Show Mercy

It is so disappointing when we put every effort into something and then be criticized or rejected for actually being there. Often our hearts will be lifted up when we witness the positive impact on a person who really fights hard to be in attendance at an event we are at, but how often will we stop and offer up our ticket so a poor or helpless person could take our place? Our Scripture reveals such a person, and it seems like everything was done to discourage the blind beggar. We may very well set aside a great blessing when we fail to help someone in some way.

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2021-09-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 18:38-39; 43
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 38 The blind beggar shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity and show me mercy!”
39 Those in the front of the crowd scolded him and warned him to be quiet, but the blind beggar screamed out even louder, “Jesus, Son of David, show me mercy!”
43 Instantly he could see again. His eyes popped open, and he saw Jesus standing in front of him! He shouted loud praises to God and he followed Jesus. And when the crowd saw what happened, they too erupted with shouts of praise to God.

APPLICATION: Laws have been enacted to make sure that our disabled persons find somewhere handy to park near a business. Ramps have been built to facilitate wheelchair access, and many times brail is posted next to important signs. But how often do we see able persons taking the referenced parking spots for quick accessibility, and being discourteous in other ways that would disappoint and hurt our friends that are truly disabled? In our Scripture today, we have a picture of a blind man who found his way to the edge of the road along which Jesus was traveling. He could hear from the noise and excitability of the people that someone important was coming, so upon learning it was Jesus, he started to shout for the His attention. The abled-bodied people around him demanded silence, perhaps because they didn’t want Jesus to turn away from such a rowdy bunch. But why didn’t the people see the predicament of the blind man and instead be his spokesperson to draw Jesus over to him? Wouldn’t we have done that? Perhaps some would help, but in all practicality many would not. For those of my readers who have used a wheelchair before, for one reason or another, perhaps on a temporary basis, you may have noticed that people avoid eye contact with you. I’m sure its because they are just at a loss to what they would say to you, but we all must remember that for the person in that wheelchair, they are the same person that may ordinarily pass by and smile at you or ask to help you, if they were otherwise enabled to do so. Friends, I believe that this story is perfectly placed in the Word so that we could be reminded to have mercy on those who may not be as perfect as we are in every physical way, and not to look down on them as being less than us. Most importantly, we must always remember that we all need Jesus! It may not be for physical healing, but perhaps for our internal grievances towards pride, greed, envy and selfish desires. I believe the change of heart from shutting the communication of the blind beggar down, to vs 43 where the same folk rejoiced with the blind man over being healed of his sight, is an awesome contrast to how we feel when we’ve been blessed to see God’s hand at work on a daily basis. Let me encourage all my readers and listeners to have an eye out for the needy and be willing to chip in and do what you can to help them get to Jesus. The angels in heaven will rejoice with you when one soul is won to Jesus. Having a part in that process will also help you rejoice more!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Although the people rejoiced when the blind beggar was healed, I believe that all of heaven rejoiced as Jesus also gave the man ‘new life’ – something that we all need if we want to ‘see’ Jesus in heaven!

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for not only restoring sight to the blind man, but for also giving him new life in Jesus! I pray that every reader and listener will be reminded of the need for salvation by all, not just those who are like them, or look like them, or act like them. We ALL need Jesus! Send us out again today to be Your instruments so that all those that we are exposed to will be drawn to You and receive You into their lives. May we also carry the torch of Jesus to the broken world that we are a part of. 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!

I Called On The Lord

I called on the Lord, and He saved me from….. It is clear to see that many of us have encountered challenges in one form or the other over our lifetime. Have you arrived at the stage yet where you have found that God is the only one that can save you, rescue you, protect you and be your comfort in times of distress when you see no way out of your circumstances? It you’re still struggling with this, stay tuned to be reminded how David found strength in the name of the Lord!

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-05-02
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 18:1-3
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT:  1I love you, Lord;
    you are my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
    my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
    and my place of safety.
I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
    and he saved me from my enemies.

