Be Consumed With What Brings God Pleasure

For the couple who weds, and they are consumed with making their partner happy, they will probably enjoy a long, blessed marriage! So of course this will also be true in friendships, work environments and most of all – in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. To do this you will have to dedicate yourself to seeking God’s will. Let’s look into this today in our study.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-11-04
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

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

BIBLE TEXT:  Since Christ, though innocent, suffered in his flesh for you,[a] now you also must be a prepared soldier,[b] having the same mind-set,[c] for whoever has died in his body is done with sin.[d] 2 So live the rest of your earthly life no longer concerned with human desires but consumed with what brings pleasure to GodFor you have already spent enough time doing what unbelievers[e] love to do—living in debauchery, sensuality, partying, drunkenness, wild drinking parties,[f] and the worship of demons.[g]

OBSERVATION: For the couple who weds, and they are consumed with making their partner happy, they will probably enjoy a long, blessed marriage! So of course this will also be true in friendships, work environments and most of all – in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. To do this you will have to dedicate yourself to seeking God’s will. Let’s look into this today in our study.

APPLICATION: To know what brings pleasure to God, we must realize this means doing His will. May I be the first today to remind you that God’s Word is a compilation of instructions for us to follow, and He expects us to be in obedience to His will for our lives. So this means that it will bring pleasure to God if we know His Word and live in obedience to His laws and commands. It is very important that we take no shortcuts, such as waiting to see what the pastor says, instead of reading the Bible for yourself and diligently seeking God’s will for your life for each day. Why not let the Pastor do his job and teach you the Bible? I believe it is important that you analyze how many churches believe and practice the same thing differently. This means that they understand the Bible differently, or they try to soften the meaning with some of their own personal beliefs. A few cases in point: Baptism – sprinkled; dunked; baby or adult; Day of Worship/Sabbath – Saturday, Sunday or day of your choice; Dancing – yes or no; Pastors – Men only or either gender; etc, etc. The items mentioned will not be further discussed in this devotional, but I would highly recommend that, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, you study the Bible personally and see God’s guidance on what you should do in your efforts to bring pleasure to Him. Please don’t misunderstand me, there is nothing wrong with talking to your pastor for guidance on any biblical subject, but study to show yourself approved as a child of the King. And don’t overlook seeking God’s Help and direction even on what might seem to be small things, for you may very well grow from seeing God respond to those things as well as the very tough decisions that you feel are God-sized. I hope that you will be impacted as much as I was in reading the Scripture today. Imagine that you have spent your whole earthly life doing the things that family, friends and coworkers tell you to try, but when you accept Jesus as Lord, please allow Him to be Lord over everything in your life. Yes you will still have friends, but allow your yes and no responses to be guided by the Holy Spirit, so that you could please God, rather than continuing in the old life of trying to please your friends. The difference will be – that you will begin to look and sound like Jesus, instead of the same old sinful ways of your friends. God created us and He has a life planned for us, but we must listen and be bold enough to obediently follow His commands, if we want to follow His will.

PRAYER: Thank You precious Lord for creating us in Your own image, and for Your guidance each and every day to help us stay on course. Please teach us and remind us every day to seek Your will and to make it a priority, or be consumed with, bringing You pleasure through our obedience. 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

True Happiness Is…

There are probably more books sold and more seminars attended on this subject than anything else imaginable. I believe that the primary reason for this might be due to the fact that Satan, the ruler of all evil on this earth, is constantly battling for our attention and our affection, and that is a genuine recipe for disastrous unhappiness. But the recipe for happiness taught by James here is not new, for you will find this revelation throughout the Bible in many of the teachings and illustrations placed there for our good. As we meditate on the importance of this today, may we truly find real and lasting happiness.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-10-19
WRITTEN AT: Bostic, NC

Bible Reference: James 1:25
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: 25 … the truly happy people are those who carefully study God’s perfect law that makes people free, and they continue to study it. They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God’s teaching says. Those who do this will be made happy.

OBSERVATION:   There are probably more books sold and more seminars attended on this subject than anything else imaginable. I believe that the primary reason for this might be due to the fact that Satan, the ruler of all evil on this earth, is constantly battling for our attention and our affection, and that is a genuine recipe for disastrous unhappiness. But the recipe for happiness taught by James here is not new, for you will find this revelation throughout the Bible in many of the teachings and illustrations placed there for our good. As we meditate on the importance of this today, may we truly find real and lasting happiness.

