Wanted – A Man Who Would Obey God

There are times that we take our jobs for granted. More importantly, we tend to act like we know better than God, so we tend to follow our gut, regardless of what God might be saying to us. Bear with me as we meditate on this today friends, for I know that you could not imagine such a person! Unfortunately you and I may be more guilty than we would care to imagine, so stay tuned….

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2021-10-20
WRITTEN AT: Kissimmee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Samuel 13:13-14
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 13 “You fool!” Samuel exclaimed. “You have disobeyed the commandment of the Lord your God. He was planning to make you and your descendants kings of Israel forever, 14 but now your dynasty must end; for the Lord wants a man who will obey him. And he has discovered the man he wants and has already appointed him as king over his people; for you have not obeyed the Lord’s commandment.”

APPLICATION: If we use portions of clips of sayings by our mentors, we might say something like ‘you dress them up, send them to college, then expect them to come back home and listen to God?’ Sounds almost comical, right? But how often do we find leaders who feel something like I just described! They’re in charge, they are smart, so just standby and pay close attention while they tell you where to go and how to get there! Two very important things I saw in our Scripture today:
—> Our way is always better – Most church leaders do a fair job of praying about the needs of the local church. That’s because the needs appear much bigger than we could ever imagine. However, Saul’s story is often similar to what happens to local churches today, after they catch a vision for what lies ahead. They often take over from God and take the reins.
—> Grant me boldness to.. – So many of our church congregations speak their minds, but it is often in a very condescending way, and usually by way of complaints. How often do we have a member approach the pastor and share the results of their steadfast prayer about a decision the church is struggling with? What about other areas of leadership, such as work leaders, or government leaders? We are commanded by God to pray for our spiritual leaders and our government leaders. How often do we challenge either of these in love, with a word from the Lord? Yes, we give them a piece of our mind and we tell them how they should do their job, but do we ever begin the conversation with: ‘after days of persistent prayer and fasting, I feel compelled of God that He would rather see you do…..’? How often have you done something like this with a state senator, or even the president/prime minister/etc.? I know, you are just one minor voice in the wilderness, but what about the One that you represent? If you are in prayer over something important to your church or city or state or country, and you receive direction from God, shouldn’t He have his say – even through little old you?
Friends, without being judgmental at all, I truly believe that if we obey the command given to us in 2 Chronicles 7:14 to humble ourselves, seek God’s face, and pray in earnest before Him, then He will hear from heaven and He will heal our land. Which land? The same land that our church is praying about ministering to; the same state our senator wants to govern; and the same country our President wants to run. If each of these bodies extend their reach to the areas they are responsible for, under God’s protective and guiding hand, then perhaps God will keep us from harm of disease, war and the evil of criminals – He will heal our land and use us for His purpose. Saul was hindered from a long life in leadership because he failed to follow God’s commands. So will we if we fail to call on God and obey His commands. Be a man, or woman, committed to obeying the Lord your God, won’t you?

BLESSINGS NOTED: God chose another leader after His own heart, after Saul chose to lead in his own way and disobey God. We too might have impressionable churches and impressive countries, if we determine to obey the Lord our God!

PRAYER: A young man is killed before he could ever finish high school. A seasoned pastor loses his job due to temptation. A country is overrun by crime and destruction. Why? Why? Why, Lord? Is it because we have become too much like Saul in doing what ‘we’ think best, instead of following Your commands? Please Lord, open our eyes so that we might see the glory You have in store for those who place their faith and trust in You and are obedient to Your commands. May we be diligent in our prayers, honorable in obeying Your commands, and persistent in seeking Your face through the good and bad times of life. You are our King and we worship You Lord, please extend Your ongoing peace on us so that we might remain humble and willing to obey Your every command. Not knowing what lies ahead always result in our shortsightedness and errors in our decisions. We want to do Your will and always seek Your perfect will for everything here on earth. May we be diligent in leading the charge towards this end in everything that we are a part of. Please speak especially convincing to the ones who has chosen to live life without You Lord. Draw them to You and convince them of their need for the Savior, before it is eternally too late. 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!

Your Call To Ministry is Personal

As parents and church leaders, we may do an individual a disservice by trying to ‘push’ them into ministry for reasons that feel are logical or well-suited for them. Notice in today’s Scripture that God spoke to Samuel personally – no one else heard the call, not even his mentor, Eli, who was nearby. I believe that not all calls to service are audible, so meditate with me as we study this today.

