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!

God Loves You & He Will Keep His Promises

God’s Word is forever true and as fresh as the morning sunrise. Being reminded of what God had Moses impart to the Israelites, reminded me of the relationship and love He has with even the newest Christian today. He considers us His holy people, dedicated to the Lord and chosen by Him. He loves us because He is keeping His promises made in His Word, and that He made long ago to our ancestors who prayed for us. Hopefully you are included in that number!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-07-22
WRITTEN AT: Canton, TX

SCRIPTURE FROM: Deuteronomy 7:5-8
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: “You must break down the heathen altars and shatter the obelisks and cut up the shameful images and burn the idols. “For you are a holy people, dedicated to the Lord your God. He has chosen you from all the people on the face of the whole earth to be his own chosen ones. He didn’t choose you and pour out his love upon you because you were a larger nation than any other, for you were the smallest of all! It was just because he loves you, and because he kept his promise to your ancestors….

APPLICATION: When you look at the largest issues around you, don’t you often sit back and question: Why Lord? What can I possibly do to help correct this? When you see sin occurring all around you, and often impacting your life, don’t you often question God as to why? and on what you should be doing to help correct the problem? Let’s stop for a few minutes and see what the Israelites were facing, and if God reassured them through Hi servant Moses, might He also have a word for us in the Scripture today. This huge body of people were enslaved in Egypt, and they were only released from that after God intervened and forced Pharaoh to release His people. They were led, fed and directed for over 40 years through the wilderness by God’s servants, because they had no control over their circumstances, nor could they do anything about their daily needs and dilemmas. The new, Promised Land, into which they arrived, were already occupied, and by nations much bigger than them, so we could only imagine that they felt as helpless as we do in the circumstances used in my introduction. But here’s where the answer comes in for the Israelites, and for us, I believe. Moses assured his people, and I believe that God assures us, that we are a chosen people. Drawn to the foot of the cross where Jesus forgives us of our sin and draws us into a sweet relationship with Himself. It is there that Jesus promises us a place in heaven where we will worship He and the Father for all eternity. Friends, our God will then watch out for us, just like He did for the Israelites. They were the smallest nation, facing huge challenges, but let’s be reminded that there is nothing too big for our God. If He told them through His servant Moses, that there were seven nations they would conquer (vs 1), it doesn’t matter what size they are, or how strong their army is, nothing could come against our God that He couldn’t handle. I am convinced that reminder is still very true for us today, so why do you suppose we struggle in realizing that our God will take care of us? We are part of the winning army, and we know that there is nothing that our God can’t do, so what’s the problem? We may not be facing seven nations, but for some reason our challenges sometimes seem larger than that. The answer is still the same, there is nothing that our God can’t do! If you know Jesus personally today, then you’re on the winning team. If you have chosen not to walk the path of righteousness, then you may very well join the opposing army. My desire is that You will see TRUTH in the Word of God today, and that you will make the necessary changes in your life. Know God my friend, and know the peace that surpasses all human understanding.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Many have prayed for our salvation. God will meet every need, because of what He promised in His Word, and because of what He promised to our ancestors who prayed for us. Rest assured, there is nothing that our God can’t do!

PRAYER: Lord, now I see why You look at Your children and remind us of the lack of faith that we possess. You could move mountains, and You facilitated multiple victories to the Israelites over armies much bigger than themselves, yet we withdraw into our corner and worry over not being able to handle an earthly situation. We serve the same God, so Lord Jesus, please give us faith to believe, to ask, and to receive. Please continue to be God to us, and give us the faith needed to overcome earthly doubt and fear. May we be Your people who the world will look at in wonder, and gain strength from, as they seek out the kingdom of God. 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!

God Watches Over You

A parent is charged with watching over their child from the time they are born and everything has to be done for them, to the time they become strong enough to assume responsibility of taking care of themselves, and beyond! This instinct and responsibility was given by our God who tenderly cares for us from the moment we give Him control. He is the image of a good parent to us. Hopefully as we pause to meditate on this Scripture God will give us reassurance of His protective, caring and loving hand that holds us secure each day.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-06-29
WRITTEN AT: Tucumcari, NM

SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 37:23-24
TRANSLATION:New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
    He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
    for the Lord holds them by the hand.