APPLICATION:   I often compare illustrations on marriage to help illustrate the relationship we should strive towards with our Lord. In marriage, many couples attend marriage enrichment classes, or take cruises geared towards married couples, or read books on ways to refresh our marriages. We are looking for ways to refresh our love for each other. Without this, we tend to start taking each other for granted, we relax our initial commitment to love and uphold each other through good times and through the challenging times as well. In fact, many who make no effort to keep their marriages fresh, tend to result more into divorce than ever before. James is teaching us here in this Scripture today that true happiness for mankind is found in carefully studying the perfect laws of God, as outlined in His book of instruction – the Bible. Throughout the Bible, we are taught and reminded that God loves us more than we could even imagine. He showed His love for us in many ways, but the ultimate love was shown when He willingly went to the cross as a sacrifice for us. But why did Jesus go to the cross? For all who existed at that time were not saints, nor were they deeply in love with God, but instead they were ‘dirty’, ‘filthy’ sinners. But, in love, Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross knowing that it would be the means of forgiveness when we ask for it. So knowing that someone loves us so much, and without conditions placed on why He would love us, why do you suppose we would not want to obey His commands? James reminds us that through obeying God, we not only receive His wondrous love, but we become sons and daughter of the greatest person that ever lived, our Lord and Savior. The contentment this brings to us is pure, unadulterated happiness. Now if we are serious about this kind of commitment to Jesus Christ, and the happiness that results, James said that we would want to continue to study and learn from the teachings of Jesus. Further, we must always be mindful of what we have studied, for it is intended to guide our lives into total Truth. As we learn, and discern God’s will for our lives, may we strive to obey it and live it out in our lives. You see, I am convinced that God created us to illustrate to the world, what a loving, caring God looks like. How do you suppose you are doing with that? It’s very easy for us to see the good, the bad and the ugly in others, but I would suggest that we look inward today and, based on what James is teaching us, evaluate whether you think that others are seeing the ultimate happiness of our loving Lord in us!  If you feel like you are not the epitome of Christ’s happiness, then we are taught in this verse to get back to the Book and study what God intended for us.

PRAYER:   Precious Lord, thank You for Your sacrifice at Calvary. Thank You for loving us enough to offer Your life as a sacrifice for our sin. Thank You for providing Your Word so that we may be reminded of Your love, and also how we may maintain our happiness in You. Please give all those who will meditate on this devotional today, the boldness to demonstrate Your love for us, to all those that we come into contact with. May we be committed to reading Your Word, understanding it’s truth, and practicing it’s values every day in the way that we live and interact with others. May You be glorified through our humble lives today 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 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Listen and Obey

Workers are fired for disobeying company policy and rules. Parents become frustrated with kids who refuse to follow their instruction or their advice. So imagine how the God of this universe must feel after providing children, made after His own image, the opportunity to live in a perfect world, yet to later see them reject Him, run away from Him and do their own thing. Child of God, is there reason for us to deny God’s direction and to possibly think that our ways are better than His? God implored us through His servant Paul to listen to His commands and obey His teachings. Are you?

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-09-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 4:12-13
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 12-13 God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.

OBSERVATION: Workers are fired for disobeying company policy and rules. Parents become frustrated with kids who refuse to follow their instruction or their advice. So imagine how the God of this universe must feel after providing children, made after His own image, the opportunity to live in a perfect world, yet to later see them reject Him, run away from Him and do their own thing. Child of God, is there reason for us to deny God’s direction and to possibly think that our ways are better than His? God implored us through His servant Paul to listen to His commands and obey His teachings. Are you?

APPLICATION: Ever thought for a moment that your parents must have had eyes in the back of their head, because they seem to have known every little thing that you did? Ever notice how most people behave fairly good inside the church doors, and possibly while in the presence of their pastor, but if you place them in a real tight situation at work, or on the street, the real character of the person emerges? God caught my attention this morning through His Word when Paul explained how we are like sacrificial lambs before our King when we read His Word. In fact, Paul likened it to us being opened up and ministered to without any opposition on our end. This made me think of recent surgery that I went through. I was put to sleep at about 7:30am and I regained my awareness about 5pm that afternoon. During that gap, my neck was cut, parts of my vertebrae were removed, artificial parts were installed, bars screwed onto my remaining vertebrae and then I was sewn back up. I was totally at the graces of my surgeon, and he was free to do whatever he saw fit to do in his professional opinion. There was no objection by me during that time, and I was laid open for any corrections that the surgeon saw fit. Paul used a similar example in how submissive and obedient we should be when it comes to us living out the Word of God. How often do you surrender fully to the Word of God and stand ready to obey His commands without a fight or argument? How often do you take God at His word and obey His every command? Have you been laid bare before God and allowed Him to have His perfect will in your life? To repeat the words of the Bible: None of us are exempt from the Word of God. We can’t get away from what God intended for us to do all along, no matter how smart we may think we are, or who our contacts might be at the church, the courthouse, or anywhere else. God intended His instruction to be for us, and besides missing out on His blessings from unadulterated obedience, God will hold us accountable for living without making Him a part of our life and consequently obeying every other law besides His. Don’t waste any more time dear Friend. Trust God, listen to Him and obey His every command. It’s for our own good!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You showed us how important it was to obey every word from Your Father, and You told us how important it Is that we follow in Your footsteps. The love of the Father is greater than any other love that exists today. So please help us to love You in return, precious Lord, and what better way to do that than to commit ourselves to total obedience to Your commands. Please give us strength and determination for each day, and may You be glorified in everything we say or do, so that others may see and believe in the One True God. AMEN!

