On Following Instructions

Experience will show that many times specific instructions are given to us in order to achieve specific results. But when dealing with God, our reasoning must ‘go out the door’, for His ways and thoughts are different to anything we may have experienced or could possibly think of. Naaman had his own ideas of what might be done to heal him of his leprosy, but God had a greater test in store for this worldly man. How’s your faith? Do you suppose you could do exactly what God tells you to do? Join me as we discuss this.

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2022-11-19
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Kings 5:10-12
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 10 Elisha sent out a servant to meet him with this message: “Go to the River Jordan and immerse yourself seven times. Your skin will be healed and you’ll be as good as new.” 11-12 Naaman lost his temper. He spun around saying, “I thought he’d personally come out and meet me, call on the name of God, wave his hand over the diseased spot, and get rid of the disease. The Damascus rivers, Abana and Pharpar, are cleaner by far than any of the rivers in Israel. Why not bathe in them? I’d at least get clean.” He stomped off, mad as a hornet.

APPLICATION: Throughout the Bible we are told of many things God did – that the people impacted, could never have thought of. Having never rained before, God had Noah build a boat to preserve the life of those God chose to save from drowning. Who would have thought? During their Wilderness travail, The Israelites were brought to a point where they couldn’t turn back without being eliminated by the Egyptian army, yet on ahead they faced the Red Sea. But God’s mighty hand made a way where there was no way for His people to cross on dry land, and the same miracle served to eliminate the Egyptian army that was in hot pursuit. Who would have thought? Word had gotten out about the miracles brought about through the prophet Elisha, so Naaman didn’t hesitate to travel in order to present himself to Elisha for healing. However, as indicated in the first two examples, God has the advantage of seeing what we need not just for the moment, but something that will draw us to Himself for as long as we are left on earth. Faith means that you would are willing to believe in something just because God says so, and not based on any previous experience or knowledge. Noah and his people had never seen rain before, but Noah was obedient to God’s command anyway. The Israelites had never heard of bodies of water being separated before, yet they chose to believe that the same God who showed them the parting of the waters, He would also keep them back while they obediently followed His command through Moses to cross over to the other side. Naaman felt like he was special, and as such, Elisha would methodically perform a personalized miracle on him in grand form. But notice in Naaman’s explanation of his disappointment that he was still referring to ‘his God’, meaning Naaman’s God. Wouldn’t you think that if you were going to travel a distance to see a prophet of God, for healing from God, that you would want to know that God actually thinks enough of you to heal you? Doesn’t it sound like perhaps Naaman should have met the Master, before asking someone to lean on Him on your behalf? Isn’t that how we tend to do it today though? Friends will demand that we have our pastor come to the hospital and pray for Susie’s healing – Susie, the one who has been a terror all her life and wants nothing to do with God. But doesn’t it sound like your friend, Susie, and Naaman must feel like God’s puppet will do whatever you demand of them? But wait, where is the healing coming from? Without God in the mix, let me assure you that Elisha, nor your pastor who is being demanded by your friend, could heal anyone. It is God, and God alone who heals. Both Naaman and Susie need Jesus. Yes, He may choose to heal their physical bodies, but what Jesus is really after is their heart, soul and mind, for then He could save them for all eternity and present them to the Father in heaven as a blood washed child of the one true God. Let’s show by example that we could follow God’s instructions exactly. Perhaps others will then see the love and mighty works of God in our lives and want to know Him also.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Naaman was brought to his senses and realized that God knew what He was doing through the instruction given through Elisha. Oh, that we may also acknowledge that Jesus is Lord – Lord of all lords.

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for not giving up on us, even in our stubbornness, disobedience, and especially when we feel like we know it all, like Naaman. Please forgive us and help us to always respect Your commands, Your healing and Your love. Help us to never stand in the way of God working through us to touch the lives of others following in our footsteps. Your ways are not our ways and Your thought are different to our thoughts, so help us to always follow in obedience instead of looking for evidence or past experience to support Your mighty work. 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, As Unto The Lord

Having never owned my own business, I know what it’s like to be a slave to an earthly master. Having been a supervisor, responsible for hiring my employees, I have also experienced being an earthly master. However, the most rewarding is in knowing that I live and serve the One, True, Almighty God – my main Master and Friend! Take a few minutes to meditate with me on this important subject.