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2021-10-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Samuel 3:8-11
TRANSLATION: New Century Version (NCV)

BIBLE TEXT: The Lord called Samuel for the third time. Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “I am here. You called me.”
Then Eli realized the Lord was calling the boy. So he told Samuel, “Go to bed. If he calls you again, say, ‘Speak, Lord. I am your servant and I am listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in bed.
10 The Lord came and stood there and called as he had before, “Samuel, Samuel!”
Samuel said, “Speak, Lord. I am your servant and I am listening.”
11 The Lord said to Samuel, “Watch, I am going to do something …..

APPLICATION: As a young boy I remember hearing a lot about ghosts, especially if a townsperson was buried that day! Often this would frighten kids enough to force them into refuge pretty close to mom and dad, especially for that night! Working around Eli, I’m sure that Samuel must have heard a lot about Eli’s encounters with God, so I wonder if, in the back of his mind, he didn’t suspect that it was God he was hearing from, and not a ghost, especially when he senses God standing over him. However, since this was a message about Eli, I could also believe that God wanted Eli to know that He was dealing with his student, Samuel. The interesting thing is, that Eli did not hear God speaking to Samuel, so he knew that God’s message was intended for Samuel and not for himself. Generally when we are speaking to just one person, it is a personal message intended just for them. By the third time God spoke to Samuel, he felt God standing over him, and just as earlier calls, God called him again. Based on advice from Eli, Samuel knew how to respond, and I am so impressed with the specific words used by Samuel. I believe that the application for us today, is that we must not shrug off the call of God on our life. For some this might be through signs and wonders; or through other children of God who will validate something that we suspected for a time, based on the work of the Holy Spirit in our life; yet for others it may be that God will point us to a specific passage of Scripture that affirms Your plan for us. Friends, God may choose to speak to us in a still small voice, like He did with Samuel, but to really get our attention, He may speak very boldly to us in a way that we will know that it is God Almighty. I have heard of stories where men have lived very miserable lives, because they chose to ignore the voice of God and the path He was leading them to. Let me encourage you today, that no matter what you have personally planned for tomorrow, be willing to set it all aside as naught if you receive a word from God. Listen to His voice; look for the confirmations throughout your day, and act on His instructions knowing that if God takes you to an assignment, He will surely help you through it. Remember the stories of Jesus sending His disciple out on mission? He told them to take nothing with them, yet He also told them to stay for as long as it takes. Jesus wanted them to learn to depend on Him for all good and necessary things that they needed in order to do His will. The disciples proved to us that it could be done, just be willing, like Samuel, to surrender your plans to follow the will of the Father. “I’m Your servant Lord, I’m listening and willing to obey whatever You would have me to do.” Saying those words to God will place you plum in the middle of God’s plan, and although He will change and remold you, I doubt if you will ever be bored again! Know that God could use anyone, so don’t assume that you misunderstood the call if He has other ministry opportunities for you that may, or may not include preaching, teaching or pastoring. ‘I’ll work til Jesus comes’ is the title of an old Sunday School chorus that was undoubtedly written by someone who surrendered it all to a call from Jesus on their life! Listen for God’s call, and be willing to obey His commands, dear child of God!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Eli was the priest, so Samuel could have assumed that God was talking to him, but He was not. Our call is personal and intended for only us, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit! Just listen, obey, and don’t find excuses to wiggly out of what God has in store for you.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please forgive us when we assume that there is nothing we can do in Your kingdom work here on earth. Moses tried to wiggly out of his call, yet he wound up leading a multitude of people across a desert land because of his faith in the power of God. That same power is available to those who accept Your call today, so I pray that You will change our hearts and minds from the inside out. When we accept Your call, it’s no longer us doing the work, but You. Many of us need that reassurance today Lord, not because we doubt Your power, but often we are bashful, or we might be perfectionists who must insure that everything is done to our perfection, or we feel totally inadequate for the job assignment. Please make Your will very clear to each reader today, and fill us with Your power to accept Your call and complete the mission as You carefully instruct us to do. Oh that Your kingdom will experience growth as You challenge us, and use us for Your glory. 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’s Word To You Could Save You and Your Household

In his time of need, this official of the king knew of only one man that could make a difference in the life of his son, and it wasn’t the king’s best medical officer, nor the best magician of the king. However, the man had heard of Jesus, so he set out to find Him. Fortunately in our time of need, we do seek after Jesus. Sometimes this encounter makes an awesome change in our life, and even in the lives of those that we influence. As we meditate on the Word of God, let us seek to apply it to our lives. It may very well influence others.