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

Always Faithful

I believe that one of the greatest reasons for divorces, might be because of an unfaithful spouse. When we hear of our spouse being unfaithful, unfortunately the worse comes out in us and regardless of what we promised in our wedding vows, we cannot find it within ourselves to forgive, and move on with our marriage. Perhaps you have heard of Christians feeling this way about God also, just as our Scripture alludes to. So let us prepare our hearts for this in light of what the Word of God says.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-09-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Timothy 2:13
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 13 Even when we are too weak to have any faith left, he remains faithful to us and will help us, for he cannot disown us who are part of himself, and he will always carry out his promises to us.

OBSERVATION: I believe that one of the greatest reasons for divorces, might be because of an unfaithful spouse. When we hear of our spouse being unfaithful, unfortunately the worse comes out in us and regardless of what we promised in our wedding vows, we cannot find it within ourselves to forgive, and move on with our marriage. Perhaps you have heard of Christians feeling this way about God also, just as our Scripture alludes to. So let us prepare our hearts for this in light of what the Word of God says.

APPLICATION: We talked about marriages that fail because of unfaithfulness, but there are numerous other scenarios where we also choose to refuse forgiving others. Think about an employer who hired you into a vigorous training program for the eventual position of president. You worked hard, and for many long hours, at the sacrifice of your family, only to one day arrive at work and find a new person sitting in the president’s office. You are later informed that they came in very unexpectedly and applied for the position, and given their impeccable record and achievements, they are well qualified and deserving to lead the company on into the future. Ouch! What’s the first thing you will do? You got it, you will quickly write up your resignation letter and make your exit ASAP. The company was not faithful to you, so why should you remain faithful to them. Another analogy is that you were deeply involved in church work, and you had an excellent team working with you to develop the best ministry for your town that had a huge number of unsaved folk. It seemed to be working well, and you constantly led your team into awesome times of praise and thanksgiving for the work that God’s was doing. So you purchased land to build a bigger, better and more modern facility in which to teach and train the hundreds of people coming your way because of your ministry. Suddenly, your financial secretary came to your office one day to announce that the church was running out of money to meet its payroll and budget. In an emergency meeting with your leadership team, you discover that your church is in trouble financially. What happened to God, did He walk out on you? After weeks of wrestling with this, you are challenged by one of your leaders who warned that they felt you had walked out on God almost a year ago when you allowed the increasing number of attendees to assure you that you must be on the right track. Friends, pastors have committed suicide or left the church over things like this. God’s church must be run by God, and not man. No matter how good you may feel your man (pastor) is. But Paul tells us in this Scripture today that although you may have become unfaithful to God, He will never, ever, become unfaithful to you. Like the story of this pastor, there comes a time when you know that you have stepped out of God’s presence and decided to do life on your own, or as in the case of this pastor, you decided you had everything going your way and therefore did not need to bother God any further about your growth program. Stop – whose church did you say? Praise God that He allows the ignorance of mankind, and the silliness of preaching, to be used to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to all mankind. However, we must always remember the position that we fill in the church is that of servant-hood, for God alone saves mankind; He alone grows the church; He alone touches hearts and heals the sick. As His servants, we simply stand back and follow His commands. Let’s never lose sight of our true position in the church. God’s in charge, and we are the pions who simply ask for His guidance so that we may obediently follow His will for His church. And remember, God’s faithfulness is not only in the church, but in everything where He has promised to be our Lord. I sincerely believe that if we remain faithful to God, and if we will do what He commands, then He will direct us in all aspects of our lives and relationships.

PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, we are thankful that You are faithful in everything that You have promised. Please direct Your children so that we never step out of line, or try to assume Your role in our lives. Let us be content in following exactly whatever You command and go wherever You lead. Please be with our church leaders and prompt them to follow You in every aspect of Your church, so that our communities will see Christ in the church and they will therefore develop a desire to know You. May they never be blocked from seeing You because of us standing in the way. AMEN!

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

Just Do It, Won’t You?