APPLICATION: As I meditated on these verses today, my heart immediately started to sing ‘I love You Lord, and Your mercies never fail me’. I included the link so that you might let that play in the background as you meditate on the Scripture and possibly this devotional. What a comfort to know that no matter whether we will enter a day on a ‘high note’ where we enjoy only the blessings of God, or whether its a day where we struggle to enjoy the blessings because of the challenges of life we are facing, yet we KNOW that our Lord never fails us, for He is always faithful to His own. You may feel like you’re in the struggle alone, but if you read the Scripture verses again, you will see that David – a man after God’s own heart, endured some very real struggles where his life was on the line and there seemed like no way out. Unlike us, where we might turn to the internet or the airways for a nice song that will comfort us, or call our pastor to pray with us, or drive down to the church which has always been a place of refuge for us, but David was often in the wilderness by himself, or in a place where he didn’t know if he could trust anyone else to help him. You see, David seemed to have often been in circumstances like we are when laid on our backs unable to move, we have no choice but to look up. Because of David’s relationship with God, and the faith he had developed in God over his life, he confidently called on the Lord to rescue him from Saul, to protect him in the cliff of the mountain where Saul himself came searching, and when faced with Saul’s elite army. Friends, David had gone through a lifetime of trust in God for all his needs, and especially depended on God to protect him, therefore at critical times he knew in whom He believed and in whom he could place his trust. Can you do the same dear Brother and/or Sister. This is the only real way of handling life’s challenges, for few of us can call in an army, or rush to the hospital, or order in the servants to help us. It’s all about Jesus my friend! He alone can rescue us from the tyranny of evil in this life and the forces of Satan that will constantly bombard the believer in Jesus Christ. For those who may not know my Savior, let me encourage you today to meet my Him, and be drawn into an intimate relationship with Him. Only He can save you from your sins; love you unconditionally; protect you from every temptation and struggle in life; and have a home prepared for you in heaven after your life here on earth is over. Thank You Lord Jesus, that Your mercies never fail me!

PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, may I always sing of Your goodness and Your mercies that You faithfully bless me with each day of my life. Please draw my readers and I to You, and find peace and contentment in knowing You, so that even when we encounter times of trouble and distress, we will be reminded of Your love, Your faithfulness, Your goodness, and Your never ending mercies to us. Lord, we have family, neighbors and friends who desperately need You as Lord of their lives. In Your goodness today, please encourage these and draw them to Yourself so that they may find joy in the strength of the Lord. Have Your way in our lives today Lord, and may Your unending mercies always be our comfort. 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!

Our God of Mercy

Although the exact words are not evident, God indicates in verse 23 that He is merciful towards widows and orphans, just as he indicated in verse 27 about the poor. I wonder how conscious we are about being merciful, like our Father is? I wonder how careful we are about not coming under the wrath of God when dealing with widows, orphans and the poor? Perhaps today is a good day to consider how we are doing in following His example to be merciful. Allow the Word of God to have it’s way in your life today.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-04-02
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Exodus 22:22-27
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 22 “You must not exploit a widow or an orphan. 23 If you exploit them in any way and they cry out to me, then I will certainly hear their cry. 24 My anger will blaze against you, and I will kill you with the sword. Then your wives will be widows and your children fatherless.
25 “If you lend money to any of my people who are in need, do not charge interest as a money lender would. 26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak as security for a loan, you must return it before sunset. 27 This coat may be the only blanket your neighbor has. How can a person sleep without it? If you do not return it and your neighbor cries out to me for help, then I will hear, for I am merciful.

OBSERVATION: Although the exact words are not evident, God indicates in verse 23 that He is merciful towards widows and orphans, just as he indicated in verse 27 about the poor. I wonder how conscious we are about being merciful, like our Father is? I wonder how careful we are about not coming under the wrath of God when dealing with widows, orphans and the poor? Perhaps today is a good day to consider how we are doing in following His example to be merciful. Allow the Word of God to have it’s way in your life today.