DATE POSTED Thursday, 2022-11-10
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Ephesians 6:5-8
TRANSLATION: New International Version (NIV)

BIBLE TEXT: Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

APPLICATION: To understand the full potential of this Scripture, we must look at the time in which it was written and the primary crowd for who it was originally intended. Paul wrote this at a time when there were over six million slaves in the Roman Empire, and at a time when slaves were considered less than ordinary people. This helps us to see these words in their original perspective. However, we know from other Scriptures that God not only prompted Paul in ways that might help slaves and their masters, but He also prompted David to be true and trustworthy to his master, king Saul, in spite of the king making endless efforts to pin him to the wall with his spear. In our Scripture today, Paul wanted to remind the Ephesian church that because of their main Master, they were to be humble slaves so that they might touch the heart of their earthly masters. I don’t believe that it was happen-chance that this teaching made it into the Bible, for I believe that God still has a message for His children – His slaves, to stand firm on their principles and the teachings of their heavenly Master, so that their earthly masters might better understand the truths and ways of our Lord. Friends, our earthly masters/bosses and our earthly slaves/employees always need to see whether we are sincere in our beliefs or our boasting about our Savior. Do we talk the talk and walk the walk? Under pressure and in full obedience, can we still praise the Lord? I believe that when we do as Paul instructed – “do as unto the Lord”, then we will remember that it was God who strengthens us each day for the job, He who gives us wisdom to understand the job, and He who blesses us with income so that we could bless others. When we keep that first and foremost in our minds, I believe we will work without grumbling, smile without the worry of the boss taking advantage of us, and feel appreciated without complaining of our pay. You know, it wasn’t until I retired and didn’t depend so heavily on my income, that I became very relaxed and enjoyed my temporary job to the fullest. It helped to open my eyes of the needs around me and helped me concentrate more on the concern for others. As workers in the Kingdom, imagine how much more effective we would be, if we served as unto the Lord, and not because we are tired of doing more than our share while others just sit around and complain. As a child of God, we owe it all to our Father!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: May God be the Master of our whole being, and not just our Spiritual Father.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for all that You bless us with. Please teach us to stop whining about our jobs and our bosses when we have a job. Also Lord, please help us to live confident in the God that we serve, especially when we don’t have a job. Please teach us to stay strong in our faith and in the Master of it all, in every aspect of our lives. Teach us to also strive to please You as our Designer, Creator, Way-Maker, Savior and Eternal Master, whether we have an earthly boss or not. For Lord, I firmly believe that when we please You, others will recognize whose we are, and will want to know our Savior as well. 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 Cause and Cost Of Disobedience

As a child, I had built up such a fear (respect) of my parents that I made every effort to obey them in whatever they demanded of me. As an adult, it seems easy to obey God and be rewarded in the ways described in His Word, but there are also many warnings for disobedience, yet we see where folk choose to interpret the Word in a way that favors them. Let’s look at the reasons we choose to obey in one instance and disobey in the next. Because that’s exactly what happened to the prophet from Judah in today’s Scripture.

DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-10-31
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Kings 13:7; 15;
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: Then the king said to the prophet, “Come to the palace with me and rest awhile and have some food; and I’ll give you a reward because you healed my arm.”
15 Then the old man said to the prophet, “Come home with me and eat.”