It is difficult for us to just do something we are told, without questioning the if, the why and the how! Then to do it without adding our own opinion is a whole different thing, isn’t it? But what about when God tells us to do something? I know, you are perfect and you therefore always do as you are told! Well, Jeremiah was stumped on an order he was given by God. Let’s see if we would do any better than he did.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-08-28
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Jeremiah 32:24-27
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 24 Jerusalem is under attack, and we suffer from hunger and disease. The Babylonians have already built dirt ramps up to the city walls, and you can see that Jerusalem will be captured just as you said. 25 So why did you tell me to get some witnesses and buy a field with my silver, when Jerusalem is about to be captured by the Babylonians?
26 The Lord explained: 27 Jeremiah, I am the Lord God. I rule the world, and I can do anything!

OBSERVATION: It is difficult for us to just do something we are told, without questioning the if, the why and the how! Then to do it without adding our own opinion is a whole different thing, isn’t it? But what about when God tells us to do something? I know, you are perfect and you therefore always do as you are told! Well, Jeremiah was stumped on an order he was given by God. Let’s see if we would do any better than he did.

APPLICATION: As you read this story you could see that God went to extra lengths to help Jeremiah know that the instructions came from Him to purchase the property. And it would almost appear like Jeremiah was actually praising the Lord for His awesome direction and power. However, read more closely and you will see that Jeremiah was just like us, for he was blown away about why God would have him use his personal money to purchase property in a city that He was really upset at, and would probably soon destroy. Yes, Jeremiah had followed God’s instructions and purchased the property, but he was obviously reluctant, as a lot of thoughts were still boiling up inside of him. I don’t know that we could conclude that God was upset at Jeremiah for questioning, but it seems obvious that He put His servant in his place. I may have said it something like this: ‘now look here Jeremiah, I am God and you are not. In fact, I created this world and all that is in it, and I rule the whole thing. Would you not think that if I told you to purchase a certain piece of property, that I knew what I was doing and exactly how I intended to use it? You see, my thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are unlike your ways. Just be obedient to my commands and I will allow you to see how this all comes together for my glory. I will not tolerate the attitudes of those who curse me and work against my will, so I will take care of that bunch (the Babylonians and the disobedient Israelites who were exiled there). Praise God that you are a part of a very large picture that includes my directed plan.’ Friends, God don’t need our help in saying exactly what He wanted Jeremiah to know! However, let us all be reminded that our God will not stand for a defiant people who insist on doing their own thing, in their own time, in ways that seem right to them. If you know God, then trust in Him and be ready to obey His commands, whether they make sense to us or not. He is eternal, so His works are divine, holy and right. As His kids, we want to be aligned with His will, even if it takes us in a different direction to what we had planned. It’s God that deserves the praise. We are just servants who do as we are told. He knows what He’s doing, where we need to go, and how we will get there. Unless we follow His will and His commands, we will run astray in trying to reach our ultimate destination. Just do what He says, won’t you?

PRAYER: Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on and let me stand. For I want to do Your will and follow Your perfect commands, so that You might be lifted up in all that is accomplished from my time here on earth. Like Jeremiah, I may be willing to obey – reluctantly, but Lord I want to trust You in every aspect of my life, so that others may witness Jesus at work in my life. My readers and I are weaklings who need a Savior to help us through life, and especially to help guide us to ultimate obedience to the one true God and His precious Word. Help us to be Your hands, feet and mouthpiece here on earth, without questioning the path that You will send us down. Please reach out and touch those that we touch each day in some fashion. May they find Christ before it is 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Wisdom That Only God Can Give

I bet that most of my readers will probably say that there are multiple things that they would ask God to give them wisdom to understand, or resolve. However, as we meditate on the Word today, I trust that we will understand why Paul’s plea for the Ephesian church was that ‘they would grow in wisdom to understand Christ more’.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-07-13
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ephesians 1:16-19
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 16-17 I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you wisdom to see clearly and really understand who Christ is and all that he has done for you. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can see something of the future he has called you to share. I want you to realize that God has been made rich because we who are Christ’s have been given to him! 19 I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him…

OBSERVATION: I bet that most of my readers will probably say that there are multiple things that they would ask God to give them wisdom to understand, or resolve. However, as we meditate on the Word today, I trust that we will understand why Paul’s plea for the Ephesian church was that ‘they would grow in wisdom to understand Christ more’.