APPLICATION: All throughout the Bible we could find where God thought very tenderly and mercifully towards those who struggled to take care of themselves. Brothers were told to marry the wives left behind by their deceased brother. Deacons were told to lookout for, and take good care of, widows and orphans. But I was totally amazed at the reminder in today’s Scripture again. For God warned the Israelites that if they took advantage of these individuals and, as a consequence, they came to Him about their hurt and their need, He would kill the guilty men so that their wives and children would then become widows and orphans. Men, I don’t know about you, but even though I would fear bringing on hurt or death to myself, the last thing in the world I would want to know, is that my wife and child are being left in want after my passing. But none-the-less, Jesus warned that He would be that upset if He saw His weaker children being abused. So how would this be applied to our current day situations? In your line of business, do you offer incentives or discounts to these individuals, or do you see them as a higher risk, seeing that they are without a husband/father, so you charge them more? This might be for goods, or in the case of interest on loans or credit cards, since this was dealt with next. Do you offer them a ride back home after visiting your place of business, or are you way too busy attending to the rich and giving them every possible incentive to give you more business? Friends, I believe that God has allowed us to remain on earth so that we may represent Him well. Today we have been taught a few things that really upsets the Father. What do you suppose you and I could do to stay in the good graces of our merciful God, as it pertains to widows, orphans and the poor? Sure many who read this devotion today may not be considered rich, but in the eyes of the poor and destitute, they see us as ‘rich’. Cutting our meal size in half will not only help our health, but we might then be able to share a portion with one who may not have a solid, healthy meal. With a few extra dollars on hand, instead of using that for an extra vacation, or another new suit, try helping the widow whose electric power is close to being terminated because of unpaid bills. Instead of putting that poor person under the nearby bridge down, share a jacket with him, or take the extra food to her from a meal where you cooked in excess. Show love towards these people, be a good neighbor to that child of God who needs help. Love these individuals, even as our caring, merciful God loved you while you were still steeped in sin and filth. Let it be said of you that you were merciful, just like your Father!

PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, I am so thankful that You know our very heart and therefore You are well aware of all that we stand for. There’s no need in us trying to tell You what we do and who we love, for You know our very heart. Please penetrate our hearts with Your Word, so that Your perfect will and way may be evident in all that we do, say and think. There are so many needs around us, and I’m afraid that we have become way too hardened by the needs. We attribute that to abuse that we may have seen, or perhaps to family members who should really jump in and help their needy members. But in today’s Scripture You gave us no escsape, for You insisted that if we see the need, or if we are aware of the need, meet it with all that we can. May we become keenly aware of the needs that we will encounter today with those that we come into contact with, and may You become very visible to those that we help. You gave it all, and we thank You for that, but please receive honor, praise and glory for any representation of Yourself today by 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!

Show Us Mercy, Lord!

In preparation for a missions trip, other team members and myself were coached by pioneers of the same journey and we were warned not to feel sorry for the people of the poor town we would visit, as they are very happy in their own ‘skin’ and in their own condition. For they don’t see themselves as ‘poor’. It’s when we try to compare them to ourselves, that we feel sorry for them. Jesus didn’t assume the two blind man wanted only healing from Him. Hopefully we will learn from the Word what our approach should be when we see people who seem needy.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-03-12
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 20:31-34
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 31 Those in the crowd scolded them and told them to be quiet. But the blind men shouted even louder, “Jesus, Son of David, show us mercy, Lord!
32 So Jesus stopped and had them brought to him. He asked them, “What do you want me to do for you?”
33 They said, “Lord, we want to see! Heal us!”
34 Jesus was deeply moved with compassion[k] toward them. So he touched their eyes, and instantly they could see! Jesus said to them, “Your faith has healed you.” And all the people praised God because of this miracle.[l] And the two men became his followers from that day onward.

OBSERVATION: In preparation for a missions trip, other team members and myself were coached by pioneers of the same journey and we were warned not to feel sorry for the people of the poor town we would visit, as they are very happy in their own ‘skin’ and in their own condition. For they don’t see themselves as ‘poor’. It’s when we try to compare them to ourselves, that we feel sorry for them. Jesus didn’t assume the two blind man wanted only healing from Him. Hopefully we will learn from the Word what our approach should be when we see people who seem needy.