APPLICATION: We are looking at two different encounters with the same prophet who was given instructions by God on how to respond to such questions. In the first instance, the prophet followed God’s instructions completely, even though it was the king who invited him to his palace. The prophet was promised a good meal and a reward, but the prophet stayed true to the instructions given to him by God. Very admirable. However, word got around quickly what transpired at the palace, so an old ‘prophet’ in Bethel thought that he would try his persuasive powers to see if he could get the young prophet to follow him, instead of the strict instructions given to him by God. So, as the young prophet walked away from the king and started his journey back home, the old prophet started his conniving actions. No doubt the young prophet was hungrier by now, so the old prophet caught up with him, convinced him that he was also a prophet of God with instructions for him and offered him to come and dine with him, the young prophet gave in. So, what do you suppose caused the young prophet to disobey God? Based on my personal experience, I believe that it would have been extremely challenging for me to disbelieve an older gentleman, and even more challenging to disagree with a man representing himself as a prophet of God. So, I really don’t know if I would have acted any differently, had I been in the young prophet’s situation. For much of my working career, I was told that I only see black and white and am almost blinded to any grey areas and decisions. Perhaps this means that I would have stuck to my guns and stayed true to the word of the Lord. But based on hindsight in knowing the end of the story, we know that the prophet’s disobedience led to his death. Friends, each and every day we are faced with decisions like the one the young prophet had to make. We know what the Word of God says, yet we cave in to the pressures of those around us, or to the attraction of more advantages offered to us. I had an old preacher friend say that he had to stay at our church until God told him to move on. For it was God who sent him there, and he couldn’t move until God released him from that obligation. I believe that principle may have worked well for the young prophet, for he was given instructions and he was expected to follow those instructions unless told otherwise by God. In trusting the old ‘prophet’, it appears like the young prophet may have felt like God sent him with different instructions for him. But Satan comes at us in various forms. He will give us every excuse on why we shouldn’t follow the will of God. And we are left with deciding in whom we will place our faith and trust. Perhaps today you feel tossed around in many areas of your life. Please allow me to suggest that you seek God and be willing to follow His commands exclusive of all other options that may come your way. How will you know it’s God? Know that His Word is always aligned with His will. There is no coincidence in you coming across Scripture on a day you are looking for confirmation from God on a decision. If this is also confirmed by a true saint of God in some form or the other, then you are looking at multiple confirmations to the instructions you received from God. Learn from our Scripture today that when you are tasked with carrying out a mission, do it without allowing any interference by one just posing as a fellow Christian or even a ‘Christian’ leader. Satan can choose the most unsuspecting person to misdirect us into his path.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God will always guide us aright. His ways are not our ways, so His will might be way more than we could ever expect to see, but we are to trust God and watch Him work miraculously in us, through us, and all around us.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You have given us the right path to follow and You have opened the doors of heaven to bless us way more than we deserve. Please Lord, strengthen and embolden us to be obedient servants, even when others try to distract us in ways that may even seem like they were sent by You. Help us to discern the way that is right and directed by You. I believe that when we follow You in obedience, You place us in the path of those who need Your help and Your guidance. Satan is very busy roaming around in search of all that he could devour. Lord, we want to be just like You and help to fulfill Your mission here on earth while we are able to. Please open the doors of heaven and bless us with all we need to represent You in perfect form so that those who are in need of the Savior will see you evident in our lives. Bless as only You can, heal as only you are capable and save as only You have the power to do so, In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

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

Strive To Please The One Blessing You

Many parents practice the idea of rewards for good behavior, in order to discourage bad behavior. However, many kids will practice great behavior to see the smile on their parents’ face as they gloat with pride over their child’s efforts to please them and show them that they are capable of doing what they were taught. Often it is what a child does when a parent is not present that will reflect what they truly learned during their childhood. In today’s Scripture, Paul is teaching the church – both the Ephesian church, and today’s believers, that as loyal kids of the Kingdom, make every effort to please God and His Holy Spirit that lives inside of us. I will expand on this in the ‘Application’ portion of today’s devotional. Join me!

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2022-10-30
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Ephesians 4:29-32
TRANSLATION: GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

BIBLE TEXT: 29 Don’t say anything that would hurt ⌞another person⌟. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you. 30 Don’t give God’s Holy Spirit any reason to be upset with you. He has put his seal on you for the day you will be set free ⌞from the world of sin⌟. 31 Get rid of your bitterness, hot tempers, anger, loud quarreling, cursing, and hatred. 32 Be kind to each other, sympathetic, forgiving each other as God has forgiven you through Christ.

APPLICATION: In growing up, I’m not sure at what stage children’s eyes are opened to the sacrifices made by parents so that they might thrive. For example, how many meals did mom and/or dad have just vegetables so that the kids might enjoy an extra piece of meat? How many Christmases did moms and dads forego giving each other a gift, so that they could bless their kids with an extra gift to open on Christmas morning? God is even more giving to His children, for He sent His only Son, knowing that we needed so much help in seeking forgiveness of our sin. Yet Paul saw that the Ephesian church members were still acting like the world (unsaved rebels living like there was no God). Because God saw fit to have this as part of His final instructions to Christians, I believe He desperately wanted us to catch the heart of Paul in this teaching, as it clearly explains the heart of God for His children. I feel like the key phrase in these verses is ‘Don’t give the Holy Spirit any reason to be upset with you’. Other translations say, “don’t cause the Holy Spirit to grieve over you”. Such words are used when a close family member dies, for the remaining family ‘grieves’ over losing their loved one. In the examples given in my introduction, we can easily see the expression of pride and happiness on our parent’s face when they see us achieving greatness or successful in our endeavors, but what if we stood near them as they prayed, and we heard them grieving before the Father over their disappointment in what they are seeing in us? That would tear us up and cause us much pain. I believe that’s the idea that Paul is portraying about our Savior, for He gave His very life for us, and it must hurt beyond all measure when He see us still acting like the world – like a sinner who has never even heard about grace or forgiveness. I believe we should be encouraged by this challenge given by Paul, for he not only encouraged us to put aside the evil practices of our old life, but since we accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, with every intent to turn away from our sin and heartache, and follow the King of all kings, so too ought we to do the same in our habits and practices that once identified us as an unsaved sinner. In Christ, and with the special power afforded to us by the Holy Spirit residing inside of us, WE CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens and guides us towards holiness and righteousness, just like Jesus did. As you live each day, think about the words you would like to hear from Jesus when He calls you home to glory. My goal is to hear my Savior say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’. I pray that you have once again been encouraged to follow Jesus Christ in total commitment and to spend your life being just like Him, even while allowed to remain here below. Jesus paid the price for my sin, and He left me a ton of instructions to help guide me into all righteousness under the inspiration, and with the help of the Holy Spirit. I know we can do this fellow Christians, let’s just commit to it and do it – with God’s help.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God forgave us by separating our sin from us as far as the east is from the west. Now if we could only learn to forgive like our Father in heaven taught us to and exampled for us!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for loving us enough to sacrifice Your very own Son for the redemption of our sin. Please Lord, embolden us to be different and to live in love, like you did; forgiving others, like You did; loving even the unlovable, just as You did; and sacrificing for even them just as You did for us. Please help us to make a difference in this world, just as You made a difference in our lives. May we live in a way that pleases our Maker, our Savior and our Friend. To God be the glory for the things You have done in and through each of your children. Now, be glorified in us and through us 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. 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!

