This Life of Contradictions

I was happy to be reminded of the struggle that Paul faced, because it is very prevalent in my life. And because I’m pretty sure that you have not attained perfection yet either, I believe that it is probably the same in your life. We struggle daily with having the good intentions of doing what pleases God, yet plagued with the temptations, ill feelings and conniving of this wicked world in which we live. In fact, way too often we tend to walking right out of our prayer closets and immediately follow the trend of what the world is doing around us.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-04-01
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 7:21-25
Translation: The Message (Message)

Bible Text: 21    …The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. 24          I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
25          The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

OBSERVATION: I was happy to be reminded of the struggle that Paul faced, because it is very prevalent in my life. And because I’m pretty sure that you have not attained perfection yet either, I believe that it is probably the same in your life. We struggle daily with having the good intentions of doing what pleases God, yet plagued with the temptations, ill feelings and conniving of this wicked world in which we live. In fact, way too often we tend to walking right out of our prayer closets and immediately follow the trend of what the world is doing around us.

APPLICATION: Like Paul, we especially look back at our day and sometimes say that we are ‘at the end of our rope’ with mere efforts and ‘want-to’s’ and we wonder if there is anything that could be done. I absolutely love verse 25 where Paul reminds us that the answer to this dilemma is Jesus Christ. For He died for us even while we were yet sinners and still persecuting Him. We find it extremely frustrating when we have committed to obedience to God’s Word, when we have every intention to follow the ways of God, yet we are so easily swayed to follow the ways of our old lifestyle, the joys of our friends and neighbors, and to be popular in their eyes. However in our Scripture today we are given the formula, or the solution, or the answer to our lives of contradictions. Like an alcoholic seeking to overcome that dreaded disease, we must first acknowledge that we have a problem. Our education is of no help to us, nor is our strength from personal workouts. In fact, we can’t seem to personally overcome this type of life. However, the Word of God reminds us that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. So do we dare look into God’s face and say that the sin within us is greater? If we do say that, we are actually saying that he that is in the world is greater than He that is in me, and that’s an incorrect statement. Friends, let’s be careful to give God full freedom in our lives so that He could be our God. Satan is very conniving and can easily take advantage of our personal weaknesses, but he has no power over our God! Amen? Today let us put Satan in his place – behind God. Let’s give God thanks for being our deliverer from the evil of this world; let’s praise Him for send His Son Jesus to provide the means of us getting to Heaven and enjoying life everlasting in Him. He cares for us, dear child of God and He wants to see us succeed in our commitment to Him. If you truly want to succeed in your commitment to God, ask for His help and His strength, and through His power, be willing to give it all that your have. For I truly believe that greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I need You today. I battle the same challenges that Paul battled, and I need the same help that he did. You have shown me in Your Word how to live. You have set the example for me through the life and character of Your precious Son. Please work steadfastly in my life so that I may overcome the negative pull of the evil one, the sinful nature of this world and the ungodly attitudes of many that I come into contact with. Please touch the hearts of Your people today, so that we may have power to overcome evil, and that we may live according to Your perfect will and design. You are holy, oh God, and if we are to be followers of Your precious Son, then we too must strive for holiness. Thank You for being the source of that power that we need to live like this! For I ask all this in Your most holy name, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!

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

Who Are You Lying To?

In chapter 4, we were told about how unified the disciples and Christians were in living together and pooling their resources to create community, and dependencies on one another. Joseph, also called Barnabas, showed a huge example of this by giving to the disciples 100% of what he sold a piece of land for. Another couple, Ananias and Sapphira wanted to be just like Barnabas, so they also sold land, but they decided to hold back a portion, and give the remainder to the disciples, under the pretense that it was the full amount. God hates pretense, so we need to look at this closer…

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-12-27
SCRIPTURE

From:

Acts 5:3-4 (MSG)

Text:

3-4 Peter said, “Ananias, how did Satan get you to lie to the Holy Spirit and secretly keep back part of the price of the field? Before you sold it, it was all yours, and after you sold it, the money was yours to do with as you wished. So what got into you to pull a trick like this? You didn’t lie to men but to God.”
OBSERVATION:
In chapter 4, we were told about how unified the disciples and Christians were in living together and pooling their resources to create community, and dependencies on one another. Joseph, also called Barnabas, showed a huge example of this by giving to the disciples 100% of what he sold a piece of land for. Another couple, Ananias and Sapphira wanted to be just like Barnabas, so they also sold land, but they decided to hold back a portion, and give the remainder to the disciples, under the pretense that it was the full amount. God hates pretense, so we need to look at this closer…
APPLICATION:
When God knows right down to our innermost thoughts, what do you suppose that we prove by trying to hold out on Him, or anyone else? Personally, I remember in tithing where I gave a full 10% of my net pay, and often when finances were tight, old Satan would cause me to question the amount I was giving to God. However, at a revival service we were challenged on our giving. We were invited to take our wallets out, and in our prayer to God ask Him to take control of all that He gives to us and allows us to earn. That night I was challenged to begin giving on my gross salary, so that I would be giving to God the first fruits of my earnings. Friends that was probably 10 – 13 years ago, and I have been blessed with the necessary finances ever since. Now, I don’t believe that this lesson is holy and solely about money, but more about the heart. The Christian faith is not one where we preach about doing what we say and not as much on what we do, for it is about a relationship with the Master Creator of this universe, including you and I. I once wrote a fairly complex software program that would run a whole bank. Whenever I received a call about something not working the way it should, my mind would go to all the possible programming around that part of the program. Why then do we feel like we can get away with Satan’s tactics when God, the Creator, knows so much about His precious creation? Do we think for a moment that we are fooling God – the Maker of all things, or are we simply fooling ourselves by thinking that we could pull off our shenanigans without anyone knowing – even God? It just doesn’t work that way friends? Mom, dad, sisters, brothers, friends, coworkers, pastors and everyone else might not realize what we are up to, but the God who created us, and knows all things, always has His finger on the pulse of what is going on in our lives. So why not ‘fess up friends, and do it right the first time, and every time, by asking God to forgive you of all your past sin. Welcome His Son, Jesus, into your heart and life and create a personal relationship with Him, then through the power of the Holy Spirit, ask Him to show you how to live in accordance with His perfect will. Others will soon question you about what has happened in your life, because of the change evident in your walk and in your talk. God can do just that for you, my friend, if you’ll let Him.
PRAYER:
Precious Savior, thank You for being a stable friend that we can depend on and place our faith in. A plumb-line by which we can measure right from wrong, and a loyal friend that we can depend on through all phases of life. I personally thank You for persuading me to surrender my life to You many years ago, but I am just as dependent on You today as I have always been, because I want to live life perfectly and in accordance with Your will, even in a broken and sinful world. For my readers and I that are serious about our relationship with You, please help us to live like You taught us to, and talk like You exampled for us while You were here on earth. For the curious and the lost, please soften their hearts once again today Lord, and may they be reminded about the truths of Your Word in several ways today – to the point that it may cause them to surrender wholly and solely to You oh Lord. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog 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 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!

The Moment of Truth

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: Luke 5:8-11
Today’s Bible Text: 8 When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” 9 For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. 10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.
Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take Away: In earlier verses we read where Simon Peter and his team had been fishing all night, but without any luck. So when Jesus approached them and told them to go out from the shore and cast their nets, Peter responded along the lines of, “now even though we have just returned from an all-nighter, and because You have asked us nicely to do this, we will”. In other words, we realize this may be a case of just extending our bad luck out on the waters, we will do it just because Jesus asked them to do it. What struck me about verse 8 is that, so often we go through the motions of church attendance, perhaps because of a spouse, or a parent, or even a friend, but there is nothing like the time that we have a personal, one-on-one experience with the Master! Suddenly our eyes are opened and we feel a connection to the Savior of the world! We realize that He truly died for our sin and that we can go on to have a personal, intimate relationship with Him. Like Peter, the encounter opens our eyes to the fact that we have been such a ‘dork’ and have totally missed the boat on the love that the Lord Jesus Christ has for even us. No doubt Peter had other earlier experiences with Jesus, or else he would not have obeyed Him in pushing his boat off the shore yet again. But friends, just like Peter, we must quickly realize that our encounter with the King of all kings, and Lord of all lords leads us to realize that we are so unworthy and needy, while He is so awesome and worthy of our honor, respect, obedience and love. We also can be the recipients of the blessings from the hand of Jesus, just as Peter and his friends were. However, we also must be acutely aware that a lot must change about our earthly lives for us to become more aligned with our Heavenly Father, so it may mean that we ditch our lives of contempt and sin, and follow Him, just as Peter did. A moment of truth with the Savior of the world, will cause us to quickly recognize our sinful condition and bring us to our knees, seeking His forgiveness. A time where we leave the old behind and seek to follow our new-found King and His will for our lives. I pray there will be at least one reading this devotional today whose eyes will be opened to the truth of God’s Word, just as Peter received new insight.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I pray that everyone reading this devotional will be reminded of the incredible power of our God, and the importance of leaving all earthly things alone so that You may receive our undivided attention and dedication. Thank You for loving us and caring for even us in such awesome ways. I ask these thinks in the wonderful name of Jesus, 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