APPLICATION: If we are rich, then we may be quick to assume that those living in huts and wearing filthy rags with holes, are in need of financial handouts from us and lots of clothing. If a poor person dressed in rags came forward in an altar call at church, we may jump in to pray for their poverty and their financial needs. But what if in both of these examples, these individuals just want to hear about the love of Jesus that they overheard us talking about? Although Jesus knew full well what the need of these two beggars were, He wanted them to express their personal needs. Imagine after a touching sermon on the salvation of Jesus Christ, folk came forward to the altar. It would do them such an injustice to immediately go over to them and begin praying for their salvation. Show interest in them and do as Jesus did, ask them what you might do for them, or how you might pray for them. Imagine the satisfaction in their minds to say in earnest that they want to surrender their life to the lordship of Jesus Christ – the One who the preacher spoke of in such a loving, caring and understanding way. It’s like an alcoholic, help is of no value to them until they are ready to announce their condition and their request for help to overcome that dreaded disease. In our world of computers and devices, it behooves us to see that Jesus cared enough to stop the march and focus His attention on individuals who were receiving a lot of flack for being there. Beggars are still ignored by many today and looked down on by most. I pray that God may have spoken through the example of His Son to each reader today, and that our hearts may be stirred when we see someone in need. Perhaps they need Jesus, or a healing touch, or help with a financial burden, or just a hand up so that they could rest assured that someone still cares. Perhaps they just want to know that Jesus is still alive and well in us – giving reason to them for wanting to know Him personally. Jesus showed the two blind men that He cared enough to stop His world around Him to attend to their needs. Seek the face of Jesus my friend, and see what He wants you to do in order to truly see the needs of others, and then show mercy to them.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You know what we need, You know what lies ahead for us, yet You take the time to listen to what we feel our needs are. Thank You for caring for us and our anxious minds. Please touch our lives and help us to be just like You in caring about others. Help us to put aside our prejudices, our likes, our dislikes, our selfish desires, and our mechanical devices that tend to distract us from the needs that are right in front of us. This world is a hard and trying place in which to survive, may we become the light at the end of the tunnel for many that we come into contact with, giving reason for them to go on. Please continue to show mercy on us Lord, as we show mercy on others. 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!

Show Mercy

I find it intriguing how we often find in our lives today, very similar challenges to that of Jesus’ day. Perhaps, today as we meditate on this Scripture, we could evaluate whether that might be because of us being human, just like Jesus was dealing with in His earthly days, or whether we have just hardened our hearts to not do what Jesus taught us to do. What if we were ‘tested’ by God today, would we pass the test?

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-01-27
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 9:11-13
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 When those known as the Pharisees saw what was happening, they were indignant, and they kept asking Jesus’ disciples, “Why would your Master dine with such lowlifes?”
12 When Jesus overheard this, he spoke up and said, “Healthy people don’t need to see a doctor, but the sick[f] will go for treatment.”13 Then he added, “Now you should go and study the meaning of the verse: I want you to show mercy, not just offer me a sacrifice.[g] For I have come to invite the outcasts of society and sinners, not those who think they are already on the right path.”[h]

OBSERVATION: I find it intriguing how we often find in our lives today, very similar challenges to that of Jesus’ day. Perhaps, today as we meditate on this Scripture, we could evaluate whether that might be because of us being human, just like Jesus was dealing with in His earthly days, or whether we have just hardened our hearts to not do what Jesus taught us to do. What if we were ‘tested’ by God today, would we pass the test?

APPLICATION: I believe that the whole idea of a daily devotional is that we keep hoping that as we try to focus our minds on Jesus Christ, we will continue our learning about what He desires of us, and perhaps our hearts might be stirred to doing the perfect will of the Father. Unfortunately, we are very quick to point fingers at what seems wrong to us. Imagine seeing your pastor, or a church leader having lunch with a known criminal, or one from a profession known for its criminal or worldly actions? How would you respond? Perhaps like you never saw him? Perhaps call someone from your church and share your concern (or gossip) with them so that together you could approach the pastor about his actions? But wait, what sin? I believe that we tend to feel a sense of achievement when we could report another Christian for something that appears wrong to us – even if we don’t know all the intricate details of the visit? That’s a similar story to what the Pharisees found with Jesus. He was dining and chatting with questionable people from society, instead of church goers or church leaders. Surely that’s not what a holy and righteous prophet or godly leader would do in all good conscience. Surely He wasn’t meeting with them in hopes of converting them, right? But let’s carefully study what Jesus responded to this accusation. First, let’s assume that God would not go to the extreme of sacrificing His Son, if there was not good reason. If everyone was already saved and looking forward to heaven, they would not need help. But our all-knowing God was well aware that there were many on earth who needed help to turn away from sin and instead live with their minds fixed on God and His home in heaven. So to achieve His purpose, who do you suppose Jesus concentrated on helping and directing? You got it, those who needed it – they needed a Savior. So in applying this Scripture to our lives, who should we be hanging around? Who should we be ministering to? Who should we be specifically showing mercy to? Friends, Jesus emphasized that He wants us to be much more devoted to showing mercy to those who need it, instead of settling for our gifts to send help, or our prayers for others to give help on our behalf. If each of us show mercy that might help at least one person per day, I believe they will see God, and they may even decide that they need Him as Lord of their life. Imagine the math on how many will see mercy extended to them? They will know that God is still alive and indeed loves them like a true Father would. I hope that you are willing to do your part for the Kingdom today, God being your helper.