Overwhelming Blessings!

David had, what he thought was, a great plan to bless God with an awesome, palatial, house of worship. However, we must learn from today’s Scripture that God had much more in mind for David, than he could ever imagine. We also could never out-give God, for He has a plan for us, and a place for us to enjoy eternal peace and contentment with Him! Meditate with me as we are reminded of how awesome our God truly is!

DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-08-22
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Samuel 7:18-21
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 18-21 King David went in, took his place before God, and prayed: “Who am I, my Master God, and what is my family, that you have brought me to this place in life? But that’s nothing compared to what’s coming, for you’ve also spoken of my family far into the future, given me a glimpse into tomorrow, my Master God! What can I possibly say in the face of all this? You know me, Master God, just as I am. You’ve done all this not because of who I am but because of who you are—out of your very heart! – but you’ve let me in on it.

APPLICATION: Based on the Word of God, I believe that we would easily discern that there was good reason for God to consider David ‘a man after my own heart’! For God not only saw the works of David, but He also knew the heart of a man, He created, that loved Him in return, and who was persistent in following the commands of God honestly and without reservation. It is so unfortunate that many in our day will try to attend church – if there’s nothing better on television, or no favorite stars performing nearby, or inclement weather for beaching or boating. In other ways, some will work on deals and relationships that are totally private to their bank, their pastor, their friends, and especially their family, so of course they think that God would never know about what goes on behind closed and private doors. Pastors and church leaders have lost their ministries when these things come to light, and church members who looked up to them, often leave churches while vowing never to entrust such a person again. Yet we wonder why such ‘honorable’ ministers are not receiving God’s rich blessings? I have noticed in reading up to this place in the Scriptures that David sinned, because of frailties in his human qualities. However, David persistently displayed a humble heart dependent on God for his position as a servant of the king; as the captain of his armies; as a father to his children; as a king to the largest nation of his time; and to everything ordered of God. In the prayer included in today’s Scripture, David acknowledged to God that he was so surprised over His goodness, because he knew that nothing was hid from God – none of his sins were unknown to Almighty God. Friends, when we know the will of God, and still commit our sinful deeds – especially those we think are in private, we can expect God’s wrath while trying to correct us, redirect us and still love us enough to see us return to Him. When we experience otherwise from God, like David did: loving on us; blessing us with good health; showing us what He has planned for our future; and giving us more than we could possibly handle; then we are forced into the humble position David found himself in when he sat before the Lord and prayed this appreciative, celebrative, yet humble prayer. Let’s be reminded today that there is nothing we can do to demand God’s forgiveness or His goodness, even if we attend church every time the doors open, of demand total honesty and transparency in our businesses. In the words of David, God will bless us because of who He is, not because of anything we have done or said in His name. We are no different to our ancestor, David, so God is looking for more men and women who are willing to live out the heart of God like David did. Has God discovered your attributes yet? Do you suppose that He sees His righteousness displayed though everything that you are in the eyes of the public here on earth? How’s your heart? Can it be likened to a heart after God’s very likeness? Not sure about you dear friends, but it seems like I have need to stay on my knees before God so I would quit acting out the heart of ‘man’, and start acting, speaking and loving like a man after God’s own heart, God being my helper. Pour out your heart to God today, my friend!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God blesses us because of who He is, not because of anything we have done to deserve His goodness!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, in deepest humility I dare pray to You, because I am reminded that You know my heart, You are well aware of my thoughts, and You know my intentions and prejudices. Thank You Lord for including me when considering the sacrifice needed at Calvary. Nothing, absolutely nothing can wash away my sin, but the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Lord, as my readers, listeners and I approach Your throne today, we come like David, knowing that You will bless because of who You are, because there is nothing, we can do that would be worthy of such mercy by the King of all kings. Thank You for Your mercy, Your forgiveness and Your everlasting love that transcends all human love. We worship and adore You Lord Jesus for who You are, and for all that You have done, presently doing, and promised to continue doing for us! 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 Responds To Our Obedience