APPLICATION: It seems like many days are filled with challenges that cause us to wonder: can it get any worse? Often it feels like we are at the end of our rope and holding on only by a knot, but we are thankful that all days are not like that! For the believer in Christ, we have a hope that surpasses all human understanding, for God repeats over and over in His Word that He watches out for us; He cares for us; He loves us unconditionally; He restores us from our brokenness, despair and disappointments and as promised in our Scripture today, He delights in every detail of our lives; He directs our paths and He holds our hand, especially when we stumble or fall! For my Christian friends reading this devotional, all of this is enough to help us rise above our doubts and fears. But it saddens us for our friends who have said ‘no’ to our Savior, and they are enduring serious days where they feel all alone and forsaken by the whole world around them. These are often our close friends, and we wish there would be something that we could do to help them. Sure enough, there is lots we can do to help. For you see, we are Christ’s representatives here on earth. Our friends need to feel the same love coming from us that we receive from Jesus Christ. They need to know that we are not judging them, but rather we are wanting desperately to help them through their struggles. They need to know that when they feel the world around them are against them and looking for ways to ridicule and punish them, that they could depend on the children of God to unconditionally love and care about them. To be Jesus in the flesh before them. Friends, we will never replace Jesus or be a substitute for Jesus at anytime – it’s impossible. But oh that we might be reminders to our unsaved world that Jesus is truly alive, because they see evidence of Him in us. May we always point them to the Savior so that they too might find rest and peace in Him in this troubled world. Always remember that God is watching over us – not just so that we might gloat in His goodness, but I believe, so that His goodness might overflow through His children here on earth to encourage others who need Him. A good friend always likened us to to one beggar giving bread to another beggar who needs Jesus! Just as Jesus watches over us, may our friends sense that Jesus wants to watch over them, because they could see first hand how His love reaches through us to love on them!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: We have a Savior who not only saved us from our sin, but He watches over us when we struggle and/or fall. I need that reassurance, and I hope that you will also benefit from that reminder!

PRAYER: Praise You Jesus, for You care for us like no one else does, and when others despise us because of our failures. What an awesome reminder that, as Your children, we are to express that same kind of love to those that we know and/or come into contact with. But oh what joy it is to know that instead of giving up when we feel distraught and forsaken, we could lift our heads up high, knowing that the Creator of this Universe loves us and cares for us. Thank You Lord Jesus for showing us what real love is all about. We know that it’s easy to love those that love us and are kind to us, but now we know that through Christ we can also love everyone, just like You love us! May others see Jesus today, even if the only person they see is one of His children! Draw all men to Yourself today dear Lord, especially those we touch in some way. 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!

A Treasured People

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

Monday, 2021-03-15

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

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

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

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

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

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog 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!

Christmas Gift Ideas

At Christmas time we seem to easily find room in our hearts to be kind to others. In our verses today Paul reminds us of what all God did for us, and how that should lead us to do the same for others. So as we meditate on this today, may it stir up within us many ideas on how we might bless others at Christmas!

Friday, 2020-12-08

Bible Reference: Colossians 3:12-14
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 12 God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So your new life should be like this: Show mercy to others. Be kind, humble, gentle, and patient. 13 Don’t be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If you feel someone has wronged you, forgive them. Forgive others because the Lord forgave you. 14 Together with these things, the most important part of your new life is to love each other. Love is what holds everything together in perfect unity. 

OBSERVATION: At Christmas time we seem to easily find room in our hearts to be kind to others. In our verses today Paul reminds us of what all God did for us, and how that should lead us to do the same for others. So as we meditate on this today, may it stir up within us many ideas on how we might bless others at Christmas!