APPLICATION: Some of the things that we might beg for wisdom in, might be things like: to understand my spouse better!; to find the right job; to make more money; to know how to help people who are struggling in life; to be able to lead the church better; to understand more about COVID 19 and how to best avoid it; etc, etc. I’m sure that you have probably thought of a ton of things that you could add to the list of needing more wisdom in, and I believe you would find that’s pretty normal. But I believe that as we examine Paul’s desire for the Ephesian church, you and I will understand better why desiring to know Christ more fully, might help us keep our priorities in order and our worries centered around what’s really important in life. Notice that Paul just praised the church for how well they were doing in getting along – a huge achievement then and now! But Paul went on to tell them what he is praying for. Friends, having served in church leadership, I can tell you that there are times that church leaders are absolutely stumped on how to deal with some of the circumstances that arise among its members, its finances, its future, its growth and especially to make sure that its ministry is aligned with God’s will for His church at that time. There is never a time that church leaders are not totally dependent on the leader of the church – Christ. I have no reason to believe that Paul just ignored those things in his mission to help the Ephesian church, but what Paul shared with them, could very easily be shared and adapted by our churches today. Further on in chapter 1 Paul teaches us that God placed Christ as head of the church, so whenever we think about, or begin to worry about, advice on how to help the church, isn’t it easy to see that what he was really saying is that you really need to understand, and draw close to Christ? After all, why look for ways to resolve issues in the church, until you seek God on how to draw the church closer to Him (Christ) as its leader? Why look at ministry growth opportunities, unless you ask God to first of all grow the church spiritually? The church will head towards disaster without Christ as its focus and without knowing that He has led you into accomplishing His will through ministering more effectively to your growing community. Why look at ways to fill your church, if its only to entertain them and make them feel good. If Christ is truly our leader, as the Word declares, then we should thank God for giving us increased ability to minister to the ones that He is bringing through our doors, so that He may rule and reign in their hearts. Friends, as a child of the King, and as a member of His church, unless you are striving to know Him better and follow His example inside the church and outside its doors, and unless you aim to share God’s love with any and all that may come through your church doors, then Paul’s prayer may be one that we repeat often. For unless we honor Christ – the head of our church, in all that we do, we are merely meeting for a social event hoping that we’ll feel better in just being together. I believe we can look at this in another way. We may be concerned about the condition of our marriage, and we might look at many, many different ways to correct the issues, but as a child of the most high God, unless we draw close to God, and invite Him to rule and reign in our personal lives and in our marriage, then we are doing no more than the unbeliever in trying to seek a godly resolution to our issues. We may love to see our church buildings filled to capacity, and we may dream of exquisite, new, multimillion dollar buildings that may house even more people, but unless we acknowledge Christ as the chief head of our church, and that our purpose for meeting is to win the lost and grow the saved, then the new building will be nothing more than any other group meeting place where folk show up for fun and/or entertainment. Let’s remember, Jesus Christ hung on a cross voluntarily, so that we might have the means of seeking forgiveness of our sin and therefore a chance to enter heaven’s gates. I am convinced that, as head of our church, Christ would prefer that we not waste one minute in pointing attendees to the cross, to the forgiveness of sin that only Christ could offer. When our churches fill up with folk who accept our mission and make decisions regularly towards changed lives, then I believe God will open the doors of heaven and grant us His grace to build bigger buildings to accommodate the flow of people interested in following through on what we preach and teach. If our church is not all about Christ, then we should question who we have permitted to take over leadership from the Lord Jesus Christ. With Christ in His proper role, and the rest of us as servants of the Most High, I believe that then we could watch the church flourish as kingdom work is achieved. This is what we really need wisdom to identify, act on, and insist upon, God being our Helper and constant Guide.

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for not allowing You to maintain Your assigned leadership in our places of worship, in our personal lives, in our families and in our day-to-day relationships. We were reminded today that Christ is the head of the church – please may our respective churches be no exception, nor one to have ousted You and replaced You with one of our own. We can’t get this order messed up, if we expect You to flourish in Your assigned role. We are merely wasting our time and providing a social atmosphere for our members. Lord, we want our friends, family and members to know You intimately. We want them to surrender to Your leadership. Please fill us with wisdom for the things of God. We are Yours and want nothing more than to see others know You as well. May we follow in obedience and submission so that You may work in our midst, for Your glory and praise. 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Wisdom – Where to Begin

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-07-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 111:10
TRANSLATION: Good News Translation (GNT)

BIBLE TEXT: 10 The way to become wise is to honor the Lord;[a]
    he gives sound judgment to all who obey his commands.
He is to be praised forever.

OBSERVATION: Where do you get your smarts from young man? Most responses might be from his mother or his father. But in our Scripture today the Psalmist has identified for us where we are to seek out wisdom for all of life’s challenging questions, dilemmas and happenings. It’s not from the best university, so no need to run to Google to question which has the best record of success. Our world was created by God, and His wisdom continues to be right at the top of everything we may seek wisdom for, even today. Hang in there as we look deeper into the Word today.