PRAYER: Thank You Father for showing mercy on me, by forgiving me of my sin and assuring me of my home in Heaven! There is no greater love, and there is no greater gift that any person could ask for. Please help my readers and I to extend mercy to all those that we come into contact with, so that others will be reminded of our Savior and have a greater desire to surrender lordship to Him. May Your mercy towards us, become incentive for us to share mercy with others around 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!

God is able to Orchestrate Everything For Our Good!

As we approach the end of the year and begin thinking back to all that has taken place in our lives in 2020, unfortunately others may hear us moaning about the ups and downs of COVID or the hardships brought on because of that dreaded virus. However, there could be a much brighter view if we review the year based on our Scripture today. Join me for a time of reflection on the mercies of our awesome God!

Wednesday, 2020-12-27

Bible Reference: Romans 8:27-28
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 27 Don’t you know that He who pursues and explores the human heart intimately knows the Spirit’s mind because He pleads to God for His saints to align their lives with the will of God? 28 We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.

OBSERVATION: As we approach the end of the year and begin thinking back to all that has taken place in our lives in 2020, unfortunately others may hear us moaning about the ups and downs of COVID or the hardships brought on because of that dreaded virus. However, there could be a much brighter view if we review the year based on our Scripture today. Join me for a time of reflection on the mercies of our awesome God!

APPLICATION: For some, who may have won the lotto, or been immensely blessed in many ways, it may be easy to reflect on how good God is, and the many ways in which He has blessed. But there are some who may have experienced great life events, that may have involved losing a loved one; or medical challenges that may have almost caused separation from life to death for a precious family member; or losing a house or a car because of devastating financial burdens; or any number of things that you may have wished were more ‘normal’ or in line with others. However, if we look at the year in light of what today’s Scripture is teaching us, how might we answer this question of ‘blessings’ more appropriately, or how might we understand more clearly how God’s hand was right plumb in the middle of our circumstances? Friends, the Word of God says that our Savior is ‘pursuing and exploring our heart’ and petitioning the Father on our behalf that we may stay aligned with His will for our lives. Is it any wonder why we reflect on circumstances and wonder why we chose to take a certain road home in lieu of another, after hearing of the awful accident around the time of our travel home? Or that we chose to go to the hospital for expert medical help, instead of playing doctor and treating our chest pains with aspirin? Or that we chose to share our testimony with our best friend, at a time that God was already working out His salvation plan in her life? Friends, for each of these examples we may easily brush them off as just being something you would have done anyway, or we may call them coincidence or good luck, but please notice again from the Scripture that neither of these words are used – not even in this modern translation of the Bible. There is nothing haphazard about God’s plan, or about His actions in working out His plan in our lives. Remember, we are His workmanship, and for those who have accepted Him as Lord, we are His prized possession on loan only to this world for just a little while longer. So let’s look for, and expect to see His love and His caring touch work through us in miraculous ways. Verse 28 is a commonly recited verse, but I pray that it takes on a more enriched meaning for you as you are reminded of these verses today. I love the way that the Voice has translated the condition in verse 28: ‘when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan’. So friends, whether you reflect on 2020, or look towards 2021, try creating a sense of accountability with God on whether you could honestly say that you have loved Him sincerely, and you have accepted His plan for your life. Learn to praise Him unconditionally for everything that has transpired in your life, even if something devastated you at the time, because you know that He has worked it out with the Father for your good!

PRAYER: Lord You are so good to us! You amaze us with Your love and Your goodness, so much so that we may tend to question ‘why me Lord?’. Thank You for the lessons taught in these special verses today, for we are reminded of Your unconditional love for us, and how You love us enough that You keep us constantly before the Father, for our good. Help us Lord to keep this awesome reminder in mind, especially when things don’t appear to be going our way. May we be encouraged to share that special love with those that we come into contact with today. AMEN!

Be There For Others, As God was There For You!

Several points of encouragement in these verses: Our God is one who could heal more so than any drug or doctor we could recommend; He’s our Guide, our Partner and our Friend when we face hard times; We are worthy of His confidence in comforting others facing similar challenges to what God has brought us through. What a Mighty God we serve!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-06-02
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 3-5 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.