We are often tempted and tried, and I believe that God is always watching to see whether we are determined to stay true to our commitment to Him, or whether it’s just something we do when around our pastor or other Christians who hold us accountable. But being aware that God even knows our heart and our thoughts, how often in a day do you suppose He stops and wonder what is it that we truly believe, and in whom do we place our trust? If only we would seek to demonstrate the kind of faith that Saul shows in today’s Scripture!

DATE POSTED Thursday, 2022-07-21
WRITTEN AT: O Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Samuel 10:6, 9,
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: At that time the Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person. 
 9 As Saul turned and started to leave, God gave him a new heart, and all Samuel’s signs were fulfilled that day. 

APPLICATION: Somehow I believe that many of us postpone doing what we feel God has ordered for us. We tend to wait for confirmation from other trusted sources, and we tend to wait until the very last minute, just in case we’re not sure it was truly God speaking to us. Where is our faith? Compare this story of Saul to that of a situation that we may hear is going on at our church. Saul was appointed king by the prophet Samuel. One of Saul’s first assignments involved an encounter with a band of Philistine prophets while visiting Gibeah. Samuel convinced Saul that he would also begin to prophecy with these men, because the power of God will come upon him. Ok, so what would you and I do in response to an old priest telling us such a far-out story? Having just been appointed king, don’t you think that our minds would be racing with ideas on what we would want to accomplish as king? We may hear about these extreme predictions by the older priests of our community, often we will try to respectfully dismiss what he is suggesting. After all, we can hardly believe they think that are about to prophecy?? Yeah, right! But friends, remember what I said earlier – God knows our very thoughts. Based on what we read in these verses, Saul had no reservation about doing what Samuel ordered him to do. He had no reason to question the actions of the priests he would meet, nor the matter of God’s powerful hand in his own life. Saul had faith to believe that if God’s messenger said it, he could believe it and proceed with the necessary orders given to him. Notice that God didn’t wait until Saul arrived at the well, or when he would be greeted the prophesying priests. God knew Saul’s heart and intent, and He changed Saul’s life when he turned and began to obey his orders. I believe that God might search our hearts today and examine our faith, to see if this story of His ministry to and through Saul might have an effect on us. Whether it would enhance our level of obedience without a bunch of questions. What do you suppose God would find? Would He be as quick to empower us because of the evidence of faith that He sees in us?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God performed His awesome work in Saul because He saw the immediate response to all that Samuel ordered of him!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for keeping us accountable for all that You demand through Your Word and through Your servants. Please forgive us for the times that we doubt and insist on doing things ‘our way’. Lord, may we always look to you for all things necessary for life here on this earth. We want to obediently follow Your commands, and to be Your hands and feet while allowed to remain here. Please continue to work through us so that the world will know You and witness Your good works. Humble us to be Your servants and Your likeness to a lost and hurting world. 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!

What Happens When God Calls You?

Ever noticed that you might be in the same room as your spouse, child or friend, and they never heard you say something to them? Perhaps they were totally engrossed in a television show, or playing a game on their device, and therefore knew nothing about what else was going on in their immediate environment! Is that the way it is when God speaks to us? Read my full devotional and meditate on how you would react if placed in the circumstances of Samuel.

DATE POSTED Friday, 2022-07-15
WRITTEN AT: O Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Samuel 3:1-5
TRANSLATION: The Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 1 Meanwhile little Samuel was helping the Lord by assisting Eli. Messages from the Lord were very rare in those days, 2-3 but one night after Eli had gone to bed (he was almost blind with age by now), and Samuel was sleeping in the Temple near the Ark, 4-5 the Lord called out, “Samuel! Samuel!” “Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” He jumped up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. What do you want?” he asked. “I didn’t call you,” Eli said. “Go on back to bed.” So he did.