Saturday, 2021-10-09

Bible Reference: John 4:50-53
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 50 Jesus answered, “Go. Your son will live.”
The man believed what Jesus told him and went home. 51 On the way home, the man’s servants came and met him. They said, “Your son is well.”
52 The man asked, “What time did my son begin to get well?”
They answered, “It was about one o’clock yesterday when the fever left him.”
53 The father knew that one o’clock was the same time that Jesus had said, “Your son will live.” So the man and everyone in his house believed in Jesus.

OBSERVATION: In his time of need, this official of the king knew of only one man that could make a difference in the life of his son, and it wasn’t the king’s best medical officer, nor the best magician of the king. However, the man had heard of Jesus, so he set out to find Him. Fortunately in our time of need, we do seek after Jesus. Sometimes this encounter makes an awesome change in our life, and even in the lives of those that we influence. As we meditate on the Word of God, let us seek to apply it to our lives. It may very well influence others.

APPLICATION: There are times of desperation and urgent need, when we reach out to whatever form of help that we could think of, to help find relief or healing. I have a relative whose wife was struggling for her life. Several suggestions were made about getting this dear lady to a certain hospital, where they may be able to help her. Without insurance, the hospital required $100,000 in cash before they would accept this patient. To this young man, this sounded like $1,000,000, because he didn’t have anything close to that, nor did he have a clue where he might get it in time to save his dearly beloved wife. However he still tried to find the money through various phone calls. This official in our story was in a similar position to that of my relative. He was helpless, and didn’t know where to turn to next for the required help. Having heard of Jesus, the official sought after him, and traveled almost 17 miles to a town where he heard Jesus may be headed to. Based on the response from Jesus, I believe that this man, or his king, may have been among those who at one time sought after Jesus for proof of who He was, or in the works He was capable of. However Jesus knew this man’s heart, much like He knows intimately about ours. For the official, his faith was tested like never before, for Jesus didn’t drop everything and follow the man home to his son, but he merely sent him home, telling him that his son will live. Wow, what would you have done with that? Can you imagine the pooched out lips and the sunken feeling deep onside in knowing that Jesus would not even consider coming with you to lay hands on your dying relative? But I believe that Jesus knew everything about this situation and so he arranged for this man’s servants to meet him on the way and cheer him up with the news that the healing hand of Jesus came over his son, just like he had asked, and just at the time Jesus told him his daughter was healed! Think with me today beyond the joy, and the celebration over this awesome news, and feel with me what this man must have felt. For all these years he had probably mocked Jesus, and may have even worked together with his king on how they might capture Jesus, but to imagine that Jesus would look beyond the sin, and past the history of this man, and to penetrate his heart with insight for the love of the Savior who would meet him in his time of need! This official was probably not recognized by the religious community, other than he was the one who was out to destroy them, yet Jesus knew, and met, his most intimate need. Oh my loving Savior, what awesome love and grace You have for all those who call on You! Through healing this man’s son, the official came to know Jesus personally – both he and his household. What about you my friend, are you listening, watching and reaching out to Jesus today for a need, whether related to your personal , health or spiritual afflictions? Something inside causes you to look towards Jesus in your time of need. Allow me to suggest that God sends His Spirit to work in you and draw you unto the Master. In and of our own sinful selves, you may never think of looking to God. So when you find yourself reaching out to God, please know that it is only because of the Spirit of God dealing in your life and drawing you to Himself. Thank God for loving even you and wanting a relationship with you! Are you deserving of that, probably not, but please answer that call while Jesus is working in you. I can assure you that you will never regret reaching out to Jesus. Try Him and prove me right, won’t you?

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for looking beyond my sin, seeing my need, and drawing me unto Yourself. I am very concerned about relatives and friends who have heard Your call, and continue to ignore You or refuse to answer Your call. In our story today we are told that this man and his whole household were saved because of his obedience in accepting Your call on his life. I wonder who in our families are being hindered by our disobedience and disregard of the call on our lives? Please help us Lord to be obedient to Your voice and Your call on our lives. Help us to never be a stumbling block to a child, a loved one or a friend who might be looking up to us and waiting for us to make our move. Please don’t become impatient with us Lord, but continue to soften hearts so that we may surrender to You before it’s a day too late. 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!

Work At ‘Peace’ and ‘Holiness’

For the one that seems very comfortable, patient and just a ‘natural’ at what they are doing, we may say that they are a perfect fit for the job. However, God taught us in our Scripture verse today that we need to work at living in peace with those around us, and work at living a holy life. Lots to meditate on in this very short verse today, so ask God to open your mind and melt your heart to the truth of His Word.

Saturday, 2021-10-04

Bible Reference: Hebrews 12:14
Translation: The New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.