APPLICATION: I remember an elderly relative coming in the house for his lunch, and he brought along bones and the knee joint of an animal he found while working his garden. He was in awe as he showed us God’s handiwork through the intricacies of that joint. Unfortunately, I felt like my relative was a bit ‘off’ as he went on and on about how awesome God is, and how His handiwork is shown even through things that we tend to pass off as ‘normal’ and ’expected’. But as I read this Scripture today, God showed me how that anytime we question something in nature or in creation as a whole, we are to look to acknowledge how that thing, person or animal was designed and by whom. In other words, we are to always give God the credit that He deserves for His involvement in every aspect of life. Wouldn’t it be neat to have a doctor come to your bedside and explain that what they saw inside of you is unexplainable by anything he ever learned in medical school. And that he could show through imaging that your body was in a certain condition yesterday, which is totally different to what he saw today as he prepared for surgery, and that the only way to explain the difference is that God must have intervened and healed your body? Wouldn’t it be equally as amazing if you always recognized God for His awesome existence and for all that He created anytime that you came up with questions? It seems that we always go to the ‘G’ word with our questions, but it’s Google, instead of God! Think about this: my doctor may suspect that I may have cancer. As a born again Christian, wouldn’t it make more sense to approach the One who designed and made us, the One who rested His hand upon us, kept us from harm, decease and destruction, led us in the right path each and every day of our lives and led us along the path that we should follow, even when our minds were filled with doubt? Obviously we know that more than anything else, God has been and always will be in charge of every aspect of our lives. So when we choose to brush that aside and instead follow our own will that is filled with endless uncertainties, what else could we possibly expect but failure from sources that give us advice with an empty knowledge base? For those who have a personal relationship with my Savior, we know the One who created it all, and the only One who understands and knows about what tomorrow will bring. He knows what He has in store for us, so His direction and revelation (if He sees fit to reveal it to us) could only lead to righteousness, healing, and satisfaction in life. You see, God has a plan for us. So if we follow His design for us, obey His commands and follow His will, then in health, sickness or death, we will walk towards the plan that God has designed especially for us. I don’t know about you, precious friend, but that’s enough for us to lift up holy hands in praise to the Almighty each and every day, as the Psalmist indicated in the above verse. To be wise, and to grow in wisdom, we must be reminded that it all comes from God, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Moving forward in His wisdom exceeds anything and everything we could ever acquire from any other source on earth.

PRAYER: Oh Lord, my God, You are the only true and wise God. You made everything around me, You know how it works, You know what will happen to it, and to us, and when that will occur. Please soften our thick and hardened minds so that we will always acknowledge You as our Creator, Keeper, Revelator and soon coming King. No one else is as wise, so help us to be smart in always seeking Your face for every question that may arise in our weak minds. Oh that You may rule and reign over your children everyday and in ever aspect of life. Touch those who need to know our Savior so that they too might accept You as their Lord and everlasting Savior. 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Those Who Love The Father, Also Love His Children

Whenever asked if we really love someone, we try to find ways that might suitably express how the concerned person might publicly see and understand that we love the person, and how much we love them. Sometimes that could be a challenging experience, for it is hard to explain to someone else how much you love someone. Often the recipient of your love will know, but for either of you to express that to a third party presents a challenge. Until now! Please meditate with me on this Scripture and learn first hand how God said that you could show if you are capable of loving others!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-06-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 1 John 5:1-4
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: If you believe that Jesus is the Christ—that he is God’s Son and your Savior—then you are a child of God. And all who love the Father love his children too. So you can find out how much you love God’s children—your brothers and sisters in the Lord—by how much you love and obey God. Loving God means doing what he tells us to do, and really, that isn’t hard at all; for every child of God can obey him, defeating sin and evil pleasure by trusting Christ to help him.

OBSERVATION: Whenever asked if we really love someone, we try to find ways that might suitably express how the concerned person might publicly see and understand that we love the person, and how much we love them. Sometimes that could be a challenging experience, for it is hard to explain to someone else how much you love someone. Often the recipient of your love will know, but for either of you to express that to a third party presents a challenge. Until now! Please meditate with me on this Scripture and learn first hand how God said that you could show if you are capable of loving others!