APPLICATION: We often hear that familiarity breeds contempt! In other words, it’s not until our spouse takes a trip without you, that you truly miss her company, her jokes, her cooking and of course, her love. When our daughter was young, she spent a weekend at a friends house. She returned home with a deep appreciation for our humble abode, and she immediately started cleaning up her room, because she realized how uncomfortable she was in an undesirable environment. But let’s examine the life of a Christian? Immediately after salvation, we are fired up and ready to save the world, but as time goes on, and as we are tempered by other ‘Christians’, we tend to be less consumed in our walk with the Lord. This is unfortunate, because if Christians do what, I believe God intends for Christians to do, then we would allow God to change our daily lifestyle. Dear friends, it is through the study of God’s Word that we learn His will for us; we learn to adopt His character; adhere to His teachings; and take particular note of what He is saying to us that day. It is through prayer that we get to speak with God, and as we pause to listen to Him, He speaks very boldly into our minds. It is through visiting the sick and shut-ins that God helps us to appreciate His rich blessings to us, while helping us to comfort our family member or friend that we are visiting. Of course we feel inadequate, and we might even feel sorry for what the individual is going through, but when we go in Jesus’ name, we are merely the messenger and encourager who delivers the hope of our wonderful Lord! In all these things, I believe we will subtly realize that this life is very temporary, and unless we and our family/friends have a brighter future to look forward to with the King of all kings, and Lord of all lords, then our time on earth may have been in vain. However, in doing these things, we find reason to exist and we remain in touch with our Master and Lord. We place our minds in a position where we are ready to hear from God and obey His every command. Samuel is an awesome example of this, for he was dedicated to the Lord’s work at a very young age. He could have rebelled, like many kids do today, but instead he prepared himself for a close relationship with God – one that would help him to hear the voice of God when He called out to him – albeit just as young lad with almost no experience. God could have chosen an older man, but what He had in store for Samuel, was suited especially for Samuel. That’s the way it is for you and I. We must never sit on the sidelines and wait for God to speak to our pastor, or our elders, or to our Sunday School Teacher. God’s message for us will be totally unique, compared to what He may ask of them. Friends, let’s just be like Samuel in realizing that, if God calls us to something, He will guide and help us through it, for His glory alone. Remember, we are the servant, and He is the Master!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God calls us to His service without consideration of our abilities, or age, or position in the church. We are His servants and we are expected to obey our Master’s commands!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for entrusting young Samuel with the awesome task of relaying Your message to a seasoned veteran like Eli. We stand at Your feet each day awaiting Your commands for us. Please help us to never complain about our inabilities, but always rejoice in the abilities of our Master who gives us our instructions. I believe that the world is looking for Jesus in action, so please Lord, help us to always be obedient to Your call and to always allow You the proper permission to work through us each and every day. Lord, be glorified in and through Your servant 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!

It Depends On What The Lord Says

I’m sure that the Israelites must have thought, and no doubt complained about the necessity for discipline by God, especially if He (supposedly) loved them so much. But God still has to discipline His children today, and humble us to a state where we are ready to listen to Him. The Israelites saw what God did through His servant, Moses, and they benefited almost every day from what God did for them. We are no different today, for we still benefit from every word that proceeds from the mouth of God! Meditate with me as we study this Scripture a little closer.

DATE POSTED Thursday, 2022-07-14
WRITTEN AT: O Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Deuteronomy 8:2-3
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: And you must remember the entire trip that the Lord your God has led you through these 40 years in the desert. He was testing you. He wanted to make you humble. He wanted to know what is in your heart. He wanted to know if you would obey his commands. He humbled you and let you be hungry. Then he fed you with manna—something you did not know about before. It was something your ancestors had never seen. Why did the Lord do this? Because he wanted you to know that it is not just bread that keeps people alive. People’s lives depend on what the Lord says.

