Preparing To Meet

Anytime we prepare ourselves for meeting with a famous person, we go to great extremes to ‘clean ourselves up’ – going to the hair dresser; purchasing the right apparel for the occasion, etc. Yet, just like the tribes that Hezekiah prayed for, we too go to prayer meetings and church services, perhaps less prepared inwardly and outwardly, than if we were going to the movies. As we meditate on this Scripture today, let’s do so while keeping in mind that we are about to meet with the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-03-13
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 30:18–19
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 18-19 Many people from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun had not prepared themselves in the right way for the Passover Festival. They did not celebrate the Passover the right way, as the Law of Moses says. But Hezekiah prayed for the people. So he said this prayer, “Lord God, you are good. These people sincerely wanted to worship you in the right way, but they did not make themselves clean as the law says. Please forgive these people. You are the Lord, the God our ancestors worshiped. Forgive them, even if some did not make themselves clean as the rules of the Most Holy Place say.” 

OBSERVATION: Anytime we prepare ourselves for meeting with a famous person, we go to great extremes to ‘clean ourselves up’ – going to the hair dresser; purchasing the right apparel for the occasion, etc. Yet, just like the tribes that Hezekiah prayed for, we too go to prayer meetings and church services, perhaps less prepared inwardly and outwardly, than if we were going to the movies. As we meditate on this Scripture today, let’s do so while keeping in mind that we are about to meet with the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

APPLICATION:  Ever heard a parent say to their child ‘well if you’re going to the fair with me looking mad and upset, then we may as well stay at home, because you couldn’t possibly have a good time with that attitude’? But don’t we sometimes go to church with a similar attitude? Imagine for a moment if, 30 minutes prior to leaving the house, we were to go before God and lay ourselves before Him and seek His face and ask His forgiveness of our sin, our littleness and our selfishness. Additionally ask God to bless us individually and expand our personal borders so that we might touch the lives of others. Can you possibly dream, or imagine, what our prayer meetings and church services would look like and sound like? Can you imagine the outlook on everyone’s face when they walk out of the sanctuary refreshed in their relationship with God and ready for a week of service in His kingdom work? Rushing to that favorite diner would be the last thing on our minds, instead of the only thing we tend to think on each week! Friend, we will never encounter free, unhindered, personal worship when we depend on the Praise Band to build the excitement and raise the entertainment level so that we may become involved in and excited about worshiping. We can’t build our excitement from what we feel in the band, our excitement builds from all that lies within. If we haven’t cleaned up the ‘junk’ in our lives, how can we possibly go before a ‘HOLY’ and ‘Righteous’ God and expect to be excited about it? Remember, He knows our every deed and thought. When we haven’t cleaned up those things, we go before Him with the same guilt that we would have if we went straight to church from a cocktail party hoping that no one will smell the alcohol on us! God said that we are to be holy, even as He is holy. Why not join me in doing our best to make sure that we go in a prepared way to meet with Him and worship Him this weekend? He would be overjoyed, and we would be blessed beyond measure.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, how ashamed we should be about the important things that we take for granted. We will make time for every meeting we plan to attend or participate in, but somehow we feel like You will show up no matter how little we do in preparation. Forgive us Lord, and help us to really focus on our time with You, for You created us in Your own image and You love us beyond anything we could imagine. Hezekiah prayed for his people who had not prepared themselves to meet with You, may this be a reminder for us that You are holy and therefore we should approach Your throne in a spirit of holiness. This is contrary to the atmosphere in which we live daily and only You could cleanse us and make us worthy of being in Your presence. Lord we beg Your powerful work in our lives, so that we may be effective in all that we do in Your holy name. Amen!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. 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!

It’s All About God

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: Acts 9:36–42
Today’s Bible Text: 36 In Joppa there was a woman named Tabitha, who was a believer. (Her name in Greek is Dorcas, meaning “a deer”.) She spent all her time doing good and helping the poor. 37 At that time she became ill and died. Her body was washed and laid in a room upstairs. 38 Joppa was not very far from Lydda, and when the believers in Joppa heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him with the message, “Please hurry and come to us.” 39 So Peter got ready and went with them. When he arrived, he was taken to the room upstairs, where all the widows crowded round him, crying and showing him all the shirts and coats that Dorcas had made while she was alive. 40 Peter put them all out of the room, and knelt down and prayed; then he turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41 Peter reached over and helped her get up. Then he called all the believers, including the widows, and presented her alive to them. 42 The news about this spread all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.
The Bible Translation: The Good news Translation (GNT)

My Take Away: No doubt many of you went to church this past weekend, and I could only imagine that if asked about your experience, there would probably be an array of responses. It is very common to hear things like: The Praise and Worship team did an amazing job; The pastor was spot on with the message, I believe there had to be some who were touched; You would never believe who I saw at the service – for the first in a long time; It was like a fashion show, and I felt so out of place; We had a boring service; We had an exciting service; etc, etc…. After reading this scripture this morning, I wonder how many would need to be asked about their worship experience this weekend if they really saw God at work in their midst! In this story, there were two men sent out to invite a nearby disciple to come and pray with them over their friend Dorcas. I wonder how many of us went to church with that kind of faith – Went knowing that our unsaved loved ones were being invited to be in the presence of the One who could save them from the grasp of sin on their life. Knowing that the friend attending who had been told that her cancer was in its final stages, would actually sit in the presence of the only One who could heal her body and restore her health. We went knowing that we were there to wait on the same Lord that touched our friends at the last service in ways that could not be explained in any other way than a touch from God. Friends, there’s a difference between what the attendees experienced in the first examples I gave, than in the second set of examples. In the first, we can see where folk were attending church in much the same way that most of us experience every week. In the second example, it is evident that the same God who listened to Peter’s prayer and healed Dorcas, also heard the prayers of believers and visited with them – meeting their specific needs as God felt necessary. Did you really prepare yourself to meet God this past weekend, or was it just that you wanted to attend church?

Prayer: Dear God, I am so thankful that we can still worship the same God that raised Dorcas back to life! Thank You for hearing the cry of Peter and the others who participated in that prayer meeting around Dorcas, but I also thank You for assuring us of Your availability to us even today. We often gather with so many needs, yet distracted by so many trivial things. Please help us to stay focused on You dear Lord. The unsaved of our community will only respond to knowing that You were present in our midst, not any of the other ‘fluff’ that tends to distract us each week. Please help us to stay focused on Your power and to always welcome Your presence in our midst, so that others might know that our hope and our faith is all built around You oh Lord. Please have Your will and way in our lives today, for I ask this in the name of Jesus, who must reign in our lives if others are to be impacted for the kingdom, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

2016