OBSERVATION: Several points of encouragement in these verses: Our God is one who could heal even when there is not a drug or doctor who could; He’s also our Guide, our Deliverer, our Protector and our Friend when we face hard times; We are blessed beyond anything we deserve and we can easily be a comfort to others facing similar challenges to what God brought us through. We serve a Mighty God!

APPLICATION: When we are going through challenging times in life, as all of us do at times, we either call a friend, or a trusted counselor, like a pastor or Christian Brother or Sister. Isn’t it rewarding to read what God inspired Paul to write in these verses, and be reminded that He is:
~ A God of all mercy – which means that He will listen to even us as we petition before Him. Think about it, what have we done to deserve anything from a perfect and holy God?;
~ A God of healing counsel – I believe that this encourages me that no matter what may be going on physically or mentally with us, God designed us and He therefore has the power to heal us, and/or give us counsel for whatever is needed. I love to attend a physician that has a photo showing Jesus looking over his shoulder, indicating that Jesus is counselling the doctor on what is best for us – the patients!
~ A God who stands by us, guides and protects us – I see this as not only being our pilot in our autos, but also as we walk along every aspect of life itself. Perhaps it might be health, or perhaps a drive along a dangerous road, or we may be wandering along in the woods or just struggling to make challenging decisions. Friends, with God by our side, what have we to fear?
The biggest takeaway for us, is that God will often cause us to walk alongside someone who could benefit from our experiences where He has healed us, protected us, or just been so gracious and loving to us. I recently had a medical practitioner who was going in for back surgery, with the same facility that I had used about 8 times. His spirits were lifted as I shared first hand experience with him, as to what he might expect along each step of his surgery and recovery. This is the same scenario as in many other experiences in life, for it opens the door for you to share how God has blessed you. I hope that you are looking for those opportunities and sharing as much as you could. Promoting the God Who has blessed us, and that we love dearly, is always a good thing friends!

PRAYER: We are once again reminded of Your love Lord Jesus! There is no shortage of friends and family who need encouragement from us, and as You guide us to those individuals today dear Lord, please fill us with Your Holy Spirit so that we may have the words and gentleness of heart to share in a way that would draw that individual unto yourself. Oh how sweet the name of Jesus is to a believer’s ear! Oh that others may be convinced of that as we share Your love from sincere and blessed hearts. I ask these things in the powerful name of Jesus, AMEN!

Needs – Through God’s Eyes

Tuesday, 2019-09-17

Bible Reference: Matthew 20:29-32
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  29 As Jesus and the disciples left the town of Jericho, a large crowd followed behind. 30 Two blind men were sitting beside the road. When they heard that Jesus was coming that way, they began shouting, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 31 “Be quiet!” the crowd yelled at them. But they only shouted louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 32 When Jesus heard them, he stopped and called, “What do you want me to do for you?”

OBSERVATION: I’m sure there are others like me, who glance right over something that I am searching for, only to be told that if it was a snake it would have bitten me!! But how often do we do that in life? We want Jesus to help us be faithful servants who care about everything that He cares about, yet we will turn a blind eye to the needs of others that we pass by every day. Jesus shows us in this Scripture today that He cares about each of us, and about the things that concern us. Meditate with me, with these things in mind.