APPLICATION: Surely you’re no different to me, in that you hated to hear your mom and/or dad say how it pained them to discipline you! For we always thought ‘then why do it?’!! As adults we now know that to discipline shows love, caring and concern for the individual you are disciplining. The easy thing to do, is to ignore the issue and hope that things will get better. But to care enough about the individual to correct them and possibly discipline them, shows that you love them enough to want them to succeed in life, and to be the best individual they could possibly be. When disciplined at home, it becomes easier for our children to respect and understand the need for discipline by an employer. None of us like to be disciplined, but let’s look at why God thought it was necessary for the Israelites. As His chosen people, God couldn’t stand it that they were being mistreated in Egypt, so in cooperation with their leaders, God decided to get them out of there and into a chosen place that He had prepared for them. Because of their ungratefulness and disrespect during their journey, God disciplined His children in a few serious ways – food, water, obstacles in the path they traveled, etc. And time and time again, God showed love and deliverance for His people. In our verses today, the Israelites are being reminded of what they should have gained from those challenging times of discipline. And I believe that God wants to use these words to remind us of the same thing today. Like the Israelites, we are a spoiled and rotten people. We want, we want, and we want, but oh how seldom do we ever stop to recognize all that God has provided, and how He has taught us along this path called ‘life’. Do we have time to visit the sick or help the poor, or are we too busy tending shop? In other words, are we so caught up in the many material things of life, that we have no time, love, or respect for God, to seek out the needs of others? God disciplined the Israelites because He wanted them to know that there were more important things in life than their stomachs, their material things, and their selfish desires. He wanted them to see, and I believe that He wants us to also learn, that it is the very words of God that teaches us about LIFE, and not at all about what we have, what we see, or what we want. So what’s important in this life to you my friend? Would it require a good dose of discipline by the Almighty God to help us refocus on the really important things in this life? The importance of hearing, obeying and doing the things commanded by God is not just mentioned on verse 3 of our Scripture today, but was also reemphasized in Matthew 4:4 when Jesus responded to Satan. Perhaps God still says to us today that it doesn’t matter that much what we want, or how badly we think we need something, learn to listen, trust and obey His words, for in them we will be reminded that they are ‘food’ for our soul and strength for our tomorrows!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: It is not just bread that keeps people alive. People’s lives depend on what the Lord says

PRAYER: Thank You precious Lord for the many gifts that You shower on us each and every day. Thank You for those times that You stop us in our tracks and, through loving discipline, You redirect us to the ways, and things of Christ. May we have that same kind of love for our brethren, for there are so many in need all around us today. We are often so caught up in protecting all that we have gained, that often we lose track of praise, honor and glory that is so deserving of the One who has blessed us. Thank You dear Lord. Please touch our hearts today. Draw us close to You and help us to use all that You have blessed us with, to bless others in return. Being reminded of the importance of Your words, Lord may we learn to listen, obey and apply Your Word to all aspects of our life. 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!

Reassuring Trust In Church Leaders

Churches split and Christendom is seriously damaged when a church leader is found in contempt of the very Word of God they have preached and/or promoted for years, especially to the unsaved and the unchurched. In Paul’s effort to clarify his position to the Corinthian church, I believe He provided some real direction to churches today when there is reason to question their leaders. This is a sensitive issue , so stay with me as we discuss this in more detail.

DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-07-11
WRITTEN AT: O Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Corinthians 1:12-13; 17-19;
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 12 We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you. 13 Our letters have been straightforward, and there is nothing written between the lines and nothing you can’t understand. I hope someday you will fully understand us.
17 …. Do you think I am like people of the world who say “Yes” when they really mean “No”? 18 As surely as God is faithful, our word to you does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” 19 For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.”….

APPLICATION: The church that is considered ‘perfect’ in the eyes of its membership, is probably most successful when it keeps the struggles that embattle their leadership, behind the scenes. After all, church leadership is made up of human men and/or women. In many cases, church leadership is made up of the same men and women who are challenged with their kids, struggle in their marriages, and possibly written up for various reasons at work. Having been there and done that, I was stricken by the Holy Spirit to carefully read what Paul, a notable saint of God, shared with one of his churches. Let’s take a deep dive into the words of Paul, which we know were inspired by the Holy Spirit, for his words to be included in God’s book of Instruction to us:
~ A God-given holiness and sincerity in all dealings (vs 12) – Because we deal with mere humans in church leadership, we can understand why this may be hard for parishioners to believe. After all, we insist on audits of church financial records, because of the horror stories of theft at some churches. We insist on a buddy system for counseling, because we have heard horror stories of misappropriation between counselors and counselees. BUT I believe that Paul wanted his church to know that he is aiming for perfection as he follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. He therefore shared with the church the principles that he had chosen to live by, with God’s help. I pray that each leader will strive to live as Paul taught, and that each reader will find men and women of God-like character in their church leadership;
~ Depending on God’s grace and not on human wisdom (vs 12) – In each of us, I believe that we are so tainted by the world, that it is always challenging for others to see the grace of God at work in us. We will always try to clarify the process by which we have made decisions regarding the church. However, when we depend on God, it is easy to explain how He guided us through His Word and through His almighty power to the decision He wants made for His church. Which do you see most often by your church leadership;
~ Straightforward letters (vs 13) – There are times when we need an attorney to review certain documents, because we want to make sure that there are no hidden agendas included between the lines. It is interesting, but also conniving how we could place our words just right in a document that leaves the interpretation totally up to the recipient! Paul assured his church that this was not his style of writing. Do you feel the same way about correspondence from your church leadership?
– Let you “Yes” be yes, and your “No” be no (vs 17) – If asked a pointed question, will it depend on the response from the others as to how you might respond? If your church leadership is prayed up and honest in God’s sight, each of them will know how God wants them to individually respond, regardless of what the others might say.
Friends, in all honesty, church leadership is a very challenging thing. Because leaders must learn to put aside personal agendas and wait for the Lord to impress upon them what He wants. Let me encourage every reader and listener to pray diligently for your church leaders. Pray that they will learn to empty themselves of selfish pride and personal agendas, and wait on the Lord for His direction in His church.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Imitate Jesus in our lives and our dealings with others, so that God may bless our efforts and our dealings with others.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You were perfect in the sight of Your Father, yet You were criticized, judged and rejected by mankind. I should expect no less, but please direct my path and keep me on the straight and narrow path so that I may be pleasing to my all-knowing God. Please Lord, give wisdom to our church leaders and guide them in the very critical matters they govern. Trying to gently deal with mankind, while staying true to our perfect God is extremely challenging. Please Lord, always give contentment to our church leaders who strive to always please You, and intervene on their behalf as their church members seek to trust and obey their decisions. You alone are our ultimate Judge, so I pray that we would always strive to please You in all that we do and say. Please remove the desire to please mankind, less our churches become more like the world than their God they were designed to honor and obey. May we always be pleasing in your sight so that You may accomplish Your work through us and our churches. 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!