APPLICATION: I saw a greeting card that read “Short on words, but loooong on best wishes!” I found this verse to be short on words, but packed with a powerful message for us today! God’s inspired Word is warning us that living at peace with everyone and living a holy life before our Lord, does not come easy or perhaps ‘natural’ to us, but are two things necessary for the follower of Christ. Our natural tendency is to sin, therefore it is challenging for anyone to get along with us, or for us to accept everyone the way they are, to love them, and live at peace with them. In this chapter of Hebrews we are being taught to listen to God. We have been shown in this New Testament book that our ancestors accomplished a lot in faith, believing in, and depending on, the power of God. We are therefore challenged to call on, listen to, and depend on God to help us accomplish everything that He has commanded of us. In this particular command, I would dare say that God has proven Himself powerful, and able, over and over. He proved His love for us in ways that we would never have to, for He sacrificed His life for us, while the world hated Him, mocked Him, spat on Him and crucified Him. So I believe you will agree that He definitely knows all about how challenging it will be for us to ‘love’ someone who despises us, or may even hate us. So friends, when we are commanded to ‘Work at It’, be comforted in knowing that we don’t have to do this alone. For Jesus promised us that He would never leave us or forsake us – that means that He is always there for us. Therefore part of our working on these commands, must include humbling ourselves before the Master and seeking His help. Furthermore, I am convinced that my loving Jesus would never command something of us that would be impossible for He and us to achieve. We gladly work at being our best in our jobs, in our families, in our marriages and in our relationships. As an obedient servant, we must also ‘Work at’ being holy in our lifestyle so that the world will know to whom we belong. Also, we must determine in our own hearts to live at peace with each other as children of the ‘Prince of Peace’. We must ‘Work at It’ with all of our being and with the help of the King, Jesus our Lord.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, our time here on earth is short, and we can therefore not afford to procrastinate on ‘Working At’ being all that You demand of us in Your Word. Holiness begets holiness, so if we are truly a son of the Holy God, then we are to represent that holiness in our everyday life. For one to meet a son, there should be good enough representation that they would tell the world that they have truly known the Father. Lord, may it be so in my life today, and may You fill the hearts and lives of all my readers and listeners that are willing to live obedient lives in conformity with Your will. Shine through us today Lord Jesus, so that our friends might see Jesus. For I ask these things in and through the precious name of Jesus, 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!

Need A Blessing?

It seems like life has become so challenging and difficult. Perhaps a blessing from God will do? It appears like a woman from the crowd Jesus was in, was trying to gain brownie points by pointing out to Jesus that surely His own mother would be blessed. Jesus instead pointed out that each one who puts into practice what they learned from His Word would be even more blessed than His very mother. Our challenge today is to evaluate whether Jesus would consider blessing us!

DATE POSTED Thursday, 2021-08-26
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 11:28
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 28 He replied, “Yes, but even more blessed are all who hear the Word of God and put it into practice.”

APPLICATION: I believe if we were to follow the idea of the woman from the crowd that Jesus was in, we would probably point out some very important people that we consider blessed, and that is sure to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. We would probably be quick to point out the pastors; evangelists; priests; church elders; millionaires who are very generous in helping the poor; most of our church members; etc. But stop and think for a moment why you would choose them. Is it because of the position they hold? Is it because of what they have taught you from the Bible? Or is it because of what they have given to you? But then we read Scripture like our verse today and we ponder if our judgment in the previous sentence is justified, based on what the Bible says about how one is supposed to qualify for acceptance into the Kingdom? In this verse today, Jesus shows us what really qualifies a person for being blessed by Him? Think about the suggestion before Jesus, that His own mother is a great example of who will be blessed of God. He set all agendas aside and told the woman, and the crowd, that blessings are in store for those who:
– -> Not only hears the Word of God – and I believe this not only includes hearing what is taught, what is preached, and what a child of God shares with you from the Word, but also when you pick up the Word each day to see what God has to instruct you on;
– -> Applies the Word to your own life and practice it daily – It is so easy to see the needs of others, but I believe God wants us to base our daily decisions, actions and words to our own lives first, then we could share with others what God has taught us to do. Without this basis, we are merely sharing our personal failures with them. Not good!
Reading the Word, learning the Word, and understanding the Word, are all good, but unless you apply it to your walk and to your talk, your intake of very important life-changing information is just sitting idol in your ‘do-nothing box’! I believe that Jesus is saying in His Word that if we use what we learn from Him and His instructions, we will be blessed beyond anything we could imagine. That’s my goal today! Won’t you join me!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Blessings are in store for the one who not only hears the Word of God, but also applies it to his daily life so that he might look and sound more like Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord, we read a lot, and we listen a lot to the preaching and teaching of Your Word, but having been reminded of the importance of applying the principles we learned to our everyday life, I beg of You to open our eyes and our understanding to all that we read and hear. May this cause us to live noble lives patterned after Your perfect life here on earth. Oh that You may be glorified in every aspect of our lives. Lord, we need Your blessing, for everything else seems empty and void of great value. Touch the lives of those we love and care for today, and use us for Your ultimate glory. 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 Makeup of Our Churches