APPLICATION: Most children are probably looking forward to Christmas because of the gifts they have asked for, and expect to receive. As adults, Paul has reminded us of the gracious gifts that are ours, in being a child of the most high God! Here are some of the gifts mentioned by Paul: 1). God has made us His holy people – imagine that – steeped in sin and very much a part of Satan’s army, yet when we felt the call on our life by Jesus, and surrendered our life to Him, we were adopted into the sonship of the Most Holy God! That is beyond comprehension, and could only be imagined through faith in the truth of God’s Holy Word; 2). God loves us – ‘Love’ is an awesome word that we use, and even abuse in our lifetime, but it takes on such a special meaning when the holy Son of God loves a child that has been so blatant in sin, and asked for His forgiveness. Oh that we may find it in our hearts to love like that this Christmas! But because of all that God blessed us with, here are some gifts that we may give to others, knowing that He will continue pouring out His gracious love to us: Show mercy towards others; Be kind to others; Be humble towards others; Be gentle to others; Be patient with others; Don’t be angry with others; Forgive others; and LOVE others. Friends, the best news of all about these godly gifts, compared to our usual gift giving, is that there will be no increase in credit card bills whatsoever!  So why not read over this devotional again as Christmas draws closer, and concentrate on all the gody gifts that you can extend to family and friends. Be instrumental in teaching them God’s ways and His teachings through your example this Christmas! Others just may see that you have a heart like that of Jesus, because you showed that you cared for them!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for Christmas, and the precious gift of Your Son! Thank You for teaching us about the many precious gifts that You bless us with, and then through your servant Paul, teaching us how we might extend to others the many gifts that You have showered on us. Please help us to make someone’s Christmas special this year, simply by showering them with the character of Your Son, and the godly gifts mentioned in our Scripture today. AMEN!

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

The Joy Of Seeing Others Grow!

I believe that churches (Christians in our churches) today are missing out on excellent opportunities to encourage, or as the Word says ‘spur one another on to good works’, therefore it seems like church attendees walk out the back door quicker than we could welcome new ones through the front door. John shared with his good friend Gaius that his (John’s) heart was blessed and encouraged whenever he received encouraging words back about his (Gaius’) spiritual growth. As we meditate on God’s Word today, I trust that you will think with me about whether we do enough to encourage one another towards greater spiritual growth.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-11-22
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 3 John 1:4
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT:  It is the greatest joy of my life to hear that my children are consistently living their lives in the ways of truth!

OBSERVATION: I believe that churches (Christians in our churches) today are missing out on excellent opportunities to encourage, or as the Word says ‘spur one another on to good works’, therefore it seems like church attendees walk out the back door quicker than we could welcome new ones through the front door. John shared with his good friend Gaius that his (John’s) heart was blessed and encouraged whenever he received encouraging words back about his (Gaius’) spiritual growth. As we meditate on God’s Word today, I trust that you will think with me about whether we do enough to encourage one another towards greater spiritual growth.

APPLICATION: I love my church, and I can’t imagine life without the church, so please know that I am approaching this topic from that standpoint. Throughout my Christian life I have been heavily involved in the life of the church, including some key leadership positions. In my younger days, I actually found that I was drawn more into the sermon while I served as a sound technician, than I would have done in just sitting in the pew listening. In some roles, I did quite a bit of visitation, but it was often to the sick, or to members upset with someone at church. As I reflect, I don’t remember calling someone to encourage them in the spiritual growth evidenced in their life, nor called to compliment a teacher or a preacher for the good job they had done. However, I have been in their place, and often wondered if anyone heard or cared about what I taught. I believe that often Satan will use those moments of doubt to ’egg’ us on towards thinking that we are wasting our time in what we do ‘in Jesus’ name’. I know that people don’t go to church, or get saved, so that they might receive praise or recognition from other members. But I do know that what John is teaching us here in his ministry to Gaius, serves an important purpose in encouraging others in their service to their Lord. However, I feel like Christians as a whole must be encouraged in their walk with the Lord. Let’s find something constructive and encouraging to say to each one. Many times our words of encouragement to them will minister to them as much as the sermon did. Often they are looking for someone who cares that they are present, so simple things like how their smile or their warm presence made you think of the warmth and presence of Jesus. Just simple things like that will encourage someone to hang in there and remain faithful. Also, we use our phone for many different things these days. Why not consider using it for the simple purpose of calling someone just to let them know that you care about them. Imagine the lost feeling of being in hospital, or being home sick, or just falling away from attending church and not hearing from anyone. Did it really matter to anyone that you were there at one time? Of course you will feel like no one missed you, nor did they ever care about you. I believe the best thing we can do to help one another through this life dear friends, is to let them know that you care about them. Way too often we sit back and sulk instead of reaching out to encourage others. As we bless others, God will bless us. Just as you are so very proud of your children, we too become very connected to those whose lives we have touched or helped in some way, especially those we may have helped guide, or lead them, to the Lord. I believe that God will help us bless others if we ask for His help and His guidance.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You have been good to us and we are so appreciative of the love You have shown for us in so many wonderful ways. Thank You Lord for all those You have allowed us to cross paths with. Our lives have been enriched by their encouragement, and they have often energized us into service for You Lord. Please work diligently in our lives so that we may look for ways to encourage others towards love and good works. Just as John’s ministry to Gaius had a long lasting impact on his life, I believe that our words and actions will also serve to enrich and encourage those in our circle of influence. Help us never to assume that they are strong and don’t need a word of encouragement, for they are human just like we are. Please help us to love like You loved us. 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!

