddings where the focus of the whole ceremony, and the whole idea of what brought a couple together, is the subject of ‘Love’. Of particular interest is the ‘go-to’ place for pastors when trying to reiterate the key word that will hold marriages together. I have not been to a ceremony where the best dictionary is taken out to help define ‘love’, but instead the Bible is always used, as the pastor aims to find the most authoritative description of this important word. Because we have so many ways that we use the word ‘love’, it becomes a challenge to really share with a couple what we are actually feel about the subject. You see, in the Bible, there are 5 different words to better define what we are saying in reference to ‘love’, but they can’t be used in a marriage ceremony, because we don’t use these words in our current vocabulary: Ahab; Agapao; Agape; Phileo; and Philadelphia. However, we know from experience that we assume several things when we think of love and we have to be very careful with that. Think about the following: a). If someone gives us an unexpected gift, whether monetary or something else of value – we may tend to think that they really love us; b). If someone really looks out for us and tries to protect us from harm, we may tend to think they love us; c). If someone is always saying nice things to us or about us, we may tend to think that they really love us; etc, etc. However, let me encourage you to read the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 and be reminded of what God has to say about the subject of ‘love’. He used Paul to teach this lesson to the church in Corinth, and He had it included in the Bible so that all those that followed – you and I, could understand what true love is. In just the first 4 verses, Paul shared that he could talk all day long and even in many languages, but if he did it without love in his heart, he would merely be speaking empty words. Paul probably saw where many of his parishioners were good talkers, and they may have even done like we tend to do today, where we may say to a Brother or Sister that we love them, so he wanted them to know that they needed to speak from a heart of love. I would carefully challenge us with the same thought, and I particularly ask God to give me that kind of love and grace to speak from an honest and contrite heart. Paul also wanted to make it plain that even if he may have been gifted with great knowledge and of prophecy, but was void of love for his brethren, he gained nothing at all. God knew that we would get caught up on monetary gifts, so He had Paul address this also. Paul even took it as far as giving sacrificially, even of himself, but he clarified that if he went even that far, and did not do it in love, then he would gain nothing. Friends, I pray that as we meditate on this thought today, that our lives would be impacted by what Paul had to say in the Scripture, and in what God taught us throughout His Word. God showed us what love is, when He permitted His only Son to be sacrificed on a criminal’s cross for our good. I pray that we would learn to love with that kind of passion. Then perhaps, we might understand the true meaning of Love and be able to practice it without a sense of selfish gain.

PRAYER: Oh that we would be able to love folk that may have said something to us or about us that we didn’t appreciate. Oh that we might truly learn the type love that God showed at Calvary – unselfish and sacrificial. Lord, You have shown in Your Word that unless we love with all our heart, our efforts are useless. What the world needs now, is love. May the greatest love ever shown, be portrayed through us as we deal with others today. This is my humble plea for self and for all my readers 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 visit my home church, Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

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!

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

Our Intercessor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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!

A Love Test

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

Thursday, 2019-11-21

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

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

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

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

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

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