We generally decide on a church to attend, by the upbeat music of the praise team, or the charisma of the preacher, or the programs they offer to satisfy the needs of our whole family. But Jesus explains the makeup of churches, using the analogy of something His hearers were very familiar with – farming. Most readers/listeners may have heard this story and always wondered what on earth was the meaning behind what Jesus taught. I hope that you will think about the condition of your heart’s desire for more of Christ, and your church life as we meditate on the Word of God today.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-08-07
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 8:5-8
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: “A farmer went out to sow seed. While he was scattering the seed, some of it fell beside the road. People walked on the seed, and the birds ate it all. Other seed fell on rock. It began to grow but then died because it had no water. Some other seed fell among thorny weeds. This seed grew, but later the weeds stopped the plants from growing. The rest of the seed fell on good ground. This seed grew and made 100 times more grain.”….

APPLICATION: Ever notice how much easier you remember the pastor’s illustrations than you do with the simple reading of God’s Word? I remember a pastor who once started up a gas chain saw on the stage at our church and proceeded to cut a perfectly good chair in half. On another occasion the same pastor came through the back door with bags of garbage, and he dropped a bag sporadically along his path to the pulpit. On yet another occasion he hit an anvil that he had placed on the stage, and the sound echoed in my wife’s ear so badly that it made a lasting impression on her, and each of us, to this present day! These examples came to mind as I meditated on the reason Jesus gave for preaching in parables. He knew that His hearers would very easily understand His analogy and could apply the examples to their own lives. On occasion, the disciples would ask Jesus to clarify – to make sure they knew where He was coming from and the point He was trying to make sure that they understood and applied to their lives. I was intrigued by this particular parable, because Jesus explained Himself in good detail further down in the chapter, beginning in verse 14. To apply this to today’s church, I believe we should examine our hearts, and determine what it is that we look to in deciding which church to attend. We place a lot of emphasis on the music, and on the charisma of the pastor, but Jesus is teaching us today that these things matter very little when our own heart are not where it should be, or if we are ready to hear from the Lord. I have experienced repeatedly where someone may share how boring the service was and how little they received from the service that day. Then, in listening to a time of Christian testimonies, I hear how blessed people were in that same service and how tenderly God spoke to their heart from His Word. Jesus said that His Word will not return void. Think about this, pastors and teachers labor over God’s Word every week and they seek His face for what He would have them share with us. Yet many of us leave home without our tools (our Bible), and we head out to church, as if going to a concert, (no prayer in seeking out God’s answers to your life’s dilemmas, or praying for the wisdom for the messenger). So with that in mind, how do you suppose the Word will be received by you that day, perhaps like a seed that fell on rocky ground? Furthermore, some will head out to church with the weight of the world on their shoulders, and their minds will be so distracted with their worries, that their presence at church will in no way reflect how much they will receive from the Word of God. Much like seed falling among thorns, where the Word is simply overshadowed by everything else that is going on. Friends, let’s be reminded that the charisma of a pastor will show us how good they are at getting our attention. The spoken Word of God will show us how good God is, and how well He has taken on the weight of this world so that we might know how much He loves us, cares for us, and provides for us here on earth and in the heights of heaven when we leave this world. Let me suggest that when we check to see if we have everything when we head out the door for church, let’s make sure that we carefully check our heart and see that we are ready to receive instruction and blessing from our Master, God Almighty!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: With our minds fixed on Jesus, we are usually ready to hear from Him. Let us therefore set aside all stresses, doubt and fear and just listen to the Word with minds and hearts that are ready to obey!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please forgive us for the times that we come to Your house and our minds are anywhere but there in Your presence. I believe that when we do that, we reject the very presence of the One who: loves us unconditionally; and is out to provide the very best for us, Your children. Our hearts need refreshment from You and our minds need refocusing on You, instead instead of our situations and problems. But Lord, we need Your strength to overcome. Please give us Your power and Your wisdom to see Your perfect will for us. Lord this old world is filled with evil and needs You more today than ever before. Please help us to be Your light on a hill for the world to see hope, love and refreshment. Let them see Jesus in us, so that they may be drawn to You. Lord, may Your kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven. 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 Path To God’s Response Is Clear

If a programmer is analyzing data, they will establish ‘if…. Then…’ filters to evaluate just the right data, then they will apply their filter. The results will conclude evaluation of just the right data. Looking at this slightly different, you might ask what criteria do I need to obtain just these ideal results. Moses shared the criteria with the Israelites, and it may still be applicable to us today. Stand by!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-08-03
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Deuteronomy 19:8-9
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 8-9 … the Lord your God has promised that if you obey his laws and teachings I’m giving you, and if you always love him, then he will give you the land he promised your ancestors….. 