APPLICATION:  We may never care to acknowledge this, but in spite of us being one of the smartest generations that ever lived, yet we are so desensitized to the needs of mankind. Unfortunately, probably more desensitized than ever before. Let’s look at the scenario in our scripture reading. Here are two blind men who had hoped that if they could only get the attention of Jesus as He passed by them, then perhaps they too might stand a chance of being blessed, or healed by Him, especially in light of all the other miracles they had heard about Him performing. Notice ‘us’ though; for the crowds looked at these men from the lens of mankind, you know, where we tend to look at helpless people as just standing in our way. After all who ever heard about a blind man receiving back his sight. I believe that the Holy Spirit spoke to me through this and challenged me to think about those that I might brush over during my daily path thinking that surely they don’t stand a chance of getting the Master’s attention, or His healing, from the kinds of issues they are dealing with. You know the kind that we have placed inside a box of impossibility. These blind men were rejected by society, as there is no indication that the crowd tried to help them in any way to achieve the position they desired that would place them in the path of Jesus. I believe that we are so afraid of being taken advantage of, or pestered by beggars asking for something that we feel we have worked so hard for, earned, or just deserve? These things often cause us to steer clear of people who seem really ‘needy’ in our eyes. In fact, we tend to take on the role of God and decide whether they deserve help or not. It made me think of whether we might also be guilty of this in our churches. How often do we ‘church folk’ pass over ordinary folk looking for a place where they would be accepted – a place with ‘real’ people who remind them of what they have always heard about Jesus Christ? Ever stopped to think that one of them that we tend to leave along the wayside of life could actually be Jesus himself, stopping in to check us out and see how receptive we would be to Him being in our midst, or to see how welcoming we would be to that Brother who looks slightly different to us? The disciples brushed away the children who tried to get to Jesus, and He had to correct them. Now the crowd was trying to silence these blind men who were also trying to draw close to Jesus, but Jesus had to demonstrate what we should do in such a scenario. I wonder what Jesus would have to correct us on? Another sermon in this passage of scripture is the phrase I bolded. These men were blind, and I’m sure this would have been obvious, yet Jesus asked what could He do for them! We must be careful to not assume anything about a cripple entering our churches. They may need Jesus in their heart a whole lot more than restored strength, or healing, in their legs. A clean heart filled with Jesus will get you into heaven, while two good legs and a heart without Christ won’t. Friends, let’s learn to be discerning Christians who care about the things that Jesus cares about. To the unbeliever, may I encourage you to not give up on Christianity because of imperfect Christians? Learn to look to Jesus, for He cares for You. If He can use an earthly servant to help you – fantastic! But please don’t allow Satan to use an imperfect example to destroy your joy and your chance to life eternally with the Master of this universe.

PRAYER: Father God, You are awesome beyond anything we deserve, or that we can even imagine. Thank You for looking beyond our faults and seeing our need for You. Thank you for placing opportunities in our path of life to open our eyes and challenge us to a closer and more intimate walk with You. Lord, may our eyes be opened to the needs around us today? May we not be so distracted by sin that we miss opportunities to listen, or to share Your love with those that we come into contact with? Please touch the hearts of those that need You today. May they find You, in spite of the mess ups of those who claim You as Lord. Please have Your will and way in our lives today, and especially in the lives of those who need to accept You as Lord. I ask these things in the precious and all powerful name of Jesus, the One who cares for ALL of His precious children. 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 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, Sebring, FL! 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!

God’s Plan Orchestrated For Our Good!

As we approach the end of the year and begin thinking back to all that has taken place in our lives in 2018, others may hear us moaning ‘poor me’ because of all that has happened. But let’s reflect on the year based on the focal verses above, and see if we could do any better in our time of reflection!

Wednesday, 2018-12-26

Bible Reference: Romans 8:27-28
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 27 Don’t you know that He who pursues and explores the human heart intimately knows the Spirit’s mind because He pleads to God for His saints to align their lives with the will of God? 28 We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.

OBSERVATION: As we approach the end of the year and begin thinking back to all that has taken place in our lives in 2018, others may hear us moaning ‘poor me’ because of all that has happened. But let’s reflect on the year based on the focal verses above, and see if we could do any better in our time of reflection!

APPLICATION: For some, who may have won the lotto, or been immensely blessed in many ways, it may be easy to reflect on how good God is, and the many ways in which He has blessed. But there are some who may have experienced great life events, that may have involved losing a loved one; or medical challenges that may have almost caused separation from life to death for a precious family member; or losing a house or a car because of devastating financial burdens; or any number of things that you may have wished were more ‘normal’ or in line with others who were ‘truly blessed’. However, if we look at the year in light of what today’s Scripture is teaching us, how might we answer this question of ‘blessings’ more appropriately, or how might we understand more clearly how God’s hand was right plumb in the middle of our circumstances? Friends, the Word of God says that our Savior is ‘pursuing and exploring our heart’ and petitioning the Father on our behalf that we may stay aligned with His will for our lives. Is it any wonder why we reflect on circumstances and wonder why we chose to take a certain road home in lieu of another, after hearing of the awful accident around the time of our travel home? Or that we chose to go to the hospital for expert medical help, instead of playing doctor and treating our chest pains with aspirin? Or that we chose to share our testimony with our best friend, at a time that God was already working out His salvation plan in her life? Friends, for each of these examples we may easily brush them off as just being something you would have done anyway, or we may call them coincidence or good luck, but please notice again from the Scripture that neither of these words are used – not even in this modern translation of the Bible. There is nothing haphazard about God’s plan, or about His actions in working out His plan in our lives. Remember, we are His workmanship, and for those who have accepted Him as Lord, we are His prized possession on loan only, to this world for just a little while longer. So let’s look for, and expect to see His love and His caring touch work through us in miraculous ways. Verse 28 is a commonly recited verse, but I pray that it takes on a more enriched meaning to you as you were reminded of verse 27. I love the way that the Voice has translated the condition in verse 28: ‘when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan’. So friends, whether you reflect on 2018, or look towards 2019, try creating a sense of accountability with God on whether you could honestly say that you have loved Him sincerely, and you have accepted His plan for your life. Learn to praise Him unconditionally for everything that has transpired in your life, because you know that He has worked it out with the Father for your good!