APPLICATION: Do you love God? How about God’s children, do you love them also? I bet I should have put those questions right at the end of my ’Application’, because by now you have probably answered ‘yes’ to both and about to close out of this devotional! Not So Fast Brother! Wait a moment Sister! Through John, God has actually given us the formula for measuring how well we’re doing on this! We are told in these verses today that the degree to which we love fellow believers is proportionate to how much we love and obey God. Ok, so I’m sure that you will assume you must truly love one another, because you know that you really love God. But do you really?  The Word declares that the love referenced here is not just a verbal thing, or a feeling, but instead if we truly love God, we will do what He tells us to do. For some that will be easy, because we pray and we seek God’s face through His precious Word. When we truly do this and not only listen to His commands, His teachings, His instructions for us, and His example that He set for us to follow, then we should know what to do. Friends, you may not just learn this from the pastor in a weekend sermon, or from a Bible teacher, but to know what Jesus really has in store for you, it is important that you have regular one-on-one communion with your maker. Don’t know where to start? You may want to follow a good devotional, such as the one you’re now reading, or you may want to look for a Bible Reading Plan of your own. Whatever you decide, just remember to seek God’s face first – as it takes the Spirit of God to truly open your eyes to the spiritual truths of our awesome God. Not much of a reader? It doesn’t matter, when you seek God’s face first and ask Him to open your mind to His, you will find that what may appear to be simple words on a page, actually reveals the perfect will of God for your life right where you’re at during that very moment. Highlight as He speaks to you, and make notes to remind you how He spoke to you that day. Now, todays scripture says that through loving God and obeying all that He instructs you, then you will defeat sin and evil pleasures. Your love for God will become so pure and so real, that you will also love everything that God loves and everyone that He loves. So are you struggling with any part of this today friend? Try following this instruction for at least seven days, and I believe God will give you a burning desire to continue doing the same for the rest of the time you remain here on this earth! Love and obedience to God leads to love for the brethren friend! Imagine standing before family and friends at the funeral of your dearest friend and trying to explain to them how much you loved the deceased. There will be many things that you might be inclined to share that may prove you had love for the deceased, but wouldn’t it be mind blowing if you opened this Scripture is simply quoted how God said you could prove your love for others? God being our helper, I pray that we could now more easily show others how much we care, how much we love, and how they could see proof of it, because of our relationship with the God of all love!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You not only tell us to love one another, but You have even gone the extra step of showing us just how to accomplish that. How unfortunate, that a God who sacrificed His only Son for us on Calvary, must now tell us how important it is for us to love You. How deep the Father’s love for us, in spite of our unworthiness. Yet how easy it is for us to say that we struggle in loving our Christian Brothers and Sisters, even when we don’t fully appreciate the love of our Father, or see fit to obey His simple commands. Please forgive us dear Lord and continue to draw us to Yourself with an even deeper determination to love and obey You. I sincerely thank You for Your love, and for all these things I have asked throughout this devotional, for it is in the precious and loving name of Jesus that I ask, 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Last Word – Worship Him and Keep His Commands

When mom or dad warns that this is their last word on the subject, we tend to stop what we are doing, or thinking, and pay close attention! In the last two verses of Ecclesiastes, we are given a similar warning by Solomon. In both cases we receive consequences for our actions after the warnings. No matter what your age might be as you read this devotional, please stop and pay close attention to how you are responding to the warnings given to us by God through His servant, Solomon. It’s a matter of life (eternally – in Heaven) or death (eternally – in Hell).

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-06-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 13 And, when all is said and done, here is the last word: worship in reverence the one True God, and keep His commands, for this is what God expects of every person. 14 For God will judge every action—including everything done in secret—whether it be good or evil.

OBSERVATION: When mom or dad warns that this is their last word on the subject, we tend to stop what we are doing, or thinking, and pay close attention! In the last two verses of Ecclesiastes, we are given a similar warning by Solomon. In both cases we receive consequences for our actions after the warnings. No matter what your age might be as you read this devotional, please stop and pay close attention to how you are responding to the warnings given to us by God through His servant, Solomon. It’s a matter of life (eternally – in Heaven) or death (eternally – in Hell).

APPLICATION: In ‘old-school’ parenting, our parents may have stood with a belt in their hand when they warned us that their response to us on a particular request is ‘final’. We knew this meant that if the request is brought before them again, it meant that we had no intention of obeying their first response, because now we are hoping to change their minds to give a more positive response! But what does this all mean to the Christian who searches our God’s Word for the course of action they should take on a questionable subject? Perhaps we read into God’s response that perhaps His response was intended for the neighbor on the other side of the street; or perhaps that we misunderstood what He was actually instructing us to do the first time; or even that we totally ignored what we thought He was saying, since it was so negative compared to what we wanted to hear? Friends, over the years I have learned that in trying to obtain a correct answer to a dilemma, we could pose a question in a certain way so that we receive an answer that we want. Another person with no skin in the game could pose the question in their own way and receive a very different answer! I don’t believe for a minute that God would vary on His response to us, but I do believe that we could very easily tune out parts of the response that we don’t want to hear. The bottom line is, that when we approach the throne of God for help or direction in a matter, we had best put all personal agendas aside, because we are taught in the Word that His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. You see, God is all-knowing and He has a plan for us. He knows every little itsy bitsy thought, word or action from us. He also knows what He has in store for us tomorrow and throughout eternity. So when we ask for His permission to go to the North Pole, and He has plans for us to minister to someone in the far South, His GPS directions for us to safely arrive at our destination will look a whole lot different to whatever Garmin might be telling you. In fact, you might even question if He even understood your request! Friends, please join me as we listen closely to Solomon in our study verses today. His last words to us is that we be loyal in worshipping the King of all kings. He’s the One who made us; He has a plan for our lives; and He is already preparing a place for us to occupy when He calls us away from this world of sin and hardships. Secondly, we are to obey the commands of our Heavenly Father. What are those commands? Read the Book, for God has included all of His commands in His precious Word – the Bible. He knew that we would need a Book of Instructions, so He gave us one, and He placed His Holy Spirit inside of us to help us understand and obey His commands. We need no other GPS, for He has directed us in His Word what to do, where to go and what to say. Oh that we would learn to be obedient soldiers/children/servants.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thankfully You made us, so You know full well how stubborn we are and how we tend to try and do our own thing even when You have the ‘wheel’ and are directing us in the right path. Please forgive us for our human stubbornness and our selfish wills. You have already spoken to many of us and given us Your last word, please help us to be obedient to our Father, our Deliverer, our King, our Savior – the One who loves us more than life itself. May our hearts and our lips be filled with constant praise as we worship You each and every day, and no matter what level of education we may have, I pray that You might impress upon us every day to follow Your commands that You designed for our good. Lord we look forward to being with You some day soon when you are ready for us, but while here on this earth, may we look and sound just like You – the One who created us in His own image and prepares us each day for our heavenly home. 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