APPLICATION: So let us address the end result that the Israelites wanted, and that we often cry out for. Our ancestors had tarried in the wilderness for over 40 years, and they were repeatedly told that they were headed towards a wonderful land that was promised to their ancestors. However, the criteria upon which they could wind up with the promised land, is that they would have to be obedient to God and His laws, and they would be required to love the Lord their God. You know, I believe that God still expects these same demands of us today. Think about it, why would a God like our God seek to provide anything for a people who wants nothing to do with His commands, and there is no love in their hearts for Him. Why that’s a clear indication that they have life all figured out, and their path established in just the way they feel is perfect. They see no reason to honor God’s commands, nor to love and respect Him. Friends, although our God is known for His love and for His provisions, I believe that I can tell you with very good assurance, that He will not impose His goodness on you. In fact, God even gave us the liberty to make our own choice about our eternity. A very interesting thing about ‘if.. then..’ evaluation statements, is that there is always a result for those who do not fit in the ‘if’ statement. In other words, I believe that in the statement shared by Moses, we can conclude that if the Israelites did not obey God’s commands or if they did not love Him, then God will not honor His commitment to their ancestors for those particular rebels. How then might this apply to you and I today? Over and repeatedly in His Word, God said that He will love us and that He is preparing a place for us to spend eternity. I believe we all love that promise, and we often are encouraged by that statement, especially when we apply it at the funeral of a loved one. However, based on other things that God repeats throughout His word, I believe that we could build our ‘if.. then..’ statement as follows: If my people who are called by my name will obey my commands and love me unconditionally, then I will receive them gladly on the day that they cease to exist on earth’. I would suggest that you look at the following words as active verbs: ‘obey’ – keep on obeying; ‘love me’ – keep on loving me until we meet in glory. I believe that God might surprise ‘Christians’: who are called by His name (because they accepted Jesus as their Savior), but go on living as they always did before Christ. When one accepts Jesus, they vow to turn from their evil, or worldly, ways and follow Jesus (obey His commands and love Him unconditionally). It is impossible to honestly do the latter and still act like the former ‘you’. You can fool your friends by using ‘churchy’ words, and you may even fool them into thinking that you are right with God, but God not only knows your heart, He also knows your very thoughts. Friends, the prize belongs to those who honestly obey God (whether in the light of God’s presence, or in the darkest place), and who love God unconditionally. God deliberately made the criteria simple and the end result amazing, so that we could achieve and look forward to His awesome presence and the place He has prepared for us.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: A grand prize awaits those who obey God’s commands and love Him unconditionally! Are you ready?

PRAYER: What a shocking revelation for the Israelites to know that all of them may not enter the Promised Land. But Lord, You set the criteria in lots of time so that they could change their evil ways and finally recognize You for Your love and goodness towards them. You have also established criteria for us, and Your Word is clear on what will result if we obey Your commands and love You with all our heart, soul and mind, and what will result if we don’t. Lord, I pray that You will speak intently to every reader and/or listener and that You will convince them of their sinful state, and remind them of the result of disobedience. I pray not only for my family and friends, but also for every one who has ever read one of these devotionals where the love of Jesus was made very clear. Thank You Lord for loving us and for preparing a home in glory for us. ‘Oh I want to see Him, look upon His face, there to sing for ever of His saving grace…’ 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!

Obedience Even Under Dire Circumstances

One will put up a great front when they know that backup is on the way, or in the next room! But this was not the case with Jesus when Judas betrayed Him and took the Pharisees to arrest Him for trial. As followers of Christ, are you prepared to follow His example in not calling on God to change the course of His will, so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled? Peter thought that he could endure everything for Christ, but he failed. Ponder for a few minutes about what you might have done, given the circumstances that Peter found himself in.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-07-19
WRITTEN AT: Van Horn, TX

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 26:52-54
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 52 But Jesus told him, “Put your sword away. Anyone who lives by fighting will die by fighting. 53 Don’t you know that I could ask my Father, and right away he would send me more than twelve armies of angels? 54 But then, how could the words of the Scriptures come true, which say that this must happen?”