PRAYER: Lord You are so good to us! You amaze us with Your love and Your goodness, so much so that we may tend to question ‘why me Lord?’. Thank You for the lessons taught in these special verses today, for we are reminded of Your unconditional love for us, and how You love us enough that You keep us constantly before the Father, for our good. Help us Lord to keep this awesome news in mind, especially when things don’t appear to be going our way. May we be encouraged to share that special love with those that we come into contact with today. AMEN!

How To Identify Godly Wisdom

In the preceding verses, James points out what worldly wisdom looks like, and it helps us to recognize why we have so many challenges in our families, community, and even in our churches. Yes, we have ‘dirty sheep’ in our churches also, and depending on their influence in the community, they may even make their way into church leadership. However, in the above two verses we could see Jesus, for He performed His work here on earth in a very peaceful, calm and righteous manner. His wisdom was, and still is, beyond all wisdom, and He is the One that we should imitate.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   James 3:17-18 (ERV)

TEXT:  17 But the wisdom that comes from God is like this: First, it is pure. It is also peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help people who have trouble and to do good for others. This wisdom is always fair and honest. 18 People who work for peace in a peaceful way get the blessings that come from right living.

OBSERVATION:   In the preceding verses, James points out what worldly wisdom looks like, and it helps us to recognize why we have so many challenges in our families, community, and even in our churches. Yes, we have ‘dirty sheep’ in our churches also, and depending on their influence in the community, they may even make their way into church leadership. However, in the above two verses we could see Jesus, for He performed His work here on earth in a very peaceful, calm and righteous manner. His wisdom was, and still is, beyond all wisdom, and He is the One that we should imitate.

APPLICATION:   When we seek God for wisdom, He gives us the kind of wisdom that He portrayed while here on earth, and He will teach us the kind of wisdom spoken of in these verses. Now let’s compare that to the wisdom sought by unbelievers. I believe they look to the wisdom taught at our colleges; they place themselves in the middle of very smart people; they may try to imitate the practices of very successful leaders who have proven themselves; and I believe they probably watch a lot of world events to help them understand what may be successful, or not. You may have heard of other things that you might add to that list, but friends let me encourage you to consider the source of each of the mentioned items. It is mankind, filled with all of his fallacies, yet we are content to try and imitate, or repeat those things that may appear successful to us. Oh my, is there any wonder that we see a repeat of disastrous efforts by some leaders? I trust that you will not misunderstand me and think that I am proposing that our Christian leaders never seek any of the above ways to increase their effectiveness, because I really believe that our men of God will still follow some of the above methods, but hopefully they will allow God to guide their minds, their thought process, and fill them with His wisdom as to the wise things they should implement that will also bring Him glory. Friends, let’s always remember that in all things that we do, let’s acknowledge God and be obedient to His perfect will, and that we follow through with things that will bring Him glory and bless His people. That will fulfil the purpose for which He has placed us here, and in the positions that He has entrusted to us. Let’s always remember that it’s not about us, but all about Him, that causes us to accomplish any good thing!

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, we need You every hour of every day. We especially need Your guidance and Your wisdom so that our actions might serve to glorify Yourself. May our words be pure and filled with the wisdom that we learn from Your Word. Fill us with so much of Yourself Lord, that others will see Jesus as they look on us and rub shoulders with us. Please touch the hearts of each one reading this devotional today, oh Lord. May they be reminded of the One who created them, the One who sacrificed His only Son for the good of mankind, and the One who patiently waits at our Father’s side and intercedes for us. Please use Your humble servants today oh Lord, so that those that we come into contact with will draw close to You and seek Your forgiveness, grace and mercy. 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 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 Nuggets From God’s Word 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 Sebring, 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!