Here’s What Love Means

In any form of relationship I believe it would be impossible to please the other party by doing your own thing, without regards for what they might love to see you do. No doubt marriages fall apart when a partner has no regards for their spouse, or show any interest in things they may like to do together. So imagine what happens in the church when folk act like this. John saw that relationships were being fractured because of selfish endeavors, so he thought to emphasize what ‘love’ truly means. Let’s try applying his God ordained meaning of this important life-action as we study the Word today.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-11-21
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 John 1:5-6
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: I am writing to remind you, dear friends,[c] that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.

OBSERVATION: In any form of relationship I believe it would be impossible to please the other party by doing your own thing, without regards for what they might love to see you do. No doubt marriages fall apart when a partner has no regards for their spouse, or show any interest in things they may like to do together. So imagine what happens in the church when folk act like this. John saw that relationships were being fractured because of selfish endeavors, so he thought to emphasize what ‘love’ truly means. Let’s try applying his God ordained meaning of this important life-action as we study the Word today.

APPLICATION: In many cases it is easier to think about the outcomes when a rule, or as in this case – a command, is not followed. For example, if we don’t love others as God commanded, then we may tend to hate them, meaning that we will do everything within our power to destroy them or cause them to fail. This hatred may come in various forms: lying about them; envious of their job position; jealous of their financial success; intimidated by their educational achievements; disrespect of their church-held positions; – just to name a few. Friends if any of these things are burning up inside of you, it will be virtually impossible to love an individual. So let’s look closer at what John directs us to in the true meaning of ‘Love’:
-> Do what God has commanded you to do – In other words, who is your master? If you love Me, you will obey my commandments – Jesus said this in John 14:15. So if you instead do whatever you please, without regard for Jesus Christ, is He truly your ‘Lord’ and Savior? I believe ‘Lord’ means that you have agreed to allow Jesus to Lord, or rule over you. If you persist in still doing your ‘own thing’ in life, then I would suggest that you revisit the cross and see if you truly gave God authority over your life;
-> Remember, God commanded us to love one another – Obviously John saw that the church was in disarray caused by many of the above mentioned actions, so he saw the need to remind them of what God taught His church. You see, God loved the world so much, yes those who loved Him and those that didn’t, that He permitted His only Son to die on Calvary, so that those who believe on Him, might be assured of eternal life in heaven. He loved enough to sacrifice everything He had so that we might reap the benefits of knowing Jesus as Lord. Friends, if we are to follow Him in the way we love others, would there ever be a reason for anyone to challenge us again like John did, about our obedience to God’s commands? I dare say no, what say ye?

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for loving us, even when we were unlovable. Thank You for providing us the assurance of our salvation. Thank You for being our constant guide and deliverer from all evil around us. Lord, we want to be like You, but there is a serious uphill battle as we fight against the evil one while still here on earth. This causes us to act in ways that surely must not be pleasing to You Lord, so we humbly ask for Your strength, Your guidance and an extra dose of Your love that we might share with others. Please Lord, impact our conscious in such a way that we will turn from our wicked ways and obediently follow Your ways and Your commands. 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!