APPLICATION: I wonder… how obedient we might be when we know that the result of our actions, or beliefs, may cause us imprisonment, beatings or even death? One of Jesus’ disciples, Peter, called ‘The Rock’ by Jesus, for his hard and fast stand on what he believed, yet he crumbled under pressure when identified in the kings’ court where Jesus was tried. No doubt Peter knew that he would have been killed or badly beaten if he went along with the identifiers, so instead he lied, and even disowned Jesus, in order to escape punishment for his association. How are you doing in your workplace with this, dear friend? Does your boss and coworkers know that you are a Christian? Or do you act differently at work than you do at church to avoid ridicule? What if your boss said that he would not tolerate Christians in his workplace, will you disassociate yourself with Jesus Christ in order to keep that job? Friends, notice that Jesus was emphatic about doing what God had already prophesied through the prophets. Can you imagine the confusion for saints who believed what the prophets foretold, yet to then hear Jesus pleading with the Father to undo what He had already prophesied? But our God is not a God of confusion. He also knew that this would be extremely tough for Jesus to endure, and any parent will immediately agree that it hurts us more than our children when we see them suffer. However friends, there are often times when we are faced with very big challenges, and like any normal human being, we gather all our friends around us to help us pray that God would find another way to handle our situation. As children of God, shouldn’t we be aiming to be just like Jesus? Should we not submit to God as Jesus did, and instead of calling down angels to defend us, heal us, or protect us, instead we simply say to God that we are prepared to accept whatever He would have for us? Your will be done oh God, on earth as it is in heaven. Just give me the strength to endure and the boldness to claim my God until my very last breath leaves my body. That’s a tall and very challenging order dear friends, but God’s will might be for us to enjoy blessing after blessing, while at times also facing challenges that may compare to that of Jesus. I don’t believe that obedience to God comes with multiple choices on what He is allowed to do in our lives. Just as we said in our marriage vows, we should also say to God – for better or for worse, in sickness or in health….. He has promised never to leave us alone my friend and that He would be with us until the very end. So why worry?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God has a purpose for each of us, so may we all say: ‘Not my will, but Thine be done, precious Lord’.

PRAYER: In the good times when all is going well, it is easy and very desirable for us to thank You Lord for Your goodness, mercy and love towards us. Today we are reminded that if we have given You full control of our lives, then we may often glory in the cross of Jesus Christ, while at other times we may bear that cross that suspended You at Calvary. Please give us endurance to be committed fully to You right to the very end – in the good times and in the very challenging times. Knowing that You are by our side and guiding our every step will be glory for us. May we never turn back or disown You for as long as You give us breath here on earth. 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!

Tell Them What The Lord Says

It’s always good for us to stop and evaluate our options when making an important decision. Of course, it’s always good for us to weigh our profitability when weighing out important business decisions. But for Christians, we should always seek God’s direction when evaluating decisions, due to His omniscience. Balaam was well known for his decisions based on his connection with God. As we meditate, hopefully we will gain insight and be reminded of the need to consult with God, before making decisions we will later regret.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-06-26
WRITTEN AT: Shamrock, TX

SCRIPTURE FROM: Numbers 22:8; 12-13
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: “Spend the night here,” Balaam replied, “and tomorrow I will tell you the Lord’s answer.” So the officials stayed at his house….
12 But God replied, “Don’t go with Balak’s messengers. I have blessed those people who have come from Egypt, so don’t curse them.”
13 The next morning, Balaam said to Balak’s officials, “Go on back home. The Lord says I cannot go with you.”