A Heart Willing To Obey

What would you be willing to do in order to hear God say that all will be well with you and your family for evermore? Now look at our Scripture for today and see what God would said He would do if we commit our whole heart to Him and obey His commands! This could appear virtually impossible to us, especially if we have some challenging relatives! But let me encourage you to meditate with me on today’s Scripture and be reassured of the great God we serve!

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2022-07-05
WRITTEN AT: O Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Deuteronomy 5:27; 29
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 27  ….. You go and listen to all that God says, then come and tell us, and we will listen and obey.’ ….. 
29 Oh, that they would always have such a heart for me, wanting to obey my commandments. Then all would go well with them in the future, and with their children throughout all generations!

APPLICATION: When troubles come, and trials seem to hit us hard on every side, don’t you often wish that God would take control and give us comfort and wisdom on how to handle every little detail of life in a way that is blessed by, and pleasing to Him? To an even greater degree, when you are feeling helpless to do anything about the struggles that your child(ren) are going through, wouldn’t it be awesome to know that God is totally in charge, and that all things work together for good to those who love, adore, and worship the Lord their God? Friends, it is obvious from the words shared with Moses, by our Master, that He is more than willing to bless us and our future generations, if only we would acknowledge Him and obey His commands. The people begged of Moses to go and speak with God and, in verse 27, they promised that they would listen and obey. Notice how God had gotten used to the idea of people making vain promises when they are in trouble, or in dire need. For He said in verse 29: If only they would do what they say. Or, what I wouldn’t do to hear them say that, then – commit, and obediently follow through with their promise. Because, THEN I will bless them and all their future generations. That’s our awesome God, folks! Let us rest assured that this is not just a nice story that we could read about our ancestors, but rather, this is a story about our all-powerful Creator; our wonderful God! This reminds us that the same God who ‘did’ for Moses and his people, is the same God who ‘can do‘ today and always for us and our family. Notice how helpless everyone was with the dreaded Covid disease? Doctors and healthcare workers were helpless and many died without hope. But God gives us hope! He’s still alive; He’s still all-powerful; and I am convinced that He is still waiting to bless us and our future generations, if only we will listen and obey. So my challenge to you today is: how badly do you want to be blessed, precious friends? Enough to listen and obey all that the Master has outlined for us in His Word? The results are promised by God: If you trust and obey with all your heart – meaning that you not just say that your believe for the moment, but that you promise to God and follow through in doing what He says, THEN He promises that all will go well for you and your children for all generations! Let me use words from a popular move – ‘that’s an offer you can’t refuse’!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: If you listen and obey God, then He will bless and keep you and your future generations!

PRAYER: When we walk with You Lord, in the light of Your Word; what a glory You shine on our way. When we do Your great will, You abide with us still, and for all who will trust and obey! Thank You precious Lord for placing these words in the mind of that great old song writer. But most of all, thank You for still being available to those of us today who are ready and willing to place our faith and trust in You and obey Your Word. You promised You would bless, and we stand in great anticipation of Your everyday blessings. Many challenges face us each day, but what a reassurance in knowing that You’re in control of it all and will see o it that all things working together for good to those who trust and obey! For all those who will meditate on this blog today, please bless them oh Lord, and speak words of wisdom to them that will draw them to Yourself. Perhaps for a closer walk with You, or perhaps for the very first time. May they find peace in knowing You as their personal Savior and 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. 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!