A Stronger Faith

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-04-23
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 2 Peter 1:4-8
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: … by that same mighty power he has given us all the other rich and wonderful blessings he promised; for instance, the promise to save us from the lust and rottenness all around us, and to give us his own character.   But to obtain these gifts, you need more than faith; you must also work hard to be good, and even that is not enough. For then you must learn to know God better and discover what he wants you to do. Next, learn to put aside your own desires so that you will become patient and godly, gladly letting God have his way with you. This will make possible the next step, which is for you to enjoy other people and to like them, and finally you will grow to love them deeply. The more you go on in this way, the more you will grow strong spiritually and become fruitful and useful to our Lord Jesus Christ.

OBSERVATION: It is obvious from this Scripture that mankind can live at peace with our God, if we turn our selfish, sinful selves away from the worldly desires and commit to serving the God who created us, and loves us beyond anything we could imagine. He even has a home prepared already for those who have accepted Him as Lord, so we really have so much to be thankful for here on earth now, and something to look forward to In Heaven! Peace on earth, and even more peace in Heaven, as we graduate from this world to the next. Let’s examine our faith today as we meditate together.

APPLICATION: We are reminded that God has showered His rich and wonderful blessings on us and He is doing everything possible to form us more and more into His character. However, there is work for us to do, so that He might have freedom to work in our lives, and mold us into His likeness. I believe these additional qualities help us to be devoted to our calling and gives God opportunity to respond in marvelous ways to help us attain His ultimate plan for us. Can you imagine us accomplishing anything by just sitting back and allowing someone to do it for us? Don’t you know that the more we are involved in something, the more that we ‘buy-in’ on the idea and the more committed we are to the end result? So let’s look closely at some of the things we are told to work on:

  1. We need more faith – Remember, Jesus told Peter about his lack of faith when he took his eyes off the Master.  Remember that James said that our good deeds and our actions will prove our faith. Friends, if we say we have it, then our lives should reflect it!
  2. We must work hard to be good – moral excellence
  3. We must be studious in knowing more about God – get in the Word for yourself. Get to know as much as possible about the Savior who gave up His very life so that you might live eternally with the Father!
  4. We must ‘dig deep’ and discover what God wants us to do – The only way to be obedient to the will of God is to go before Him in daily prayer and study His Word for all that He will guide us to do.
  5. We must put aside our own desires and be more subjective to God’s will for our lives – Often you will find that the worldly things that you want to do is opposed to what you might discern that the Word of God wants you to do. Be willing to put aside your personal agenda so that you might be totally obedient to God.
  6. Enjoy other people and grow to love them deeply – When the love of God is deeply entrenched in you, then you will begin to love His people. When you grow to desire all that God desires, your love for others will grow as deep as God’s love for them. Remember how much He loves them? He sacrificed everything for their eternal welfare! Glory to God for loving us that much!!

Our reward: We will grow stronger spiritually AND become fruitful and useful for our Lord!
Is it worth it all? I desire to commit fully to all that God teaches and directs me to do, including all of the above. I hope that you will do the same!!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for showing me the way to the Father, and thank You for sacrificing Your very life so that I might have the only avenue opened for me to one day see You in heaven. I pray that my readers, my family and my friends might find this same peace today! Please continue to direct our path so that we might grow in our faith; in the knowledge of Your Word; and with unhindered obedience of Your will for our lives. Thank You Lord Jesus! 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. 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!