APPLICATION: I believe that one of the most challenging things to do, is to pray from a totally neutral position and ask God without any prejudices of our own involved in our request. Often folk will say that God never answered their prayer, but how often do we pray without telling God what we want to see as His answer? When God answers in His wisdom, and it differs to what we asked for, we immediately think that He either ignored us, or just messed up. I know you would never think or say the latter, but we are all human and we differ very little in our reaction to things. But notice how Balaam never offered his first impression to the messengers, but his first response was that he would tell them what God says next morning. I’ve often heard godly men say ‘I feel like God led me to say….’ But never exactly like Balaam told the messengers. What would coworkers and friends say, if you told them you would give them God’s response the next morning? What would they think, or say, if you told them ‘no, God says I can’t do that’? But friends, think with me for a moment what they must be saying already when we make no reference to seeking the will of our Father in heaven before responding to them? Does that help in their evaluation of the relationship you have with the Father and/or His Son? In the included verses, you will note that God told Balaam that these were HIS people whom HE had blessed, so Balaam must not even think about cursing that which is blessed by God! I believe that is a true description of how God feels about His children today! I believe that He is very protective of us and will ward off danger and hurt from that which He has blessed – you and I. For this to be meaningful to you dear brother and sister, you must have surrendered your life to the lordship of Jesus Christ. That’s the method God uses for us to be considered ‘His beloved child that He awaits to receive in heaven someday’. Do you fit the description? Please consider reading my Footnote, and especially click on the link ‘To Know Jesus’. There are Scriptures that will help you evaluate your position with the Creator, and/or provide you meaningful Scripture to help introduce you to the Master. Please drop me a note and allow me to pray with you, or seek out your local Bible Teaching pastor to help you through this important introduction to my Savior!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Let the world know how your decisions are made! It speaks volumes about your relationship with God. Also, know that as a child of the King, you are protected by the One who loves you unconditionally!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, take my hand, lead on to the end…. Beautiful words from an old hymn that speaks to our need for an everyday relationship with Jesus, and a total dependence on Him to lead us in every aspect of life. No matter how smart we get Lord, we are reminded that we still know nothing about the next five minutes or tomorrow. We are totally dependent on You, and because we praise You for who You are, we are placing our faith and trust in You for every decision that we are faced with. Please help us to respond in the manner is which we are receiving our guidance so that the world will not only know about Jesus, but also come to respect Your kids for total obedience. Lord, be glorified in Your children today, beginning with me. 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!

Who Does He Think He Is?

I bet from the subject, you were probably curious to see who I was going to ‘talk’ about today! It’s not me who is planning to ‘talk’ about anyone, but I wanted to tell you about a man of God whose brother and sister-in-law chose to ‘talk’ about him, and the consequences that resulted for them. God is serious about His work, and I believe that He protects those who choose to earnestly and honestly do His work for His glory. For that person, stay tuned for the reminder. For those who choose to talk about God’s messengers, stay tuned for a story about the consequences of such behavior.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-06-13
WRITTEN AT: Florence, IN

SCRIPTURE FROM: Numbers 12:1-4
TRANSLATION:Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 1-3 Although Moses was the most humble person in all the world, Miriam and Aaron started complaining, “Moses had no right to marry that woman from Ethiopia! Who does he think he is? The Lord has spoken to us, not just to him.”
The Lord heard their complaint and told Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to come to the entrance of the sacred tent.

APPLICATION: There is nothing more desirable than to be known by family, friends and coworkers as ‘the most humble person’ they ever knew. I believe that would be a life patterned after Jesus himself. But Moses was also considered ‘the most humble person in the world’, so it may be safe in following his example also. However, anytime someone looks at us as having ‘more of anything’ compared to them, then they will probably be out to destroy our credibility. But friends, we all are scrutinized and watched closely by others, especially those whom we least suspect. This was the case with Aaron and his wife, for they became very jealous of Moses and his stance on the things of God. You see, following the ways of God will never point us to prideful acts or words, for God’s Word teaches just the opposite. However, Aaron and Miriam listened one time too many to the adversary (Satan), so they started to follow his evil tactics against their very own brother. At this stage it would be good for us to remember that God is fully aware of our words, actions and thoughts, even when we think we are privately obscure to the world. God became angry at the idea of this couple’s jealousy and hatred, so He brought all three people together for His disciplinary actions. Do you suppose that there would be fewer church splits today if God was to continue this practice when He noticed our actions at times against our pastor or church leader? Friends, I agree that some church leaders, and perhaps even some pastors, are out for personal recognition and/or gain, and some churches deal with them very pointedly on this. However, the majority of God’s workers are striving to represent Him completely. Many workers are even depending on God to help them live according to His will and in obedience to His commands. Yes, we all wish that we could follow the example of the ‘perfect’ leaders, and receive the blessings that they enjoy through serving, but may I suggest that we try serving them by: praying for them; encouraging them; and giving to their cause? This would ease their stress and help them concentrate even more on the ministry God has called them to. As you join them in the ministry of our Master, know that you will also be blessed of God!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Moses was protected by the God that he served! I believe that God will also bless us as we seek ways to serve Him and follow in obedience to His commands!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You are merciful and filled with compassion for Your obedient and humble servants. You showed this in Your dealings with Aaron and Miriam as they complained about Moses, and I believe that You will also protect us as we seek to serve You today. Please bless those who are serving You today in our churches and on the mission field. Sure, they’re not perfect, but as they make every effort to be more like You every day, I pray that You will protect them, encourage them, and bless them immensely. Please speak to the heart of every reader today as they read Your Word, become excited about Your teachings and Your commands, and seek to follow in obedience. Oh Lord God, may You be glorified by Your subjects today! 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!